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First-Time Sellers - What You Need To Know12th Feb 2022

by Ruth Elkins on 12th Feb 2022

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First-Time Sellers Guide

You’re selling your first home! It’s an exciting time, but with so much to think about it can be very daunting.

Our expert guidance can help you understand all of the steps involved.

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I'm going to put my house on the market what do I need to do next?

Choose an estate agent.

Make sure you have an up to date EPC (energy performance certificate).

Instruct a solicitor to act on the sale of your property. Inform the estate agent of the firm you have instructed.

Your solicitor will then send you the initial paperwork which will request initial monies on account, and for you to complete protocol forms and collate any documents relating to the property. These will include; FENSA certificates for windows, EIC electrical certificate and Boiler / Gas safety certificates. They will also request that you attend the office to do the required ID checks.

What are the costs I am likely to incur?

This will depend on whether you are undertaking just a sale, or a purchase as well, and whether the property is a freehold or leasehold property, but typical costs will include:

  • Solicitors’ fees  
  • Estate Agent fees
  • Land Registry fees
  • Fraud detection fees  
  • Anti-money laundering fees  
  • Leasehold fees (for landlord enquiries + additional work undertaken by the solicitor)  
  • Indemnity policy fees (if required)

I've accepted an offer on my house – what’s the next step?

Let the solicitor know what price you've agreed, the estate agent will then send the solicitor particulares of the sale, including details of who the buyers have appointed to act for them.

Solicitor drafts and issues a contract pack to the buyer's solicitor.

The buyer's solictor will then read through the pack and raise any questions regarding the title deeds and documents you've provided.

Your solicitor may then need to speak to you, or a 3rd party such as a local authority, to resolve any questions raised in order to obtain the answers. 

    What other complications could arise when I’m selling?

    There may be issues with your property's title, whereby unknown charges are present and need to be discharged prior to completion or it could be that the title plan doesn’t reflect what is on the ground.

    The buyer may have received adverse search results that were previously unknown to you concerning the property. Parts of the title may even be unregistered or there maybe a lack of right of way over a portion of land.

    How will my solicitor help me in the sale process?

    Your solicitor will ensure that all of the relevant documentation e.g. the contract  and a copy of all the papers you’ve provided is given to the buyer’s solicitor, this is provided in the form of a contract pack towards the beginning of the process.

    Your solicitor will assist you in answering enquiries raised by the buyers and work to ensure that any charges on the property are discharged prior to completion on your behalf.

    Your solicitor will  guide you as to what you are legally required to provide and where buyers are asking for something that is not a legal requirement.

    Your solicitor will be on hand to advise on any questions you the seller may have and guide you through every step of the sale process. 

    Find the right legal help.

    When looking for a conveyancer or property lawyer – do your research – look at recommendations. The cheapest is not always the best option and can end up costing you more money, time and stress in the long run.  Be wary of online companies who appear to offer low prices as they can often have several hidden charges which can result in higher prices than using a local firm.

    We would highly recommend using someone local to the area - you want a legal team that is prompt, efficient, cost-effective and knowledgeable.

    Use our conveyancing calculator to get an estimate for your conveyancing costs.

    Further Reading

    Get Expert Legal Advice On Moving House

    Using highly experienced conveyancing solicitors makes your house sale easier and less stressful. We help to make the process run more smoothly.

    Contact Coles Miller’s conveyancing solicitors for more information about your house sale.

    This document is not intended to constitute and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice on any specific matter. No liability for the accuracy of the content of this document, or the consequences of relying on it, is assumed by the author. If you seek further information, please contact Managing Partner Neil Andrews at Coles Miller Solicitors LLP.