Stages to a Sale

Stages to a Sale

Stage 1 – Written estimate of costs

You will have contacted us for an idea of what it will cost to complete your transaction.  We will provide a quote based on the information you provide to us and what we know about the property at this stage.  It may be that when once we have considered the deeds that there are defects in the title that require rectifying, or additional fees which are common in Leasehold properties such as information pack fees payable to a Landlord or Managing Agent or you may be required under the deeds to pay a percentage of the sale price to a Landlord or Managing Agent.  Similar costs can occur if your property is Freehold and subject to a rent charge.

Unfortunately, these fees will not be known to us until the deeds are available and we have investigated whether any costs are payable, but we will report any additional fee to you once we are aware of them, and will seek your approval for payment.  Please note, these fees do not form part of our legal costs, but the fee of a third party and are likely to be compulsory for any seller as the fees will be written into the title deeds.  The buyer is likely to pay similar fees as notice of transfer fees.

Stage 2 – Initial instructions from you

To start the conveyancing process of selling your property we need to receive your initial instructions. We will ask you to complete our initial questionnaires and provide us with your forms of identity and request you and send us the funds for Land Registry searches.  At this stage we will ask you complete Property Information and Fittings and Contents Forms which will form part of the contract pack.  You should supply us with any existing indemnity polices, guarantees, documents, planning and building regulations documents – essentially any documents you were provided with when you purchased, and documents for any works you have carried out since you have been an owner.  The more we provide to the buyer at the outset with the contract pack, the less enquiries we can expect throughout the transaction.  If you are unsure what documents we need, feel free to send us a pack to look through. We will return anything we do not require.  The buyer will only receive copies or scans of these documents until completion.

Once received from you, we will issue contract papers to the solicitors acting for the buyer.

Stage 3 – Contact with your mortgage lender

If you have an existing mortgage, it will show on the deeds register.  We will write to your mortgage lender and request a statement showing how much is left to repay and for them to supply any deeds they hold.  For the last 20 or so years mortgage lenders have tended not to keep any deeds and they are all held electronically at Land Registry, so please do not worry if you don’t know where the deeds are.

Stage 4 – Obtain documents from the Land Registry

Copies of the up to date electronic deeds, also known as official copies, will then be obtained by us from the Land Registry.  The cost of these documents are estimated at around £20.00 within your quotation.  Documents tend to cost between £6.00 and £12.00 per document, and we usually require a few during a transaction.

Stage 5 – Preparation of draft contract

We will draft a contract using the standard Law Society version for sale/purchase of property in the UK, and send the draft to the buyer’s solicitors along with the official copies, protocol forms and all copies of all relevant documents. It typically takes at least a week to two weeks for the buyer’s solicitor to read through and check the contract paperwork.

Stage 6 – Enquiries raised by buyer’s solicitor

The buyer’s solicitor will then need some time to carry out any searches requested by the buyer, ensure the mortgage is underway and review the paperwork sent by us. In the event that they have any questions about the property or paperwork, they will get in contact with us and we may need to refer to you so that we can answer their questions.  Some will be of a legal nature which we can answer, and some will require your input.

We should have an agreed contract and transfer deed now available for you to sign, provided they have been approved by the buyer’s solicitors, and as such you will receive these for signature.  Please note by signing the documents you are not committed to the sale, neither is the buyer.  We sign in readiness of exchange of contracts which is likely to occur shortly thereafter provided all parties in the chain are at the same stage.

Stage 7 – Agree on a completion date

Once the buyer’s solicitor is happy with the responses to enquiries, at this stage of the conveyancing process, a date can be arranged for signing any remaining paperwork and completion, which is agreed by all parties involved with the transaction.  After this, the buyer will transfer the deposit (usually 10%) to their solicitor, which is the cue for us to prepare for the exchange of contracts.

Stage 8 – Exchange of contracts

When the exchange of contacts happens the transaction and completion date become legally binding. The deposit will then be transferred to us by the buyer’s solicitor and then we will request a final redemption statement from your mortgage lender.  It may be if there is little time between exchange and completion that we have an up to date settlement figure for your mortgage already.  You will receive from us a Completion Statement showing all payments to be made from the sale proceeds which you should check carefully and report any discrepancy to us.

At this stage, we will carry out various checks on your bank details and as well as running an online check.


Fraudsters target home movers by intercepting bank details and hoping that you are not cautious when transferring funds, and equally hope that we are not cautious when sending money to you. We carry out various internal and external checks on your bank details, and you will have provided a completed bank details form and bank statement at the outset.  We will check the details over the phone with you in addition.  For safety and to prevent interception we will NOT accept any bank details by email.  We understand in a digital world this is most frustrating, however email is the most common way bank details are intercepted and we would not want to put any of our clients at any risk whatsoever.

As a firm, to eliminate risk, we are fans of the “test payment” method.  This is where the person sending large sums of money sends a £1.00 test payment to the recipient before remitting the remaining balance.  The key here is that the recipient will confirm receipt of the £1.00 test, and we can then be sure we have a clear, secure line of banking between us.

We recommend clients use this method when transferring money to our client account also.

Stage 9 – Completion – Money and moving!

Completion is essentially the day you need to move out (usually by 2pm at the latest) and the day the money transfers from the buyer to ourselves, and ourselves to the various people who will be noted on your Completion Statement – usually an estate agents and mortgage lender.

The transaction is considered completed when we have received the full balance of the sale price from the buyer’s solicitor. You are required to leave the keys with the estate agent, who will only release them to the buyer when the funds have been received and we confirm to them that they may release them.  Your existing mortgage will be repaid and all fees from the sale proceeds will be settled; the remaining balance will then be sent to you.

Funds will usually be received on the day of completion depending on the time of day you complete.

How we can help

Our experienced solicitors are on hand to support you with a range of legal services.

Buying a Property

Selling a Property


Releasing Equity

Contact Our Conveyancing Team

If you have a question about conveyancing or would like to speak to a property law solicitor, please complete the form below or call us on 0161 672 2267

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