Selling a property can be a long and complex process, but there are certain steps you can follow to make it as smooth as possible.
1. Contact us as soon as you place your house on the market. We can obtain the deeds in advance to avoid any delay once a buyer is found. Please check your paperwork and supply us with any documents or correspondence relating to the property, such as planning documents or guarantees.
2. We will need the name, address and mortgage account number for all loans registered against the property.
3. We will send you forms asking for information on any matters arising during your ownership that will be of particular interest to your buyer. In addition, we will send you a Fittings and Contents form for you to identify those items that you intend to leave or remove from the property. Generally, any item fixed to the property is included in the sale unless you specify to the contrary.
Once a buyer is found
4. The estate agents will issue the agreed details of all parties (Memorandum of Sale), containing the agreed price and any timescales or contents that have been agreed as a condition of sale, to both you and the buyer, as well as to your respective solicitors.
5. We will then draft the contract and send it to the buyer’s solicitors for approval, together with copies of your deeds and the completed forms.
6. The buyer’s solicitors will approve the contract and raise any enquiries they have on the documentation. The contract will be sent to you for signing together with any enquiries that we are unable to answer.
Exchange of contracts
7. Until exchange of contracts, there is no binding agreement between you and the buyer. If one of you decides to withdraw then you are able to do so. Once exchange of contracts has taken place, both you and the buyer are committed to complete the transaction on the date agreed.
8. The buyer will pay a deposit on exchange (between 5% and 10%), which is usually held by us as independent agents until completion. It may be used for your own purchase if you are buying simultaneously.
9. You will now need to book your removal firm.
10. We will send you a transfer deed for signing, and also a financial statement setting out the income and expenditure for the transaction. This statement includes details of the balance leftover after paying off the mortgage, whether this balance is going straight to you or being used to purchase another property, and specifies our fees.
11 On the day of completion, you should read the meters for gas and electricity, and telephone the readings through to the relevant companies. You also need to ensure that you have cancelled your buildings insurance, and notified the local council (council tax) and water companies, who will arrange for any refunds as necessary.
12. We will receive the money from the buyer’s solicitors and make the payments shown on the statement. Completion usually happens around 1.00pm, but it is dependent upon the lenders and the number of parties in the chain. After completion, you are no longer the legal owner of the property.
13. Once you are ready to leave, you need to drop your keys off at the estate agents.