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Guide to Selling Residential Property in England and Wales

22 October 2015

When you put the property on the market

Energy Performance Certificate (“EPC”)

If you “market” your property for sale you must have commissioned an EPC before marketing can commence. Collas Crill can commission the EPC for your property and, at the same time, prepare to deal with the sale. By dealing with this at an early stage, we can reduce the time it takes to get from accepting an offer to exchange of contracts.

Replies to pre-contract enquiries

These should be prepared as soon as possible and by dealing with them at the same time as you put the property on the market, Collas Crill can pick up any potential issues that might arise from a buyer’s perspective and obtain the supporting information (such as planning consents).

It is therefore sensible to instruct us to deal with the sale when you put the property on the market, even if your estate agent prepares the EPC.

What you need to do: What we need to do:

Decide who is to prepare the EPC and confirm instructions to them.

Order the EPC (if we are instructed to). We take brief instructions by phone and then fax or e-mail you the order form requesting that you respond with confirmation of your instructions. You and your estate agent are informed as soon as the EPC has been completed.

Instruct us to deal with the sale and complete the forms we send you.

We send you a number of enquiry forms to complete. These are fairly straightforward and are in a “tick box” form. They request information about the property, its fittings and contents, and the whereabouts of any title deeds.

Contact your lender (if you have a mortgage) in writing and ask them to liaise with us with respect to the redemption of your mortgage.

We will obtain details of the amount required to repay any mortgage secured on the property.

Consider whether you need any tax advice. If the property is not your Principal Main Residence, then its disposal may well have Capital Gains Tax implications. We have contacts with a number of specialists in this area and would be happy to make a recommendation based on your circumstances.

Verify your identity. We make sure that we hold evidence of your identity which complies with the current anti money laundering directives.

When you accept an offer

What you need to do: What we need to do:

If you have not already instructed us then you should do so immediately so that we can prepare to deal with the sale and verify your ID.

Prepare to deal with your sale and verify ID (if we have not already been instructed).

Complete and return to us the various forms we have sent you and ensure that ID has been verified.

Draft the sale contract, which sets out the terms on which the sale has been agreed.

If you have already completed and returned the forms to us, notify us of any changes to the information supplied.

Send the sale documents to the buyer’s solicitors. These include the contract, the EPC and all relevant title and property information.

Check our proposed replies to the buyer’s solicitor’s enquiries.

Respond to the buyer’s solicitor’s enquiries. We draft replies and ask you to verify and complete these before we return them.

We will then send you the contract to sign once it has been agreed with the buyer’s solicitor.

Reaching exchange of contracts

What you need to do: What we need to do:

Return the signed contract or authorise us in writing to sign the contract on your behalf.

Check with the buyer’s solicitor that they hold a signed contract, the cleared deposit and have been instructed with the agreed completion date.

Agree the date you want to complete the sale. You will need to agree this date either directly or via the estate agent with the buyer and you should remember that this date is not fixed until exchange of contracts takes place.

Exchange of contracts takes place by telephone call between ourselves and the buyer’s solicitor.

After exchange of contracts

What you need to do: What we need to do:

Confirm your removal arrangements with the removal company.

We will inform you and the estate agents that exchange has taken place and confirm the date for completion.

Notify service suppliers and your local Council Tax department that you are leaving.

Request a redemption figure from your lender.

Before completion

What you need to do: What we need to do:

If you have not done so already, sign the transfer document and return it to use.

If you have not done so already, sign the transfer document and return it to use.

Handover a set of keys to your estate agent.

We will reply to any pre-completion questions raised by the buyer’s solicitor.

Clear the property of any items that you have excluded from the sale and remove all rubbish.

Provide us with the details of the account to which the balance of the sale proceeds should be transferred (unless they are being used for a related purchase).

After completion

What you need to do: What we need to do:

Pay your estate agent.

Repay any mortgage and supply evidence of this to the buyer’s solicitor.

This note is a summary of the subject and is provided for information only. It does not purport to give specific legal advice, and before acting, further advice should always be sought. Whilst every care has been taken in producing this note neither the author nor Collas Crill shall be liable for any errors, misprint or misinterpretation of any of the matters set out in it. All copyright in this material belongs to Collas Crill.