How conveyancing works for sellers

Looking to sell your home? Our guide breaks down everything you need to know about how conveyancing works for sellers.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the necessary legal process of transferring your home onto the ownership of the person purchasing it. The process beings when the buyer makes a formal offer on your home and ends when you hand them the keys. Basically, conveyancing is the legal stuff you need to do so you can sell your property. Knowing the ins and outs of conveyancing for home sellers is an important to step to avoiding difficulties further down the line. Read our what is conveyancing guide for more information.

Who is responsible for conveyancing?

A Solicitor or dedicated conveyancer is responsible for completing the conveyancing process. Although the process may differ slightly for buyers and sellers, the personnel remains the same with both solicitors and dedicated conveyancers capable of completing the steps on both sides. The guide linked above is a great place to get a better understanding of conveyancing.

Your first steps

Presumably, you will have started working with an estate agent already and negotiated on the price of your property. This is where you need to begin instructing a solicitor or dedicated conveyancer to start the conveyancing process and facilitate the successful sale of your property.

In order to complete your conveyancing as soon as possible, we recommend choosing a conveyancer at around the same time as you select the estate agent. You’ll need to spend some time comparing conveyancers based on their costs and quality, in order to find the conveyancer that works best for your needs. OneDome’s online conveyancing platform can do exactly that, but if you need some help you can always get in touch with our experts on 020 3868 6262.

After you’ve found a conveyancer, you won’t be able to actually start the process until you have a formal offer on your property.

Property questionnaire

You will need to complete a series of questionnaires that focus on the property you’re selling before the exchange of contracts. Your conveyancer will give you the questionnaires to complete; be sure to fill them in to the best of your knowledge and don’t be afraid to query anything you’re not completely sure about.

On this note, it is essential you ensure the questionnaire is correct throughout. This is because there is a chance of you being sued for compensation if it turns out that you’ve not been entirely truthful. Whether intentionally or not, it’s all the same legally speaking. There is also the very real risk that the buyer will have second thoughts about purchasing your property, if you’ve not answered the questionnaires correctly.

Some of the questionnaires you may be asked to complete are:

    • The TA 6 questionnaire is a more general overview and covers information on boundaries, disputes, and complaints (such as problem pets, complaints about building work, boundary issues, etc.). It also goes into common, potential issues such as proposed developments (private or council funded), council tax, utilities, and sewerage. You will also need to provide any relevant contact details.
    • If you are not the owner of the freehold on your property, you should provide additional information on either the leasehold, or the commonhold (forms TA 7 and TA 9 respectfully).
    • For details regarding what fittings and fixtures are included with the property, you will need to complete the TA 10 questionnaire.
    • The technical details such as arrangements to hand over the keys, how and where you will complete, and that the house is free of any and all mortgages are covered in the TA 13 questionnaire.

The draft contract and negotiations

After the questionnaires are completed, your solicitor or conveyancer will use the information within to create a draft contract. This contract will then be sent to the buyer for approval (usually the responsibility of the buyer’s solicitor/conveyancer).

Your conveyancing solicitor will be in charge of the draft contract negotiations. Everyone will need to agree upon each aspect of the contract. Anything not agreed upon will need to be changed, or to be negotiated further until both parties can find a solution. Some of things that need to be agreed upon include:

      • Date of completion (typically 7-28 days after the exchange of contracts)
      • The fittings and fixtures that need to be included in the sale price
      • How much the buyer might pay for additional fittings and fixtures
      • Who will be responsible for fixing any issues highlighted in the buyer’s survey
      • Alternatively, what the amended sale price will be if the price reflects the buyer’s survey’s outcome

What about an existing mortgage?

Without a fully repaid mortgage, the exchange of contracts isn’t happening. You can start the process by requesting a redemption figure from your mortgage company. This will be the total amount due to pay upon the completion of the sale.

The contract exchange

When you and the buyer have agreed upon a date and time to exchange contracts, the process begins. Your solicitor or conveyancer will exchange the contracts on your behalf; as a general rule both solicitors/conveyancers will do this to ensure the contracts are identical.

After the exchange of contracts, you will now be legally bound to sell the property. Because of this, if the buyer drops out, you will usually be able to keep their deposit. You may also be able to sue them, depending on the circumstances of their decision to pull out of the sale.

On the other hand, if you, the seller, cancel the transaction, the buyer is likely to sue you. You are also unable to accept an offer from another buyer once the exchange of contracts is complete.

Between exchange and completion

Immediately or as close to after the contract exchange, you should receive the deposit from the buyers (usually 10% of the property prices). From a legal perspective, you still own the property until completion and you do not need to move out until then. That being said, leaving the moving out day until much close to completion is not an ideal situation. Consider moving out some weeks before the official completion date.

If you get a few spare moments in the time leading up to completion, you should check that the fixtures and fittings listed on the questionnaire are all there. It is also worth checking that they work (unless specified otherwise).

Completion day

Congratulations, you’re finally ready to hand over your keys! Once the handover is complete (usually by the estate agents), you and your conveyancer will get the outstanding balance of the sale price. You’ll also be handing over the legal documents that prove ownership of the property, as well as paying off any remaining mortgage with the proceeds of the sale.

You need only to pay your solicitor/conveyancer and you’re done, you have completed the conveyancing process as a home seller!

How can OneDome help with conveyancing for sellers?

OneDome’s online conveyancing platform simplifies conveyancing from the ground up. With the platform, you can complete every step of your conveyancing effortlessly and in one place. For example, the platform features a convenient tasklist that tracks each step of the process. As your conveyancer completes the various stages, you will see the tasklist update in real time. This gives you the clearest possible picture of how your conveyancing is progressing.

Another important feature of the platform is the ability to send and sign sensitive documents online, all of which are encrypted for security and your peace of mind. You can easily communicate with your conveyancer online too, meaning drastically reduced phone calls and trips to the post office. With OneDome, conveyancing is effortless, online, and in one place.

For more information on how we can help, visit our conveyancing page, or get in touch with our team on 020 3868 6262.

Conveyancing with OneDome:

  • Compare quotes and reviews
  • Track your conveyancing progress 24/7
  • Get cover for your costs by up to £2,250 with buyers protection insurance, provided by Surewise
  • Send documents online, with full encryption for your peace of mind
  • Personalised concierge service can help guide you through each step of the conveyancing process

Complete your conveyancing

If you’d prefer to talk to a our experts directly, you can call 0203 8686 262 between 09:00 and 17:00

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