Firstly you accept the buyers offer, a Memorandum of Sale is sent out by your Estate Agent providing details of the buyers and sellers, their solicitors or conveyancers, and the price agreed.
Once we receive the Memorandum of Sale we will get the necessary forms sent to you, usually within a day or two. Once completed, the documents will be sent to the buyer’s solicitor or conveyancer. The buyer can then get a survey and proceed with their mortgage application.
The buyer’s solicitor or conveyancer will then complete the necessary checks and raise any questions they have to us and the buyer will pay for their searches.
Once all queries have been answered, survey completed and the searches returned the, the respective solicitors or conveyancers will take instructions on exchanging contracts.
At this stage there must be an agreed completion date, once you have the completion date then you should start to pack your belongings.
Usually the completion date is shortly after exchange; ensure this gives you enough time to pack your belongings as it needs to be done for completion. Sometimes exchange and completion takes place on the same day, if this is likely to happen your solicitor or conveyancer will discuss this with you in advance of exchange taking place.
Your legal fees are deducted from the sale price and the mortgage discharged on your behalf and the balance transferred either to you or to the seller of the property you are purchasing.
On completion day, you will remove your belongings and relocate your new home.
Some key terms explained:
When you have received an offer on your home and you make an offer on another property which is accepted, the seller of that property will probably go and put an offer in on their new property. This process is a ‘chain’. When does the chain ever end you may ask? The chain ends when someone is buying an empty property (vacant possession). Usually the longer the chain the longer the process takes.
This is the date when the transaction is finalised and the keys released. You move out of the property and the buyer moves in.
Legally binding agreement specifying details of the house sale
These are restrictions that are placed on a property that oblige the owner to do certain things such as maintaining areas or prevent you from using the property as a business.
Basically additional costs, such as a bank transfer fee or land registry fees.
This is the difference between the property value and the outstanding amount owed on any mortgages.
During the process, your solicitor or conveyancer will draft the contract and send to the buyer’s solicitor or conveyancer. Once the buyer has provided the deposit and has agreed a completion date, the respective solicitors or conveyancers will contact each other and carry out an ‘exchange of contracts’. At this point the transaction is legally binding.
Owning the freehold means that you own the building and its land
Indemnity insurance is obtained in order to offer protection to a buyer where there is a defect in the title which cannot be resolved. Unlike a “normal” insurance policy, the premium for a legal indemnity insurance policy is paid only once. The indemnity insurance does not fix the defect, but does offer financial compensation should a claim be brought in the future.
This means that you have a lease from the freeholder to live in the property for a certain length of time. You usually will pay maintenance fees, service charges and ground rent to the freeholder.
Property Information Form and Fixtures and Fittings Form
We will send you out a ‘Property Information Form’ and Fixtures and Fittings Form at the outset of the “transaction” which you must complete. The forms are basically a series of questions such as who owns the boundary, what guarantees are included, who the gas supplier is, what light fittings you are leaving etc. Fixtures are items which are attached to and form part of the property and are therefore included as part of the contract. The buyer will expect these to be included in the contract unless the seller expressly states to the contract e.g. fitted wardrobes. Fittings do not form part of the property and must be specified. You may opt to ask the buyer to purchase these items from you. It is very important to get the fixture and fittings list accurately completed in order to avoid future disputes.