Our concise guide to the process of selling your property
Choosing a Solicitor
You have found a buyer for your property and agreed a price, it’s time to appoint a solicitor, and for the conveyancing to start. We can assist in obtaining quotes from local solicitors with expert knowledge of the area.
Our experience is that local solicitors perform better than remote conveyancing factories who do business primarily over the internet.
We also suggest that you avoid recommendations from those who are paid large referral fees. These fees come off the acting solicitor’s fees, so they will have fewer hours available to deal with your case. This normally means poorer communication and/or service.
Contact details for solicitors can be found in the conveyancing section of our site.
The Legal Process
Once you have selected a solicitor, we will write to all parties providing details of the proposed
sale. Your legal
adviser will request that you provide proof of ID and address to satisfy AML (anti money-laundering )
request a modest amount of money on account to open their file. They will then send out paperwork in
relation to your
sale which you should complete and return promptly or it will delay your sale.
Part of this documentation will be the two protocol forms. PIF (Property Information Form) and TA10 Fixtures and Fittings Form.
These provide detailed information about your home and items included and excluded from the sale which your solicitor will supply to your buyer’s solicitor.
Once you have returned your paperwork, your solicitor will download copies of your title deeds from
Land Registry and
prepare initial documentation for your buyer’s solicitor including: deeds, the information you have
supplied, and a
copy of the contract which they are proposing to use to convey the property to the new owner.
If your property is leasehold, your solicitor will also need to obtain and supply information from the freeholder, this can take extra time and the freeholder may make a charge.
Once your buyer’s solicitor receives this information, they will apply for searches. For more information on searches, please see our Concise Guide for Buyers. Searches typically take three weeks in Teignbridge, but can take considerably longer in other areas.
When the searches are back, your buyer’s solicitor will review the file and raise enquiries. Enquiries are questions that have arisen as a result of the information supplied or in relation to matters identified in the searches and may include requests for additional documentation. Your solicitor will prepare responses to all enquiries then forward them to your buyer’s solicitor. Your solicitor may have to refer to you or third parties for additional information prior to replying.
If the enquiries are of a complex nature or paperwork is missing or incorrect this could cause substantial delays. Once replies are received by your buyer’s solicitor they will review them. If they are happy with the information supplied, the sale can progress. If they are not satisfied, they may raise further enquiries.
This process continues until your buyer’s solicitor is happy with all the responses and information received. If there are issues that cannot be resolved, other solutions may have to be explored.
These can include providing insurances (indemnities) to protect the buyer or possibly renegotiations. In most instances this is not necessary.
While the legal process is going on, your purchaser will be applying for their mortgage, if they are having one. The lender will want to carry out a valuation of your property. This normally requires a surveyor to visit but occasionally a desktop valuation will suffice. Your buyer may also wish to have a survey to confirm the condition of your property.
More information on surveys can be found in our Concise Guide for Buyers.
Getting Ready for Exchange of Contracts
Once all enquiries have been sorted and any mortgage offers issued, your buyer’s solicitor will prepare
a full report on the
purchase for their client. If you are buying on, your solicitor will be doing the same for you in
relation to your purchase
and also confirming the details of your sale.
They will provide a breakdown of costs and send you the forms that need to be signed and witnessed in readiness for exchange of contracts.
The main documents involved are the contact, which will confirm the terms of the sale and/or purchase, along with the TR1 which will be sent to the Land Registry when the sale goes through to facilitate the transfer of ownership of your property to the new owners.
When both parties have returned signed forms and any funds required have been lodged with the buyer’s solicitor, you are ready to exchange contracts. At this point we will liaise with those involved and establish mutually agreeable dates for both exchange of contracts and completion.
If you are using a removal firm then you will need to consider their availability before agreeing dates.
Exchange and Completion
Once everything is ready and dates are agreed, your solicitor will take your final instructions and
then exchange contracts.
Your solicitor and the solicitor acting for your buyer will liaise by phone and then agree that the
exchange has taken place.
