Buying or selling your house can be a stressful process. We, in Gore & Grimes Solicitors LLP, strive to provide a streamlined approach to each transaction.
With each transaction, we will keep you advised as to the progress at all times, however, so that you are familiar with the general process, we have set out below a step by step guide as to what is involved.
If you are the vendor, the first step is for your solicitor to prepare a Contract for Sale. To do so, your solicitor must gather the title deeds and you will be asked to provide a number of ancillary documents. Please see our checklist in this regard (LINKED).
Once a sale is agreed through the sales agent, the purchaser pays a booking deposit which will be held by the sales agent for the duration of the transaction. This booking deposit is fully refundable if the transaction does not proceed (it only becomes non-refundable after the contract has been exchanged). The sales agent will issue a sales advice notice to the vendor’s solicitor setting out the commercial terms which have been agreed between the parties. Based on the information provided in the sales advice notice, the vendor’s solicitor will prepare the Contract for Sale. It is usually at this juncture that the purchaser has the property surveyed.
The vendor’s solicitor will issue the Contract for Sale together with copies of the title documents and ancillary documents to the purchaser’s solicitor for inspection and review. The purchaser’s solicitor will raise any enquiries which they have in relation to the property with the vendor’s solicitor.
Once all enquiries have been satisfied, the purchaser signs the Contract for Sale and returns it to the vendor’s solicitor. At this stage the purchaser pays the balance 10% deposit (less the booking deposit which they have already paid to the agent).
The vendor then countersigns the Contract for Sale. At this point the Contract is legally binding. The 10% deposit which has been paid is non refundable (unless it is specifically agreed in the Contract).
The closing date is agreed in the Contract for Sale. The purchaser’s solicitor arranges for all funds to be made available for the closing date. This may include drawing down a mortgage. All closing documents are signed by the vendors and are provided to the purchaser’s solicitor on the closing date. Once the balance purchase price has been paid and all closing documents are in order (to include completion of closing searches against the property and the vendor), the sale is then concluded and the purchaser can arrange to collect the keys for the property (usually from the sales agent).
The vendor’s solicitor will then repay any mortgage affecting the property.
The purchaser’s solicitor arranges to file the stamp duty return and pay the stamp duty owing on the purchase deed. The purchaser’s solicitor then attends to registering title by submitting all documents to the Property Registration Authority.
Once registration is completed the title deeds are returned by the purchaser’s solicitor to either the purchaser’s lender or to the purchaser directly.
There is no set timeline as to how long a transaction takes to complete and each transaction varies.