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What happens when your offer is accepted?

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Multiple sources suggest that around 30% of property purchases fell through in the UK during the last quarter of 2021, which is a good reason to keep the champagne on ice even after the owner has accepted your offer.

To reduce your chance of being part of these types of statistics, you need to get your ducks in a row before and after your offer is accepted. Here are the things you need to be on top of.

Before making an offer

Before you make any offers it’s best to get a mortgage in principle. This is when you ask a lender if they will give you a mortgage based on your current income, expenses and debts. If they approve you for a mortgage, they will tell you how much you can borrow based on current interest rates. The lender will even do a credit search to improve the probability that the mortgage in principle is accurate.

However, a mortgage in principle is subject to change and it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get approved for the same amount. Nevertheless, the mortgage in principle should be completed before the property search and any offer is made to ensure you’ll be able to fund the purchase – and to set your market expectations.

After making an offer

#1: It’s time to apply for a mortgage

You’re not obligated to apply for a mortgage with the same lender that gave you a mortgage in principle, but the process will be smoother and more likely to be successful if you do use the same lender. You may want to change if another lender is now offering a better mortgage deal.

The real mortgage application is completed to help you fund the purchase. It may require the lender to complete a property valuation of the property you want to buy. This is so the lender can make sure you’re not overpaying significantly for the property, which would put both of you at greater risk if you failed to repay.

#2: Hire a conveyancer

Conveyancers are legal professionals who specialise in the buying and selling of property. You will need a solicitor to work on your behalf to complete the purchase. The solicitor is responsible for several tasks, including completing checks on the property to make sure there are no dangers in buying the property. You may want to draw up a shortlist of conveyancers you may use before making any offers.

#3: Book a property survey

It’s strongly recommended to have a survey completed of the property to identify any structural or other issues with the property. It’s wise to make your offer subject to the outcome of the survey, allowing you to renegotiate a price or pull out of the purchase should issues be found. You’ll need to select a property surveyor to do this for you, and they must be a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).  

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