After your offer has been accepted, there’s a lot to do, including hiring a conveyancer and planning your move. Here’s where the real work begins!

When your house offer is accepted, it brings so much excitement and relief to you as a buyer. The day you’ve been waiting for finally arrives and the seller accepts your offer. Then what? This is the beginning of the transaction, so organisation is key.

To help you plan your next steps after your offer is accepted, Carpenter Surveyors has created this guide. Additionally, we’ve answered some questions related to the process to get you started. With our goal of informing you as much as possible, you’ll be able to focus on the joy of finding your dream home with little stress.


1. Hire a Conveyancing Solicitor

You made an offer on a house and it was accepted! Choosing a conveyancer or solicitor is the first thing you should do as a buyer. It’s time to begin the conveyancing process and find a professional once your offer has been accepted.

Conveyancing solicitors or conveyancers take care of all the necessary legal work, including handling contracts, completing conveyancing searches, dealing with Land Registry, and transferring funds. The conveyancing process is highly complex and one misstep could delay or void the transaction, so doing it yourself is not recommended.

Changing conveyancers is an option if you’re unhappy with your chosen professional later on.

Find the most reliable conveyancers in your local area by comparing conveyancers. Make sure they are regulated and capable of providing excellent service.


2. Finalise Your Mortgage

By now, you should already know who your mortgage lender is, but now is the time to finalize your application. The lender will need to confirm that the property’s value matches the agreed purchase price once your offer has been accepted. A mortgage valuation will be scheduled for this purpose.

Make sure you finish your mortgage application as soon as possible if you haven’t already. Documents such as ID, bank statements, proof of address, and proof of earnings are required. 

After your mortgage offer has been accepted, you can continue comparing lenders or accept and move forward. After the details have been finalized, you should have up to seven days to decide if you want to proceed. You can withdraw from a mortgage offer until the exchange of contracts, but you may lose money.


3. Arrange a Property Survey

The next step is to arrange a property survey. A mortgage lender will request a valuation, but you should arrange a more comprehensive house survey, such as a Homebuyers Survey or Building Survey. An inspection of the property will be conducted by the surveyor, who will highlight any defects or structural problems.

To ensure the survey is as accurate as possible, you should hire a qualified surveyor. To ensure quality service, Carpenter Surveyors are regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) so you can be assured of an expert and trusted service.

The goal of a house survey is perfection, so any flaws will be highlighted. If you see a long list of issues, you shouldn’t panic – many may not be major. Based on the results, you can calculate the necessary repair costs and decide whether the property is worth investing in. Then you have the option of withdrawing from the sale, negotiating the price to cover the costs, or continuing the sale.


4. Exchange Contracts and Complete

Prepare to exchange contracts, pay your deposit, and confirm your completion date now. Your conveyancing solicitor will typically lead this final stage of the transaction. Upon approval of your mortgage and completion of the conveyancing searches, you can sign and exchange contracts. The buyer becomes the owner of the property once these steps are completed.

Both the buyer and seller are legally unable to back out at this point. Upon signing and exchanging contracts, the buyer becomes the legal owner of the property. You risk losing your deposit if you pull out of the sale.


5. Move In

As soon as the property is completed, you can collect the keys and begin moving into your new home.

You can now begin packing your house and compare removal quotes to ensure you hire the best professionals. You may find that some days are cheaper due to less demand if you’re flexible with your moving date.


How Long Does it Take From Offer to Completion?

It takes 11 weeks on average in the UK to get from an accepted offer to legal completion. According to a study conducted by The Advisory, an advice and support website. A variety of factors can affect this timeframe, but it often falls between 11 and 21 weeks.

After exchanging contracts, the completion day usually occurs within 7-28 days. Although uncommon, it is possible to exchange and complete on the same day. Delays could be caused by a number of factors. If you’re organized and communicate clearly with your conveyancer, it should go smoothly. It’s time to compare removal companies once you know your completion date.

Can Others Put an Offer on the Same House?

An accepted offer on a house does not transfer ownership of the property. It’s still possible for other potential buyers to submit alternative offers as the property is considered Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC). The offer is not legally binding as the buyer and seller have not signed or exchanged contracts.

Gazumping occurs when a seller accepts another offer from another buyer before the sale is completed. Despite being legal, it is often frowned upon. This very reason has caused 31% of British homeowners to lose out on a house sale in the past decade, according to Market Financial Solutions. Some sellers are open to gazumping higher offers.


Can Either Party Withdraw at This Stage?

Both parties are legally entitled to withdraw from the sale before the contracts have been signed and exchanged.

Ownership of the property is transferred after the contracts are signed, exchanged, and the deposit is paid. Both parties are legally obligated to continue the transaction once this occurs.


Once an offer has been accepted, how long does it take to move house?

A set timeframe does not exist for moving in after an offer is accepted. Our data indicates that buying a house can take between 12 weeks and 6 months, depending on your situation. It will take another 1-2 days to move in.

On completion day, the buyer can begin moving in as soon as they receive the keys. You can do both on the same day between 7-28 days after exchanging contracts if you are able to do both on the same day. Without the seller moving out before this date, the property chain will be further delayed. Typically, the buyer can pick up the keys to the new home around midday, giving the seller’s conveyancing solicitor time to confirm the transfer of funds.

When you know your completion date in advance, you can begin comparing removal companies.