A Guide To The Conveyancing Process For Sellers
The conveyancing process is when the ownership passes from the seller, you, to the buyer. The process gets underway when an offer is made and the process concludes when the keys are passed to the buyer. In order to minimise shocks during the conveyancing process, it is helpful for sellers to familiarise themselves with what happens.
The first level of work is undertaken before contracts are exchanged. When the offer has been made and accepted, a solicitor or conveyancer should be hired to undertake the conveyancing. You can speed up the process by pre-selecting a professional to carry out this work when required, but the instruction to start work only begins when a formal offer has been placed. Gatekeeper can recommend a solicitor for you and have access to a wide range of services.
The solicitor or conveyancer will provide you with questions and what you want to include as part of the sale, and these should be completed as correctly and as quickly as possible. Examples of the questionnaires include:
The TA6 – This is a general questionnaire, focusing on issues like complaints, disputes, boundaries, sewerage, utilities and proposed details. You should also provide full contact details with this questionnaire.
The TA10 – This details the fixtures and fittings you wish to keep as part of the property
The TA13 – This includes details on arrangements about handing keys over, details about liability claims, mortgages and how and where the deal will be concluded
Be warned that anyone who completes these answers in a less than honest or truthful manner may be sued at a later date. Alternatively, if the buying party finds out that the information is incorrect before the deal has been concluded, they may decide to pull out of the transaction.
The information contained in these questionnaires will be used by your solicitor/conveyancer to draw up the initial draft contract, which will be passed to the buying party for their approval.
With the draft contract in place and both parties having access to it, there are a number of things to be agreed, including:
The completion date which usually occurs between 7 and 28 days after exchanging contracts
What (if any) fixtures and fittings are included in the sale price
What (if any) other fixtures and fittings will be sold, and at what price
The buying party should also have arranged a survey for the property and if that highlights any issues, there may be a need for renegotiation on the price.
At this point, the selling party will be required to pay off their mortgage, and a redemption figure from the mortgage company should be requested. When the sale is completed, this will be the amount of money paid.
With an agreed date and time for the exchange of contracts, the legal parties should undertake this work, ensuring that the contracts are identical. The exchanging of contracts creates the legally binding contract that you will sell the property. If the buying party then fails to conclude the purchase, there is scope to retain their deposit and sue them. If you fail to conclude the sale, you may be sued and you are unable to accept an alternative offer.
After the exchange but before completion
Once the contracts have been exchanged, you will receive the deposit from the buyer. While you do not legally need to move out until the completion date, if you have the ability to do so, it is recommended to start the process. A check of the property should be carried out to ensure that what you have promised to leave in the property has been left in position.
When completion day rolls around, you should hand over the keys while your legal representative should receive what is left on the sale price balance. The legal representative will then pass over the legal ownership documents and any outstanding mortgage can be paid off at this point.
Once the transaction has been concluded, you should ensure that the estate agent and solicitor/conveyancer has been paid off, then it’s job done. Hopefully, this outline of events should show that the process is relatively straightforward although you may experience a few ups and downs along the way! Good luck!