Conveyancing — Buying and Selling Residential Property
Selling a property
Approaching an estate agent
Seller approaches estate agent with a view to selling their property. Prior to marketing an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) must be commissioned (this must be available within 28 days of marketing).
Putting a property on the market
Once the seller has signed the agency agreement and the EPC ordered, the property is then put on the market. Hopefully a buyer will be found quickly and a price agreed.
After the price is settled
Once a price is agreed the seller should pass their solicitors details to the agents. The agents will then issue their particulars (giving details of the property, the price and the other party and their solicitors). This is sent to all parties and their respective solicitors.
Instructing a solicitor
In the meantime, the seller should confirm their instructions to their solicitors and provide any funds required in connection with initial costs to be incurred. The seller should also provide their solicitor with their full mortgage account details to enable the solicitors to obtain the seller’s title deeds (if held by a mortgage company) or if not, give details of who is holding the deeds.
Seller's property information
Once the seller’s solicitors receive confirmation of instructions they will then submit sellers property information, sellers leasehold information (if the property being sold is leasehold) and fixtures & fittings forms for completion. The seller should supply as much information as possible about their property particularly about payments of ground rent, service charges and insurance in respect of any leasehold property.
Once the seller’s solicitors receive copies of the title deeds from the mortgage company, seller or from the Land Registry (the may also be contained within the HIP) and they have received confirmation of instructions from the buyers solicitors, the seller’s solicitors will submit draft contract and supporting documentation to the buyers solicitors.
Freeholders or managing agents
On any leasehold transaction, the sellers solicitors will also at that time write to the freeholders or managing agents to obtain receipts for last payments of ground rent and service charges and for a copy of the up-to-date insurance policy.
The sellers solicitors will deal with any enquiries or additional enquiries raised by the buyers solicitors upon receipt by them of our draft contract.
Exchange of contracts
Having dealt with any additional enquiries and having sent through ground rent, service charge and insurance details, we should now be able to proceed to exchange of contracts. Once the contract is returned approved by the buyers solicitors, this is sent to the seller for signature. Upon its return, exchange of contracts can take place.
Exchange takes place, with cmpletion set for a date in the future.
Following exchange, a redemption figure is obtained from the sellers existing mortgage company. A final statement of account can then be sent to both the buyers solicitors and the seller, confirming the monies due and available on completion.
Completion takes place
The mortgage is redeemed and the title deeds sent to the buyers solicitors and any estate agents’ commission account paid.
How long does this take?
The time between initial instructions and exchange of contracts is normally about six to eight weeks. However, it can be longer for a number of reasons, for example, if there are problems obtaining leasehold information.
The time between exchange of contracts and completion is normally two to four weeks, but can be shorter, although this may involve further fees being paid for expediting matters.
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