Conveyancing - A Seller's Guide
The average property stays on the market for between 90 and 100 days, so once you have found a buyer it is important to keep the conveyancing process moving fast to stop everything falling through. Sadly 1 in 3 house sales will never complete!
The following conveyancing guide will help you understand the conveyancing process from a seller’s point of view and help make your sale successful.
Are you aware there are lots you could prepare before an offer is even agreed?
To create the sale contract your conveyancing solicitor will need to know some facts about your property. When you first instruct your lawyer will send you various documents, which you need to complete and send back to them. With In-Deed this will include the following: a sale questionnaire, property information form (TA6) and Fittings and Contents Form (TA10). You will also need to send your lawyer the EPC and your certified Identification.
One way of keeping the conveyancing process moving fast is to complete these formalities before you receive or accept an offer. By doing this you could easily shave a couple of weeks off of your conveyancing as your lawyer will everything they need to create the sale contract. Do not worry if any of your answers change, once a buyer is found your lawyer can either update the documentation on your behalf or resend it so you can alter it yourself.
It is important to understand that until your buyer’s conveyancing solicitor receives the sale contract there is very little progress your buyer can make. Without the sale contract their lawyer is unlikely to submit searches and they can’t send you enquiries. If you complete this documentation in advance your lawyer will be able to send them the sale contract shortly after receiving the memorandum of sale from the estate agent, maybe even on the same day.
At In-Deed we offer this service free of charge. Many of our clients choose to instruct us before they find a buyer in order to complete this documentation in advance. They also have their conveyancing lawyer on hand to help answer any legal questions they may have before an offer is accepted.
Get an instant online conveyancing quote to find out how much your conveyancing will cost with In-Deed.
Once the sale contract has been sent to the buyer’s lawyer they will review it and then send enquiries back to your conveyancing lawyer. Your lawyer will answer any questions they can, but others will require a response from you. Some answers will only require a short sentence, but other enquiries will not be as simple. For example, it is not uncommon for the buyer and their lawyer to request documentation relating to work you may have carried out on the property, such as for extensions, new windows, moving internal walls or for boiler/electric inspections.
Hint:- To keep the conveyancing process moving fast it might be worthwhile finding household documents before you receive the enquiries. This way you can be prepared once they are received.
Once you receive the enquires answer as many as quickly as you can and return your responses to your conveyancing lawyer so they can forward these to your buyer’s solicitor. Any enquiries you cannot quickly answer explain why and the steps you have taken to acquire the answer. For example, you may need to explain that a document has been applied for from the council and will be forwarded as soon as it is received.
Doing this prevents any unnecessary hold ups and allows your buyer and their conveyancing solicitor to submit further enquiries if necessary. It also keeps the buyer interested as they can clearly see the progress being made.
Before exchange of contracts your conveyancing lawyer will send you the contract and transfer deed to sign. You will need to sign and post these back to your conveyancing lawyer. In order to avoid delays it is recommendable to return these as early as possible. Even if it is a couple of weeks before exchange is due to take place.
Once the contract has been signed and enquiries answered there is little further you can do as the seller. In order to move towards exchange of contracts your buyer’s conveyancing lawyer will need to receive: all searches, deposit funds, the signed contract and the signed mortgage deed (if applicable) and they will not exchange beforehand.
On the day of exchange your conveyancing lawyer will contact you to confirm you are happy for exchange of contracts to take place. They need your confirmation as once exchange happens there is no backing out. A formal completion date is also set at exchange of contracts.
On the day of completion your conveyancing lawyer will wait until they receive funds into their client account. This usually happens around lunchtime. Your lawyer will not confirm that keys can be released until this has happened. Once funds have been received they will pay off any mortgages and send the remaining money to you. You can choose to receive this on the same day by a telegraphic transfer (usually for a small additional charge) or a few days later by a standard transfer.
Conveyancing on a leasehold sale is slightly more complicated than a normal freehold sale.
In order to put together the sale contract your conveyancing lawyer will need to receive a “leasehold pack” or “information pack” from the freeholder (usually a management company or landlord). The freeholder usually charges a fee for providing this information and the cost can vary greatly! It is important to be aware that waiting for this pack can hold a conveyancing transaction up as the freeholder can take some time to put this together. If you need a fast completion you might want to consider paying for this pack before you accept an offer so your conveyancing lawyer has all the information they need in order to put together the sale contract once an offer is accepted.
It is also important to be aware that the buyer and their conveyancing solicitor may ask some enquiries, which need to be answered by the freeholder. If this is the case these need to be provided to the freeholder as quickly as possible, as once again, it can take some time for the freeholder to reply and could potentially delay completion.
In-Deed provides a national conveyancing service for people buying or selling residential property in England or Wales. We provide all our clients with a dedicated conveyancing lawyer and a secure online system so they can manage their conveyancing easily from start to finish. All our conveyancing quotes are no completion, no fee and there are no hidden extras so you can budget fully from the start of your transaction.
If you are interested in using In-Deed for your conveyancing contact us on 0330 100 2322 or get an instant online conveyancing quote here.