After a relatively long search (we have been visiting 17 houses), we have found the one we liked and the one we think is the best compromise for our needs and taste, location, price, etc.
Visiting that house we thought immediately that that was the one to be bought.
The seller told us that there were already two couples offering the asking price. We offer the same, but we were in a better position since we are cash buyers, while the others should sell first.
By the same evening another couple (according to the agency) saw the house, said that they were as well cash buyer and were ready to pay the asking price.
The seller was very nice with us and was happy that another family with kids was going to live there: so they said that they were happy to give their house to us.
But then the agency had to figure out if we were capable of paying the asking price and there I was in a very bad position, since in UK we have no credit history... It may be an impression but I had the feeling the agency was a kind of reluctant towards us: I understand this, since we are foreigners, they know nothing about us and they could loose other potential customers.
Therefore I went to the bank asking them to sign a commitment letter for a mortgage and I fax that together with the act of sale about our previous flat in Finland to the agency (in Finnish!)... and suddenly everything changed!
The agency called me saying: "Hello Mr Marchetti, actually... should I call you Doctor?".
I laughed - could not resist - thinking how easily someone could change opinion!
That was the end of January and it was just beginning. Yep, the beginning since the way that the system works here in UK is so crazy that everyone could loose money on the attempt of purchasing an house: we paid (partially) the solicitor, the technical survey to be done for the bank and the more technical one we wanted to have for our peace of mind and yet the seller could tell us: "sorry we changed our mind, we don't sell it any longer".
That happened to several people I know and happened once to us, but at that time we didn't pay yet for anything.
But today we had the exchange of contract, which involves a deposit from both of the sides, and makes the thing more serious: now there is something written.
We expect to complete the transaction and get the keys very soon...