Congratulations. You have accepted an offer for your property. So what happens next?
You are still in the early stages but first you should ask the estate agent to take the property off the market. The agent should do this anyway but it is best to make sure.
Choose your solicitor. A solicitor will complete the legal aspect of the sale and they should be regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and also be someone you can trust. Your solicitor will confirm their terms and conditions, provide you with an estimate of the costs involved and send you standard property forms for completion.
You should provide your solicitor with any title deeds and documents that you have including any electrical certificates, guarantees, planning permissions or Building Regulation Certificates for works that have been carried out, service or maintenance reports, instruction leaflets, ie heating, alarm systems for your buyer. There may be management company information and if the property is leasehold you may hold the original Lease. You may even have the solicitor’s report from when you purchased the property.
If you have a mortgage you should check with your lender for any penalties for repaying your mortgage early.
The solicitor will then prepare the Contract pack for your buyer’s solicitor, which will include the title documents and any other information or documents that you have provided. This will enable the buyer’s solicitor to carry out their searches and raise any necessary enquiries.
When the buyer’s solicitor has received satisfactory replies to their enquiries and the search results your solicitor will ask you to sign the Contract in preparation of exchange of contracts. Exchange of Contracts is when the sale becomes legally binding and the Completion Date (the moving date) is fixed. The completion date needs to be agreed between the relevant parties, and with other parties in the chain if applicable.
Before Exchange of Contracts you should check availability with your removal company. It is important not to book your removal company as until Contracts are exchanged, nothing is certain.
The estimated timescale for a sale is between 6-8 weeks, but as each property transaction is unique this can only be an estimated timescale. Leasehold properties usually take a little longer.
Once Contracts are exchanged, now the fun begins! You should start your packing, have a clear out, perhaps donate items to charity or to a second hand furniture dealer. You can move out any time but no later than the actual Completion Date. Don’t forget to read your meters and re-direct your post.
On the Completion Date your solicitor will settle any estate agents’ costs, redeem your mortgage (if applicable) and account to you with the net sale proceeds.
That’s it! Say goodbye to your home and good luck in your new adventure.
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