Alexandra Davey looks at the processes in selling a property.

1. Advise your Estate Agent of the Solicitor you are instructing

Once you have provided your Estate Agent with details of the solicitor you are instructing in relation to your sale, they will send a copy of the sales memorandum to your solicitor enabling them to open their file and start the process.

2. Forms to be completed by you

Once your file has been opened your solicitor will write to you with various forms to complete in relation to the property you are selling. Once you have completed these they will need to be returned to your solicitor with any supporting documents you wish to enclose. The sooner these documents can be returned to your solicitor the better!

3. Obtaining Deeds

Upon receipt of your completed forms and any other paperwork relevant to your sale, if the property is registered at the Land Registry, your solicitor will need to request office copies from their website. If however, the property is unregistered; amongst the documents you have sent to your solicitor should be the original deeds. If you do not hold the original deeds we will request them from your mortgage lender.

4. Drafting the Contract

Once a buyer has been found and your solicitor has received the deeds and documents they will prepare the contract (the responsibility of preparing the contract usually falls to the seller’s solicitor). Once the contract has been prepared it will be sent to the buyer’s solicitor for their approval together with your completed forms and any deeds and documents.

5. Enquiries

The buyer’s solicitor will need to review all paperwork that they have received from your solicitor and raise any enquiries that they see necessary. Whilst your solicitor may be in a position to reply to some of the enquiries from the information available to them in their file, they may contact you in relation to some of the points that have been raised also.

6. Exchange of Contracts

Once a completion date has been agreed throughout the chain your solicitor will exchange contracts. This makes the sale of the property legally binding. Your buyer will be asked to provide a 10% deposit. In some cases a smaller deposit might be offered however, your solicitor will discuss this with you if the need arises. If the buyer withdraws from the purchase of the property after exchange they will forfeit their 10% deposit and you will be compensated.

7. Transfer Deed

Following exchange, you will be sent a transfer deed (TR1) which your buyer’s solicitor would have prepared. You will be asked to sign this document in the presence of an independent adult witness. The transfer deed transfers the property ownership from you to your buyer and will be sent to the Land Registry following completion to do this. The signed document will need to be returned to your solicitor ahead of completion. It is important that this document is returned to your solicitor ahead of completion because without this document completion cannot take place.

8. Mortgage Redemption Figure Request

Following exchange of contracts your solicitor will request a redemption statement from your lender. The statement will be calculated up to the completion date so that your mortgage can be redeemed upon completion of the sale. A copy of the statement should be sent to you prior to completion for your approval.

9. Completion statement

Your solicitor will prepare a completion statement prior to the day of completion setting out any outgoings and receipts during the transaction. This statement will detail any balance due to or from you after completion has taken place.

10. The Day of Completion

On the day of completion your buyer’s solicitor will transfer to your solicitor the completion balance. Once these monies have been received you will be informed and the keys will be released from your estate agent to your buyer. Your solicitor will then redeem any mortgage against the property, settle the estate agents commission account and send to you any balance that is due back to you in accordance with your instructions. If your sale is linked to a purchase your solicitor will utilise the net proceeds from sale towards the same.