residential conveyancing

Selling Your Home Guide - Conveyancing Explained

Selling your property

At Wallace Robinson & Morgan we have a great amount of experience dealing with all types of properties - new builds, listed, freeholds, leasehold flats and houses, shared ownership properties and holiday homes.

Our solicitors have dealt with thousands of home sale transactions for our clients.

Selling a property is a hugely significant transaction and we believe it is important that our clients understand the process so uncertainties throughout the transactions are reduced.

This is a guide to the services you can expect from our solicitors when selling your home and describes the typical procedure for a home sale.

Contact us straight away

Ideally you should contact us as soon as you think about selling your home – even before you contact an estate agent.

We can give you tips and guidance that may save you money as well as helping ensure the process goes smoothly.

Our conveyancing solicitors are very experienced and qualified in all areas of property law. We are members of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme so you can be sure that our service meets the high standards set by the Law Society.

We will give you a clear quotation of our fees and any other costs involved.

Throughout the transaction we will regularly keep you updated, either by telephone or e-mail. Our quotation includes all correspondence and telephone calls.

We do not submit additional bills in the event that the transaction becomes more time consuming or complicated than envisaged. We also do not usually charge if the transaction becomes abortive for any reason before exchange of contracts.

Information about the property

Once you instruct us we will need you to provide us with some personal identification and we will ask you to complete some forms about the property.

These include details about boundary ownership, any alterations as well as indicating whether you intend to leave carpets, kitchen appliances etc.

If you have any queries on completion of the forms you can telephone us so we can assist you.

We will ask you to provide contact details for any lenders who have mortgages registered against your property. We will then contact the lender at an early stage for an indication of the amount they are owed.

We find this is very helpful in identifying whether there are any early repayment penalties. If there are, we can liaise with the lender to see when the penalty expires as if it is relatively soon, we can advise clients to delay completion until after the relevant date bringing about a saving of the repayment penalty.

When we receive the forms from you we will consider these, together with your deeds, to try to anticipate what queries a buyer’s solicitor is likely to raise. By doing this we can identify any issues at an early stage to try to minimise any delays that may arise later in the transaction.

The contract

We prepare the contract and send the forms and a copy of the deeds to the buyer’s solicitor.

The buyer’s solicitors should put in hand their searches and raise any queries with us on the paperwork supplied.

Often we are able to deal with the queries without having to come back to you. However, we may need you to deal with some of the points raised.

If you are not tying in a purchase, at this stage we would normally forward the contract to you for you to sign and return to us. We then hold that document on our file so that when the buyer’s solicitor is ready we can immediately exchange the contract with them.

When the buyer’s solicitor has the results of their searches and the mortgage instructions and they are happy with the information that we have supplied, they will report to their client either in writing or in a meeting.

At that stage the buyer will sign their copy of the contract and will provide a 10% deposit to the buyer’s solicitor.

Setting the Completion date

The completion date is the day by which you must have moved out of the property.

This must be agreed before contracts are exchanged. The date can be suggested by either party at any time.

If you have any specific requirements concerning completion, for example you need at least two weeks between exchange and completion in order to finalise your arrangements, it would be sensible to let us have this information as early as possible in the transaction so we can advise the buyer’s solicitor.

Many clients think the completion date is fixed by solicitors and then notified to the clients. This is not the case. We will only fix a date for completion when you have agreed to it.

Transfer of ownership

The “transfer” is the form that is used to notifying the Land Registry of a transfer in the ownership of a property to the buyer on the completion date.

The buyer’s solicitor prepares the transfer for signature and we usually try to obtain that document from the buyer’s solicitor before exchange of contracts.

If you are able to sign the transfer in advance this can help to reduce the time between exchange and completion.

Exchanging contracts

When everybody in the chain has signed their contract and has agreed the completion date, we can exchange contracts with the buyer’s solicitor. At this point the completion date is fixed.

There is a binding contact for you to sell and for the buyer to purchase.

You are now able to confirm your removal arrangements.

Completion

Completion is the final stage in the conveyancing process.

By the completion date you must ensure any items you have not included in the sale are removed from the property. You must vacate the property no later than the date of completion.

On completion we receive the monies from the buyer’s solicitor and pay off your mortgage.

If you have an estate agent, you would usually leave a set of your keys with the agents so we can tell the buyer’s solicitor that the buyer can collect the keys from there.

This avoids the need for you to wait at the property after you have moved your belongings in order to meet the buyer to hand over the keys.

We will transfer the net proceeds due into your bank account, usually on the day of completion if the monies have arrived early enough, or if not the next working day.

Related legal matters

Selling a property may introduce other related legal matters.

For example

• If you are moving into rented accommodation you may have concerns about the security of your deposit or you may need clarification about the responsibilities of the landlord and your rights as a tenant.
• if you are a married couple planning to buy a new home in joint names you should consider how the property will be owned if one of you dies
• if you are planning to buy a new home with someone you are not married to, you may need to enter into a deed of trust to set out what share of the property each person owns
• if you are moving into your partner’s property you may need advice on co-habitation agreements
• If you do have a will you may need to update it and if you do not have a will, you should consider making one.

In all cases we can offer you legal advice as part of a complete professional service.

Let us help you

If you would like a quotation for conveyancing or other legal services please contact Tim Langford and Michelle Layton on 0121 705 7571 (Solihull office), or Asia Bi on 01564 779393 (Dorridge office).

or email enquiries@wallacerobinson.co.uk

Further reading:

Home Buyers Guide - Conveyancing Explained (Residential Conveyancing)

Jargon-busting guide to buying or selling a home (Residential Conveyancing)

Transfer of Equity (Residential Conveyancing)

This article is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute technical, financial, legal advice or any other type of professional advice and is no substitute for specific advice based on your individual circumstances. We do not accept responsibility or liability for any actions taken based on the information in this article. For more information, please click here.