What happens when my offer is accepted?

Getting an offer accepted on a house is a reason to celebrate. Before you celebrate there’s still a few things you need to do and know before those keys are yours. We’re going to break the process down for you with a handy timeline.


12 Dec 2017

How to apply for a mortgage

After you get an offer accepted on a home, the next thing your solicitor will advise you to look at is finalising your mortgage. This really is the next big milestone on your road to owning a home.

Because applying for a mortgage can be complicated, we’ve broken down how this process would work if you were applying for a Tesco Bank mortgage independently, and without the help of a mortgage broker.

This should give you a fair idea of what to expect, but it’s worth remembering that each lender has their own process and criteria, so this might differ slightly.

Broken down, the Tesco Bank process looks like this:

Ready to dive into each step in more detail? Click on any step to skip straight to it, or read on to start from the beginning.

Apply for a decision in principle

A decision in principle (DIP; also called an agreement in principle) is helpful to have before or while you start looking for a home, as it gives you an estimate of how much you can borrow. This will help you look for a property you can afford.

With Tesco Bank, getting a decision in principle is the first step in a full mortgage application, which starts with you filling out an online form on our site.

You can also start this process over the phone, where we’ll ask the same questions as on our online form. We will then advise the best Tesco Bank mortgage product to suit your needs.

We’ll ask you to enter your income and other details about your regular spending. We then run a soft credit search on you to see what size of mortgage you can afford, and what we might lend you in principle. You should get an answer from us immediately.

couple celebrating buying a home

Transfer your decision in principle to an offer in principle

When you have an offer accepted on a home and we’ve given you a decision in principle (DIP) you can continue the same online form to progress your mortgage application to a full offer in principle (OIP).

An offer in principle confirms the exact amount we’d be willing to lend you, and to do this we will run a full credit check on you and your partner if you’re buying together. We’ll ask you for details of the property you’re looking to buy, your solicitor’s details, proof of your income and your ID.

Typically, we will also ask for three months’ worth of bank statements and a P60, and we might also ask for a proof of deposit.

Arrange a property valuation

When offering a mortgage, banks and lenders also need to value the property to see whether it’s worth the amount you’ve offered. This usually takes around two weeks to complete.

Typically, the lender will use one of its trusted surveyors to carry out this valuation, and will arrange this with the seller’s estate agent on your behalf. Depending on your lender, this may be free or if there is a cost, it will be detailed in your mortgage breakdown, and typically costs between £150 and £1,500.

To calculate the value of a property in Scotland, most lenders are happy to use the Home Report that the seller already has in place, so you won’t have to have a separate valuation.

Send your information to the bank

If we need any additional information from you to meet the terms of our conditions, like proof of your identity or income, we will typically ask you for it at this stage.

Our common requests are for proof of identity, such as a passport or driving licence, payslips to prove your income or banks statements to prove your affordability.

To verify these documents properly, we will need to see original or certified copies. Our document guide gives you more information on what is acceptable for your application.

Receive your formal mortgage offer

Once we have a valuation of the property and all the information we need, we’ll issue a formal mortgage offer to you and your solicitor.

Because of the various checks involved, it can take up to three weeks to get from the offer in principle stage to receiving your formal offer.

You should be able to contact your lender for updates or to ask questions throughout the process. With Tesco Bank, you will receive regular updates from us throughout the application and offer process.

Agree a date to transfer funds

Once we have received your signed offer, your solicitor will confirm a date for transferring funds, namely, your mortgage loan and deposit.

couple reading mortgage documents at home

If applicable pay a mortgage arrangement fee

Some of our mortgage products have an arrangement fee. If the product you choose has a fee, this is typically added to your mortgage amount. You would also pay interest on the fee amount.

The good news is that your mortgage may not require a fee at all, which is what we refer to as a ‘fee-free’ arrangement. You should ask us if you will pay a fee if you’re unsure.

Signing of contracts

To make your mortgage official, your solicitor will invite you to a meeting where you’ll sign a contract on the property, which they’ll then exchange with the seller’s conveyancer.

Your lender transfers the mortgage funds

Your solicitor will then request the mortgage funds from us on the date you have agreed. We’ll then transfer the money to their appointed account.

Pay your fees and taxes

You’ll pay any fees owed – such as legal fees and searches - directly to your solicitor. Together, you’ll work out the best date and way for the payment to happen.

At this point you will also pay tax on your property in the form of stamp duty (or land and building transaction tax if you’re in Scotland). This is also paid to your solicitor.

Transfer your deposit

Once your solicitor has your deposit money, they’ll transfer it to the seller’s solicitor on the completion date you agreed. It’s worth noting that most solicitors will ask for their fees to be paid once you’ve completed your purchase, but some might ask you to pay your deposit or for searches up front.

Unlike some other costs in the home buying process, these fees can’t be added to your mortgage so you need to pay them separately.

You are ready to move

As soon as the seller safely has all the relevant payments, the house sale can be completed and you’re then ready to get the keys and start celebrating. Congratulations!

Important information

The content on this page aims to offer an informative introduction to the subject matter but does not constitute expert financial advice specific to your own situation. All facts and figures were correct at time of publication and were compiled using a range of sources.