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The conveyancing process & instructing a solicitor

Many people find the legal side of a sale confusing, but for no good reason. It really is as simple as putting your solicitor in touch with the buyers solicitor, and then it is their hands to advance the sale of your property.

However, our team will be on hand to help progress the sale and oversee the transaction once a sale has been agreed. Below is a simple guide to dealing with the conveyancing process.

Choosing a solicitor

“No move, no fee” can save you a fortune if your deal falls through and should definitely be something that you ask for. When asking for a quote you need to ask for a full breakdown of costs so that you can see the best deal.

You should ask if the following are included in a sale : telegraphic transfer fee, indemnity insurance, supplement for dealing with your existing mortgage, all postage and faxing, other extras.

You should ask if the following are included in a purchase : telegraphic transfer fee, indemnity insurance, supplement for dealing with your mortgage lender, SDLT form, all postage and faxing, all searches, other extras, Land Registry fee and Stamp Duty.

Solicitors are notorious for “hiding” extra fees so its vitally important that you check all of the above with them. The best conveyancing comparison site that we have found is The Property Law Group. All of their solicitors include the above in their quoted fees and its well worth having a look at the site

Finalising the sale

Once you have accepted an offer on your property, you will be required to put your instructed solicitor in touch with your buyers solicitor.

Your solicitor will prepare a draft contract and send this to the buyer’s solicitor. The buyer’s solicitor will then raise enquiries (ie ask questions about) the property. Your solicitor will be able to answer most of these from the information you would have already sent in but they may come back to you for clarification on some points.

When all of the enquiries have been answered and your solicitor is satisfied that the sale can proceed, they will ask you to sign a contract. You can either do this in their office or remotely in front of a witness. At this point, you will also be able to request the actual day that you want to move, to be agreed with the buyer. Once your solicitor has received this from you and after a final call to you to make sure you are happy to proceed, your solicitor can then “exchange contracts” (this takes place over the telephone with the buyer’s solicitor) with an agreed completion date. The sale is then legal and binding to both buyer and seller.

On the day of “completion” (the day you actually move - often 2 weeks or so after exchange) the buyer’s solicitor will send all of the money to your solicitor. All fees will be taken out at this point and you will be sent the balance. If you are buying also, this money will be passed up the chain.

With thanks to The Property Law Group: thepropertylawgroup.co.uk

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