Selling Your Property
Before you market your property the agent should help you arrange an EPC. If you are selling privately you will still need one. We can point you in the right direction here if you need us to.
What to do after the offer has been acceptedOnce, the agent has confirmed the offer to you, they will ask for details of your solicitor. Some agents may try to persuade you to use their recommended conveyancer. Sometimes this is with the best of intentions and sometimes it is because the conveyancer pays them an introduction fee! Simply tell them that you would prefer to use your own solicitor. They should not be offended!
The agent will then arrange for a Memorandum of Sale to be sent to all parties. The memorandum of sale will give us details of what has been agreed in terms of the property, price etc and of the buyers or their solicitor. You will know when we have received those particulars as you will receive from us a letter confirming this and detailing any further information that we need from you.
If you have already contacted us we will have sent you a formal quotation letter and questionnaire forms to fill out. If not we will do so at this point.
One of the forms is for our purposes to try to make sure that we have all the relevant details and the others will go to your buyers via their solicitors. This is your time to tell your buyers anything that you feel that they ought to know. You must disclose anything that may be relevant. If your buyers find out about a problem after they have bought the property, that you ought to have disclosed then they might sue you! If in doubt, please speak to us and we will guide you through the completion of the forms.
Please give us as much detail as you have available at the moment but do not delay sending the forms back. Any missing information can be picked up later. If you would like us to communicate with you by email then please say so but you will need to make sure that you check your emails regularly.
It is very important that at this stage you supply us with details of all mortgages and loans, which you think, may be secured on your property. They will all have to be paid off when the property is sold. You need to be sure that you have enough money left from the sale proceeds to pay off all the loans in full (including any redemption penalty).
If you are not sure if you have a redemption penalty to pay, you need to check now. If there is a date before which the mortgage cannot be paid off without penalties please make sure that you let us know and remind us again before contracts are exchanged.
As soon as we have copies of your title deeds and the forms back from you we will send to the buyer’s solicitors: -
- A copy of the plan of the property. If you suspect that there are any problems with the boundaries you must please check the plan and let us know if it differs from the situation on the ground. Remember that the conveyancing process does not allow for us to personally inspect the property.
- A copy of the fixtures and fittings and property information forms that you have completed. If you have agreed to sell any additional items you have a choice as to whether you wish to let us know and we can add it to the contract or whether you wish to make a private arrangement with the buyer in which case we will not get involved.
- Copies of any guarantees that are with the paperwork. We cannot comment on the validity of the guarantees. They are only as good as the company who has issued them. Some guarantees are only valid if officially assigned to the new owner.
- The “covenants” that affect the property will be pointed out to the buyer. They are important and if you think that any of them may already have been breached you need to let us know. A typical example of a covenant is “not to make alterations to the property without the consent of somebody (usually a previous owner or builder). If you have made any alterations to the property (or indeed a previous owner has) you need to let us know so that we can talk over the implications with you.
The buyers’ solicitors will probably raise some extra questions, which we will need you help to answer. These will normally be sent to you in their entirety. Please do your best to answer them. We will help where necessary. You may find yourself becoming irritated by the number of questions. It is best to simply “put up with it”. Some buyers and solicitors can get “difficult” so we have a policy of being as helpful as we can as experience tells us that this is the best way to speed your transaction along!
At this point it is likely that you will be sent the contract that you will be asked to sign. You should check that the purchase price is correct and that we have your names spelt correctly before signing where indicated and returning it. Please do not put dates into the document.
During the course of the transaction you will also receive copies of any other correspondence. Sometimes this correspondence will come with a covering letter, and sometimes not. If it does not come with a letter from us this is because we think that it will be of interest to you and it does not necessarily require any comment.
As soon as all the buyer’s searches and enquiries have been completed they will be ready to exchange contracts, provided that they also have their mortgage offer and any related buyer is also ready.
Although you can suggest a completion date your buyer may not be able to accommodate that date. It is better to try to be flexible, particularly if there are a number of people in the chain who will all have different requirements. Any date at this stage is only a suggestion. Please do not book anything until you are told that contracts have been exchanged. We will contact you. Please do not take it as confirmed from anyone else until you have spoken to us.
Once contracts have been exchanged your completion date becomes fixed and you are legally obliged to complete your sale on that date. You must leave the property empty and the keys with the estate agent by 1.00pm on that day. All items (including rubbish) must be removed from the property.
On the date fixed for completion we will be receiving the balance of the amount due for the purchase of the property from the buyers’ solicitor. Prior to completion we will have sent you a statement showing the amount that is due to you.
We will pay the agents unless you tell us in advance that you do not wish us to do so. When we receive the buyer’s money we will telephone the agents to ask them to release the keys to the buyer. Please do not hand over any keys yourself until you have spoken to us and we have confirmed that completion has taken place
We are not immune from making mistakes, although we try not to. Please check your statement carefully and if you think that there is anything wrong please let us know right away.
We can pay the balance in to a bank or building society for you either, by cheque, or by CHAPS, which is a same day clearance but will cost you £30 plus vat. This is usually a better bet for money going in to an interest bearing account, as it will begin to earn interest immediately. We do not telegraph money to foreign accounts. Too often in the past money has “gone missing” in foreign systems or problems have been encountered with exchange rates and we do not wish to have to take responsibility for this.
Your mortgage/s will be discharged (usually by CHAPS) to prevent any further interest from having to be paid. There is a fee for which will be shown on your completion statement.
If you are intending sell a property that has tenants in it we need to know about this at the start of the transaction, as there is an alteration that we need to make to the contract.
If you are going to ask the tenants to leave so that you can sell the property vacant you need to make sure that the tenants have gone with all their possessions BEFORE you exchange contracts.
Lastly, please keep in mind that selling a property may make the provisions of your will inappropriate (for example if you have left that specific property to someone) so please do review you wills and if you need any help and advice please let us know.
We are working on this.