Before you even put your home up for sale - Get an Energy Performance Certificate!
Following the suspension of Home Information Packs earlier this year, it is now a legal requirement for a seller to have commissioned an EPC before marketing for sale.
The EPC grades the energy efficiency of a property and can be useful to potential buyers.
For more information on EPC's, click here to check out our handy guide to Energy Performance Certificates.
Choose the right conveyancing provider
As we've said many times throughout this Spotlight on what is conveyancing series, choosing the right conveyancing lawyer for you is key. It's best to do this as early in the selling process as possible, because you never know when an offer might come in!
Many conveyancing providers operate on a "no move, no fee" basis, so even if your sale doesn't go ahead you won't lose out.
Starting the Conveyancing Process
Once you've instructed your conveyancing lawyer, they'll send you out a starter pack - a simple questionnaire that provides a conveyancing lawyer with some basic information about the property, including; details of any existing mortgage, some bank account details and your personal information.
It will also include a Sellers Property Information Form (SPIF) which asks basic questions about your home, such as any boundaries a buyer would be required to maintain, any neighbourly disputes or complaints and any alterations or extensions to the property, as well as other bits of information important to the conveyancing process.
Finally, there is a home contents form which lets your conveyancing lawyer (and subsequently your buyer) know what fixtures and fittings you may be leaving behind and what you'll be taking with you.
The sooner you fill out and send back your completed starter pack, the sooner your conveyancing lawyer can get started on the conveyancing process and the sooner you can get moving!
The conveyancing process is slightly more complex in a leasehold transaction and subsequently takes longer to complete. We'll be looking at leasehold conveyancing in future Spotlight on Conveyancing articles.
Once a sale is agreed
Once your conveyancing lawyer has received a copy of the sales memo from your estate agent, they'll obtain a copy of the title (which provides legal proof that you own the property you're looking to sell) and send over a draft contract to the buyers' conveyancing firm.
The buyers' conveyancer will then check through the draft contract and raise standard enquiries. Your conveyancing lawyer will answer their queries using information provided in the Property Information Form, although it might be necessary for them to contact you to discuss some of the issues.
Once all the enquiries have been resolved, your conveyancing lawyer will agree a completion date and exchange contracts with the buyer's conveyancer.
When contracts are exchanged, it all becomes legally binding and both the buyer and seller are legally obliged to complete on the date set - the completion date.
Now's the time to start thinking about packing up and sorting out a removal van for the big day. Packing up a home will always take longer than expected so allow yourself plenty of time.
On the completion date, the buyer's conveyancer will send your conveyancing lawyer the balance of the sale via telegraphic transfer. As soon as the funds reach your conveyancers account, the transaction is complete and you will need to hand over the keys and be out of the property.
For more information on the stages of selling a home, along with explanations of any conveyancing jargon, visit the 1st Property Lawyers website.
Chris C Fleming invites you to get a great value conveyancing service from 1st Property Lawyers. They offer high quality conveyancing, taking care of the legal side of moving in an innovative a proactive way - everything a traditional high street Solicitor would do for a move, but much more too.