First Time Buyer Guide | Royal Bank of Scotland

Man and woman moving into their first home

Buying your first home

Helping you get a foot on the property ladder

Get an Agreement in Principle Agreement in Principle explained

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage

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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

How can we help?

Cashback Mortgages

Choose any 'cashback' mortgage deal, apply with us and we’ll pay £250 cashback to your solicitor on the day you drawdown your mortgage.

The offer is only available on selected mortgages marked with ‘cashback’ and can be changed or withdrawn at any point. Early repayment charges may apply. Max LTV 90%.

About cashback mortgages



95% Mortgages

You could borrow up to 95% of the value of the property you wish to purchase, with a deposit of at least 5% but less than 10%.

The property you’re purchasing should be worth less than £600,000 and not a new build property.



Read more about 95% mortgages



Home Insurance

Did you know you need buildings insurance when buying your first home?

Owning your home is likely to be your biggest life purchase, it's important you have the right level of cover. You don't have to take out a policy with Royal Bank of Scotland, but why not take a look at our options?

Underwritten by U K Insurance Limited
More on home insurance



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