So you have found the right Estate Agent, obtained your Energy Performance Certificate and you have accepted an offer on your property. Its now time to start the conveyancing process and below is a simple step by step guide to give you an understanding of the process and hopefully avoid any nasty surprises.
1. Choose your conveyancer or solicitor. For more details on choosing, take a look at my blog entitled Choosing the right conveyancer for you.
2. Complete a number of forms provided by your conveyancer. These will likely include a general sellers form where your solicitor will ask you for details of any mortgages secured against the property. There will also be some standard Law Society forms and these are likely to be:
TA6 - A general questionnaire with information on boundaries, disputes and complaints (such as reported noisy neighbour complaints or boundary disputes), known proposed developments, building works, council tax, utilities, sewerage, and flooding.
TA10 - A form which provides details of which fittings and fixtures you would like to include with the property and any you may want separate payment for.
TA7 - A form for you to complete if the property is leasehold and provides details of the Management company and landlord.
These forms must be completed honestly and to the best of your knowledge. Make sure that you provide your conveyancer with as much information and copy documents as possible as this will really assist the speed of the transaction.
3. Using the information provided, your solicitor will now request a redemption statement from your mortgage lender. They will also draw up a draft contract to send to your buyers solicitors with copies of the forms you completed.
4. Once your buyer’s solicitors have received the draft contract package, they will request searches are made to ensure there are no external factors that could affect the property. The buyer would often also have a survey conducted on your property.
5. The buyers solicitors may raise some enquiries based on the paperwork received and the results of the survey and the searches. If the survey flags up anything major – for example, the need for significant roof repairs – you may have to negotiate over who will fix this or even renegotiate over the sale price. When your conveyancer refers the enquiries to you, make sure you respond promptly to help the speed of the transaction.
6. Your buyers solicitors will confirm once they are happy with everything being in place on their side and if we can confirm the same, we will start to discuss completion dates in readiness for an exchange of contracts.
7. EXCHANGE OF CONTRACTS. At this point in the transaction, the solicitors will confirm that they have identical contracts and carry out an exchange of contracts over the phone. The contract is now a legally binding contract for both parties and neither can withdraw without serious repercussion. The agreed completion date will be entered into the contract, usually, but not always 7-14 days after exchange.
8. COMPLETION DAY. On completion day, your buyer will send the balance of the purchase price to your conveyancer. They will send the legal documents that prove ownership to the buyer’s solicitors. You will move out of the property and hand your keys over to the Estate Agent for them to pass to the new owner, when the conveyancer tells them they can.