Accepting An Offer On A House

Accepting An Offer On A HouseIf you are selling your property, you will need to consider whether to accept or reject the offers you receive. This is not always straightforward and there are issues other than the price that you may want to consider. In this guide we look at accepting an offer on a house, and when you might choose not to do so.

We take a look at how to deal with an offer for your property and what you might want to take into account before deciding whether to accept or reject it.

At Lockings Solicitors we represent house sellers and buyers all over East Yorkshire the York area and beyond, providing advice and representation in the conveyancing process. We are extremely experienced in the property sector and have the legal expertise to deal promptly and effectively with any issues that arise.

We know that this can be a stressful time and we always do all we can to ensure that the process goes smoothly and that completion takes place without delay. If you ask us to represent you in your house sale or purchase, we will make sure that you have the advice and guidance you need throughout. We will keep you updated as to progress and make sure that we are available to answer your questions as they arise.

We hold the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation, awarded to law firms who offer high standards of competence, risk management and client service.

We offer a FREE initial chat so that you can ask us any questions you may have. Call us on 01482 300 200, email us at or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and we deal with conveyancing in East Yorkshire, the York area and beyond. We are on the panels of approved solicitors of all major lenders.

What happens when an offer is made on a house?

If someone has viewed your property and made an offer to the estate agent, the agent is legally bound to pass this on to you, even if it is a low offer that they think you will reject.

The agent should obtain some additional information from the potential purchasers about their own circumstances, including whether they are ready to proceed or if they need to find a buyer themselves and whether they have a mortgage arranged in principle.

The agent will also be able to advise you on the offer in light of the current state of the property market. They should have an understanding of how sought-after your property is likely to be, taking into account the property type, location and condition.

They will know how many potential buyers they have on their books, how long properties are taking to sell and whether higher offers are likely. They may also be able to discuss the general market situation with you, looking at whether it is slowing down and whether you might be able to expect more interest in the future, for example, if it is approaching Christmas or the summer holiday season.

How can I get a higher offer on my house?

If you have had an offer which you do not feel is as high as you would like, you can ask the estate agent to refuse the offer on your behalf and try to secure an improved offer. The agent may also be able to sound out the buyers to see whether they may have more room in their budget and how keen they are on your property.

It is quite common for an initial offer to be on the low side and buyers usually expect there to be some negotiation. You can decide whether to be open with the buyers and give them the lowest figure that you want to achieve or whether you would rather go back and forth to see what they are prepared to offer. Each situation is different and if your estate agent is experienced, they will be able to give you sound advice, bearing in mind all of the known facts.

Different types of house buyer

As well as securing the highest possible price for your home, you may want to take other factors into account. Some buyers may be more suitable than others, particularly if you want to move quickly.

Your agent should establish that potential buyers have sufficient funds available to buy the property and that they have a mortgage in principle. Delays in securing finance can often cause problems in conveyancing transactions and if one person in the chain cannot proceed when expected, there is a risk that the whole chain will collapse.

Doing your part to choose a sound buyer might prevent your sale from falling through, which can be expensive if you have found a property to buy and have had a survey carried out already.

The agent will also be able to let you know whether potential buyers are first-time buyers or whether they need to sell their property. If they need to sell but don’t yet have a buyer, it could be a long time before they are ready to proceed.

If they have already accepted an offer on their home, they will be motivated to start work. The agent will be able to find out how long the potential chain is and whether everyone in the chain is able to proceed.

Is an offer on a house legally binding?

An offer on a house is not legally binding. Only once contracts are exchanged are you and the buyer locked into the transaction. Up until that point, either of you can pull out for any reason.

This does mean that if your buyer is experiencing delays, you could consider pulling out if you have another interested buyer who is ready to proceed.

What happens after I accept an offer on my house?

As soon as you accept an offer on your house, your estate agent will send the sales particulars to both your solicitor and to the buyer’s solicitor. If you ask us to represent you before you have a sale arranged, we can start work straightaway so that we are ready to go as soon as you have a buyer.

We will deal with the initial tasks, including verifying your identity and letting you have the paperwork for completion. Most of our clients prefer to do this at their leisure via our secure online portal. There is no extra cost for this and it gives you the opportunity to look at what is needed at your convenience. Once you have provided the information, it will be with us immediately.

We will be able to obtain your mortgage deeds and as soon as you have a buyer and we receive the sales particulars from your agent, we will be able to send out the contract package. This is all of the initial paperwork that the buyer’s solicitor will need to see so that they can carry out the necessary due diligence work. It includes:

  • The draft contract for sale
  • A copy of the legal title to your property
  • A copy of the official plan of your property
  • Property information form
  • Fixtures and fittings form
  • Copies of the documents referred to in the legal title
  • Copies of planning consents and building regulations approval
  • Copies of guarantees for items such as your boiler and windows

If your property is leasehold, we will also need to provide a substantial amount of information relating to the property and the way in which it is managed.

Once your buyer’s solicitor has this initial information, they will be able to raise enquiries and apply for searches and the conveyancing process will begin.

Contact our East Yorkshire and York area conveyancing sale solicitors

If you are thinking of buying or selling a property, we would be happy to represent you.

You can ring us for a FREE initial chat on 01482 300 200, email us at or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and deal with conveyancing in East Yorkshire, the York area and beyond.

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