What To Do Once Your Offer Is Accepted

About this guide

Getting your offer accepted on a house is exciting, but the process keeps moving after this. It’s important to know what to expect and how to prepare for your offer being accepted. 

After the seller has agreed with your offer, your conveyancer will begin their process. Compare My Move share expert advice to help you prepare for after your offer has been accepted.

  • 1. What happens on completion day?

    Completion day is the final step in the buying a house process. It usually takes place between 7-28 days after the exchanging of contracts and will be the day you can officially move into your new house. The seller must move out of the house and you’ll be able to pick up the keys.

    Completion usually happens between lunchtime and early afternoon at the latest on a weekday due to CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payment System) banking system closure on weekends.

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  • 2. What is exchanging contracts?

    Exchanging contracts will make the sale official, transferring ownership of the property to you. Your conveyancer will liaise with the seller’s conveyancer and exchange contracts on your behalf once you’re happy to do so.

    Exchanging contracts usually happens during week 8 of the conveyancing process, after your offer has been accepted and before completion day.

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  • 3. What happens after an offer on a house is accepted?

    After your offer is accepted, you will first need to hire a conveyancer to help you with the legal side of buying the house. They will work towards planning a day for completion, which will make the purchase legally binding.

    After the seller has accepted your offer and before you exchange contracts, the sale still isn’t official. This means both buyer and seller can pull out, although this isn’t ideal for either party.

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  • 4. What is a property chain?

    A property chain is the line of buyers and sellers that are linked together because their transactions depend on one another. This means that they’re each selling or buying a property from one of the other parties involved, excluding those at the start and end of the chain.

    If you're not involved in a property chain, expect the buying a house process to be quicker than if you were part of a property chain.

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  • 5. What is gazumping?

    Gazumping is when a seller accepts an offer from one buyer, and then accepts an offer from another buyer. The second buyer has then 'gazumped' the first buyer. Though considered unfair, it is legal to do in England and Wales. The law is different in Scotland. Gazumping can occur any time before exchanging contracts as the transaction is not yet legally binding.

    Compare My Move has created this guide to help you understand the meaning of gazumping and how to avoid it, making your conveyancing process that much easier.

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  • 6. What is 'Sold STC'?

    Sold STC stands for Sold Subject to Contract and means that an offer has been agreed between the buyer and seller, but the contracts haven’t been signed or exchanged. If a property you want to make an offer on is Sold STC, you can still make an offer, but this will be classed as gazumping.

    Sold STC is common across the country but in Scotland, however, this stage does not exist as a contract is legally binding once an offer has been agreed upon by both parties.

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  • 7. What is Stamp Duty?

    Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a fee payable after purchasing a house. The amount you pay will depend on which UK country you live in and how much your house is worth. Stamp Duty is referred to as Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland and Land Transaction Tax in Wales.

    Remember to factor in the cost of Stamp Duty to your house buying budget as you will need to pay this upfront.

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  • 8. What is indemnity insurance?

    Indemnity insurance is a protective insurance policy taken out during property transactions. It will cover you against any legal property issues that would be difficult to resolve. Although the chances are small that you encounter a legal defect, the price would be costly if you did.

    Compare My Move work with property experts to help keep you informed throughout the buying a house process. In this guide, we explain what indemnity insurance is, what the policy covers, how much is indemnity insurance and who has to pay.

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