When it comes to selling a house, it’s likely that you will need a conveyancer to act on your behalf to complete the legal work, once an offer has been made. It’s worthwhile instructing a conveyancer as early on in the process as possible, so that everything can be prepared for when a buyer is found.
Here we detail the selling process step by step, to help you to understand what your conveyancer will do and what they will need from you, so you can be ready for when a sale is agreed.
First step of selling a house: ID check
Once you have instructed a conveyancer to act for your house sale, they will complete an ID check. You will have to provide your primary ID, such as a passport or driving licence as well as proof of residence in the form of a bank statement or utility bill.
They will get further details from you about the sale, such as, any known costs for paying back your mortgage early and any leasehold details. At this stage they will also let you know what forms you will need to complete.
Step 2: Calculating outstanding monies
If you have a mortgage (or other loan) secured on the house you are selling, your conveyancer will request a redemption figure from your lender to find out how much is outstanding, this figure will then be paid out of your sale proceeds on completion.
If the property you are selling is a leasehold, they will contact your landlord / management company to find out more details about how the lease works and whether there are any works due to be done or payments outstanding etc.
Step 3: Requesting Title Of Deeds
Your conveyancer will then need to obtain a copy of the title and send a draft contract to the buyer’s conveyancer.
If you bought or remortgaged the house you are selling, in the last 25 years, it’s likely that the property is registered at the Land Registry, showing you as owner, they should also have a plan of the property and any additional documents they hold for the property.
If no transactions have taken place in the last 25 years, then the property could be unregistered and you should have the title deeds to the property. You may hold these or your lender may have them if you still have a mortgage, either way your conveyancer will need these to sell the property.
Step 4: Completing questionnaires for the house you are selling
Before you exchange contracts, you’ll need to complete or supply detailed questionnaires to your buyers about the property and what you intend to include with the sale. This can include a Property Information form which includes some specific details about the property, its boundaries, any alterations to the property etc. and a Fixtures, Fittings and Contents form to say what you will be taking and leaving behind.
These will then all be sent to the buyer’s conveyancers, along with any additional documents you have provided. Your buyers may then instruct searches and arrange for a survey to be carried out on the property.
Step 5: Exchange of contracts
When all the details are sorted, we will agree a completion date with your buyer and exchange contracts. Before you exchange contracts, you will need carefully read the contract, sign it and return it to your conveyancer. You will also have to sign the transfer document, which is a legal document that both seller and buyer need to sign or transfer the ownership of the property. This must be signed in the presence of an independent witness over the age of 18 years and the original should be sent back to your conveyancer.
Step 6: Completing your house sale
Both seller and buyer are legally obliged to complete on the date stated when you exchanged contracts.
On the day of completion, the buyer’s conveyancers will transfer the money to purchase your property to your conveyancer by telegraphic transfer. As soon as this has been received, your conveyancer will then use this to pay off any outstanding balances such as, the existing mortgage on the property, the estate agents’ invoice or leasehold charges and then transfer legal ownership.
Time to move out!
The final step of selling a house: Post completion
Your conveyancer will then send the signed transfer to the buyer’s solicitors so that they can register the transfer of ownership with the Land Registry.
You must remember to keep paying the mortgage and home insurance until after completion.
You may also want to set up a temporary postal redirection service, so your mail gets delivered to your new address.
We will then account for your conveyancer, estate agent or mortgage costs and pay any balance to you by bank transfer.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, use our online conveyancing quote calculator to get a personalised conveyancing cost in minutes.