Selling your Home


I’m selling my home. When do I need to instruct a lawyer/conveyancer?

You should instruct a lawyer/conveyancer when you are about to market your property for sale so that you are in a position to progress promptly with the conveyancing work once a buyer has been found and a sale agreed.

How long does it take to sell my property?

This will often depend on whether there is a chain and if so how many people are in the chain and their funding arrangements. For instance, a sale to a cash buyer will normally be far quicker than a sale to a buyer requiring a mortgage, particularly if they are in a long chain with others also requiring mortgage finance. Three months is the average timescale but it regularly takes longer and occasionally is shorter.

What’s the difference between exchange and completion?

An exchange of contracts is when both buyer an seller become legally bound to sell and purchase. Completion is the date when the transaction is to complete and where the seller will need to vacate the property. Exchange of contracts takes place first and there is normally a gap of two or three weeks before completion. During this time the seller still owns the property and may stay living in it.

Where do I find my title deeds?

Most residential property is registered land and consequently the title will be held digitally at the Land Registry, we can download your title. If the property is unregistered the deeds will be held by the lender but if unmortgaged the deeds will normally be held by you or a previous lawyer who may be holding them in safe custody.

I’m selling my home. Do I have to pay stamp duty and if so how much?

No. The stamp duty will be paid by the buyer.

Do I have to pay capital gains tax on the property?

If the property is your principle private residence, you do not have to pay capital gains tax on any gain. If not, you may have to pay it on any gain unless you can apply any other exemptions.

What forms do I need to sign to complete a house sale?

Normally you will be required to sign the sale contract and the transfer property.

The surveyor has found a problem with my property. What are my options?

If a buyer’s surveyor finds a defect with the property they may ask to have the defect remedied at the sellers expense. Alternatively, the buyer may attempt to negotiate a lower sale price to reflect the work they will be required to carry out following the completion of their purchase. The seller will need to consider and negotiate this with their agent if the request is considered reasonable.

If the buyer pulls out can I make a claim to recover my costs?

If a buyer or seller withdraw from a sale or purchase transaction before an exchange of contracts is achieved neither party can claim their wasted costs from the other party.

What will happen if I pull out of the sale?

If the seller decides to withdraw from a sale transaction before an exchange of contracts they will only be responsible for their own selling costs.

When do we agree a date to move out?

The completion and moving date will normally be agreed when contracts are exchanged.

When do I have to move out?

Normally vacant possession will be required on the completion of your sale. Completion on the day of completion normally will occur between 9am and 2pm.

Can exchange and completion happen on the same day?

Both an exchange of contracts and completion can occur on the same day, this is referred to as a simultaneous exchange and completion. However, this does not normally work well for people in a chain or their lenders as until the actual day no one is bound to one another. Making so many arrangements on this tenuous basis is very problematic and stressful for everyone involved.

When will I receive the money from my sale?

Following the completion of the sale the lawyer/conveyancer will transfer the net proceeds of sale to the seller.


Guide to selling home

An infographic on selling your home, guiding you through all stages of the property selling process.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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