Ensuring the sale goes smoothly

At the same time as instructing your agent to market the property, we recommend that you organise a solicitor or conveyancer in advance to do the legal work for you so that they are ready to start as soon as you have accepted an offer.

Their details will be included in the Memorandum of Sale that gets sent out as soon as you have accepted an offer and so you should choose them in advance. Your agent will be able to recommend a solicitor if you don’t have one, or you can find one using the following professional bodies.

or a licensed conveyancer through:

Once the sale is agreed, the conveyancers will need to complete their work and your buyer will arrange for the property to be surveyed. Surveyors are insured to be able to access properties unaccompanied to do their work so if it is not convenient, you don’t need to be at home.

It is likely that two surveys will be required.

  1. A valuation survey – which is arranged by the mortgage lender to confirm the value of the property and that the property is adequate security for the mortgage that has been requested.
  2. A condition survey – this will be arranged by the buyer (they don’t have to have one but they are recommended) and it will give them a report of the condition of the property. There are different levels of survey which get increasingly more detailed.

Conveyancing

Conveyancing is not an especially quick process and can easily take anywhere between 6 and 12 weeks from the day you accept an offer to getting all the paperwork completed and queries answered, even where there is no chain.

To get started, you will need to supply similar documents to instruct your conveyancer as you would your agent:

  • Signed terms of business
  • Photographic ID
  • Proof of address

Gathering all the documents that you’ll need, including those that are needed when instructing an agent to market your property, as early as possible will help to ensure the process goes smoothly and quickly.

Here is our quick guide to understanding the process with your conveyancer:

Information gathering:

  • Your solicitor will ask you to put some money on account (referred to as Putting them in funds) to cover the initial costs.
  • They will contact your current mortgage lender to get the Title deeds for the property if necessary
  • They will ask you to complete all the information forms which are usually:
    • Property Information Form – this gives information about the property, it’s boundaries, any planning consents, suppliers etc.
    • Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form – this details what is to be left in the property when you leave and what you are taking away.
    • Seller’s Leasehold Information Form – this give details of the managing agents, service charges and potential building management costs.

Your solicitor will then bundle these documents along with the information about the property title, any guarantees, planning permissions etc. and send them to the buyers’ solicitor with the purchase contract.

If the property is leasehold your solicitor will receive a Managing Agents Questionnaire, which they will ask the relevant Managing Agent to complete, giving details about the building and the charges.

Once the buyers have reviewed the information there will be queries raised asking for clarification or more information. The solicitor may need to liaise with you and it is important that the information is accurate, as it will be on the basis of this information that the buyer makes their purchase.

Once the buyers’ solicitor has reviewed the sale contract, you will need to sign this so it is ready for ‘Exchange’ which is when the sale will actually be secured.

In order to sell, you will need to pay off any finance held against the property and so your solicitor will contact your mortgage company to get a statement of the amount due to be repaid.

The last thing to do is to agree on a completion date between the parties which is the date the sale will conclude.

For more information on conveyancing, from a buyer perspective, take a look at our section here.