Property Selling Guides > 8 Steps to Finalise Your Property Sale
8 steps to finalise your property sale
What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal transfer of home ownership from you as the seller, to the buyer. It starts when you accept a buyer’s offer on your property and finishes when they collect the keys.
A solicitor or conveyancer usually oversees this process.
We’ve explained the process in more detail below.
1. 'Instruct’ a conveyancing solicitor
Before you begin the process, you’ll need to instruct your conveyancing solicitor to oversee the process and progress your sale.
Our recommended conveyancing firm, Simplify, are the UK’s leading independent conveyancing and property services group. They will manage your case online and provide online document signing and verification.
2. Complete the property forms
The next step is for you to complete the forms about your property and what you intend to include in the sale. Your conveyancer will provide these forms to you.
Be honest and as detailed as possible when you fill out the forms.
To get ahead in this process, you can check which forms you’ll need to complete, and the documents you’ll need to help you do this.
3. Work with your solicitor on the legal stuff
It’s important to ask questions and raise any concerns with your solicitor – they are your first point of contact for any updates on your sale. It’s a good idea to keep in regular contact with them – they’re working for you and should keep you up to date.
Your solicitor will use the property forms you’ve completed to draw up a draft contract. This will then be sent to the buyer’s solicitor to start the process. Your solicitor will lead on the negotiations with the buyer’s solicitor over the draft contract, including:
4. Pay off your mortgage
If you’ve already got a mortgage
You’ll need to make sure you’ve spoken with your lender and decided your next steps together.
If you already have a mortgage on another property, you might want to pay this off by requesting a redemption figure from your mortgage company. This might not apply to you if you’re looking to buy a second home, or more!
If you need a new mortgage
Make sure you aren’t missing out on the best deal and get in touch with the UK’s leading mortgage brokers, Mortgage Advice Bureau. Their mortgage specialists can provide you with the advice you need face-to-face, or over the phone at a time to suit you.
5. Exchange contracts with the buyer
You and the buyer will need to agree on a date and time to exchange contracts.
If the buyer isn’t in a chain
Your solicitor will exchange contracts for you. This is usually done by both solicitors over a recorded phone call, to make sure the contracts are identical. After this, they immediately send the contracts to one another by post.
If the buyer is in a chain
The buyer’s solicitor will still exchange contracts with your solicitor, but will only release it if the other people in the chain are all happy to go ahead. If one person pulls out or delays, then everyone in the chain gets held up.
Once you’ve exchanged contracts, you’ll be in a legally binding contract to sell the property and the buyer will have a set moving date.
If the buyer doesn’t complete the purchase, you’ll get to keep their deposit, and they could even owe you more if the deposit was less than 10%. However, it’s unlikely that you won’t complete.
On the other hand, once you’ve exchanged contracts, it means you must sell the property to the buyer. You also can’t accept another offer, even if it was higher than the original buyer’s offer.
6. Prepare for your move
Once you’ve received the buyer’s deposit, it’s time to organise how you’ll move out. Do you need to arrange a removal company, or order some extra boxes?
You’ll need to arrange to hand your keys over to the buyer. If your local expert holds keys to your property, let them know about your plans as soon as possible, so they can make sure they’re available on the day to help. If not, message the buyer directly via the app to work out the best way to hand them over on the day.
It’s also a good idea to check that you’ve still got the objects or furniture that you said you would include in the sale on the fixtures and fittings form.
7. Move out on or before completion day
On completion day, you’ll hand over the keys to the buyer. Often the buyer will collect the keys from their local expert.
You’ll receive the outstanding balance of the sale price, hand over any of the legal ownership documents, and then pay off the mortgage with the proceeds of the sale.
Pay your solicitors
The last step is making sure you’ve carried out the remaining legal actions, gathered your paperwork and paid your solicitors in full.
At this stage, your solicitors will:
Need help with your property sale? You’ll hear from the Post Sales Support Team once your property is Sold Subject To Contract. But in the meantime, if you have any questions, you can drop them a line at email@example.com – they’re available Monday to Friday 9:00 to 17:30.