Guide to Selling
Appoint a Solicitor
If you have not hired a solicitor before you sell your property you should appoint one right away. You need a solicitor to deal with the legal aspects of buying and selling property. Personal recommendation is a good way to choose a solicitor otherwise we can arrange a couple of quotes for the work from local firms who we work with on a regular basis.
If you are not in the lucky position to be purchasing your property with cash, you will need to arrange a mortgage. It is a good idea to speak to a Mortgage Advisor before your begin you house search as they should be able to advise you on how much you can borrow enabling you to begin your property search. Once your offer is accepted you will need to submit your full mortgage application very quickly.
If you are applying for a mortgage the mortgage company will arrange a valuation to ensure the property is suitable security. This valuation offers a limited look at the property. The survey may pick up major issues that you should be concerned about. However, it could be worth paying out that little more for a peace of mind. Identifying a problem will be cheaper than fixing the problem.
A homebuyer’s survey costs from about £250 but on average you should look to pay around £500 – depending on the price of the property. This report should reveal any serious defects. It can save you money if it uncovers any major faults you can then ask the seller to rectify or reduce the price so you can afford to get them fixed.
Full Building Survey
A full building survey costs between £400 and £1,000-plus, depending on the type and value of the property in question. It goes into detail about the condition of the property and any remedial action the surveyor thinks will be necessary. The older and more expensive the property, the more important it is to have a full survey.
It is undertaken by your solicitor and the seller’s solicitor and involves ensuring the seller has the legal right to sell the property, checking that no-one has right of way through it and that there are no land disputes. They will also be acting for your lender as well.
The seller’s solicitor must get the deeds to the property. These may have to be obtained from the building society or bank which is lending the mortgage. The solicitor then prepares the contract. With leasehold properties – in particular flats with service charges – the solicitor will also have to obtain the ‘memorandum and articles of association’ of the management company and the accounts of the management company over the past three years. Leasehold properties can often take a lot longer to complete than freehold properties.
The buyer’s solicitor will make a local authority search. This will provide details of who owns or is responsible for the roads or sewers and whether there are any road-widening proposals near the property. Separate enquiries may have to be made to the relevant water company. An environmental search is also normally carried out. Once all the searches have come back and all the enquiries have been answered and your mortgage offer is in place we can move onto the next part of the conveyancing process.
Contrary to popular belief, this step isn’t actually where they meet up, hand each other their contracts and then walk away with a swap completed. It is actually a verbal exchange and can be chased up with both solicitors. When an exchange takes place usually a 10% deposit is put down. A Completion date will be set upon exchange of contracts.
The balance of fund will need to be paid on this day, so your solicitor will require the balance or will draw down the mortgage amount from the lender. Once completion has taken place and transfer of ownership has taken place then you will be able to collect your keys for your new home.
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