Finally! After weeks of spontaneously getting your house show-home ready for viewings at the drop of a hat, you have received an offer you’re ready to accept. Now what? Whether you’ve found somewhere to buy, you’re moving into rented, or heading overseas – it’s time to get a move on (pun intended!).


Whether you are buying, selling, or a combination of both, this is the first big box to tick within 24 hrs of agreeing your sale. Once you’ve confirmed which Solicitor you’re using, to formally instruct them you’ll usually need to do 3 things

  • Complete and return their instruction paperwork (this will be more than just a few forms about you, the property you’re buying and/or selling)
  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Checks– supplying them with certified copies of your ID and Proof of Address
  • Money on account for searches – usually you’ll transfer about £400 in advance for these.


Assuming you’re using a mortgage for your onward purchase – either porting and topping up your existing one or getting a new product entirely - it’s time to get this ball rolling at the same time as the legal stuff.

Engage with your Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) and get the formal mortgage application in.

  • You’ll need to supply them with various documents including payslips, bank statements, proofs of income etc.
  • If self-employed they’ll need a minimum of 2 years’ worth of accounts
  • Once the application has been approved, you’ll have a valuation fee to pay (approx. £250) this will be arranged between the lender and your agent.


There are two levels of survey to consider getting on the home you’re buying. Sometimes you can upgrade your mortgage survey to one of these, in other cases you’ll need to find a separate surveyor. Either way, it’s vital to get this booked in as lead times are often 3-4 weeks minimum.

It’s worth mentioning here that if you’re buying a new build or a house less than 10 years old, like this 2 year old four Bedroom Semi-Detached  just a 10 minute drive from Ascot High Street, it is likely still covered by a 10 year structural warranty from when it was built. In other words, don’t bother with anything over and above your mortgage valuation, and find a better use for a more than a few hundred pounds!

However, if the home you’re buying is listed, like this Grade II Listed 80 year old cottage 3 miles to the West of Ascot, then a full structural Buildings Survey is the way to go.

If it’s 25 years+ old, like this two-bedroom Maisonette in Sunningdale then a Home Buyer’s survey should suffice. Both surveys will look at things like internal condition of ceilings, floors, electrics, and external things like windows, guttering, roof etc – remember that you are paying a surveyor to find problems.

They will be reported in a traffic light system, and more often than not, it’s best to use a bit of common sense on how urgently some things need to be addressed. Your Avocado Property Partner can offer some advice if you’re unsure – believe me, we have seen it all!

All too often, what could be done in the first 72hrs after agreeing a sale, takes 2 – 3 weeks and gets the whole chain off on the wrong, anxious foot.

Our best advice is to hit the ground running, turn any paperwork around as efficiently as possible and play your part in making the journey of moving home and enjoyable one. It really doesn’t need to be as hard as people think.