You’ve made your offer and finally had it accepted by the vendor. Your purchase is now complete… not quite. When you have your offer accepted, the purchase isn’t legally binding until you have exchanged and other buyers can still make their own bid whilst you are trying to get your purchase through! It’s important when you’ve made your offer, you ask your agent to remove the property online and from their windows so you can reduce the chance someone else might see it. Having your solicitor and mortgage broker in place already, as recommended, will help speed up the process and get you to exchange as quickly as possible.
Two things to watch out for and ask your agent about are
- Gazumping: When another buyer offers more money and the seller decides to go with them
- Gazanging: When your seller decides to stay in their home, often because they see prices going up and want to wait a little longer
Offer accepted - What's next?
If you are buying with a mortgage, you are now ready to instruct your mortgage lender to apply for your mortgage. You may have arranged a decision in principle to secure your property, but now is the time they will help you find the best product for your property purchase. Most of the forms you submit can now be done online so if you’re on the ball, much of the documentation can be done on the day your offer is accepted.
Your mortgage lender will conduct a basic property valuation by one of their surveyors which will confirm the value of the property is in line with what you have paid. This doesn’t however go into much detail so it is still recommended you instruct a survey of your own on the property. If you are purchasing without a mortgage, you will also have to do this.
There are several types of survey so choose the one that matches your circumstances
- RICS Condition Report: This describes the condition ad identifies any major risks and legal issues. No advice or valuation included - £250 approx
- RICS HomeBuyer Report: This survey is for properties in decent condition. It will identify any structural problems (subsidence or damp) and any other items that may cause a legal problem. The HomeBuyer Report doesn’t look beyond the floorboards or behind the walls. - £400 approx
- RICS Building Survey: This uses the same level of inspection as a building survey identifying the serious issues, moderate, and light issues. This is mainly aimed at larger or older properties, or if you’re planning major works. £400-500 approx
- Building or full structural survey: This is as comprehensive a check you can get and is recommended for older homes and ones that are in potential need of repair. £600 approx
Once the lender has assessed your application, the survey and all the supporting documentation to their satisfaction they will give you your offer. This is usually sent to you, your solicitor and your estate agent.