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The Selling Process – simplified!

You’ve found a buyer, agreed a price and asked us to act for you in the conveyancing, so what happens next?  As I said in the ‘buyer’s guide’, every situation is different, but here are some general guidelines:

  • We will send you an introductory letter and some enquiry forms to complete. We will need to see your ID and will ask you for some money on account.  It is very important at this stage for you to make sure that you’ve gathered together, and given to us, any planning or building control documents for work which might have been done, as well as any paperwork you were given when you bought the house.
  • We will write to your current mortgage lender and ask them for an idea of your current loan, together with any deeds they may have.  We obtain a copy of the Land Registry documents and prepare a draft contract.
  • We send out the draft contract, Land Registry information and your completed enquiry forms to your buyer’s conveyancer. This package of contract papers will hopefully answer most of the obvious questions that the buyer and their conveyancer have about the property.
  • They may write to us with other queries or issues and we will probably ask you to help us with some of them if the answers aren’t clear.  Sometimes the questions are about the practical aspects of the property, so we’d find it hard to answer them without your help!
  • If you’re selling a flat, we will need to get a package of documents and information from the management company and pass these to the buyer’s conveyancer.
  • We will ask you to sign the contract and any other required documents so that we are ready.  They are not legally binding until exchange, however.
  • When everyone in the chain is ready, a completion (moving) date can be agreed.  It sometimes takes up to 5 days for mortgage lenders to process the funds request so the completion date will be agreed with this in mind. It also has to be a weekday, not a weekend.
  • Then contracts are formally exchanged by the conveyancers involved.  This involves a kind of ‘telephonic handshake’ between conveyancers – you do not need to be present.  We would usually ask for your authority to exchange contracts on the day itself, however, so you may need to be contactable.

Once Contracts are exchanged you are legally committed to the move, and you can now make removal arrangements, contact the utility providers and so on.  If something changes at the property, please let us know as soon as you can.   Then, before completion:

  • We obtain a settlement figure for any existing mortgages or loans that you have on your property.  They must all be removed and paid off on the completion date.
  • We ask your estate agent to tell us how much they are charging you
  • We calculate the financial statement which shows you how much you will receive and where the rest of the money is going.  You can decide at that stage who you would like us to give the money to you.
  • We also make sure there’s nothing fraudulent going on with the conveyancers acting for the buyer, before they hand over a load of (potentially dodgy) money!

Now we’ve reached the magical day when you have to move all of your worldly possessions out by lunchtime and hand the keys in to the estate agents.

  • It is a good idea to take meter readings and have a good look around the property as you leave.  Make sure you have taken everything that you said you would take (and left everything you said you would leave), and any rubbish.  Please try to leave the house in a clean and tidy condition.  If you have taken things off the walls then you must fix any damage, and you should leave a flex, rose and bulb if you take light fittings.
  • We find that most post-completion disputes are started off by the buyers being disappointed that the property wasn’t how they’d expected to find it – I’ll continue this in another blog post sometime!
  • Meanwhile we will receive the balance of the price of the property
  • We repay your mortgage and pay your estate agent.  We also deduct our fees.
  • We forward the remaining funds to you, either as a cheque or to the bank account you have told us about
  • We forward the deeds and other documents to your buyer’s conveyancer.

A few weeks after completion we will write to you to confirm that everything’s been dealt with so please make sure you let us have your forwarding address.

You should also think about checking, changing or making a Will at this stage, just so that everything is up-to-date and in order.

I hope you’ve found this helpful, but don’t forget that every situation is unique, and sometimes things don’t go to plan – the trick is to keep calm and give us a call!

Marcella King

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