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Buying or selling, getting that offer accepted is an exciting part of the process and it marks the next steps in your journey. But, what actually happens next? How does the property actually go from one person to another?

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What happens after your offer is accepted

You may be wondering, my house offer accepted now what? 

Once an offer has been accepted, the house needs to come off the market and the process will be set into motion. You need to ask the seller to take the property off the market. This will stop other buyers from making higher offers and avoid the ominous threat of being ‘gazumped’ and priced out. The estate agent will usually ask for details of your solicitor and mortgage offer in principle to provide security for the seller and to get the property taken down.

The deposit needs to be paid

For such a large financial commitment, the buyer is usually required to provide an earnest money deposit to show their desire to complete the purchase. This amount is held until completion and is applied towards the down payment at closing.

A common deposit amount is 5-10% of the purchase price, but this can vary based on the terms negotiated in the sale. The buyer then usually pays the deposit to their solicitor, who then transfers the funds to the seller's solicitor.

It's essential to use a reliable and secure method for transferring the deposit, such as a bank transfer because losing that quantity of money could be quite horrendous. If the buyer is obtaining a mortgage, the deposit may include funds provided by the mortgage lender. The buyer will still need to contribute their own funds to meet the agreed-upon deposit percentage, however.

The mortgage will be underwritten

The mortgage process now must be completed. Unless you are a cash buyer you will need to complete a mortgage application, including any proof of address and ID, proof of earnings, utility bills and bank statement documentation.

Then the legal financial agreement of the mortgage will be underwritten. The buyer's mortgage application will go through the underwriting process. The bank or lender will review the buyer's financial information, credit history, and the property's appraisal to determine if they can approve the loan and confirm this purchase.

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Contracts will be drawn up

Now the legal stuff gets really serious. Once an offer has been accepted on a house, the contracts need to be drawn up, and both parties are protected and actively involved in the process. The contract will include a description of the property and parties involved, terms of the purchase, relevant fixtures and appliances involved in the purchase, financing contingencies, closing date, closing costs and signatures.

Payments will be made

Once all conditions are met, both parties sign the necessary documents at the closing table and the buyer pays the remaining down payment and closing costs, and the seller transfers ownership of the property to the buyer. The keys are handed over, and the transaction is complete. Ta-dah! It’s really happening.

A survey will take place

One especially important thing that happens after a sale is agreed upon is the buyers will have a survey done of the property.

The primary purpose of a post-sale survey is to gather feedback on the overall buying experience and the condition of the property so that all parties are aware of each other’s experiences through the sale. It allows sellers, estate agents, and other professionals involved in the transaction to assess the satisfaction of the buyer. The survey may include questions related to various aspects of the property transaction, such as the effectiveness of communication with the estate agent, the accuracy of property descriptions, the condition of the property upon possession, and the overall satisfaction with the buying process. Buyers may be asked about their satisfaction with the condition of the property when they took possession. This feedback can be valuable for sellers and can help identify any issues that might need attention in future transactions.

Post-sale surveys are a tool for continuous improvement within the property industry, helping professionals refine their services and address any areas of concern. Estate in particular, may use this feedback to enhance their practices and provide better service to future clients, so do raise any issues you have encountered.

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Is the offer legally binding?

Just because an offer has been made, it is not certain. An offer on a house is generally not legally binding until contracts are exchanged. When a buyer makes an offer on a property, and the seller accepts the offer, this creates a "subject to contract" stage. This means that while there is a verbal agreement, there is no legal obligation for either party to proceed until the formalities are completed.

The legal commitment occurs when contracts are exchanged between the buyer and seller, signed and completed so at this point, the transaction becomes legally binding. Both parties are committed to completing the sale according to the terms outlined in the contract.

Until the exchange of contracts, either party can withdraw from the transaction without legal consequences, though this might be subject to any conditions outlined in the offer. During this pre-exchange period, buyers may conduct surveys, and finalize their mortgage arrangements, and sellers may address any outstanding issues. The deposit should be paid at exchange.

What happens if it falls through? I really need to sell…

An offer falling through can feel like the end of the world and financially you may be worried about how you are going to make it work.

That’s where we can help. The Property Buying Company is a cash buyer, and while we are unable to offer you 100% market value for your home, we can offer a service that sells your home fast, free, and securely, something those looking to make a fast sale and move on may want to utilise. We want to help take away the stress that selling your home can bring, simplifying the process and allowing you to relax - so you can get some cash in your pocket.

Sell without the hassle, get some cash in the bank, and take the stress of an offer falling through away. 

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Alexandra Ventress

Alexandra is a Content Producer who enjoys writing articles, finding out about the property market, keeping you up to date with the latest trends.