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Step-by-Step Guide to the Residential Sale Process


Right now, you’re planning to sell your home. This may be because you plan to move to a bigger house, you may be planning to rent, or you may even be lucky enough to be emigrating. No matter what the reason is, you need to know what to do next.

Unfortunately, even in the event you find someone willing to buy your house immediately, there are still many steps that have top be undertaken. This blog will attempt to set out, in basic terms, what will need to be done in order to complete the sale.

  1. The first step for you to take it to appoint a conveyancer to do the legal work for you.
  2. Once you have sought out a conveyancer, they will confirm your instructions by letter, often including the terms of engagement and the fee they will charge.
  3. Once this has been signed, you will have to confirm your identity. Then the conveyancer will send out a fittings and contents form for you to complete, often including a property information form. 
  4. You will then have to complete these forms and return them to the conveyancer.
  5. Once all these initial forms have been completed, the conveyancer will obtain the title deeds from the deed holder or seek the official copies from the Land Registry. These will set out any charged on the house, such as mortgages, that will need to be paid. It will also highlight any covenants that may be in place.
  6. You conveyancer will then draft a contract and any other documentation which will be needed and will send it to the buyer’s conveyancer.
  7. This contract and documentation will be looked at in fine detail and any queries will be raised with your conveyancer. 
  8. Once the buyer has received answers and is happy to proceed, they will then often seek receipt of a mortgage offer.
  9. It is then for you and the buyer to agree a completion date, and formally exchange contracts. This is the point in which a legal contract is created, and it becomes difficult for you to withdraw from the sale without penalty. Your conveyancer will then agree the figure needed to repay any outstanding mortgage. The buyer’s conveyancer will draft a transfer deed and send it to your conveyancer.
  10. Your conveyancer will check the deed, ensure it is as agreed, and will send it to you for signing.
  11. Once signed, you will be required to leave the property by the time agreed, and hand over the keys to your conveyancer. The buyer’s conveyancer will send the fees for the house to your conveyancer and then your conveyancer will arrange for the keys to be released to the buyer. Your conveyancer will then send the title deeds and transfer deed to the buyer’s conveyancer with an undertaking to pay of any outstanding mortgage on the property. You conveyancer will then pay all the appropriate people out of the fee paid by the buyer.
  12. Once all this has been completed, your conveyancer will send you the remaining money, usually by bank transfer, on the day of completion.

As you can see, the process can be drawn out and how quickly it is completed depends on how quickly the buyer acts. However, one thing is for certain; you will need to engage a conveyancer to complete all the legalities for you.

For more information visit our selling residential property page. Alternatively, call our Residential Conveyancing Solicitors on 0330 127 8888 for a free 30-minute consultation on your matter.


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