So, your selling your house….here’s some helpful information to help you on your way.
Selling a house
The following information is intended to provide a brief summary of the key steps involved in the conveyancing process, and give guidance on matters which arise in conveyancing transactions. If you require any further explanation on any points raised, or any other legal aspect of moving home please do not hesitate to contact us.
A number questionnaire forms must be completed by the seller and are sent to the buyer’s solicitor. The forms give information about boundaries, disputes, notices, guarantees, services, rights and other matters.
In order to prepare paperwork we need to obtain the title deeds. It is possible to obtain title documentation from the Land Registry if the title deeds have been registered. If not, you will need to advise us of the whereabouts of the title deeds.
The seller’s solicitor drafts the contract. The contract sets out the terms of the sale. The contract and related paperwork is sent to the buyer’s solicitor for approval.
Exchange of contracts
Once all the paperwork is ready and when everyone in the chain has reached the same stage, contracts can be exchanged. Only then do you, and your buyer, become legally bound to the deal, up to this point it is possible for anyone to pull out without financial penalty, other than the costs that they have incurred themselves.
A deposit, usually 10% of the purchase price is paid on exchange of contracts.
When contracts are exchanged, the date for you to move house is fixed – this date is known as “completion”.
It is essential that you should NOT make any binding arrangements for completion (e.g. fixing removals, giving notice to leave your present accommodation) until either contracts have been exchanged or you have cleared the arrangements with us. It is quite common for the seller or estate agents to put forward a date for moving/completion which in the end cannot be achieved, causing the buyer a considerable amount of distress and in some cases, expense.
After exchange of contracts but before completion, there is quite a lot that needs to be done.
You will be making your moving arrangements. We will check the amount needed to repay any outstanding mortgages and ask your estate agents for their account. As soon as the figures have arrived, we shall prepare and send to you a completion statement which sets out the finances of the transaction and the balance due to you.
On completion we receive the balance of the sale price, repay any outstanding mortgages direct with the lenders and pay the estate agent’s account.
You will often find that the estate agents will put forward a suggested moving date. You should not rely on this, and its wise to not finalise any removals etc until exchange of contracts.