Your buyer’s solicitor will then forward the signed contract along with deposit monies to your solicitor, in return you solicitor will send a copy of the same contract, signed by you.
Contracts have been exchanged, the transaction is legal binding and the date for completion has been set.
Completion is the date when the new owner pays the balance of the agreed price for and takes possession of your property. This can be on the same day as exchange of contracts (simultaneous exchange and completion) but is typically one or two weeks after although it can be longer.
Normally you will exchange contracts on your sale and any onward purchase at the same time to ensure you haven’t legally committed to selling, unless you have secured your new home. It is also normal and convenient, but not compulsory, to complete your sale and purchase on the same day.
Completing your sale first is normally straightforward. If you wish to complete your purchase before you complete your sale, you will need access to sufficient funds to cover the full cost. You will need to insure your new home from the day you exchange contracts.
On the agreed completion date, the buyer’s solicitor sends the balance of funds (the agreed price less
the deposit already
paid) to your solicitor.
When funds arrive in your solicitor’s account the sale has been finalised and you are no longer the owner. Your solicitor will confirm this to you and then advise us.
We will have made arrangements in advance for the handover of keys to the new owner but only pass them
on once your solicitor
has the money.
If you are buying on, your solicitor will forward funds received, along with any other monies involved, to the solicitor acting for the person you are buying from to conclude your purchase.
On completion day, it’s best if all parties show a little flexibility as you can never quite predict when funds will transfer or how long removals might take. Typically transactions complete around lunch time but it can happen earlier or later.
Post completion, your solicitor will repay any mortgage you have on the property you are selling. They will settle our account and of course their own and prepare a final statement for you.
If you are buying on you will probably use the proceeds from your sale, for your purchase. If you are just selling substantial proceeds may be due to you. These are usually sent to you by same day electronic transfer.
A word of caution here; internet fraud is prevalent and emails can be intercepted. Please ensure your account details have been supplied securely to your solicitor to avoid your funds going astray. Coast and Country are here to help throughout the process.
Other matters to consider
If you are selling a property other than your main residence, you may be liable to capital gains tax. There are strict rules on how and when this must be paid. Your solicitor or accountant will normally prepare the submission for you.
You will need to redirect your post to ensure nothing goes astray and you will certainly need to notify your utility provider of final meter readings.
Don’t forget to advise your banks, any other companies you do business with and family and friends of your new address.
Read our Top Tips for Sellers here.
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Ms B (December 2023)
To Coast n Country, especially Tom! Thankyou for getting my home sold with very little stress. And Tom, thankyou for finding my new home. Best Team Ever Thankyou Ms B..."
Mr H (September 2023)
Just about to complete on the sale of my house and the whole experience has been fantastic from start to finish. Callum and the team have been in constant communication with me throughout the whole..."
Mrs G (September 2023)
Brilliant team. I would choose coast and country every time for selling my property. Tom is just amazing, patient, easy to talk too and a massive help. Great service. Mrs G (September 2023)..."
Mr K (October 2023)
Tom at Coast and country in Newton Abbot was extremely helpful when we viewed the property which we eventually brought. As a disabled person he went above and beyond what could reasonably expect him..."
Miss M & Mr M (November 2023)
To Tom, Darren & The Team at Coast & Country, Thankyou for getting us through the sale of "21" amd for the purchase of "66" for me. All your help through the whole process is much appreciated. from D..."
Mr T (November 2023)
To the Coast & Country Team, Thank you so much for all your help! You've all been amazing! From A (November 2023)..."
Mr & Mrs J (June 2023)
A Great Big Thank You Thank you so much - Hope you know how much it is appreciated! To the team at Coast & Country You have been amazing. Biggest Thank you Mr & Mrs J (June 2023)..."
Mr S & Mrs K (June 2023)
To all the team at Coast and Country. You have made us very happy! Thank you all. Mr S & Mrs K (June 2023)..."