Your offer has been accepted. Your lawyer should now keep you informed of the progress of the transaction and protect your interests at every stage, but here is a brief outline of the legal steps which will now follow:
Letter of offer: The seller will sign the letter of offer previously signed by you and accept your deposit (this is typically 2% of the property price and can also be kept by the estate agent as stakeholder until the Sale and Purchase Agreement (S&P) has been signed) – the letter of offer gives a timeframe for the transaction including when the S&P should be agreed and signed (usually about 3 weeks after the letter of offer has been signed); your lawyer should check the seller’s title before you sign the letter of offer to ensure he is the actual owner of the property
S&P: The S&P will give the details for the transfer and specify any warranties; you should now give the seller a deposit of 10% of the purchase price less the amount of deposit given at the letter of offer stage
State authority consent: This only applies to transfers of leasehold land or if a foreign buyer is involved and it can take from 6 weeks to 3 months
Completion: Completion will usually take place within 3 months of the S&P (or state authority consent if applicable) but may be faster if you are a cash buyer or the seller does not have any existing loan secured on the property. You now pay the balance 90% of the purchase price to the seller and you finally get the keys to your new home!