4. Make an offer – and get it accepted
Once you’ve found what you’re looking for and had your mortgage agreed in principle, it’s time to make an offer. Think carefully about what you would be willing to pay, if you go too low, you risk not being seen as a serious buyer, so make sure your offer is realistic. Equally, don’t go in too high and miss the mark completely. Remember, your dedicated estate agent will be on hand to guide you through the process. You’ve found out your offer has been accepted? Fantastic! Relax, and take a deep breath. It’s about to get serious.
Once your offer has been accepted, there could still be a chance of being gazumped. Gazumping happens when another buyer makes a higher offer that is accepted by the seller.
Visit our recent blog on Gazumping to find out more.
5. Arrange a mortgage
Once your offer is accepted, it’s time to arrange your mortgage. Remember that your mortgage agreement in principle (from step 3) usually expires after 30 or 90 days (depending on the lender - some expire earlier) so it’s worth checking what’s new to the market and seeing if you can find a better deal.
6. Instruct a property lawyer (conveyancer)
Now that you've had your offer accepted and confirmed your mortgage, it's time to think about who you want to handle the legal side of things. A property lawyer/conveyancer will, for example, take charge of conducting searches, liaising with the seller’s property lawyer, inspecting the seller’s documents, dealing with the Land Registry. This role is pivotal to keeping your house purchase on track. Find out more about how to choose your property lawyer here.
Have a look at our Countrywide Home Conveyancing services, which just so happen to be one of the largest transactional conveyancing companies in the UK.
7. Get a survey
At the same time that you instruct a conveyancer, we recommend giving yourself the peace of mind by having a survey conducted. Surveys provide you with an overview and insight of your potential home and its surroundings.
To provide you with an example of the types of survey that exist, here are three survey types we offer: The Level One Countrywide HomeFact® Report, RICS Home Survey Level 2 (previously known as the HomeBuyer Report), RICS Home Survey Level 2 (survey and valuation), RICS Home Survey Level 3 are your main options. If you’re wondering about which survey suits you best, take a look at our product section containing survey information for a simple breakdown of each.
8. Arrange your insurance
From buildings to contents insurance, you’ll want to ensure that your new home is protected. If you’re taking out a mortgage, you’ll most likely already have arranged your buildings insurance, as it’s usually a condition on most mortgage offers. Like all types of insurance, buildings insurance protects you against unforeseen circumstances that could happen as soon as the contracts are exchanged (which is the time from when you’re legally bound to buy to property).
You may want to consider other insurance options available to you, that insure yourself, your family, your property and the contents within it. Explore your insurance options here.*
9. Set the completion date and exchange contracts
This is the date that you’ll finally move into your new home. Completion usually takes place between one and four weeks after you’ve exchanged contracts. During this time, it might be an idea to find a trustworthy removals company to help get you moving.
You’re almost there! When your property lawyer and the seller's property lawyer swap signed copies of the contract, you’ve effectively exchanged contracts. Time to celebrate, you’re about to complete on your dream home.
You’re almost there! When your solicitor and the seller's solicitor swap signed copies of the contract, you’ve effectively exchanged contacts. Time to put the champagne on ice and celebrate, you’re about to complete on your first home.
You did it. You’re officially a new homeowner – collect the keys and let yourself in! Now, time to bribe your friends with pizza and get them to work on the decorating.