First Time Buyer Guide | NatWest

Steps to buying your first home

Steps to buying your first home

Buying your first home

Helping you get a foot on the property ladder


Agreement in Principle Agreement in Principle explained

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Agreement in Principle explained

What is an Agreement in Principle?

If you’re on the lookout for a property, a mortgage Agreement in Principle (or an AIP for short) is a helpful way to test the water to find out how much you could borrow. It will also give you a rough idea of the value of the property you could buy, and what your monthly repayments may look like.


Getting an Agreement in Principle doesn’t mean you’re committing to apply for a mortgage, but it can be a good idea to get this in place before you start going to view properties.


That way you can show you’re a committed buyer to estate agents, and you can act quickly if you think you’ve found your dream home.

How do I get one, and what will I need?

The process takes around 5 minutes and requires some personal information including:


  • Details of your income and financial commitments like monthly credit card payments or child maintenance
  • It will take into account your credit score and credit history
  • And the value of the property and your deposit


What is a soft credit check?


As part of the process of getting a Agreement in Principle, we do a soft credit check.  Soft credit checks can only be seen by yourself on your credit report and don’t affect your credit rating or ability to borrow from other lenders in the future, even if you're declined an Agreement in Principle decision at first.

For more information about the credit reference agencies we use and how they may use your data, please see our full Privacy Notice at


Benefits of Agreement in Principle


It's a 'soft' search that allows you to do some research before making your application, as you can complete multiple Agreement in Principle’s online, without an impact on your credit rating.  It’s still a reliable way to check what decision you would get when putting in a full application for a mortgage product, as it will check the same sort of data as a ‘hard’ application. However, as it is only ‘in principle’ until you have an offer, the amount could change. 

What happens after I complete an Agreement in Principle?

Now you’ve got the proof that you could potentially get a mortgage, you can start showing you’re a serious buyer when searching for your home.


Once you’ve found ‘the one’ you’ll be able to show your mortgage Agreement in Principle to the estate agent, and once you’re at that stage you can be ready to start your full mortgage application. 

Get an Agreement in Principle
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