A Guide To Selling Your Home
Selling your home can be a stressful time, however, Tollers are here to assist you through the stages of the conveyancing process in order that you proceed to exchange of contracts smoothly.
An average sale transaction takes 10 -12 weeks based on a standard freehold sale. If the property you are selling is leasehold the transaction will take longer due to the involvement of additional third parties, such as the Landlord and managing agents.
We have produced this guide to assist you in understanding the steps in a standard freehold sale transaction and what we will do at each stage for you and what you need to do at each stage.
Stage 1 – INSTRUCTING YOUR CONVEYANCYNG MANAGER
The first step is for you to instruct Tollers to deal with your transaction. You should instruct Tollers to act as soon as you place your property on the market in order that we can start work on your sale even before you have sold your property.
Such preparation includes:
- Tollers sending you an instruction pack.
- Opening your file and dealing with our identification formalities.
- Obtaining a copy of the title to your property.
- Obtaining a redemption figure from your existing mortgage lender.
Carrying out these steps before you have sold the property means that, once you have agreed a sale, Tollers are able to issue contracts to your buyer’s nominated Conveyancer without delay.
Stage 2 – BEFORE EXCHANGE OF CONTRACTS
Once you have agreed a sale on your property please inform your Conveyancing Manager at Tollers and we will confirm if we have received the sales details from your estate agent. If not, we can chase your estate agents as we are unable to issue a draft contract package to your Buyer’s Conveyancer until we have received the sales details from them. It confirms the sale price and which firm your Buyer has chosen to instruct to act for them.
Once the contract pack has been received by the Buyer’s Solicitor’s they should undertake their searches and review the draft contract pack and they will raise enquires with us.
The enquiries which may be raised could cover:
- Enquiries on the title to your property.
- Enquiries on the search results.
- Enquiries raised from the Buyer’s survey.
- Enquiries which the Buyer has raised.
We will review the enquiries and deal with the enquiries we are able to answer ourselves and we will forward to you any enquiries which require your involvement.
We require your replies in writing and once received, we will prepare the replies and send them over to the Buyer’s Solicitor.
The Buyer’s Solicitors will then review the replies to enquiries and forward a copy onto the Buyer and may raise further enquiries.
Sellers can find these steps frustrating but the Buyers and their Conveyancers are entitled to raise enquiries up to the point of exchange of contracts.
You can assist us when we are dealing with enquiries by answering the enquiries promptly and provide us with as much information as possible and any paperwork which you may hold in order that we can reply to the enquiries as comprehensively as possible. This may prevent further enquiries being raised.
We will then prepare the sale contract and this will be sent to you for signing. The contract also needs to be signed by any adult occupiers that live in the property but who are not legal owners.
The second document that requires your signature is the transfer. This is prepared by the Buyer’s Solicitors and we will approve it on your behalf. We will also send this to you for signing. Your signatures on the transfer need to be witnessed by someone that is independent and not related to you.
Both the signed contract and transfer need to be back with Tollers before we are in a position to exchange contracts.
Once the Buyer’s Solicitors are in receipt of satisfactory replies to enquiries, the search results, their client’s mortgage offer, source of deposit from the Buyer and they are holding signed papers from the Buyer, they will be in a position to exchange.
We are not always advised when the Buyer’s mortgage offer is in place. The estate agent will have more information regarding the position of the Buyer’s mortgage offer as they are contacted by the Surveyor to arrange access to the property to carry out the Buyer’s survey and/or valuation report. The agents will also have the contact details for the Buyer’s mortgage broker or financial adviser. We would therefore suggest that you keep in contact with the estate agent who will be able to keep you updated on how the Buyer’s mortgage offer is progressing.
Once the Buyer’s solicitor has received the mortgage offer they need to comply with the mortgage lenders requirements and any conditions of the mortgage offer and valuation report before they are in a position to proceed to exchange of contracts.
When the Buyer and everyone in the chain are in a position to exchange contracts, all of the parties in the chain need to agree a completion date. The completion date must be a working day.
Stage 3 – EXCHANGE OF CONTRACTS
Exchange of contracts is the process when the contract becomes legally binding and the completion date is set. Financial penalties will be incurred by the defaulting party if either party wishes to withdraw from the sale once contracts have been exchanged.
We will need to speak to you on the day of exchange to obtain your authority to exchange. This is a simple telephone call in which we confirm the price of the property and the completion date.
The conveyancers in the chain will then exchange contracts and you will be advised once exchange had taken place.
If you are also purchasing a property, the exchange of contracts on your sale and purchase would take place at the same time for the same completion date unless you have given us specific instructions and your sale and purchase are to exchange and/or complete on different dates. We would provide you with our advice on doing this before you exchange contracts.
Before contracts have been exchanged the sale is not legally binding and we would not advise you to commit yourself to securing rental accommodation or book removals or storage until the exchange had taken place.
Stage 4 – COMPLETION
Completion is the final part of the process when you vacate the property and the Buyer’s solicitors transmit the purchase monies over.
Once Tollers have received the sale proceeds we would redeem any mortgage that you have on the property, pay the estate agents, settle our bill and account to you with the balance of the sale proceeds.
We have no control over what time your sale completes on the completion date as it is subject to the Buyer’s solicitors transmitting funds to us and the banking system on the day.
On the completion date you need to vacate the property by midday and once we have received the Buyer’s completion money we will advise you and telephone the estate agents to release the keys to the property to the Buyers.
Completion takes place once Tollers has received the funds, not when the balance of the sale proceeds are received by you.
If you have specific queries regarding this Selling your Home Guide or any aspect of your home sale then Talk to Tollers.