hand signing a contract such as an estate agent contract

Conveyancing: A simple guide to what happens when you sell your property

When you come to buy or sell a property, you will need a solicitor or conveyancer.  They will complete the conveyancing process on your behalf.  But what do they actually do?  What does conveyancing actually mean?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring home ownership from one person or company to another.

In conveyancing, the property is legally transferred from the buyer to the seller, or vice versa.  In this guide we will look at the key steps involved. The process is similar if you are buying or selling.  In this article we we will focus on the process of selling your property.

  1. Once you have accepted an offer on your property you will need to find a solicitor or conveyancer to complete the legal process on your behalf.  It helps speed up the process if you have already decided which one you will use.  You can do this as soon as you put your house on the market, then formally instruct them to start work once you have accepted an offer.
  2. You must complete a number of detailed questionnaires about your property.  They are standard forms which will be provided to you by your solicitor/conveyancer.  The forms include information on boundaries, utility providers, fixtures and fittings to be included etc.  It is really important you complete them as truthfully as possible and take the time to do so.
  3. Your solicitor or conveyancer then writes up a draft contract and sends this to the buyers for approval.  At this point there may be some further negotiation between you and your buyers about date of exchange and completion.  You may also need to negotiate any payments for fixtures included, and any issues arising from their survey or home buyers report.
  4. Once you and your buyer have agreed on all the details and a date and time to exchange contracts, your solicitor or conveyancer will exchange contracts on your behalf.  This is usually done by both solicitors/conveyancers making sure the contracts are identical.  They then immediately send them to one another in the post.  Remember, once you have exchanged contracts you are now in a legally binding contract to sell the property.  You can no longer change your mind or renegotiate, without risk of being sued.
  5. After exchange of contracts you should receive the buyer’s deposit – usually 10% of the property price.  However if you are purchasing another property at the same time, your solicitor may hold this on account for you. They will use it to pay the deposit on the property you are purchasing.
  6. Completion day arrives!  Once you have packed up and done a final clean it is time to hand over the keys.  Usually your buyer collects a set of keys from the estate agent.  You leave any spare sets and other keys in the property.  Your solicitor or conveyancer will receive the outstanding balance of sale price.  Any outstanding mortgage on the property can then be paid off from the proceeds of the sale.  Your solicitor hands over the legal documents that prove that ownership has now been transferred and the process is complete.

You can find out more about what to expect from the conveyancing process  from websites such as The Money Advice Service or The Home Owners Alliance.  They also have tools to help you find a solicitor or conveyancer.  Your estate agent may also recommend people they work with regularly.

At Check 4 Houses we are passionate about supporting people through the sometimes stressful and emotional challenge of selling their property.  We offer personal contact from start to finish, from local property experts that know the towns and cities of FleetFarnboroughAldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateley and Farnham inside out.  Our internet based approach means we can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees.  Please give us a call for a no obligation valuation of your home on 01252 819725 or email info@check4houses.co.uk.