Congratulations! Your offer has been accepted. Now, you need to work through the legal steps to secure ownership of your new home.
In England and Wales, once your offer has been accepted the property may be advertised as Sold Subject to Contract or Under Offer. This means simply that, barring any higher offers or unforeseen problems with the property, you have agreed to buy the house.
Once your offer is accepted on a property that you wish to buy, you will need to submit a full mortgage application for that specific property. And recieve this in writing. It is always best to agree a Mortgage in priciple before you find your property so that you have an idea of how much you are able to borrow.
Finding a solicitor can take time so it is worth researching this aspect of the process when you start looking at property. Many elements of the house buying process happen simultaneously and while some of the next steps are taking place, your solicitor should be starting the parallel process of commencing searches and other groundwork.
A valuation is required by the lender to verify that the property is adequate security for the mortgage. There are three principal types of valuation:
just that, a basic assessment of the property. This will not be a detailed examination and is principally to satisfy the lender that the property is suitable security for a mortgage.
this is based on a more detailed inspection of the property and is designed to highlight key features of the property and indicate any faults. This is more expensive than a basic valuation but also provides you with much more detailed information about the property which you may be able to use to go back to the lender and renegotiate the price or terms.
Once you are happy with all the results from the surveys/valuations & have all your finances in order you can now agree with the vendor a date when contracts will be exchanged.
Make sure that you have all your funds in place to pay the deposit/solicitor and any unforseen costs.
You need to have these in place as part of your Mortgage agreement. It is probably good to shop around, some mortgage companies request you take out the one that they recomment but you will be able to find cheaper ones if you shop around. Try looking at Compare The Market.
When all the conveyancing has been dealt with, your solicitor (or Conveyancer) will send you various documents to sign. This is what you've been waiting for. You're finally doing the deal - which is called Exchanging Contracts, and agreeing a Completion Date, which is when the property becomes yours. You'll most probably have to pay a deposit (usually 10% of the house's value) through your solicitor. If you pull out after this point you will lose the deposit.
You should liaise with the seller regarding the collection of keys. It is common practice for the seller to leave the keys with their estate agent. The agent will be authorised to release them to you once the seller’s solicitors have received the balance.