Conveyancing Process For Selling A House
Written by Martha Lott
23rd Sep 2020 (Last updated on 5th Oct 2020) 7 minute read
Conveyancing is a vital process when selling a house. The process is slightly different if you’re selling as you don’t need property searches, making conveyancing for selling a house a cheaper process.
Compare My Move work with a range of property experts to bring you up to date conveyancing advice. This guide will give an in-depth look at the conveyancing process for selling a property, ensuring you’re fully prepared for the conveyancing process.
Before The Conveyancing Process Begins
There are a few things you should do before the conveyancing process begins so you have everything you need in place.
1. Talk To Your Mortgage Lender
If you’re selling a house and buying at the same time, you will have a few options with your mortgage. The first thing you’ll need to do is find out how much outstanding mortgage you have left with your mortgage lender.
Then you can either port your mortgage, which means taking the same mortgage deal with the same provider over to your new house, or you can remortgage by looking at better deals.
Ideally, you will do this before accepting any offer or even before you list your house for sale. Things move pretty quickly once you’ve accepted an offer so make sure you have everything in place.
2. Research Conveyancers
Once you’ve spoken to your mortgage lender, you will need to find a conveyancer. You should do this once your house has been put on the market, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a look around before this.
You’ll want to compare conveyancers so you get the best deal for selling your house. Make sure you only use SRA, CLC, LSS, LSNI or CILEx regulated conveyancers to give you peace of mind throughout the process.
3. Let Conveyancer Know You’ll Be Needing Them
Once you’ve had a few viewings and buyers have shown themselves to be serious with a Mortgage Agreement in Principle (AIP) or have made an offer, you will need to let your conveyancer know that you will be needing them soon. This gives them time to prepare for your case and get things ready.
Have copies of bank statements, IDs and other important documents ready for either your estate agent or the conveyancer.
After You Accept An Offer And Agree On Sale Price
Once you accept an offer on the house, the conveyancing process begins.
1. Instruct Conveyancer
Once you’ve accepted an offer you’re happy with and agreed on a sale price, you will first need to let your conveyancer know so you can instruct them to begin the case. They will need to know information such as your full name, address of property to be sold and how much the agreed sale price is. They will also need to know your mortgage details so put them in touch with your lender.
2. Complete Questionnaires
Once instructed, your conveyancer will send you all the necessary paperwork to complete. You'll have to complete the paperwork and legal documents before they can start the process. You’ll then need to complete a number of detailed questionnaires about the property and what you intend to include with the sale.
The sale agreement questionnaires will require you to answer questions on property information such as complaints raised with neighbours, known proposed developments and what you plan on leaving in the house. You must fill these forms out truthfully and to the best of your knowledge as if later it’s revealed that you have not been fully truthful you could be sued for compensation. Typical questions include:
- The (TA 6): A questionnaire that asks about any disputes with neighbours, information on boundaries, known proposed developments (like motorways or railways), building works, council tax, utilities, sewerage, contact details.
- The (TA 7) and (TA9): if you don’t own the freehold of the property, then you must give details on the leasehold (TA7) or the commonhold (TA9)
- The (TA 10): This is the fittings and fixtures from where you’ll highlight what you are keeping in the property and what you’re taking with you.
- The (TA 13): This will include final details such as how you will hand over the keys and where to complete.
3. Draft Contract
With the information you provided in your questionnaire, your conveyancer will prepare the draft contract and send over to the buyer’s conveyancer to explain to the buyer. The paperwork will include the contract, Land Registry documents and property information forms that you completed such as the fittings and fixtures forms.
The buyer’s conveyancer will review the draft contract paperwork and will then submit a set of Pre-Contract Enquiries to your conveyancer to answer. Your conveyancer will usually need your help to answer some of the enquiries. They will then attempt to satisfy the enquiries and go forward with the process once all parties are happy.
Your conveyancer will liaise with the buyer’s conveyancer to agree the following:
- Date of completion
- The fixtures and fittings included in the sale
- If the buyer would like to pay for other fixtures and fittings to be included
4. Prepare Property For Survey
At this point, the buyer will be needing a property survey. The survey might flag some repair work or hidden damage that the buyer might use to renegotiate the original offer accepted, so be prepared to negotiate again.
To make things easier for the surveyor, prepare your property for the survey. Have a general tidy up of your property and make sure you’re not blocking entrances to anything such as the loft or cupboards.
5. Answer Pre Contract Enquiries
You will need to answer the buyer’s pre-contract enquiries that they set out to their conveyancer. As exchanging contracts is approaching, the buyer might have further questions as the sale becomes legally binding after exchanging.
Their conveyancer will put these questions to your conveyancer but they might require your help for some questions. Make sure you answer these questions as thoroughly and truthfully as possible. You don’t want to give false information only for the buyer to find out after they have exchanged contracts
6. Finalise Contract And Agree on Completion Date
Once all pre-contract enquiries and further concerns are answered and the buyer is happy with the information your conveyancer has provided, your conveyancer will send them the contract to read and sign once happy.
You will need to agree on a completion date that suits all parties involved. Don’t choose a completion date that’s too soon if you are still waiting to buy your house, be realistic. You will need time to plan a removal company too.
7. Exchanging Contracts
The process of exchanging contracts is done over the phone, with each conveyancer agreeing to send to the other their client's signed contract. Once the exchange of contracts is achieved, the transaction becomes legally binding. The seller is bound to sell, and the buyer is bound to buy the property for the sale price on the completion date agreed in the contract.
Be aware that the sale of your property is now legally binding, so you can’t pull out or accept other offers without getting sued by the buyer.
Between exchange and completion the buyer can pull out, but you might be able to keep their deposit if this does happen.
8. Completion Day
Completion day will be the final step in the conveyancing solicitor process for selling a house. On completion day, you must vacate your property so the buyer can move in. legal ownership will be transferred from you to the buyer and your mortgage will be paid off.
The buyer’s conveyancer will transfer the funds from the sale to your conveyancer and once the payment is received then completion will have taken place. Your conveyancer will send the deeds to the buyers’ conveyancer and will pay for services used such as the estate agent, outstanding balance to your mortgage lender and the cost of the conveyancing fees. You will need to move out of the property and the buyer can collect the keys and move in.
After Completion Day
There are a few things to remember to do on and after completion day:
- Remember to redirect your mail and change any subscriptions to your new address
- Remember to let your utility company know you’re moving out so you won’t be charged for anything going forward
- Remember to pack up your belongings before completion day, you don’t want to hold up the whole chain.
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