1. Provide Confirmation and Necessary Documents
Once your offer is accepted for the agreed purchase price, your agent will likely give you a congratulatory call. However, this won’t just be a courtesy. They’ll also request confirmation of a few things so they can finalise the offer. You’ll usually need to provide confirmation of things like:
• You have the funds available to make the purchase of your new home.
• Proof of address and bank statements regarding your deposit funds.
• Your mortgage offer or mortgage agreement in principle from your mortgage company.
• You have a conveyancing solicitor ready to undertake local authority searches, water authority searches, land registry and title register legal work.
• Whether you will have a building survey (you are not legally obliged to have a property survey but it can help identify any structural issues).
2. Remove Competition
Normally, estate agents will cancel viewings and take the property off the market as soon as your offer is agreed. However, you’ll want to make sure this is definitely the case. Remove the competition immediately and ask your agent to cancel any scheduled viewings and mark the property as SSTC (Sold Subject To Contract). If the listing isn’t taken down, you could be at risk of getting outbid or even gazumped by a cash buyer or buyer without a property chain, and lose money.
3. Instruct Your Conveyancing Solicitor
There’s no better time to get the ball rolling than straight after your offer is accepted. For a quicker sale, you’ll want to instruct your solicitor as soon as possible. If you haven’t already found a solicitor, ask your estate agent for a recommendation.
At this stage, your solicitor will start completing the local searches and environmental searches on the property, liaise with the seller’s solicitor and work towards making you the legal owner. Your solicitor will advise you on the whole process including the draft contract, stamp duty costs (and any extra costs), location specific searches, all the legally binding parts of the sale process, right up to exchanging contracts. Depending on the solicitor, they may ask you to pay up-front for some of their services.
4. Complete Your Mortgage Application
Since the mortgage in principle was an interim agreement with your mortgage lender, you’ll need to take mortgage advice and complete a full application for the money now that your offer has been accepted, and also get a mortgage valuation survey on the property. You’ll need to apply for the exact amount of money you need to borrow from your mortgage provider. If you have a mortgage advisor, they’ll guide you through this process and let you know what information you need to supply.
5. Arrange a Survey
While surveys aren’t compulsory when you buy a new home, they’re a good idea. During a survey, a professional surveyor will inspect the property and cast an eagle eye over the place. Surveys can help you understand any current or future issues you may have with the property. To arrange the survey, you’ll need to speak with your estate agent about booking time with the sellers. Survey costs can vary so if you are planning on getting a house survey it’s important to look at the options available to you.
Once all the searches have been completed, the survey is done, and all the paperwork is in order, your house move will enter the exchanged contracts part of the process. Then, a completion day will be agreed. On completion day, your solicitor will ensure the mortgage lender releases the funds, and your estate agent will ensure both buyers and sellers are in the loop right up to the point when the sale is legally binding.
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