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Conveyancing Process

When selling your home, it is important to understand the conveyancing process in order to avoid any problems. As soon as you accept an offer on your property, the conveyancing process begins. You will normally need a solicitor or conveyancer to act on your behalf and conduct the process from start to finish.

As soon as you have chosen a solicitor or conveyancer you will be provided with paperwork outlining the terms offered by them as well as their fees and anything you are expected to pay upfront. You will be given detailed questionnaires to complete regarding your property and what you have agreed to be included in the sale. The details contained within the questionnaires will be used by your solicitor to draw up a contract which will be sent to the buyer or their solicitor for approval.

From this point, there may be negotiations regarding the contract, with things such as a final date of completion, the fixtures and fittings to be included in the final sale or how much extra is expected ot be paid for any fixtures and fittings otherwise agreed. Once the buyer has had a survey completed on your property, you may also need to negotiate repairs if anything major is flagged up.

At some point, you will need to request a redemption figure from your mortgage provider, which will explain how much you will need to pay them upon completion of the sale.

On the agreed date and time of exchanging contracts, your solicitor or conveyancer will usually undergo the exchange on both yours and the buyers behalf. They will ensure the contracts are identical before exchanging them in the post. Once the exchange of contracts is complete, you are legally obliged to sell your property, which also means that if the buyer pulls out or changes their mind, you are able to keep their deposit but in the same way if you pull out, the buyer could sue you.

Following the exchange, you will receive the deposit from the buyer. However you do not usually need to move out of the property until completion as you own the property still until this point. On the day of completion, you will hand over the keys; usually to the estate agent and leave any spare sets in the property. Both you and your solicitor will receive the outstanding balance as agreed. You would not usually hand over the keys until this has been confirmed by your bank or solicitor. You will also be expected to hand over all legal documents proving ownership of the property and your mortgage provider will be paid in full, leaving you with any surplus.

After completion of the sale, you will usually be invoiced by your solicitor or conveyancer with a breakdown of their fees, as well as any fees not already paid to the estate agent. If you are purchasing another property as well as selling your own, then your solicitor will usually carry out both sides of the process both as a buyer and a seller, taking the pressure off you.

by Cormac Henderson

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