What is a draft contract when buying a house?

When the draft contract is agreed, your house hunt is far from over. Find out why.

Will @ Nested
Property market insight

The draft contract is the first contract your solicitor will draw up for your property transaction.

The reason it’s a ‘draft’ is because the sale is not legally binding until the exchange of contracts, which happens during the final stages of the process.

Your draft contract is a short document written by the seller’s solicitor and covers basic information about the prospective sale, such as the price, deposit, and any relevant details from the title deeds. It’s different from the final contract because there are many more hurdles which could shape the eventual agreement. For example:

  • The solicitor’s searches may reveal causes for concern, such as environmental dangers to the property.
  • The HomeBuyer survey can highlight defects with the property.
  • The mortgage agreement may not be approved.
  • The buyer may ‘gazunder’, or reduce, their offer before the exchange of contracts.

Once the draft contract has been negotiated between the solicitors, you’ll be sent a copy to check.

When the final terms have been agreed and any issues have been resolved, you’re ready to exchange. At this point, the transaction becomes legally binding, and neither party can pull out without facing potential legal action and significant costs.

How long does it take from draft contract to exchange?

In an ideal world, it should take around 9 weeks from the draft contract stage until the day you exchange. But as we’ve covered, it’s not always that simple.

A lot can happen before completion day, and for a taste of what can go wrong, read our blog on why house sales fall through.

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Nested puts homeowners in control of their sale. Our agents provide you with smarter insights so you achieve the best price for your home on your timeframe. When you’ve found your new home, you have the power to move chain free, while we take care of your sale. Our buying agent will even negotiate up to 5% saving on your new home, so you get more home for your money.

If you’re interested in selling smarter, get in touch today. Nested.com - The modern way to move.