A Solicitor’s Guide to Selling Your Property

The sale or purchase of any property is often the biggest financial deal anyone ever makes. It makes sense to get specialist conveyancing solicitors who can help you with your sale. What actually happens when the property is sold? This article sets out the basic steps involved in any sale of property.

Step 1

If you have had an offer accepted on your home then you must seek legal assistance in order to sell your property. When you instruct a solicitor the will proceed to deduce the title for the property, this can be achieved by looking at the deeds. These deeds will either be held by yourself, or more likely they will have to be requested from your mortgage lender.

Step 2

Your solicitor will put together a Home Information Pack (if one has not previously been produced). More importantly they will put together a purchase schedule for the buyer indicating what fixtures and fittings the purchase price will include.

Step 3

Your solicitor will prepare a draft contract for the sale. This will reflect any agreements you wish to be made prior to the purchase of the property. This will then be sent across to the buyer’s solicitor for approval.

Step 4

The buyer will send your solicitor a list of pre-contract enquiries that will need to be answered. These queries will either be standard (i.e. made with every purchase) or they may be more specific to the property (i.e. as a result of survey and search findings). The overriding legal principal in land sales is caveat emptor (buyer beware), nevertheless answers to queries should be as honest and helpful as possible. Your solicitor will send your answers back to the buyer’s solicitor.

Step 5

Once the draft contract has been agreed by the other side and returned with any amendments, your solicitor will meet with you to ensure that you are happy with it’s content. If you are happy with everything you can sign the contract and you will then be ready to exchange. At this point your solicitor will want to check and agree the mortgage redemption amount and decide on an anticipated completion date. Please note, you must be ready to vacate the property and hand over the keys by completion.

Step 6

The contract of sale will be exchanged with the other side, this process is done between the two solicitors. Upon exchange the buyer will pay his/her deposit money across to your solicitor.

Step 7

The buyer’s solicitor will prepare a draft purchase deed or transfer form as it is also known, this will then be sent to your solicitor. Your solicitor will check the details and will either send back an amended version or obtain your signature for an agreed version. As it is a deed then it will have to be executed accordingly (i.e. signed in the presence of an independent witness). The buyer’s will also want to know information such as where to collect keys, so you should provide your solicitor with this information to pass on.

Step 8

Your solicitor will forward you a completion statement indicating how much money you owe before the sale can be completed. This financial statement will take into consideration any costs incurred by the solicitor, the solicitor’s fees, deposit monies received and mortgage redemption monies to be paid out. You will then have a set period of time to pay the outstanding costs in order for completion to take place.

Step 9

Completion takes place between the solicitors and the keys are handed over. The buyer’s solicitor undertakes to send across the funds needed to complete the purchase and your solicitor undertakes to discharge any outstanding mortgage owed on the property with the completion money.

Step 10

Your solicitor will redeem any outstanding mortgage monies and the DS1 (discharge form) will be sent across to the buyer’s solicitor. Any outstanding money from the sale will be sent to you and the sale is completed.

Bonallack & Bishop in Salisbury are a firm of specialist conveyancing solicitors with a team experienced in selling residential properties. Senior partner Tim Bishop is responsible for all major strategic decisions and has expanded the firm by 1000% in 12 years. He has plans for its continued growth, seeing himself as a businessman who owns a law firm.
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