Sale and purchase
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Understanding the sale and purchase process
Preparing to sell your property and purchasing a new one is often an exciting time. It can quickly become stressful and confusing, though.
We think it’s useful to know a bit more about what is involved in the sale and purchase of your property. To help clarify things we’ve explained the conveyancing process step by step, as simply as possible, so you can learn a bit more before you start.
Selling a property
1. The seller’s conveyancing solicitor is instructed
The first thing to happen is the seller’s solicitor is instructed, which is another way of saying whoever is selling the property picks a solicitor and ask them to start work. The solicitor will confirm the instructions in writing, along with the agreed fees and terms of the contract.
2. The seller completes questionnaires about the property and terms of the sale
Depending on whether the property is a leasehold or freehold, the seller will need to complete certain questionnaires. The seller gives their solicitor all the details of the property and surrounding area, as well as which fittings and fixtures will be included in the sale.
3. The seller’s conveyancing solicitor obtains the title deeds and other documents
The seller’s solicitor will then request official copies of the title deeds from the Land Registry, along with details of the seller’s outstanding mortgage (if there is one).
4. The conveyancing solicitor drafts a contract and sends this to the buyer’s solicitor
They will also include any supporting documentation for the buyer’s solicitors to review. The buyer’s solicitor can then request more information, or ask questions about the contract or supporting documents.
5. Negotiations on the details in the contract
Things that might be discussed at this stage include the date of completion, fixtures and fitting costs, and changes to the overall price if any problems were found during the searches.
6. Seller and buyer agree a completion date
Once a completion date has been agreed, contracts can be formally exchanged. This means both parties are committed to the sale. The seller’s conveyancing solicitor will then obtain a settlement figure to repay the outstanding amount on the existing mortgage. The title deeds are transferred and the seller will vacate the property at an agreed date, before handing over the keys (usually to the estate agent).
7. Payment to the seller
After all payments have been deducted the profit of the sale is transferred to the seller’s bank account.
Buying a property
1. Instructing a solicitor
After the buyer’s offer is accepted by the seller, the buyer needs to instruct a solicitor to handle their side of the conveyancing process.
2. Mortgage application and mortgage valuation get carried out
If the buyer needs a mortgage they can then apply, and a mortgage valuation will be carried out. The mortgage details will be sent to the solicitor who will talk the buyer through the conditions.
3. Confirmation of instructions
Once the buyer is happy they will instruct the solicitor to proceed with the purchase. The solicitor will confirm this instruction in writing. This confirmation will include agreed fixed fees and terms of the contract.
4. The buyer's solicitor will contact the seller's solicitor for the contract pack
The buyer’s conveyancing solicitor will get in touch with the sellers to gain access to what is called the ‘contract pack’. The contract pack will be thoroughly checked by the solicitors and the relevant searches are carried out. If the buyer’s solicitor is unclear about any information in the contract pack or about facts discovered during the searches they will raise their pre-contract enquiries with the seller.
5. The buyer's solicitor informs the buyer of all the information that has been collected
When the buyer’s solicitor is happy that all their questions have been answered and they have received the details of the mortgage offer, they will share everything with the buyer. If anything is still not clear, they can ask for more information.
6. Paying the deposit and agreeing on a date to exchange contracts
Once the buyer is happy to proceed, they pay the deposit to their solicitor ready for the payment to be made to the seller. The buyer and seller then agree on a date to officially exchange contracts and formalise the sale.
7. The contracts will be exchanged between the solicitors
The actual exchange of contracts is usually be handled by the solicitors of both parties and legally binds the buyer to the purchase.
8. The title deeds are transferred, the deposit is paid and the seller moves out
After contracts have been exchanged, the buyer’s solicitor transfers the deposit to the seller’s solicitor and the title deeds are transferred. Once the deposit is received by the seller’s solicitor, the sale is completed and the seller drops off the keys to the estate agent.
How our sale and purchase conveyancing team can help you
Conveyancing solicitors for buyers and sellers
At AWH Solicitors our dedicated conveyancing solicitors offer the highest quality of service at every stage. We believe in keeping things clear and simple, which is why we will explain each part of the conveyancing process to you in a straight-forward manner without using complicated legal jargon.
Whether you are buying, selling or both, we will be with you every step of the way – from the moment your offer is accepted, to the day when the keys are handed over.
To find out more about conveyancing and how our solicitors can help you, get in touch with us today.
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