Common Legal Questions: Selling a Property
Posted on 13th November 2019
Unlike most legal matters, when you’re buying or selling a property, you have to use the services of a property solicitor, or other qualified property expert, to ensure that the sale of your property, is carried out properly.
I want to sell my house, what do I need to do first?
Well, first things first, you need to have your property valued. The best way to do this is to contact a few local estate agents, or even online estate agents if you prefer, and ask them to carry out a valuation of your property. Have a chat with the agents, and find out which agents best suits you, and your property needs.
Once you’ve placed the property for sale on the market, you will probably start receiving offers (but, be warned, this can take months- or years - in some cases - speak to your estate agent to find out how long properties in your local area are taking to sell). Once you have received an offer you’re happy with, you can accept it and provide your estate agents with your local property solicitors’ details - either MG Legal’s Lancaster or Preston offices, whichever is closest to you!
How much will it cost to sell my property?
Well, we can’t speak for estate agents and their fees, but our property solicitors in Preston and Lancaster charge fixed fees from just £250.00 plus VAT, depending on the value of the property, and whether its freehold or leasehold. We can also offer “No Sale, No Fee” - just contact your local property solicitors to find out more information. There may be a few disbursements, too, but our property team can keep you informed of any disbursements payable as your matter progresses.
What information will my property solicitors need?
Normally, if you hold any original documents for your property, such as Deeds, guarantees, FENSA Certificates, boiler service records, etc, our property solicitors will need these as soon as possible. Our team will also ask for your ID, including photographic ID and a proof of address, dated within the last 3 months.
Our property solicitors will let you know if they need more information throughout your sale process.
I have a mortgage on my property. Do I need to pay this off?
If you have a mortgage secured against your property when you come to sell, our property solicitors will explain to you that you have to pay this off - it’s secured against your property, so when you no longer own this (on the day of completion), you must no longer have the mortgage. Our property team will request a mortgage redemption statement showing the figure owing on the mortgage, prior to completion, and will let you know what the amount due is before paying it off.
When does the sale become legally binding?
Our property solicitors would advise you that at the point of exchanging contracts, your property sale will usually be legally binding. In some cases, sales can fall through after the day of exchange, but this results in penalties for the party who pull out, so it’s not as common as people might fear.
How will I know when moving day is?
Normally, there is a week or more between exchange and completion. However, it’s not entirely uncommon for this to happen on the same day - your property solicitors will at least usually agree with you a week or so before this date that the intention of both (or all, if the chain is longer than one transaction) parties is to complete on that day and, unless something major crops up, it will probably happen on this day.
When do I get my money?
On the day of completion, the buyer’s solicitors will send the purchase money to the seller’s property solicitors, who will let the estate agents know when this has been received. The estate agents should then contact the buyers to confirm that they can collect the keys. By this point, providing that exchange occurred early doors, the sellers will probably have packed up and moved on, either to their new property, or perhaps to a rental property if they’re not buying somewhere, yet.
The seller’s property solicitors will then redeem any mortgage, they will usually pay the estate agents, deduct their own fees and any disbursements from the sale proceeds, and they will then arrange to send you the balance of any sale proceeds. If there’s any delay with paying any of the disbursements, or a retention is required, our property solicitors may hold onto the proceeds for a couple of days (or longer if otherwise agreed) to ensure that matters are finalised before releasing funds.
So, if you’re selling your property and you’re ready to instruct solicitors, contact our expert team, here, at your local office, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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