We believe that selling a property should be a positive experience. If it’s your home, it should be something to look back on with pleasure as you move on to somewhere new. So why is it that people regard moving house as one of the most stressful things that someone can do?
Well, there’s a lot of paperwork and unfamiliar processes to go through, and solicitors don’t always do their bit to alleviate the stress by explaining things properly in advance. With that in mind we have produced a basic guide to the process for people who want to know how the conveyancing process works for sellers.
Introduction to the conveyancing process for sale:
Stage 1 – Getting started
Having clicked to confirm that you wish to instruct us, you will receive an email confirmation acknowledging that your instructions have been received.
Your instructions will reach our conveyancing department. Within 24 hours of receiving your instructions we will contact you to introduce ourselves and answer any questions that you may have.
Your conveyancing file will then be opened and our introductory letter and questionnaire will be sent to you. These must be sent back to us along with your property information pack. At this stage you may be asked to pay some money on account to cover our initial costs for any expenses etc. This begins our role in the conveyancing process.
If you are selling through estate agents, we shall contact the agents to obtain the contact details for the other parties to the conveyance and their solicitors.
We shall write to all other parties introducing ourselves and confirming that we are acting on your behalf.
Stage 2 – Pre-exchange of contract
You will need to tell us where your title deeds are held and whether there is a mortgage on the property.
We request your title deeds and if applicable redemption statements in respect of any existing mortgage that you intend repaying on sale. The purpose of requesting a mortgage redemption (repayment) figure at this stage is to establish what is currently owed on the mortgage and to enable any issues to be addressed at an early stage. For example, the redemption statement will indicate if there is an early repayment fee on the mortgage. Having this as early as possible will help to avoid delays in the conveyancing process later down the line.
If your property is registered at HM Land Registry we will obtain official copies of the register of title.
Upon receipt of your deeds we prepare a draft contract package and send this together with the sale information pack that you will have already completed, and evidence of your legal title to the buyer’s solicitors. We also send a copy of the draft contract to you for signature. This is a key part of the conveyancing process, because we are nearing the point at which both parties are legally bound to complete.
The buyer’s solicitors will then approve our contract, carry out property searches, and check your title to the property. They buyer will at this stage raise any enquiries that they may have. You need to respond to the buyer’s enquiries through us at this stage.
The buyer’s solicitors will prepare a draft transfer for our approval. Once approved, the transfer deed is forwarded to you for execution, when you will sign it. The transfer deed is then held on our file until completion has taken place.
Stage 3 – The Exchange
All parties to the conveyance discuss possible completion dates and once a date is agreed, contracts are exchanged. On exchange the completion date is fixed and the buyer pays the deposit (usually 10%) to us to secure the property.
Once contracts are exchanged you are legally bound to sell the property to the buyer. This is of course a critical point in the conveyancing process, although it is not until completion that the new owner will have access to the property.
We apply for a final redemption figure from any mortgage lender/charge holder if applicable. If you are selling through estate agents and you wish to pay their fees from your sale proceeds, we will at this stage also request their invoice so that we can pay them for you on completion.
We prepare our final invoice. A copy of our invoice is sent to you confirming what amount you can expect to receive or what amount is required from you on completion.
Stage 4 – Completion
- We receive the purchase price less any deposit paid from the buyer’s solicitors.
- We discharge any existing mortgage/charge/estate agent’s fee from the sale proceeds.
- We account to you for the net sale proceeds. If there is a related purchase your sale proceeds will be transferred to your purchase file.
Stage 5 – Post completion
- We send the transfer deed together with any other deeds to the buyer’s solicitors.
- We receive confirmation from any lender/charge holder that your account with them has been redeemed and send this to the buyer.
- The buyer registers himself or herself as the new owner at HM Land Registry. This is the final stage of the conveyancing process.