Accepting an Offer

OK, I’ve decided on which offer I’m going to go for…what do I do now?

Sometimes an offer will be subject to various conditions. It is quite common for the seller to accept the offer first and then give the buyer a chance to satisfy those conditions.

For example, the offer might be subject to the buyer having a survey carried-out on the roof or on an area of suspected damp. Once this has been done, if the buyer is happy, the offer can be described as ‘clean’ and the offer moves into the conveyancing stages.

If the buyer isn’t happy, there might still be some negotiation to be done about the final selling price, to take into account the potential spend that the buyer will have to make on those areas of concern. Or, sadly, at this stage the purchase might fall apart and the seller has to re-market the property.

Assuming all is well though, we’re now proceeding to the legal stages, the conveyancing.

Will my solicitor take care of this?

Your solicitor takes care of the conveyancing stages. You’ll probably find that you hear from your solicitor less often during this period.

Why? Because conveyancing consists of ‘missives’, which literally means the exchange of letters. Efforts to drag this process into the 21st century haven’t gone very well in recent years and solicitors still rely heavily on physical letters being posted to each other.

They also set quite long time limits often to allow the other side to respond. So, to all intents and purposes, not a huge amount might be happening for quite long periods of time. When all of the letters that have to be exchanged have been exchanged, the ‘missives’ are ‘concluded’ and you have a binding contract.

Common causes of delay of ‘conclusion of missives’ are paperwork for alterations not being produced at the outset, delays by the purchaser’s lender in getting the mortgage offer out to the buyer, or in Edinburgh in particular ‘statutory notices’ (common repair notices by the Council which are notoriously hard to quantify and which will affect the purchase price if an outstanding one comes out of the woodwork at the missives stage).

If you have a fairly long date of entry, this will often mean that you don’t hear a huge amount for a few weeks and this can be a bit of an anxious time for sellers.

However, once missives have concluded, you now can take a deep breath and get that champagne a little bit further off the ice!

I need to get a removal van together…any recommendations and other services I’ll need?

You’ll want to look at informing your utility companies that you are moving. You might also want to look at putting a divert on your mail at the Royal Mail: this can be done via their website for a small fee.

You might also want to look at getting a decorator lined-up for your new property if it needs a little bit of attention.

Right the property is sold, now I need to find a house!

Well, first things first, have a wee look at our Plain English Buying Guide, the counterpart to this Selling Guide! Then, when you find the property that you like, you’ll need a solicitor so that you can start being on the other side of the transaction that we have just gone through!