Sale doesn’t come about without dedication, hard work and – let’s face it – some sweat and tears. There are still a few more steps to take before you can put up your feet and rejoice.
A buyer’s guide in three easy steps
The end is nigh! You’ve successfully negotiated the hurdles – expected and unexpected – that faced you when you set out on this journey.
Over the last year or so, you’ve agreed your budget, applied for a mortgage, received approval from the lending agency, found a suitable house, hired a solicitor, made an offer, and now here you are at the ‘Sale Agreed’ signpost.
Home and dry?
Well, not quite! There are three further essential steps for a buyer to take to ensure the sale goes as smoothly as possible.
Once your offer is accepted, the legal process begins. In other areas, you could be tempted to veer slightly off-script but there are certain things in life one can’t avoid. Stick rigidly to the protocol and follow through on any requests.
The estate agent will prepare advisory notes on the sale and send them to both solicitors involved. This document contains details of the price, conditions of the sale, the estimated closing date and the names and addresses of all those involved in the sale. Once the seller’s solicitor receives the sale details from the estate agent they will send the contracts for the sale of the property, along with a copy of the title deeds of the property to your solicitor.
Time to autograph the contracts! Your solicitor will check that the contracts are in order and you’re happy with the finer details. Once the signed contract is returned to the seller’s solicitor, you will have legally agreed to buy the property. It’s incredibly important to make and keep your own copies of all paperwork and retain proof of the closing and settlement. Also be sure to keep receipts of any costs you’ve incurred tending to house repairs.
Now comes the time for the deposit. Better to get it out of the way before you spend it, right? Once the seller’s solicitor receives the deposit and the signed contract, the seller and solicitor will sign and return one copy of the contract to your solicitor. It’s at this point that the seller is legally bound to sell you their property – exciting stuff!
Both solicitors will arrange for a final closing date at such a date you’ll receive the keys to your new property. Before this, the remainder of the money must be paid, which means all the paperwork and approval for your loan must be completed and returned to your lender by your solicitor. Inform your lender once your offer has been accepted and the valuation is done. Once the lender is happy, it’s all plain sailing from here. Your loan will be approved and you’ll receive a formal letter of offer containing the details of the mortgage. Visit your solicitor to whom the bank will have sent all the legal paperwork and make those copies.
Insurance is next. Make sure the house is insured by the time the sale is closed.
One final thing (we promise): stamp duty. Your solicitor will arrange to pay the stamp duty for you, so be aware that you’ll need to have this amount of money at your disposal when closing the sale.
A sellers guide – three top tips
At this point, you’re probably still on a high from going ‘sale agreed’. Use that energy to propel you through the final fiddly few steps. You’re so close.
Convey and obey
The conveyancing is most important part of the whole business. The formal document that transfers your legal interest in the house to the purchasers, is signed by you, the seller, and held on file until the closing date. You should provide your estate agent with a set of house keys to be handed over on completion of the sale. Your solicitor will agree on a closing date with the buyer’s solicitors and prepares a statement of account and bill of costs, outlining the fees and outlay to be deducted from the sale proceeds.
Touch up to touch down
Don’t distance yourself at the last minute. You need to maintain your credibility and follow through on your assurances. Minor touch-ups should be carried out and anything requested from the buyer that you promised to deliver. If you’ve been given a snag list, tend to it as soon as possible. Door fittings, plumbing, lighting and fixtures should be up to scratch.
Cross the finish line
Hire a mover – shop around and get personal recommendations – your prized possessions are at stake here so make sure you trust the company to cargo your delicates. With over 20 years of experience, a company like Two Men And A Truck gets our vote for this.
Too many delicates for your new digs? Worry not, until you get your Fengshui sorted, put it into storage. Companies like Nesta are built for your excessive lifestyle and furniture, so use, abuse and rent yourself a storage space.
Notify the post office and other correspondents of your new address: the bank, credit union, doctor’s, insurance company, any official organisations that may send you private information. Cancel utilities like the electricity, broadband service provider, bins subscription and any accounts specific to you that the new owner will want to start afresh. Have the oil/gas meter read and settle up the owed amount rather than relying on estimates.
Breathe. Selling and buying property is an emotional rollercoaster but with the right preparation, it will all be worth it!
Ready to ride the rollercoaster? Don’t do it alone! For a quality real estate agent, head to Moovingo.com today.