When you’ve found your perfect home, you’ll want to make an offer on it. But it doesn’t stop there. There’s still lots to do once your offer has been accepted. Here’s some help, so you know exactly what to do next.
Found the property of your dreams? Then it’s time to make an offer.
Decide how far you want to negotiate. When deciding, consider the following things, so you can get the best deal for you:
To make your offer, you just need to call the seller's estate agent. Follow up with an email for confirmation. Tell the estate agent about where you are in the buying process. Your offer may have extra sway because you’re a first time buyer with no chain. The agent may ask to see your Agreement in Principle and proof that you have your deposit.
The seller may accept your offer or they may want to negotiate the price. This will usually be done through the estate agent.
Remember to keep to your budget and don’t get carried away. You don’t want to end up paying more than you can afford or what you feel house is worth.
If the seller accepts your offer, by law you still don't have to buy the property (unless you're buying in Scotland). After that, you’ll need to find a conveyancer and apply for a mortgage.
Keep in mind: if you’re thinking about buying a property in Scotland, there are different property laws to England and Wales. To find out more about buying property in Scotland, you can visit the ‘Steps to buying a house in Scotland’ page on the Bank of Scotland website.
Once your offer has been accepted, you’ll need to apply for a mortgage. There are two main steps to applying:
1. Complete an Agreement in Principle (AIP)
An AIP will give you an idea of how much you could borrow. It should only take 15 minutes to complete and you don’t have to apply for a mortgage with us.
2. Book an appointment
Once you have your AIP, you can speak to one of our mortgage advisers, who will help you choose the mortgage term and rate that’s right for you.
You can have your mortgage appointment in branch, by phone, or by video chat.
Or call us on 0345 8503 705. We’re open Monday to Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am-4pm.
How long will it take me to get a mortgage?
The time it takes to get your mortgage can vary. It will depend on your personal circumstances, as there are a number of stages during the mortgage process.
The actual time from you finding a property to getting the keys is often up to three months. It is mostly down to how quickly the conveyancer does all the legal work and what arrangements the seller has made for moving out (e.g. they might be buying another property etc.)
What documents will I need at my appointment?
One of our mortgage advisers will get in touch before your meeting. They'll confirm what you need to bring and can answer any questions. But most of the time, we ask people to bring:
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you’ll need a conveyancer to carry out the legal work for you.
With us, you can compare quotes from up to 200 conveyancers. We base this on what's important to you – cost, location or service rating. And it will save you time getting quotes from different companies.
You don’t have to use the Halifax Conveyancing Service if you’re applying for a mortgage with us. And just because a firm is listed with us does not mean we endorse or recommend them.
You can use our conveyancing service to compare quotes for your legal costs.
When taking out a mortgage to buy your home, we'll want a professional opinion of the property’s value. To do this, we will choose the valuation surveyor, who will be employed by our surveying service or appointed from our panel of valuation and surveying firms.
There are three levels of valuation available. You can choose which one of these you want - they rise in detail but also in cost:
To get more information on the valuation schemes and their associated costs, you can talk to your Mortgage Advisor and visit our valuation schemes page.
As part of the conveyancing work, there are numerous steps that need to take place, such as:
You will also need to have buildings insurance in place for the day you exchange contracts. Your conveyancer will ask for proof of this.
On exchange of contracts you must pay a deposit to your conveyancer. This amount is usually 10% of the purchase price but in some circumstances it may be lower. It is not directly related to your mortgage deposit amount.
Once all the legal work is done and you’ve signed your contracts, then the purchase will become legal. Until this point, both the buyer and seller can pull out of the deal.
Before you pay the deposit, check that:
Your conveyancer will still need to do some work before you get your keys, such as transferring any remaining money and arranging the mortgage deeds etc.
The time between exchange and completion (the day you get the keys) is typically between 7 to 28 days. But this can be more, or less if needed but will depend on the circumstances of everyone involved in the property chain. You should discuss this with your conveyancer before you exchange.
The steps involved and time may vary based upon your circumstances. For more detail on the exact conveyancing process that relates to buying your home, please speak to your appointed conveyancer.
Once you have your moving date, you’ll want to start planning. That means arranging any removals and letting the right people know. You can find out more in the next part of the guide.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
Need to know what happens on moving day? Still have questions about your mortgage? We’re here to support you all the way – even after you’ve got the keys.