The Complete Guide to the Property Selling Process
Congratulations on accepting an offer on your property! But what happens next?
This time between now and handing over the keys can be exciting, but occasionally confusing and stressful too.
So we have created this guide which explains each step of the property sales process and lists what you can do to ensure your move goes through as smoothly as possible.
1. Our Sales Administration team
Now that a price has been agreed, your Edward Mellor branch will pass all the details of your sale over to our Sales Admin team based at our Head Office in Stockport.
It is there just to provide a single point of contact for vendors, purchasers and solicitors, and to progress your transaction through to completion as quickly and hassle-free as possible.
Their main duties include:
- Liaising between solicitors to ensure the transaction flows smoothly
- Keeping both parties up to date with the progress made so far
- Maintaining our fall-through rate at considerably below the national average
You will soon be contacted by your Case Manager who will get in touch regularly to keep you up to date with the progress of the sale and answer any questions you may have.
As almost all other Estate Agents have their Sales Negotiators juggling selling new properties and progressing sales already agreed, our dedicated team of experts make buying your new home easier than ever.
2. Instructing a Solicitor
You will need to appoint a solicitor (conveyancer) to complete the complex legal processes necessary when selling a home.
Our Sales Admin team lists substandard conveyancing as one of the top reasons for a sale falling through, so be sure to choose a reputable firm who specialise in property transactions.
If you are yet to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf, get a free quote now from our panel of recommended legal professionals.
As well as being experts in their field, our panel will also offer a “No Sale, No Fee” policy – meaning your legal fees will be reimbursed should the sale fall through for a reason out of your control.
Once you have instructed a property solicitor please get in touch with your Case Manager with their contact details so we can send them the necessary documents about your move.
3. Filling in the Paperwork
Your solicitor will send you a number of documents to complete and send back, and will also request to be sent authenticated proof of identification and your current address (your local Edward Mellor branch will be able to authenticate it for you).
One of the forms will also request details of what fixtures and fittings you intend to include in the sale of the property, such as curtains, carpets and white goods.
Your solicitor will request a copy of the property deeds from you or your mortgage lender.
Issuing of Contracts
Once you have returned your forms to your solicitor, they will request Office Copies from the Land Registry and a redemption figure from your mortgage lender (if applicable), and then draw up a contract. These documents form the contract pack which will be sent to the buyer’s solicitor.
Your buyer’s solicitor will check through the contract pack and “Raise Enquiries” with your solicitor on aspects of the contract which they do not agree with or would like amending.
This will usually go back and forth until both are satisfied with the contract drawn up.
The purpose of a survey is to ensure that there are no underlying issues with the property – such as damp, subsidence, or electrical faults, and to give a professional opinion of what it is worth based on its findings.
If your buyer is purchasing with a mortgage, their lender will often instruct a Valuation Survey, which is simply done to confirm that the property is worth the price they are paying.
The buyer may also choose to undertake a more in depth survey which will examine the condition of the building and provide them with a comprehensive report.
If a survey is requested, our Sales Admin team will get in touch with you to arrange a convenient time for the surveyor to visit your property. The type of survey being carried out will depend on how long the surveyor will spend around the house – please allow around 30 minutes for a Mortgage Valuation, 1-2 hours for a Homebuyer Survey and 3-4 hours for a Building Survey, although this can take longer if any problems are found.
If the survey does highlight any problems then it may be necessary to renegotiate the purchase price. In extreme circumstances, you or the buyer choose to pull out of the sale, our Sales Admin team will work with you and the vendor to come to a solution wherever possible.
The buyer’s solicitor will request that a number of “Searches” are undertaken on the property and surrounding area. These are done by our Sales Admin department and their purpose is to ensure there are no problems in the area which may affect the property in the future.
We are usually able to complete these searches without requiring any further information from you.
The standard searches are:
Local Authority Search
Enquiries are made to the local council regarding various topics, including any outstanding enforcement notices and any development issues which might affect the property or surrounding areas. This usually takes five working days and cash buyers can opt out of having it done, although your solicitor will highly recommend it.
Drainage and Water Search
This confirms the property has mains water and drainage and is done by finding the utility provider. Usually takes three-four days.
This searches historical and current records to provide an indication of whether your property might be built on or near contaminated land. Although this does not involve carrying out any on-site tests on the land, it can indicate whether further investigation is necessary. This can be done electronically and completed within 48 hours.
Coal Mining Search
This is an area specific search and is done to ensure the property is not in danger of possible future issues caused by being located in or around a former coal mining site. This is done by contacting the Coal Mining Database and can be completed within 48 hours.
This is an optional search, and indicates whether the property has any liability to pay for repairs to a parish church.
6. Contracts & Transfer
If the Searches come back clear both solicitors will send a copy of the property contract to you and the buyer to sign and send back.
7. Completion Date
Liaising between both solicitors, your Case Manager will set a date for completion that is mutually convenient for you and the vendor.
If you and / or the buyer are in a chain, your solicitor and Case Manager will contact the other parties’ conveyancers to find out when they are looking to be ready to complete. The aim is to try and complete on each property simultaneously so nobody is left homeless!
8. Exchange of Contracts
You’re almost there!
The Exchange of Contracts legally binds you and the buyer to sell and purchase the property respectively. This is done by the solicitors over the telephone and, as a general rule, completion is often set for a week after exchange has taken place.
This is your cue to ensure that the property will be clear of any possessions which are not included in the sale before the completion date.
This is the day that the title of the property is transferred from you to the purchaser, and they take full possession of the property.
The buyer’s funds will be sent over to your solicitor, and when they confirm they have received the it they will call your Case Manager to authorise our branch to release the keys to the new owner.
We will not release the keys to the property to the buyer under any circumstances until we have been given express permission from your solicitors. Usually funds are transferred by mid afternoon and we will be in contact as soon as the transaction is completed.