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A Guide to Sales Progression when Selling a Property

Sales Progression

The most important part of sales progression is good contact between the buyer, the seller and the solicitors, as well as other parties such as mortgage brokers and surveyors.

Statistically, some of the main reasons for sales falling through are breakdowns in communication and a lack of understanding of the sales process; that is why it is important that we are here for you to make sure the sale runs smoothly.

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Your offer has been accepted and you are now ready to move forward with the sale. Ask if the owner is willing to take the property off the market and suspend any further viewings for an agreed period of time.

If, as a buyer, you are purchasing with a mortgage, it is advisable for you to keep on top of it from the start, liaising with your broker and making sure they have all the correct documents. Your mortgage application should run simultaneously alongside your solicitor’s legal process. If you need help regarding a mortgage or need to look at alternative options before proceeding further please let us know and we can put you in touch with an independent broker.

A mortgage valuation will then be booked in and the surveyors will contact us regarding access– this procedure is carried out on behalf of the mortgage company so they know that the property provides sufficient security for the loan. Once the report has been finalised, the mortgage offer will then be issued.

Once the sale has been agreed, solicitors will need to be instructed – usually, it’s helpful to instruct a solicitor before the offer is made so that a Memorandum of Sale can be issued as soon as the offer has been accepted. That way the legal process can begin immediately. Your agent will be able to recommend preferred solicitors, an advantage of choosing your agents preferred solicitors is that they will already have a good working relationship so it will keep the sale moving swiftly and ensure a speedy completion.

A memorandum of sale is a document that will have the contact details of all parties involved (vendor, buyer and solicitors). As well as the brief chain details of the other involved parties should there be any. This document will be sent out by your estate agents to all parties so the solicitors can contact one another and start the legal process.

We recommend that you obtain solicitor quotes at the beginning of your search in order to have a solicitor in place for when you have your offer accepted.

Here at Julie Twist we have an excellent selection of preferred solicitors, please contact us if you would like a no-obligation quote.

Once solicitors are instructed, it is then important that all paperwork and documents are returned to them promptly. The majority of the initial paperwork will be required to be filled in by the vendor such as property information and fixtures and fittings forms. Whilst these forms are being filled in a management pack should be ordered from the management company, this can either be ordered by the vendor or the vendors’ solicitor. There will be a fee for the pack, which varies depending on the management company. These documents will be needed in order for draft contracts to be sent over to the buyer side along with the management pack

Once the draft contracts are with the buyer’s solicitors, they will be reviewed and amended and initial enquiries will be raised. The management pack itself will contain crucial information about the property, including any works that may have taken place and accounts in relation to service charges etc.

At this stage, the buyer’s solicitors will also order the local authority searches in order to check up on any potential concerns with the property such as a risk of flooding, future building plans, current planning issues, environmental concerns, etc. – these searches could take a few weeks to come back, so it is important the buyer makes sure their solicitor has ordered them at an early stage.

During this period there will be a lot of “back and forth” in terms of enquiries and waiting on documents. It is the period when a lack of communication can hurt the sale as it can cause progress to stall, so it is imperative for us to make sure that the lines of communication are wide open and that everything is being dealt with.

Depending on the circumstances, it is always good to plan ahead in terms of dates to work towards for exchange and completion. Whether the buyer needs to be in the property by a certain time, existing tenants need to be served notice or the vendor needs to move out of the property. Getting a grasp of what date you are heading for is always a good idea so that everything can be arranged in advance.
Once all enquiries have been satisfied, contracts will be sent out to be signed by both parties and arrangements will be made for the transfer of deposit and funds. With a mortgage, it usually takes a little longer for funds to be transferred so this will need to be taken into account. We would then always advise that the buyer visits the property before exchange of contracts to make sure everything is in order.
Once an exchange date is set, the solicitors will exchange contracts for you. Many sales exchange contracts and complete simultaneously on the same day but, depending on the circumstances, you may need to have time (approximately 7 days) in between exchange of contracts and completion – this is usually in cases where furniture needs to be removed or tenants will be vacating.
Your agent will require confirmation from the seller’s solicitors that completion has taken place and then keys can be released to the buyer!

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

A property chain is when more than one buyer is involved in a transaction. Your chain could involve one transaction or 10 transactions, your move date will all depend on the chain and how quick their solicitors can push things through.

A sale falling through does not have to be catastrophe.

More details on what to do if this happens  are discussed in our blog section of the website 

The national average time currently is 19 weeks

You can view as many times as you like, your agent should accommodate as many viewings as you would like.

You are not legally obligated to have survey, however given that this is such a large transaction, we would always recommend having some form of survey done. More details on types of survey are discussed in our blog section of the website . All surveying companies will also be able to advise the different types of surveys and what level of detail they provide in their report.

Often the request for an electrical safety certificate is brought up in a survey. The vendor is not legally obligated to have one done but normally if it’s requested the vendor would cover the charge of this or an agreement to split the cost would be made. A vendor has the right to refuse to pay for one to be done, it would then be up to the buyer to decide if it was a cost they would be willing to pay themselves for peace of mind. We would always ask both sides to take a logical standpoint, these tests normally costs a couple of hundred pounds, in the grand scheme of things items like this shouldn’t be the reason a sale falls through.