The moving process… You may be wondering what will happen during you sale and purchase of properties. The following gives a brief guide to the most usual steps taken.
BUYING A PROPERTY
Once your offer has been accepted, we will provide you with an estimate of fees. Remember to tell your Estate Agent that you have instructed us to act for you.
Please ensure you complete any paperwork we send to you as quickly as possible and pay any requested money on account as soon as possible so that we can get started.
Your Estate Agent will send us details of the seller's solicitors so we can write to them requesting the contract papers and title documents.
Once we have the contract papers, we will check their terms and review the legal title to the property in depth. We will report to you and send you copies of relevant documents.
You should also consider whether you need a survey carried out on the condition of the property. We can assist you in arranging this if required.
We will raise any enquiries we have about the property with the seller's solicitors. You should tell us if you have any questions of your own from the information we send you.
At the same time we will carry out all necessary searches with the relevant authorities.
We will check the results thoroughly when we receive them, usually 2-3 weeks later and report to you with copies. We might have more questions for the sellers at this stage.
When we get the answers to the enquiries raised with the seller, we will check them and send you copies.
By now you should have your mortgage offer (if one is required), we will check the special terms of the offer for you and make sure the details are correct. We may need to report some issues to your lender for them to approve as well as to you.
Remember until we have replies to enquiries, search results and your mortgage offer (if required) we cannot proceed to exchange of contracts.
At this point we will send you everything you need to sign and ask you for your preferred completion dates. You can expect it to be 1-2 weeks from now until moving day.
Exchange of Contracts- This is done by telephone between both sets of solicitors. You are now legally bound to purchase the property and the completion date cannot change. If you have a mortgage, we will request the funds from your lender at this stage.
There needs to be enough time between exchange and completion for us to do this as it can take up to 5 working days to receive the money. If we need money from you too, we will send you a completion statement so you know how much to send us . We will need this at least 1 working day before completion to ensure there are no delays on the day.
Completion day. This is your moving day! We will send the money to the seller's solicitors for you and call you when you can collect the keys.
After completion we pay your Stamp Duty Land Tax (if applicable) and register you as the new owner at the Land Registry.
SELLING A PROPERTY
Once you have accepted an offer on your property, we will provide you with an estimate of fees. You will need to complete any forms we send to you and return these to us so that we can get start the legal work for you. Also remember to tell your Estate Agent that you have instructed us to act for you.
Your Estate Agent will send us details of the buyer's solicitors. Amongst other things, we will send you a Property Information Form and Fixtures and Fittings Form which you will need to complete as accurately as you can and return to us.
At this point you should get together any planning permissions and compliance certificates for any work you have had done to the property since you have owned it. If your property is not registered with the Land Registry, you should send us the original deeds to the property too. If you're not sure, just ask us and we can check for you.
If you're selling a flat or other leasehold property, now is a good time to request the 'sellers pack' from your Landlord and/or Management Company. They can sometimes take a little time to come through.
We will draft the contracts and collate all the deeds and title documents to send to your buyer's solicitor.
We will also request a redemption figure from your lender if there is a mortgage outstanding and send you the figure to check. We will have to pay off the outstanding amount on completion of the sale.
It is likely that your buyer will want to ask some questions about the property once they've been through the paperwork and we may need your help in answering them.
Your prompt assistance with this will help the transaction progress smoothly.
Once we've answered all their queries we will send you the documents you need to sign. You should sign and return them and give us any suggested completion dates you have, depending on your buyers position and the rest of the chain, this is usually 1-2 weeks from now.
Exchange of Contracts - This is done by telephone between both sets of solicitors. You are now legally bound to sell your home and the completion date cannot change.
Completion day. This is moving day! Once we receive money from the buyer's solicitors we will redeem any mortgages and tell you that you can hand over the keys.
Any equity in your property will be sent to you, or if you're also buying, it will be sent on to the next solicitor in the chain.
When selling your property, your buyer often has a lot more work to do, and so there can be times when it seems that nothing is happening. In actual fact, your buyer's solicitors are working away behind the scenes to get their side of the transaction ready.