Property Sale Conveyancing Transaction Process

October 1, 2012

The Key Phases Involved in the Conveyancing Process of a Property Sale Transaction

There are multiple procedures involved in a property sale transaction. Such a detailed process demands the experience of a professional conveyancing outfit, whose knowledge ensures that the transaction, at all times, remains coherent with all the necessary legalities. The smallest of omissions can prove costly, jeopardising an entire transaction and causing a seller innumerable problems. The process can be carried out by either licensed conveyancers or conveyancing solicitors, either of which have the skill set and experience to handle the property sale conveyancing process.

Two phases make up the property sale transaction process, each of which contains several ‘sub-stages’. The stringent observation of each sub-stage is essential in guaranteeing the legitimacy of the property sale transaction.

Phase 1: Instruction Through to Exchange

Phase 1 in the process of selling a property, begins with the seller instructing their conveyancer that they want to sell their property, and ends with the exchange of contracts with the purchaser’s party. Numerous processes make up the initial phase of the transaction. The better the conveyancer, the better the chances of ensuring each process goes without incident. No fewer than eleven separate steps are involved in securing the initial phase of the property sale transaction:

Step 1: The Instruction
The first step that initiates the sale is the decision, made by the seller, to sell their property. Once this has been decided, the seller selects a conveyancer and instructs them of their intention to sell.

Step 2: The Client Care Letter
During step 2, the conveyancer sends the seller a client care letter. The client care letter outlines the services that the conveyancer provides, along with a breakdown of costings.

Once the seller has read and fully understood the client care letter, the seller signs and posts the letter back to the conveyancer, along with proof of ID and any information pertaining to current mortgage obligations on the seller’s part.

Step 3: The Completion of Forms
Step 3 involves the conveyancer sending the seller a number of forms for completion. These include a fixtures and fittings form (that highlights what’s included in the sale of the property), a property information form (confirming information about boundaries, disputes, notices, guarantees, services, sharing with neighbours, arrangements and legal rights, occupiers, restrictions, planning, fixtures and expenses) and a leasehold property information form (necessary for anyone selling a leasehold property).

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The seller completes these forms, often under the guidance of the conveyancer, in order to avoid errors. Once completed, the seller returns these forms to the conveyancer along with any building work guarantees, planning permissions and building consents that have been granted on the property.

Step 4: Obtaining Documentation
Step 4 sees the conveyancer guaranteeing all the various pieces of documentation that are essential to the sale of the property. These include title deeds and Land Registry Office Copies: both of which are essential in authenticating the seller’s legal ownership of the property.

Dependent on whether the property is leasehold, the conveyancer will also need to gather the previous three years’ service charge accounts, the projected expenditure for the previous 12 months, building insurance details and a copy of the lease documentation.

Step 5: Preparation of Draft Contract
During step 5, the conveyancer prepares a draft of the contract in preparation for presentation to the purchaser’s party.

Step 6: Compilation of Contract Pack
Step 6 involves the conveyancer compiling a contract pack, consisting of a draft contract, title deed, property information form, fixtures and fitting form, building guarantees, planning consents, etc). Once compiled, the conveyancer of the purchasing party receives the contract pack. He or she then scrutinises its contents and ensure everything is in order.

Step 7: Mediating with Purchaser’s Party
Step 7 sees the conveyancer answering questions that arise from the purchaser’s party, as their conveyancer goes through the contract pack with a fine toothcomb. During this process, it is likely that conveyancer will call upon the selling to assist with any queries that need clarifying.

Step 8: Negotiating Completion
Given that everything is in order, and the purchaser is happy to proceed, the conveyancer commences with negotiating a completion date with all parties.

At this stage, the conveyancer liaises with all concerned parties in order to negotiate a completion date that is suited to everyone.

Step 9: Acknowledgement
Step 9 involves a certain amount of anticipation, as the conveyancer awaits confirmation that the purchaser is happy with everything and ready to proceed.

Step 10: Finalising Contract
Step 10 involves the conveyancer sending the seller a finalised contract. Once the seller checks it over and agrees with the various specifications, the seller signs the contract and returns it to the conveyancer.

Step 11: Exchanging Contract
Step 11 brings the first phase to its completion, with the exchange of signed contracts. The conveyancer collects and holds the purchaser’s deposit, and both parties are legally committed to the sale.

Phase 2: Exchange Through to Completion

Exchange signals a point in the transaction that makes everything watertight for the seller, given that any retraction on the purchaser’s part is subject to liable, and therefore the payment of damages. There are still certain formalities to take care of, though, and the conveyancer will need to commit his or herself to a considerable amount of further liaising with the purchaser’s representatives, in order to see the sale through to completion. The secondary phase can take anything from just a single day, right the way through to 28 days (rarely, and due to unforeseen circumstances, it can sometimes take longer.)

Step 1: Confirmation of Settlement Figure
In step 1 of the secondary phase of the sale transaction, the conveyancer deals with the mortgage provider of the seller’s party, in order ascertain a settlement figure for the redemption of the seller’s current mortgage.

Step 2: Transfer Deed
Step 2 involves the conveyancer checking over a transfer deed, received from the purchaser’s conveyancer. The transfer deed is a document (signed in the presence of a witness), that transfers the property’s ownership from the seller to the purchaser.

It is down to the seller to check over the transfer deed, sign it and return it as quickly as possible, in order to ensure no delay in the transaction process.

Step 3: Payment
During step 3, the conveyancer will receive full payment from the purchaser’s mortgage lender. Once this is received, it is the duty of the conveyancer to send the title deeds and the transfer deed to the purchaser’s solicitor. In addition, monies are taken to cover the payment of the conveyancer, the estate agent and the redemption settlement that is owed to the current mortgage lender.

It is during this step that the seller vacates their property and organises for the purchaser to receive their keys. The transaction is now complete.

Step 4: Receipt of Outstanding Monies
The seller receives any outstanding monies, once all concerned parties receive payment. Should the seller simultaneously purchase a property (as is often the case), then the seller receives title deeds and the transfer deed.

There is no getting beyond the fact that the process of making a property sale transaction is full of intricacies. An oversight in relation to a single factor can create huge problems. Therefore, for any individual wanting an unproblematic property sale, it is essential to enlist the services of a reputable team of conveyancing solicitors.

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Category: Conveyancing Guide

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