Make sure you Communicate
If you want your sale to progress at a good pace, communication with all relevant parties is vital. Make sure you can be contacted by your estate agent and conveyancer and if you are going on holiday make sure that everyone is aware that you will be away so that you do not give the impression of avoiding issues. If there is an aspect of the sale that you do not understand, ask your estate agent or legal representative rather than ignoring it.
Choosing a Conveyancer
It is important to choose the correct solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal side of your property sale. It makes sense to make your selection in advance before you receive an offer to speed up the process although you will not be able to actually instruct them until the offer is agreed. Remember that you do not need to use any company recommended by your estate agent so you can shop around and choose one most suited to you. The obvious choice is a local firm however more people are now opting for an online conveyancing service which is a cheaper choice.
If you choose a high street firm, it is worth noting that a conveyancer is usually cheaper than a solicitor but is equally specialised in property. On the other hand, if you have a complicated case involving, for example, a boundary dispute or a lease extension, a solicitor is a requirement as a conveyancer is unable to handle these matters. Ask advice from people you know about their experiences with local firms asking questions about how good their communication is, any hidden costs and how easy they are to contact. Avoid any firm that charges by the hour or that does not itemise all charges. If you are getting a mortgage, you should check your chosen firm is on your lender’s panel of approved solicitors and conveyancers otherwise you will end up paying the bank’s representation fees.
Online conveyancers are often more efficient than their high street counterparts and often allow you 24 hour access to your file via their website. The downside is that you may not have a named contact and may end up dealing with different individuals every time you call. You will also never meet your conveyancing team face to face but will be restricted to telephone and email contact.
Completing The Relevant Forms
There are numerous questionnaires for sellers to complete including those about boundaries, any disputes, any proposed developments that affect the property, council tax details, utilities, sewerage and contact details. There is a list of included fixtures and fittings to complete as well as information about whether or not the property is freehold. A form outlining finalisation details is also necessary which sets out arrangements for completion and handing over keys. All forms must be completed correctly and truthfully otherwise you may find yourself being sued.
Accepting An Offer
When you find yourself in the fortunate position of receiving offers on your home, you need to decide whether or not to accept. If you are lucky enough to have received several offers, picking the right buyer can be a challenge. Take into account their circumstances – in general, a buyer who is not subject to a housing chain is a better bet so it may be safer to opt for a first time buyer or someone who has already sold their own property. Bear in mind that the best buyer may not be the one that has made the highest offer – it is important to choose someone who is likely to see the process through to completion.
Upon receiving details of an offer from your estate agent, you can either reject it outright, accept it or attempt to negotiate for a better deal. The latter option may be a good choice if you feel that the buyer is likely to be open to discussion and you are not aiming for a quick sale.
If you are satisfied with the offer that you have been given, you can formally accept it although this is not legally binding. You are free to accept a higher offer at any time before exchange of contracts however this is known as gazumping and is unpleasant for the buyer.