You have received the call from the estate agent to let you know that the offer you negotiated has been accepted. Congratulations. Do that victory dance, drink some champagne, call everyone in your phonebook. You have made it this far, you deserve to celebrate.
Remember though, the deal is far from done. In fact, you’re only at the very beginning. Until you have the keys in your hand, and you’re moving your furniture in, assume you still have work to do, lest you lose that dream property to someone keener.
Have you done enough to assume that dream property becomes yours? Don’t assume you’re home and dry just because the deal has been verbally agreed - don’t let yourself become a statistic.
Why do some property deals never complete?
Did you know that approximately ⅓ of accepted offers don’t reach completion? There are numerous reasons for this:
- Change of mindset or personal situation
- Lack of foresight and future planning by the seller or buyer, or both
- Lack of momentum on one/all sides
- Lack of communications between all parties involved
- Some solicitors are lazy when it comes to pushing paperwork through or working to deadlines/timelines
- Estate agents are people and, as well as your sale, they will be involved in many more
- There are major issues highlighted by the surveyor, and they can’t be rectified satisfactorily, forcing you to walk away
The importance of hustling
If you thought you had to be all over the estate agents when you were searching for your dream property, you need to up the ante again. You must manage this process closely now, as you don’t want it to fall through because you didn’t try hard enough.
So, make effort with this final push, it will be worth it in the long run.
If it seems you are micromanaging the transaction, so be it. It isn’t the estate agent, surveyor, solicitor who are about to sink serious investment in a property, it’s you.
You have worked so hard, and for so long, to get to this stage, so letting the property slip through your fingers now would be so frustrating.
This is your purchase! Don’t rely on anyone else to follow it through for you.
What to do once your offer has been accepted
Be proactive. Keep in contact with everyone involved in the purchase and hustle like crazy.
Never assume that no news is good news. If you aren’t hearing anything it’s likely because you have been forgotten about or pushed down the priority list. Force your way back to the top.
At all times, you should know who’s waiting for what. The question to ask solicitors is not “when can you exchange?” but “what information is outstanding in order for you to be in a position where we could exchange contracts?”
Securing your dream home
Even after your offer has been accepted, the process can still go wrong. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t lose out on your dream property:
- Ensure that the property is removed from all marketing. The last thing you want is to be gazumped by another interested party, who might turn the seller’s head
- Ensure your solicitor and the buyer’s solicitor are communicating frequently
- Chase the surveyor to get the survey done, and the results back to you in a timely fashion
- Make sure the mortgage company is up to speed and on track for you to complete on time. Never forget that you are ‘buying’ the money from them, don’t view it as a loan, they aren’t being generous. When can you expect the mortgage company to issue you with their formal mortgage offer?
- Don’t accept excuses for slow or poor communication from your solicitor or estate agent. Remember you are the customer - you are paying for their services. Don’t be rude, just be firm
- Make sure everyone involved in the transaction is aware of any timelines, if you have implemented them, and that they adhere to them, especially if you’re in a chain. You will only be paying for wasted or empty time if you allow people to work to their own schedules
- Make sure the property is listed as under offer or sold subject to contract (STC). Essentially these two mean the same, the only difference is under offer is an advertising term, used by the estate agent, to let people know that an offer has been made but not yet legally binding. In Scotland there’s no STC, once an offer has been accepted it is legally binding
- Don’t change your financial situation in any way. Make sure you’re in the property before you start spending money again!
One of the key ingredients to securing your dream home is a good, proactive solicitor to reduce the risk of your deal failing through and you being faced with abortive costs. Need a solicitor? Tell us your requirements and we'll connect with a member of an approved panel.