You’ve listed your property for sale, prepared your home for viewings and accepted an offer. You could be trying to find a property to rent or the new home of your dreams. Now it’s time to tackle the complex legal process issue; negotiating the legal aspects of a property sale can be fraught with problems. As part of the process of selling a house, the legal formalities protect the interests of both you and your buyer, so expert guidance throughout this stage of selling a home is essential. Although you will be able to rely on the expertise of your chosen legal representative – or conveyancer – you will need to know what the process involves to stay abreast of progress.
Choosing Your Conveyancer
Hundreds of conveyancers and solicitors are likely to be operating in your area, and choosing the best one could be tricky. However, follow some simple tips to ensure you get the right person for the job.
Ask friends and relatives for recommendations based on experience
Seek at least three full quotes before making a decision
Clarify all aspects of the service being offered and ask any questions before you reach an agreement
Tell your solicitor or conveyancer in advance that you want regular updates and agree on a target closing date
Look for conveyancers who are offering no deal, no-fee options meaning you are not left out of pocket if the house sale collapses through no fault of your own
Check the details of every quote you receive very carefully – they can include different services and criteria
Some estate agents will recommend solicitors and conveyancers they have worked with in the past, so seek their advice
Provide Your Conveyancer with the Necessary Information
Conveyancers deal with houses for sale every day, and they will be able to take control of the legal side of things on your behalf. However, to get started, you will need to supply some accurate information from the outset.
Your official ID and other essential information such as your mortgage roll number
Information about your home, including boundaries, any previous disputes and which areas of land you own
A complete list of all fixtures, fittings and furniture included in the sale
Completing the Sale
House buying in the UK can differ slightly between the constituent nations. In England and Wales, for example, the process of buying a house is completed when contracts exchange, and a buyer can’t pull out of the deal after this stage without losing their deposit.
The seller and the buyer will typically have their conveyancer, and both legal representatives will coordinate the exchange process on behalf of their clients. It is common practice for a completion date for around two weeks after exchanging contracts. Once the buyer’s money transfers, the legal process is complete, and you will need to surrender the keys to your home’s new owner.
If you live in Scotland, the process of completion works in a slightly different way. First, the seller will advertise a guide price, inviting buyers to submit their bids and projected completion dates. Then, once an offer is formally accepted, financial penalties are imposed on any party that reneges on the deal. Buyers will, therefore, usually ensure that they have funds in place before submitting a bid.
House buyers trying to find property for sale in England and Wales will often do so without a mortgage in place, so the risk of a deal-breaking down before completion is higher than in Scotland. However, with the expert help of your conveyancer, you should be able to negotiate the process without too many surprises.