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Selling a Property Solicitors Liverpool & London 

The process of selling a property can be complicated, especially where it is linked with a related purchase. At GAD we will always try to make the process go as smoothly as possible from the beginning to the end.

The Process of Selling a Property

As with the purchase of a property, there are three main stages to the legal process of selling a property:

  1. Pre-contract stage – that is to say what we need to do before you commit to selling the property
  2. Pre-completion stage – in other words what we need to do in order to transfer ownership from you to the purchaser
  3. Post-completion stage – finishing off the things that need doing after the property has been sold.

We will, of course, ensure throughout the transaction that you know what is happening and when things need to be done by you.

Pre-contract Stage

  • The starting point is for you to instruct us to act on your behalf in connection with your sale. You should do this as soon as possible after someone has offered to buy your property or – if it is a transaction linked to a purchase – as soon as you have found a property to purchase so that we can carry out any preliminary work in readiness for a sale.
  • We will begin by obtaining your details including the whereabouts of your deeds, whether you have a mortgage which will need to be discharged and whether there is a related purchase. By law, we will also need to ask you to provide us with evidence of your identity so that we can comply with the strict money-laundering duties that apply.
  • We will usually have been contacted by this time by the estate agent who has negotiated your sale and will have obtained from them details of the purchasers of your property and their solicitor. If there is no agent involved, we will need to obtain this information from you.
  • Once we have obtained your documents we will prepare a contract and send it, together with any accompanying documents, to the solicitor for the purchaser. The contract sets out details of the property being sold and the terms upon which you are selling it.
  • The buyer’s solicitor will go through the contract and documents and carry out a number of searches on your property covering things such as the utilities that affect the property, planning and issues that could affect the property such as mining, flooding or subsidence. They will then ask a number of questions – called pre-contract enquiries – about the property which we may need you to help us to answer. Unless they are answered satisfactorily the sale might not go ahead.
  • When the purchaser’s solicitor or conveyancer is happy that your property is satisfactory from a legal standpoint, and they are happy to go ahead, we will get you to sign one copy of the contract. We will then “exchange contracts” – in other words enter into a binding agreement on your behalf to sell the property. The timing of this might be dependent upon any related purchase that you have or on the ability of the person buying from you to exchange on their related sale.
  • It is usual to agree at exchange of contracts the date upon which the sale will be completed – i.e.when the property ceases to be yours – known as the “completion date”.
  • It is also usual for a deposit to be paid by you on exchange of contracts. Normally this will be 10% of the purchase price, although you may be asked to accept a lesser sum if, for example, the purchaser is obtaining a 95% mortgage or has had to accept a reduced deposit from his or her purchaser. The deposit is a way of showing that the purchaser intends to go ahead with the purchase and will be forfeited if they pull out of the transaction after contracts have been exchanged. For that reason, you may want to insist on the full 10% – but do bear in mind this could prejudice the transaction.

Post-contract Stage

  • Once we have exchanged the contracts, we will start to deal with the final work leading up to the completion of the sale.
  • This will include approving the transfer document (which will be drafted by the purchaser’s solicitor), getting a redemption figure for any mortgage on the propert and making sure that everyone else in the transaction is ready to proceed.
  • If we are happy with the transfer document we will get you to sign it in readiness for completion.
  • We will work out the final details of the finances and let you know how much you will be receiving on the sale. If there is a related purchase we will work out whether an additional amount is needed from you over and above the sale price and mortgage funds (if any) and get that balance of money from you.  If you are purchasing a property that sum will include any other payments we still need to make such as the land registration fee and any stamp duty land tax.
  • On the day fixed for completion we will, provided everything else is in order, receive the balance of purchase money from the purchaser’s solicitor and send them any deeds and documents relating to the property.  We will liaise with you over this so that you can make appropriate arrangements to hand over the keys to the property to the purchaser.  Please bear in mind that until such time as the money is received by us that strictly speaking the purchaser will not be able to move into the property – even if they are sat outside it with a removals van!

Post-completion Stage

  • After completion has taken place we will pay off any outstanding mortgage from the proceeds of sale and account to you for any balance which is due. If you are purchasing another property will carry out the remaining purchase tasks.

Contact our Residential Conveyancing Solicitors Liverpool & London 

Contact our conveyancing lawyers in London & Liverpool today If you’re thinking of buying or selling your home, we can help. For advice about all areas of property law, please get in touch with a member of our specialist team.

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