If you’ve just had your offer on a house accepted, now what? This is probably your first time buying a house, and it can be a scary process. Even now after I’ve had an offer accepted, I still ask myself what should I do first.
It’s important you get things moving quickly too, especially in a sellers market, to reduce the risk of losing the house to other buyers, and so the sellers know you’re not messing them around. This is why it’s important to know what happens after an offer is accepted on a house.
The 4 main steps to follow after offer on house accepted
- Ask for the house to be taken off the market.
- Contact your conveyancing solicitor to progress the legal side to the purchase.
- Progress your mortgage application if you’re not a cash buyer.
- Arrange removal company.
What happens after offer accepted on a house?
There are four main steps that must happen after your offer is accepted on a house, which are as follows in more detail:
1. After offer is accepted ask to have the house taken off the market
It is best practice to agree with the seller’s estate agent to have the house taken off the market. In most cases this is normal and will be done automatically, but it’s best to get confirmation this has been done.
Why this is important is because the last thing you want to happen is to invest time and money into buying the property, only to find another buyer has come along and gazumped you, because it was still being marketed by the estate agent.
If the estate agent or the vendor doesn’t agree to take the house off the market, explain to the estate agent that you will not proceed until such time as it is removed.
You can easily check if the house has been taken off the market by going onto the estate agent’s own website and by checking on Rightmove.
When you search on Rightmove it shouldn’t come up in a search for properties for sale. But if you check the box “Include Under Offer, Sold STC“, as in the above image from Rightmove, it will still show up in this search, which is okay and this will confirm the estate has done as you ask.
Properties listed on Rightmove as Under Offer, Sold STC are still searched, and if a buyer asks to view a property that is ‘sold subject to contract‘, the estate agent is obliged to contact the seller.
It will be up to the seller if they want to accept the viewing at this stage. It is for reasons like this why it’s important that once your offer on a house accepted, you act quickly. Otherwise, you risk losing the house.
With that in mind, I suggest you read this article, if you are selling another property to buy a house. In this article you will discover how you could save you up to £71,475 when you buy your next house if it would originally cost £350,000. Alternatively, if you propose to buy your next house for £250,000, the saving could be up to £51,852 instead.
To find out more, plus to get hold of my free mortgage savings calculator tool, please take a look at my video course about how to sell your house in under 2 weeks for more money.
Top Tip: Move quickly though the buying process to avoid losing the property to another buyer.
2. After offer accepted on house contact your solicitor
Ideally, you should already have a good solicitor lined up before your offer has been accepted. Usually, estate agents will ask you at the point of putting in your offer for details of your solicitor.
Normally, the seller’s estate agents will forward details to your chosen solicitor about the vendors, together with information about the offer that’s been accepted and with the contact details for the seller’s solicitors.
Be careful how you choose your solicitor. It’s better to go on a recommendation. If the buying process is taking too long, you may need to put pressure on your solicitor to speed the process up, but hopefully this won’t happen to you if you choose your solicitor carefully.
Often times mortgage lenders have a panel of solicitors you have to use, which means you will have to choose one from their list in any event. But estate agents are also happy to recommend a good solicitor too, as it is in their interest for the sale to progress quickly and smoothly.
Your solicitor will guide you through the buying process, including property searches, questions about the property and will deal with the requirements of the lender too.
They will lead you through the various stages of purchasing your first house, which will include exchange of contracts right through to completion. Each of these stages and the timings for each one will need to be agreed with the sellers too.
Top Tip: Make sure you respond to all your solicitor’s requests and questions quickly and efficiently.
3. Progress your mortgage application after your offer is accepted
It is important to already know in advance of your offer being accepted how much you can borrow. I recommend using a mortgage broker, as although they charge a fee for their service, this fee is more than paid for by the advice you receive and the time you’ll save.
Normally as apart of your mortgage application, the lender will insist on having a survey and valuation carried out. But if you are a cash buy, it is still worthwhile having a survey done on the property to check for things like subsidence or settlement, damp in the property and other property defects.
Top Tip: Use a mortgage broker to arrange your mortgage for you. Although brokers charge a fee for what they do, they are in the best position to match you and your financial position and credit status to the best mortgage product, which also matches the type or property you are buying.
4. Arrange removal company to move to your new house
Once you’re progressing towards exchange of contracts you should make arrangements for a removal company to move you in, unless you are going to move yourself. You should only confirm the removals date after contracts have been exchanged and you know the completion date.
On the moving-in day you should be able to collect the keys to your new house from the seller’s estate agent.
Pro Tip: When you pack up your belongings into boxes, make sure to label the boxes with what’s in the box and which room the box is destined for. This way the removal firm will put the boxes in the correct rooms, which in turn will make unpacking easier and quicker at the other end.
Visiting property after offer accepted
It is normal to to visit a property after your offer is accepted to measure up to make sure your furniture will fit the space, or if you plan to buy new furniture to make sure you buy items that fit the space. Other homebuyers like to visit a house after the offer is accepted to measure for carpets.
Can an offer on a house be withdrawn after acceptance?
An offer on a house can be withdrawn after it has been accepted, but only up to when contracts are exchanged. Once contracts have been exchanged you can no long withdraw your offer, as you are then committed to complete on your purchase
Is it normal to have doubts about buying a property after offer has been accepted?
It is quite normal to have second thoughts after your offer has been accepted. It is the enormity of the decision that kicks in at this stage of the process.
Whilst you are viewing properties and thinking about buying a house you aren’t committed to the process, but once your offer has been accepted, it all becomes real.
The doubts and fears that are normal to experience after an offer on a house has been accepted include the following:
- Will you be able to afford the house and the mortgage payments?
- Did you offer too much on the property.
- Will you lose the property to another buyer?
- Will interest rates rise so you cannot afford the mortgage?
- Will you get a mortgage accepted?
Final thoughts about offer on house accepted now what
It’s important to know that once you start on the process of buying your house, you should be supported to an extent by the sellers’ estate agent. Although the sellers estate agent is working for the seller, it is in their interest to get the deal done so they get paid their commission. If the sale falls through, the estate will not get paid.
Top Tip: Other things to think about including making sure you insure the property once you’ve exchanged contracts, as you will be responsible for repairs after exchange.
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