What to do after your offer is accepted?
With our offer accepted, we did what every responsible couple on the cusp of putting themselves in hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of debt would do and headed to the pub.
It's a time to celebrate. Having an offer accepted is a big thing and is a huge step in the journey to owning a house, so why not head out before all the serious stuff kicks in?!
Post-booze-up, the serious stuff was kicking in. What on earth do we do now? Who do we speak to? Who do we have to appoint? Who takes care of all of this? These are some of the genuine questions we asked, and here are some of our answers.
What do we do now?
There is so much jargon when buying a property and when speaking to the estate agent after our offer was accepted, we asked, 'what do we do now?'
It felt a bit of a stupid question to ask, but rather than just hanging up and spending hours Googling, it made sense to speak to an expert and get an answer there and then. She informed us that the first thing to do was get a mortgage offer sorted and to appoint a solicitor or conveyancer. So that's what we did!
What's the difference between a solicitor and a conveyancer?
This is something that confused us both. On reading up on a few things, it seemed as if this was an interchangeable term, much like 'agreement in principle' and 'mortgage in principle', and we wondered whether this was another case of the two being the same?
It turns out that they're not the same, but they do provide the same service that you need, and you only need to appoint one, not both!
What is a solicitor?
A solicitor is a legal professional with a broad understanding of different aspects of the law and legal services. They can assist you with your property purchase or sale, but they have a broader knowledge of other legal services.
What is a conveyancer?
A conveyancer is a legal specialist for property sales and purchases. A conveyancer deals solely with property transactions and is likely to be cheaper than appointing a solicitor.
What do solicitors or conveyancers do?
Solicitors and conveyancers are your legal representatives throughout your property transaction. They are there to deal with legalities and advise you on the intricacies of contracts, searches and time frames. It is their job to negotiate, on your behalf, with the other parties' representatives if there are any outstanding issues.
How to choose between a solicitor or conveyancer?
The likelihood is that you don't have regular contact with a solicitor or a conveyancer, so selecting one that's right for you can be difficult.
We searched for conveyancers local to us and read up on reviews, but we found that the method that worked best for us was via word of mouth.
We spoke to family, friends and colleagues that we trusted to see who they used and whether they'd recommend them or go elsewhere when they next moved.
Online reviews are great, but hearing it from somebody you trust carries extra weight. We found that the name of a conveyancer kept coming up from several relatives and friends, so it made sense for us to go with them.
Get a mortgage offer
We'd sorted our Agreement In Principle at the very start of our search, and as soon as we'd had our offer accepted, we got in touch with our potential lender to get our mortgage appointment sorted.
It makes sense to do this early because the market is bustling at the moment, and appointment slots get taken quickly. You can always move your appointment to a later date if needed but getting one quickly helps speed the process along.
The Agreement In Principle gives you a good idea of how much you'll be able to borrow, but the mortgage offer follows a far more in-depth process and is written confirmation of much you will be given for a property.
After getting in touch with our conveyancer and giving them the details of the house that we were looking to buy, it was a case of going through our mortgage appointment to get our offer which would properly kick-start the process.
By this stage, it's starting to feel like we're getting somewhere. Those hours spent on Rightmove seem a thing of the past, looking at potential houses is gone, and there's a sense of a weight being lifted from our shoulders...
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