Selling a Property - A Guide for Sellers
At Pearsons & Ward, we understand that the process of selling a property or "conveyancing" can seem daunting and confusing.
We are here to help guide you. This guide for sellers will help with this process by explaining the conveyancing process and breaking down the steps involved.
The first thing most people want to know is "how quickly will I sell my house".
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer as there are many elements which make up a house move. The chances are that other house moves will be linked to your move. This is known as a chain. The more properties in the chain, the more people in the chain must be ready to proceed at the same time.
As a guide, a chain of approximately 2 or 3 related transactions should take between 8-10 weeks.
- The Administration
- The Contract
- The Next Steps
- Signing Up
- Exchange of Contracts
- Completion Day
- The Last Leg
Once a sale has been agreed you should let the estate agents have our details so that they can send out the notification of sale giving details of the buyers' solicitors.
We will require the title deeds and documents and all papers relating to the property which you may be holding. These may include planning permissions, building regulation approvals, warranties, guarantees, receipts etc. These will all be handed over to your buyers once completion takes place and you should let us have these papers as soon as possible.
If you have a mortgage over the property we will also require your mortgage account number so that we can contact the mortgage lender and request an up to date figure for the amount required to repay your mortgage.
Communication is key. Let us have as much information as possible from the outset. For example: whether you are purchasing another property and whether the sale and purchase must tie in together; whether there are any times that you will be unavailable or any times that you would prefer for completion or wish to avoid.
Once our file has been opened up we will forward to you our initial starter pack (which will include this guide).
We will require you to sign and return one copy of the Terms and Conditions of Business together with payment to cover the cost of the initial disbursements and identification documents for all parties involved. The ID documents will need to include one piece of photographic identification such as a passport or driving licence and a bank statement. We recommend that you call into the office with the documents to enable us to scan them for our records and return the originals to you.
We will also forward to you Property Information and Fittings and Contents forms for you to complete.
The Property Information form gives details about the property itself such as disputes, notices, boundaries, whether any additions or alterations have been made to the property, whether there are any guarantees for works carried out to the property, is the property insured and whether there have ever been any problems with obtaining insurance for the property, if the property has ever flooded and details about the services connected to the property.
The Fittings and Contents form lists the items at the property which will be included in the price and those which you will be taking with you and will be excluded. If there are any items which you would like to offer for sale this can also be noted in the form. This will form part of the Contract and if there are any changes to the information provided at the outset it is important that you let us know straight away so that we can let your buyers know. Failure to do so may result in misrepresentation to the buyer for which you may have to pay compensation.
The Property Information and Fittings and Contents forms are quite lengthy and involved. It will take you time to read through the forms and complete them carefully.
If the property is already registered with the Land Registry we will obtain a copy of the title and the plan from the online Land Registry service in order to prepare the Contract.
If the property is unregistered this means that the title deeds and documents have never been submitted to the Land Registry and they hold no information regarding ownership of the property. We will require the original deeds and documents in order to prove ownership and provide evidence to the buyers' solicitors. The deeds may be held by you or could be held by a bank or building society if there was a mortgage over the property.
Once we receive the deeds and completed forms from you we will then prepare the Contract and send this out to the buyers' solicitors together with copies of the title documents, Property Information form, Fittings and Contents form and copies of any other documents referred to in the title or relating to any works carried out to the property.
Obtaining the title documents and preparing the Contract process usually takes about 2-3 weeks.
The buyers' solicitors will then check through the Contract papers and will raise enquiries with us as a result of their checks. These enquiries will be forwarded to you for your information and response.
The buyers will carry out their preliminary searches at this stage. These include a local search, water & drainage search and an environmental search. These may also trigger enquiries once the results are received by the solicitors as they will reveal information about the property such as planning permissions, building regulation approvals, whether the property has ever suffered from flooding together with information regarding the drainage services at the property.
Once we have provided replies to enquiries, and your buyers have received their search results and mortgage offer, if required, we will contact you to arrange for you to call into the office to sign the Contract and associated documents.
When you call in to sign the papers it is important to note that this is preparation only and will not be committing you to the transaction.
You will only be committed to the purchase once we exchange your signed contracts with the sellers' signed Contract.
At the meeting, we will go through the Contract and any other documents which you will be required to sign. It is important that you raise any questions or concerns that you may have at this stage.
We will also go through the cash statement with you confirming the balance funds that we will be left over from your sale. If you are purchasing another property these will be carried over to your purchase matter. If you are not purchasing another property we will require confirmation as to how the funds should be returned to you. We can transfer the funds directly to a nominated account at a charge or can issue a cheque free of charge.
We will then put your proposed dates for moving to the chain and once everyone in the chain is agreed on a date and everyone is ready to proceed we can exchange Contracts. This process can take time depending on the length of the chain and there can be some to-ing and fro-ing regarding dates if the dates are not convenient for everyone.
During the course of the transaction, we may discuss dates with you but until Contracts are exchanged these are only provisional. We therefore recommend that you do not make any arrangements or bookings for removals or new rented accommodation until such time as Contracts have been exchanged as, until Contracts are exchanged, dates for completion can change.
During this time we will request an up to date redemption figure for your current mortgage.
Once the chain is ready we will proceed to exchange of Contracts. We will contact you in advance to ensure that you are happy to proceed. Once Contracts are exchanged you are then bound to the transaction as there is a contractual relationship between you and your sellers.
Completion day is moving day when you move out of your property. The Contract will give a time (usually 1pm) by which you should have vacated the property on the day of completion. However, completion may take place earlier or later than the time stated, this depending on how busy the bank system is and the length of the chain. You should, therefore, be ready to move out as soon as possible.
Before you move it is important that you take final meter readings for all of the services connected to the property. These should then be passed to the utility providers as soon as possible.
Once you have moved out of the property, unless you have arranged to hand over the keys directly to your buyers, the keys should be handed into the estate agents.
Once the sale monies arrive from your buyers' solicitors we will pay off your mortgage and settle the estate agents' account, having checked it with you in advance. The balance monies will then be distributed in accordance with your instructions.
We will contact the estate agents to confirm that completion has taken place and confirm that the keys can be handed over to your buyers. We will contact you to confirm once completion has taken place.
After completion, we will receive notice of repayment of your mortgage which we forward to your buyers' solicitors to enable them to register the property into their names at the Land Registry.
Solicitors for Selling Property - Conveyancing Lawyers Malton, York and Wetherby
The residential property team at Pearsons & Wardcan provide clear, jargon-free legal advice. With over 200 years advising clients in Yorkshire, Pearsons & Wardsolicitors are ideally placed to assist you.