Deciding to sell your home can be a very stressful time.
The first thing to consider is whether it is a buyer’s market or a seller’s market. If properties are selling quickly, you will need to find somewhere to either buy or move to straightaway.
Are you using an estate agent?
The majority of people put their property on the market with an estate agent but of course, you do not have to.
It is important to consider not only the reputation and strength of the estate agent in the local market but also what their charges and the terms of the contract you will be required to sign.
You will need to consider whether or not this ties you into an extended period and to ensure that they are operating a ‘no sale, no fee’ arrangement so that you do not have to pay any fees if they are unable to sell your house. Find out from them if the cost of advertising your property is included in the price or is there an additional sum to pay.
Make sure that the estate agent does not tie you into using their own solicitors. They are probably being paid to pass the work to their preferred supplier. This will increase the cost of doing your legal work. You should be advised by both the estate agent and the lawyer if a referral fee is being paid.
Instructing a conveyancing solicitor
Make sure that your conveyancing solicitor gives you a full and detailed quote with no hidden charges. Make sure you shop around and compare the quotes based on the exact comparison of services and whether the conveyancing solicitor will charge you if the sale falls through.
Be cautious about cheap conveyancing quotes. We speak to people on a daily basis who went for a cheap conveyancing quote but found there were hidden charges for services.
Provide the conveyancing solicitor with information
Once you have instructed Flint Bishop as your conveyancing solicitor, we will prepare a contract. To enable this, you will need to provide us with:
- The title deeds for the property
- Information from the Land Registry
- Full details of your existing mortgage
- A fittings and contents form completed by you
- Copies of any planning permission relating to any works undertaken
- A seller’s property information form completed by you
When the contract papers have been sent to the buyer’s solicitors, they may need to carry out further searches on the property, which, depending on the search involved, may take approximately 1-2 weeks to obtain. However, many of these searches are now online and are therefore obtained much quicker.
The buyer’s solicitor may also ask various questions relating to the property after they have received the above paperwork and the search results. These questions will be answered by us on your behalf after we have discussed these fully with you.
Sign the contract
The buyer will also be ensuring that finance is available to buy the property and also instruct a surveyor to carry out an inspection of your property on their behalf.
Subject to everything being in order, your conveyancing solicitor will ask you to sign a contract and when the buyer has signed an identical contract, these will be exchanged. This is the formal commitment for you to sell and the buyer to buy the property on the terms agreed. At this stage, your completion date will be agreed: this is the date that you must leave the property.
Completion will only formally take place when the sale proceeds have been received by your conveyancing solicitors on the completion day. At this point, what was your property now belongs to the buyer, the title deeds to the property will be passed over and any mortgage and fees due will be repaid out of the monies received. The money left, known as the balance or equity, will be sent to you unless this is being used to buy another property.