Selling a house


We understand that selling your home can be an overwhelming process. We’ve answered some commonly asked questions to help simplify things.




Q: What is Conveyancing?

A: The process of conveyancing is to transfer the ownership of land from one person to another.

Q: Why do I need a solicitor to sell my property?

A: Your Solicitor will make sure that the legal paperwork is dealt with properly. They will also deal with the requirements of your mortgage Lender and will liaise with your estate agents to ensure that everyone works together to complete your sale as quickly as possible.


Q: What happens when I’ve accepted an offer on my house?

A: As soon as you’ve accepted the buyer’s offer, you should contact your Solicitor so they can start the legal work on your behalf.

Your Solicitor will send you a business letter for you to sign and return and ask you for evidence of your identity prior to commencing the work.

Once you have signed the business letter, they will ask you to complete some forms. These forms will contain questions which will be within your knowledge about the property, such as boundaries and alterations to the property.

They will also ask you to complete an initial information form, providing us with details about you and the other people in the chain.

Your Solicitor will ask you for a small amount of money on account to cover the costs to third parties.

If your property is subject to a mortgage, your Solicitor will obtain the title deeds directly from your mortgage Lender. You will need to provide them with their name and address and your mortgage account number. If there is no mortgage, they will ask you for the deeds.

Your Solicitor will then write to your Lender to request a preliminary redemption statement. A new figure will need to be obtained once the completion date is known, which will not be for several weeks, however obtaining a figure at this stage will avoid any surprises following an exchange of contracts.


Q: What does the contract package include?

A: The sale contract package will include:

Once the buyer’s Solicitor has received the contract package, they will usually wish to raise pre-contract enquiries. Some of the enquiries raised will be for us to deal with, while others we will send to you to answer.


Q: What documents do I need to sign?

A: The buyer’s Solicitor will usually send the draft transfer deed to your Solicitor with the pre-contract enquiries. Once they have checked this is acceptable, they will then arrange for you to sign the contract and transfer deed either by post or in a meeting, whichever is the most convenient for you.


Q: What is the deposit?

A: The deposit is for your benefit. Its purpose is to compensate you in the event that your buyer fails to complete the transaction. If the buyer fails to complete after notice has been given to them, you will be entitled to keep the deposit and re-sell the property.

Your Solicitor will discuss potential completion dates with you and the buyer’s Solicitor, to reach an agreement between all parties on the date that should be set for completion.  This date is still not legally binding until exchange of contracts.

Traditionally a buyer will pay the seller a 10% deposit, although it is common for buyers to offer smaller deposit. If this is the case your Solicitor will need your instructions as to whether you are willing to accept a different amount.  


Q: What does ‘Exchange Contracts’ mean?

A: Exchange is the point at which the contract becomes legally binding on all parties. It is likely your Solicitor will be ready to exchange before the buyer’s Solicitor, as the buyer’s Solicitor has some additional work to do and will also have to wait for the buyer’s mortgage offer.

Once the pre-contract enquiries have been dealt with, you have signed the contract and the provisional redemption figures have been obtained for all mortgages secured on the property, both yours and the buyer’s Solicitors should be ready to exchange contracts.

Immediately following exchange, an up to date redemption statement will be applied for, once received, a completion statement will be prepared for you which will show all the incomings and outgoings for the sale. This will allow you to see a breakdown of how the balance has been calculated and give you a chance to query any figures, for example, if you believe the mortgage redemption figure to be wrong.


Q: What does ‘completion’ mean when selling a property?

A: On the day of completion, the buyer’s Solicitor will transfer the purchase money by telegraphic transfer to your Solicitor’s account. The latest time for completion of the sale will be fixed in the contract, but effectively completion takes place when the sale money is received by them.

On receipt of the money, your Solicitor will telephone you to let you know the sale has completed. They will then telephone the estate agents to authorise them to release the keys to the buyer.

Your Solicitor will then ensure that the mortgage is repaid, and any balance is paid to you, either by electronic transfer or cheque.


Q: What happens after I’ve completed?

A: Barring any problems, your Solicitor will ensure the mortgage discharge documents are obtained from the Lender and forward these to the buyer’s Solicitor with the deeds. Once this is done your Solicitor will normally close their file.

Please note that this is a basic guide, for more information please get in touch.


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