Conveyancing is the process of transferring a property from one legal owner to another. There are three separate stages to go through when you are SELLING a property:
- Agreeing the sale
- Exchange of contracts
- Completion of sale
Agreeing the sale
- Once you have agreed the sale, you need to instruct Solicitors. Your Solicitor will put together a legal information pack to send to your buyer’s solicitor, which you will need to complete. This contains:
- A property information form:You must complete this to answer questions about your property e.g .disputes with neighbours, guarantees about any work you have had done, boundaries, planning and building consents. It’s very important to complete this accurately, so make sure you check with your Solicitors if you have any queries or concerns. There is a second form about leasehold properties for flat owners which includes details of the freeholder, management company, service charges and ground rent.
- A fixtures, fittings and contents form:You need to complete this form to show your buyers which items at the property you intend to leave behind and which to take with you e.g. cupboards, shelving, kitchen appliances. Make sure that this reflects what has been agreed on the estate agent’s particulars.
- A copy of your title. You may hold the deeds if you own your property outright. If not, and in most cases, your mortgage lender may hold them for you. Your Solicitor will contact your mortgage lender to obtain the title deeds. In any event, your Solicitor will need to obtain up-to-date title information from the land registry, where the property is registered.
- The contract of sale, which states the address and price of the property and the full names (including any middle names) and addresses of the buyer and seller.
- Your Solicitor will then deal with any questions from your buyer’s solicitor, for example questions which may arise from the searches that they will have done on your property (Local Search, Drainage and Water etc). Once any questions are answered satisfactorily, both sides will agree a completion date, or moving date (this will need to be a mutually convenient date for you as the seller and your buyer and you will, of course, be consulted). The completion date isn’t fixed in stone at this point, and often changes. Your estate agent is largely responsible for liaising with you and the buyer (and where applicable, other parties in the chain) to agree a mutually convenient completion date. A final completion date has to be agreed when you exchange contracts.
Exchange of contracts
- Your Solicitor receives the buyer’s deposit on your behalf.
- If you have a mortgage on your property, your Solicitor will ask your mortgage lender for a settlement figure. This is the amount you need to repay your mortgage lender once your property is sold.
- Your Solicitor will then send your signed contract to your buyer’s solicitor, who then send the buyer’s signed contract to them by return. You are now committed to the sale of the property, and cannot go back on it without paying a large financial penalty. The completion date is set ‘in stone’ on exchange.
- You will receive a Transfer Deed to sign which will be handed over on completion in order for the buyer to register their names on the deeds.
- On the completion date you have agreed, your buyer’s solicitor will send your Solicitor the balance of the payment for your property.
- Your Solicitor will confirm to you and to your Estate Agents that completion has taken place and that keys can be handed over to the buyer.
- Your Solicitor will use the monies received from the Buyers Solicitors to pay off your mortgage, your estate agents fees, your Solicitors fees and any costs incurred during the sale. Any money left over will be handed over to you, unless it is needed for a purchase you are making.
- Your Solicitor will then hand over the deeds of the property to your buyer’s solicitor to register their client as the new owner, and remove any reference to you and your mortgage, if any.