Buying a home, what happens next?

June, 2022

After weeks of countless viewings and scrolling property websites, your offer on your dream home has been accepted. Congratulations! But what happens next?

Whilst you might think that the hard work is done, this is the first step of your property purchase and you or the seller can still change your mind on the offer until contracts are exchanged. 

We highlight the six steps you must complete before you get the keys to your new home: 

  1. Contact your mortgage adviser if you haven’t already
  2. Choose a solicitor or conveyancer
  3. Organise a property survey
  4. Solicitor prepares the draft document
  5. Exchange contracts
  6. Completion

Contact your mortgage adviser if you haven’t already

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you already have an existing mortgage, you need to ensure you have the right financial advice as early as possible. This is especially important if you need to take out a new mortgage as the guidelines are much stricter now.

Your lender will also need to carry out a valuation survey once your offer has been accepted, to ensure the property is worth the price you’re paying before your mortgage is completely approved.

Instruct a conveyancer 

They will handle all of the legal requirements for you to ensure you successfully exchange and complete on the home you’re selling. 

Once you have appointed a conveyancer you will need to complete all of their paperwork and checks before the solicitor will start preparing the draft contracts.

The agreement that was reached between the seller and yourself needs to be formalised legally including the price you are paying, the level of deposit, the length of time between exchange and completion and what fixtures and fittings are included. Once the draft contracts have been prepared, your solicitor will send these over to the buyer’s solicitor for approval. The buyer’s solicitor will start their searches before they review the contracts to make sure there are no issues with the property. Please be aware that the process does take time and several different delays or problems can arise, such as:

  1. The seller could accept another offer
  2. The searches have come back with some advisories on
  3. The property has structural issues and could be worth less than you thought
  4. You may see another property you want to put an offer on

Click here to find put more about what searches the solicitors do.

Organise a property survey

You should organise a property survey to check the property’s true condition as not all faults are visible to the untrained eye. The two most common types of residential property survey are the Homebuyer Survey and the Building Survey.

Click here to find out more about the types of surveys available to you.

Exchange contracts 

Once all searches are back and the buyer’s solicitor is happy, they will prepare the contracts ready to transfer them across to the new buyer.

Agree on a completion date

Once the contracts have been exchanged and the buyer has paid the deposit, it’s time to agree on a ‘completion date’. 

This is the date by which you’ll have to leave your property. On the ‘completion date’ keys will be handed over, and the new owners can move in.

The timing at this stage varies, but usually it takes between 5 and 20 days from exchange of contracts and completion.

Completion day

On the day of completion, the remaining amount of money you owe will be transferred from your conveyancer’s account to the seller’s conveyancer’s account. You will also need to pay any mortgage account fees, your conveyancer’s fees and Stamp Duty, as in the background your conveyancer will register the sale with the Land Registry and arrange the payment of any Stamp Duty you owe (this must be paid within 30 days of the completed sale).

This is likely to be an expensive day – but you also get the keys to your new home! 

For more information, or advice on selling your home, please call the team at HS Homes of Solihull on 0121 430 4448. Alternatively email us on

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