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The 10 Steps of Buying / Selling a House

View profile for Rhian Derrick
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This short video explains the 10 steps completed by your solicitor when you are buying and/or selling a house.

Step 1:

The Estate Agent finds a buyer, agrees the price, then writes to the Solicitors with the details.

Step 2:

The Solicitor write to their clients with their Terms of Business. To protect against property fraud you’ll have to provide ID to prove it really is you. You may also have to show how you acquired the money so it is clear it is not the proceeds of crime.

Step 3:

If you’re selling you’ll get some property forms to fill in, giving information about the property such as if you’ve had new windows, an extension or flood problems. You’ll also fill in a form confirming what items you’ll leave at the property.

Step 4:

The Solicitor for the seller sends a draft contract, the property forms and a copy of the deeds to the buyers’ Solicitor. The deeds are usually simply downloaded from the Land Registry these days.

Step 5:

On receipt of the deeds the buyers’ Solicitor will play detective, looking through the deeds and property forms and ensuring there are no discrepancies. They will check for any rights of way you have over neighbouring land, for example a shared drive or a shared back lane. They’ll look into rights that neighbours may have over your property, for example a right to use a shared path. They’ll check for private agreements in the deeds that restrict you doing things such as building an extension. They’ll also make sure the correct paperwork is in place for any new windows, electrical works and gas installations. Enquiries are then raised with the sellers’ Solicitor to iron out any discrepancies.

Step 6:

Next, there are three usual searches carried out by the Solicitor: A local search, which reveals things such as building works done to the property; an environmental search which reveals whether the property may be built on contaminated land, and a drainage and water search which shows where pipes run and confirms whether the property is connected to the mains.

Step 7:

The seller replies to enquiries, then the buyers’ Solicitor sends a report to the buyers explaining the deeds and the paperwork. The buyers then sign the contract in readiness for exchange of contracts.

Step 8:

The moving date is agreed, called the completion date, and the Solicitors call each other and exchange contracts. At this point no-one can back out.

Step 9:

On the day the sale completes, the purchase monies are sent via the banking system. Once it arrives with the sellers’ Solicitor the Estate Agent is called to say that the buyer can have the keys. This is usually around midday but can sometimes take longer.

Step 10:

The sellers’ Solicitor then repays any mortgage and also pays the Estate Agent. The buyers’ Solicitor will register the change of ownership with the Land Registry.