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What Happens after Your Offer on a Property is Accepted in the UK?

Jul 05, 2024

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Congratulations! You’ve found your dream home, made an offer, and now it’s been accepted. What comes next?

Ask the Seller to Take the Property off the Market

Once your offer is accepted, it’s wise to request that the seller removes the property from the market. This helps prevent other buyers from offering more money and reduces the risk of losing out to a higher bid ('gazumping'). The estate agent will typically require details of your solicitor and your mortgage offer in principle to proceed with this.

Complete Your Mortgage Application

Unless you’re paying in cash, you’ll need to finalize your mortgage application. This involves submitting documents such as proof of address, ID, earnings, utility bills, and bank statements.

Find a Conveyancing Solicitor

Selecting a conveyancing solicitor is crucial. They handle legal aspects such as drafting contracts, conducting local searches, and managing funds. Your solicitor will provide legal advice throughout the process.

Arrange for a Property Survey

It’s recommended to arrange a property survey to assess its condition. There are different types of surveys available, ranging from basic inspections to more detailed structural assessments.

Sign and Exchange Contracts

Exchanging contracts makes the sale legally binding. At this stage, you’ll typically pay a deposit (usually 10% of the sale price). Once contracts are exchanged, neither party can withdraw without financial consequences.


Completion is the day agreed upon by both buyer and seller for transferring funds and finalizing the sale. The timing of completion can vary based on factors like chain length and removal company availability.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does completion take after an offer is accepted?

Completion timelines vary, but on average, the process takes around three months. Delays can occur due to property chains or issues revealed during surveys.

What if my offer is accepted but then rejected?

Unfortunately, a seller can still consider other offers after accepting yours, potentially leading to ‘gazumping’. You can counter-offer, but the outcome depends on the seller's decision.

Is an offer on a house legally binding?

No, offers are not legally binding until contracts are exchanged.

Does ‘under offer’ mean a house is sold?

No, a property ‘under offer’ indicates that an offer has been accepted, and the property is temporarily off the market pending the buyer’s next steps.


Understanding what happens after your offer is accepted is crucial for navigating the property buying process in the UK. From legal steps to financial considerations, each stage plays a vital role in securing your new home.

For more information or to start your property search, contact your local Howards branch today.