Guide to Selling
This guide to the selling process explains the key stages within a transaction leading up to completion. A sale of a property can be broken down into seven stages which are as follows:
Stage 1 – The Instruction
Once you have selected us as your conveyancer we will send you a:
- Property information questionnaire;
- Fixtures, fittings and contents list;
- Leasehold information questionnaire (if the property is leasehold).
You must complete these forms very carefully, providing accurate information and full answers to the best of your knowledge. These forms will be sent by us to the buyers’ solicitors and they will use this information when advising their client. The buyer will rely on the information in these forms when deciding to purchase the property.
Stage 2 – Obtaining the Title Deeds
We will also require your Title Deeds for your property; we will provide the buyers’ solicitor with a copy of the Title Deeds to prove that you own the property and to show them any conditions, covenants or rights that affect the property.
These may be held by your mortgage lender, or if you do not have a mortgage your Deeds may be held by yourself, or another party. If they are held by your mortgage lender we will require your mortgage account number(s) so that we can request the deeds and an initial redemption figure on your mortgage.
Stage 3 – Drafting a Contract and Responding to Queries
We will use the above information to draft the contract and create a ‘Contract Pack’ to send on to the Buyer’s solicitors. The ‘contract’ is the legal agreement between buyer and seller which binds each to the transaction.
The buyer’s solicitors may respond to the contract pack with questions regarding the property called ‘additional enquiries’ to which we will respond – the depth and breadth of these questions may have an impact on the length of time before we are ready to exchange contracts on the property.
Stage 4 – Signing the Contract
Once we have dealt with the steps above we will contact you to sign the contract. You may come into the office, in which case your legal advisor will go through the details with you, or we can send it to you in the post with a detailed report on contract.
Step 5 – Exchange of Contracts
In this stage we negotiate with the buyer’s solicitors on the completion date (the moving date), and exchange contracts via the telephone to bind all parties involved.
The biggest obstacle here is the chain of other transactions involved; this is the number of sales and purchases affected by your transaction. If there are several people in the chain, this date may require a good deal of negotiation so as to ensure no-one is left with a gap between the sale of their current property and the move into their new home.
Step 6 – Sign the Transfer
Once contracts are exchanged we will contact your mortgage lender (if you have one) to obtain a final redemption figure, calculated to the completion date. We shall also ask you to confirm any estate agents’ fees or brokers’ fees. At this point we will also request that you sign the transfer – this is the document which signs ownership of the property from yourself to the seller.
Step 7 – Completion
This is the day that you actually move house. We will receive the sale proceeds from your buyer’s solicitors and use this to pay off your mortgage lender, and to pay the costs of the sale e.g. your estate agents’ fees, brokers’ fees, and our legal fees. Any remaining money will be sent to you, unless it is being used to fund an onward purchase.
When you vacate the property on this day you should deposit the keys with your estate agent as soon as possible and prior to 1PM, unless other arrangements have been made. Once we have received your funds, we will instruct the estate agents to release the keys and the buyers will then own the property and can move in!