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What happens after sale agreed when buying a home | The AA What happens after sale agreed when buying a home | The AA

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What happens after sale agreed when buying a home | The AA

Published 3rd March 2022Read Time 11 min

The excitement going sale agreed on your new home can wear off quickly, if you are confused about what the next steps of securing your home are.

You have come so far, from saving up for your mortgage to getting all your ducks in a row for approval and yet you still have more work to do.

But fear not, fly through the last few steps of becoming a homeowner with our guide on what happens after the sale is agreed and before exchanging contracts.

What does sale agreed mean?

Sale agreed means the current owner has accepted your offer and agrees to sell you the property at this price.

What happens after the sale is agreed?

So, what happens once you get the sale agreed green light? To start you will be required to pay a refundable booking deposit, this is paid to the estate agents and is usually a set amount or a small percentage of your offer. 

Paying this deposit usually keeps the home off the market for several weeks until the sale is finalised. This will also show the estate agents your seriousness about the property.

If you haven’t already, hire a solicitor

Having a solicitor to help you organise the legal sale of the property is a vital part of the process. Have your solicitor organised before you make an offer, this will help keep the process moving.

What do you need to do after sale agreed?

Once you have your solicitor organised, you can focus on these 6 important steps for the final stretch of buying your new home.

1. Have the property evaluated by a professional

Having a structural survey done by a professional surveyor or architect could save you more in the long run. If they find any significant damage in the property after the sale is agreed you may have to reconsider your offer.

2. Take time to evaluate the space yourself

You almost have the keys to your new home, it’s very easy to get wrapped up in it all, so make sure you take plenty of time to consider every detail of the property.

Don’t brush over any extra renovations you might be facing, evaluate if taking on the extra work after-sale is something that you want to do. Go back over any details of the home, give yourself a feel for the space and location. This will help you see if it’s really right for you.

3. Negotiate any unexpected damage

If any unexpected damage is found in the property, you can either ask the seller to have it repaired before the final sale is processed. Or you can ask them to reduce your offer to cover the unforeseen repair. The seller isn’t legally required to make any reductions to the agreed sale, but you might have some luck asking.

4. Have a professional valuation carried out

Before your mortgage funds will be released you are required to have a professional carry out a valuation. This valuation will look at the condition of the property and its location. This is then sent to your chosen mortgage provider. They will base their formal loan offer on this valuation.

5. Take out Home Insurance

The final steps in securing your home involve having home insurance organised.  You need to have your insurance in place before the sale is closed. Don’t cause any extra delays, have it sorted out in time. You will have to consider contents insurance and your homes rebuild costs as part of this.

We have some helpful home insurance guides for first-time buyers to help you get organised.

6. Get Mortgage protection

Having Mortgage protection in place is essential in securing your home. You need to have this in place to cover the unexpected. If you die before your mortgage is paid off, your mortgage protections will pay it in full. Your application can be refused by lenders if you don’t have this organised already.

If you are still confused about this type of insurance, we have a helpful guide explaining everything you need to know about mortgage protection and life insurance.

Can you back out of sale agreed?

You are not legally bound after-sale is agreed if you have not signed and exchange contracts.  You can still change your mind about buying the property at this point. This is why the final steps of evaluations from yourself, and professionals are so important. You must be 100% sure about a property before signing any contracts.

When it is finally time to exchange contracts

Once you have accepted your letter of offer from your mortgage provider and have signed the contracts of sale with your solicitor you then will have legally agreed to buy the property.

How Long will it take to get your keys once sale is agreed?

We understand why you are eager to move in as soon as possible. But be warned that this process can take up to 3 months so, be sure to leave plenty of room if you’re renting a space before your move. Unexpected repairs and extra paperwork can crop up in the buying process so be prepared and give it plenty of time. You will be in your new home before you know it. 

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