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Once the Offer has been Accepted

You have found your dream home, put in an offer and waited patiently for the estate agent to come back to you. The phone rings, and the estate agent gives you the good news. It’s an exciting moment, but what now?

Here’s a quick guide to what happens after your offer has been accepted.

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What are the next steps after an offer has been accepted?

Ask the seller to take the property off the market

Once the offer has been accepted you should ask the seller to take the property off the market. This will prevent other buyers from making higher offers and avoid the threat of being ‘gazumped’. The estate agent will usually ask for details of your solicitor and mortgage offer in principle in order to action this.

Complete your mortgage application

Unless you are a cash buyer you will need to complete a mortgage application, including any necessary documents such as proof of address and ID, proof of earnings, utility bills and bank statements.

Find a conveyancing solicitor

Choosing a conveyancing solicitor is an important part of buying your property. The conveyancing solicitor will usually be responsible for the following legal work:

  • Drawing up and reviewing the contracts
  • Conducting the local searches
  • Corresponding with the Land Registry
  • Managing payments, collection and transfer of funds
  • Providing you with legal advice as and when you need it

Have a survey done

Property surveys are highly recommended, to give you an idea of the condition of the property. There are three types of house survey you can ask a surveyor to undertake: a basic Level 1 survey, a ‘home buyers survey’ or a structural survey. Find out more about surveying services

Sign and exchange contracts

Exchanging contracts is where things become legally binding. A deposit of 10% of the sale price is paid by the buyer at exchange. After this point neither party can pull out without being liable for significant compensation.


The completion date is the day the buyer and seller agree that all funds are to be transferred and the sale confirmed. This date will be influenced by the size of the chain you are in and the availability of your removals company. 

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to complete after offer accepted?

There is no set time for how long completion takes. However, buying a property takes an average of three months from the time an offer has been accepted. It could take longer. You might be in a long property chain, or there may be complications with your purchase, such as any issues that the survey may reveal about the condition of the property.

What happens if my offer is accepted then rejected?

A seller is not legally obliged to stop marketing their property after an offer has been accepted. So they can still receive offers from other interested buyers. While not very ethical, it happens. If a seller then accepts another, higher offer, and rejects your original offer, you have been ‘gazumped’.

It may also be the case that a seller wants a quick sale, and prefers a cash buyer. They might even have accepted a lower offer than yours but from a buyer who does not require a mortgage. All you can do in these circumstances is put in a counter-offer and hope the seller changes their mind.

Is an offer on a house legally binding?

No, a buyer is not legally obliged to proceed with the purchase until exchange of contracts.

Does ‘under offer’ mean a house is sold?

No, a house is not sold when it is under offer. This means that an offer has been accepted on the property and it has been taken off the market by the estate agent, with a view to the buyer proceeding with the purchase.

Find your next home with haart

If you are interested in buying a property contact your local haart branch today.