- Offer accepted
Once you have accepted an offer, the buyer may ask you to take the property off the market. This is completely your choice but it is a good idea to write to your estate agent confirming whether you accept the offer and the conditions thereof.
- Instruct your solicitor
Choosing an efficient solicitor is crucial and can make all the difference to the speed and efficiency of the transaction. We can make recommendations if required. You will be asked to provide ID to your solicitor for anti-money laundering checks along with evidence of title to check whether there are any third parties involved and any rights or restrictions. You will also need to complete the fixtures and fittings form and provide any planning permissions or building regulations for your solicitor. These will be added to the draft contract, draft transfer and replies to Requisition on Title to form the contract pack which is sent to the buyer’s solicitor. Your solicitor will apply for the title deeds and a redemption figure from your mortgage provider (if applicable) and you will receive the contract and transfer in readiness for exchange. If you need further help here, see our legal services page.
- Additional enquiries
Answer any additional queries raised by the buyer’s solicitor who in turn will confirm that all outstanding enquiries have been satisfied. Send back the signed contract and transfer to your solicitor. Your solicitor will then send the signed transfer deed to the buyer’s solicitor.
- Exchange of contracts
This forms a legally binding commitment to both parties and takes place once all enquiries have been agreed. At this point it is not possible to change the agreement or withdraw from the transaction without incurring a financial penalty. The deposit, which is usually 10% of the purchase price, will be transferred from the buyer’s solicitor to your solicitor who will retain it for you until completion. The completion date is set and forms part of the contract. Contracts typically exchange between 5 and 28 days before completion. However, on some occasions, especially where cash buyers are involved, exchange and completion can sometimes occur on the same day. Check your completion statement and authorise your solicitor to make any settlement payments.
The residual amount of money will be transferred to your solicitor’s account and once all of the funds have cleared your solicitor will inform your estate agent that they can release the keys to the buyer. Your solicitor will also pay the estate agent’s fees along with any outstanding balance on your old mortgage (if applicable) before paying the remaining amount to you.