Instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf
Once you have had your offer to purchase a property accepted, you can then instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf. Or, you may wish to find a solicitor first, so that they are ready and waiting for your to find a property to buy.
If you are purchasing a property with a mortgage, at this stage you can instruct your mortgage company / broker to start the formal application for the mortgage. This will require the mortgage company carrying out a survey of the property. If the survey is satisfactory, the mortgage company will then issue your formal offer of mortgage. This document will be sent to you and to your solicitor.
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A brief outline of the next steps to be taken
Once you have completed the forms for your solicitor and their ID requirements, you will need to provide them with money on account so that they can apply for your searches. This usually ranges between £250-£450.
The Estate Agent will issue a Memorandum of Sale to all parties, notifying them of the buyer’s names and the seller’s names and their respective solicitors. Your solicitor can then write to your seller’s solicitor to request the package of documents, usually known as the contract pack. Once your solicitor has this, they can then apply for your searches (which usually take around 2 weeks to be returned). They can also inspect the legal title and raise any enquiries with your seller’s solicitors. There will usually be some enquiries specific to the legal title, and some which are general enquiries.
Once your solicitor has your searches back, your mortgage offer in (if applicable) and the replies to enquiries, if they are happy with all of these they can send you the contract for signing and request your deposit in readiness for exchange.
Once exchange of contracts has taken place, the completion date (i.e. the moving date) is fixed and this is the day you will get your keys.