Here’s a quick guide to what happens when you buy or sell a property.
Selling Your Home
The sellers and their solicitors must provide certain information to the purchasers and their solicitors at the outset of the transaction. Once an offer has been made, we will need to know where you store the deeds for your property. If you have a current mortgage on the property we will also need to know your mortgage provider and the account details of your current provider. This is important information and we will ask you for the details in our Sales Questionnaire.
When you return the completed forms, we will also need you to send any planning permissions, building regulations and by-law approvals as well as copies of any guarantees such as damp proof course, woodworm treatment, cavity wall insulation and window/door replacement, including any certification for the same.
Making sure that you provide all the necessary information at the start of the transaction assists us in providing the relevant documentation in the form of draft Contracts to the buyer’s solicitors. Once the buyer’s solicitors have received our draft Contracts, they will then be able to raise their necessary enquiries and carry out any additional searches over the property for their clients.
Buying a Home
Once you have made an offer and it has been accepted, your estate agents will provide us with a sale instruction, in the form of a Memorandum of Sale. We will then obtain a Contract pack from the seller’s solicitors.
There are a number of searches that we will then suggest you have carried out over the property. These searches ensure that the house you are to purchase is not affected by any public rights of way across parts of the land or that there is not any proposed industrial work that may affect the property in some way.
Once all of the information has been received from the seller’s solicitors we will write to you to report any findings and suggest courses of action for you to take.
Mortgages and Surveyors
We do not make enquiries as to the condition of the property but it is important that you do so. If you are obtaining a mortgage then your bank or building society will arrange to have a mortgage valuation. The valuation report will include a report on the condition of the property but we do recommend that if you are in any doubts that you have a survey carried out on the property.
The survey is a thorough examination of the structure of the property and can identify or rule out any potential problem areas you may have with the property.
If you require a mortgage over the property, we will require a copy of the mortgage offer. You will need to advise your bank or building society who the solicitors are that you are using. They will then send us a ‘Solicitors Pack’ version of your mortgage offer, including documentation for you to sign. We are unable to proceed towards a completion date without receiving your mortgage offer.
Exchange and Completion
There is a process that your Conveyancer has to follow in order to ensure that your sale and/or purchase runs are smooth as possible.
Once the Conveyancer is satisfied that all the enquiries have been answered in full, and that all the documentation is in place to complete your transaction they will discuss an ‘Exchange and Completion Date’ with you. The Completion Date is when you legally own the property and are able to collect/or hand over the keys and all funds have been transferred to the appropriate accounts. If there are monies due to you, either from the sale of your property or surplus funds from a mortgage for a purchase, these are released to you by electronic Transfer, unless you request these in cheque form. Usually keys are left with the estate agent or arrangements can be made between the seller and purchaser directly.
Once dates have been agreed, the solicitors acting for each party will arrange to Exchange Contracts on the properties. Exchange of Contracts is when each party becomes legally bound to carry on to completion. A final Completion Date will be entered into the Contract and this cannot be altered. When there is chain, solicitors will try and Exchange Contracts prior to Completion. If there is not a chain, i.e. one client is selling and the other purchasing, Simultaneous Exchange and Completion can take place. When there is a Simultaneous Exchange and Completion all transactions take place on the same day and all parties must have vacated their properties on or before the Completion Date.
If you have any questions about the process, please just give us a call – 0114 249 6926.