Services which are included for sales of residential property

As part of the work we do when acting for sellers, we will carryout the following work:

  1. Comply with all regulatory requirements, which include submitting an estimate of fees and disbursements and issuing a client care/retainer letter and any terms and conditions.
  2. Carry out and record:
  • verification of identity and compliance with Money Laundering Regulations;
  • conflict check;
  • capacity of client check; and
  • a scope of authority to act check, where there is more than one seller.
  1. Enquire whether there are any adult occupiers other than the seller who may need to give consent.
  2. Check whether the seller has property to buy and whether an offer has been accepted and whether there is any linked transaction or chain of transactions.
  3. Check whether the seller requires a mortgage offer in connection with any related purchase and, if so, whether:
  • an application has been made; and
  • a mortgage offer has been made to the buyer.
  1. Obtain relevant written authority from the seller to deal with the seller’s existing lender.
  2. Obtain the title deeds, if any.
  3. Obtain redemption figures and costs of obtaining redemption statements and any later updates.
  4. Examine the mortgage or other loans and consider obtaining a statement of account to ascertain redemption penalties or negative equity. If it is apparent that there is a negative equity or for some other reason the seller will not be able to discharge the registered charges from the proceeds of sale, discussing what actions need to be taken.
  5. Establish the extent of, and title to, the land to be sold.
  6. Registered title: obtain official copies and title plans for all titles to be sold and, where appropriate, official copies of registered documents.
  7. Unregistered title: make an index map search and ascertain the whereabouts of the title deeds.
  8. Send a Property Information Form and a Fittings and Contents Form to the seller.
  9. Explain to the seller the nature of the questions in the forms and ask the seller for documentation such as planning permissions, building regulation consents, plans, completion certificates and any guarantees.
  10. Consider and advise in relation to any apparent defect in title or missing items in title documents, e.g. missing lease or discrepancies in names or addresses.
  11. Consider how to deal with any restrictions appearing on the register.
  12. For leasehold properties:

(1) Obtain the lease or official copy of the lease.

(2) Send a Leasehold Information Form (in addition to the Property Information Form) to the seller and obtain any documents that will be required, including a receipt for ground rent, service charge accounts and insurance details.

(3) Obtain from the seller the contact details for the landlord and/or managing agent and establish if a standard form of landlord/management company replies to enquiries can be obtained and, if so, the cost.

(4) Consider the submission of a questionnaire to the landlord/managing agent.

(5) Consider if any third parties will need to consent to the sale (e.g. landlord or management company). If so, establish the costs of obtaining such consent.

  1. Check replies to enquiries and endeavour to obtain missing documentation.
  2. Consider which, if any, documents may need to be signed by an attorney and check whether powers of attorney are available.
  3. Ascertain the identity of all people aged 17 or over living in the property and ask about any financial contribution they or anyone else may have made towards its purchase or subsequent improvement. Consider whether their consent to the sale is required and whether independent advice is required.
  4. Confirm the seller’s instructions including checking for any incentives or other direct payments.
  5. Confirm and update, where necessary, replies to enquiries if completed more than two months earlier.
  6. Request a sales memorandum and particulars from the estate agent. Check terms are consistent with instructions.
  7. Check the identity of the buyer’s solicitor unless they are personally known to us, following the latest SRA and Law Society guidance and advice.
  8. Contact the buyer’s solicitor to confirm instructions, the name of the conveyancer and the supervising solicitor or regulated principal.
  9. Provide the name of the seller, price agreed and state whether there is any related purchase.
  10. Request details of the buyer’s funding arrangements if not previously supplied.
  11. If there is likely to be any delay in submitting a contract bundle, inform the seller, the buyer’s solicitor and the estate agents.
  12. Prepare and submit to the buyer’s solicitor a contract bundle which includes:

(1) The draft contract incorporating the latest edition of the Standard Conditions of Sale.

(2) If the title is registered:

(i) official copies of the register and title plan (including official copies of all filed documents);

(ii) an official copy of any registered lease; and

(iii) where appropriate, an explanation of the seller’s title, for example, if the name of the registered proprietor is different from the name of the seller.

(3) If the title is unregistered:

(i) a land charges search against the seller and any other appropriate names;

(ii) an official search of the index map;

(iii) an epitome of title. Examine documents and mark copies or abstracts of all deeds that will not be passed to the buyer’s solicitor as examined against the originals;

(iv) an examined abstract. Prepare, and mark as examined against the originals, copies or abstracts of all deeds prior to the root containing covenants, easements, etc. that may affect the property;

(v) generally such documents on which the seller can reasonably be expected to rely in order to deduce title (e.g. a certified copy of a grant of probate, a power of attorney, etc.)

(4) Replies to enquiries with supporting documentation.

(5) Replies to the Fittings and Contents Form.

(6) Planning permission and/or building regulation consents and completion certificates where any alterations or additions to the property have been carried out by the seller. Confirm that building plans will be delivered on completion where these are held.

(7) Required consents (e.g. under restrictive covenants). Note – the seller should supply these where available and when received they should be supplied to the buyer’s solicitors.

(8) In addition, in relation to leasehold property:

(i) replies to the Leasehold Information Form;

(ii) replies to enquiries made of the landlord/managing agents (where available) with accompanying documentation including three years’ management accounts, a ground rent receipt, a buildings insurance policy with an up-to-date schedule and information about any required Deed of Covenant or other consent to assignment, etc.;

(iii) official copies of the freehold and intermediate titles;

(iv) a copy of the seller’s share certificate for any landlord/management company where appropriate.

(9) Any searches and enquiries made on behalf of the seller.

(10) If provided by the seller, an Energy Performance Certificate.

  1. Request confirmation of the buyer’s timescales for this and any related transaction or contemporaneous sale.
  2. Inform the estate agent and the seller when the contract bundle has been submitted to the buyer’s solicitor.
  3. Supply information about any related purchase by the seller and any other transactions in the chain where known, and subsequently notify of any change in circumstances.
  4. Provide the seller with the information received from the buyer’s solicitor about any related sale by the buyer and any other transactions in the chain.
  5. If any document is unavailable or awaited then the contract bundle may be submitted with an explanation as to the likely timescale for it to be supplied.
  6. Inform the seller and the estate agent of any difficulties likely to delay the exchange of contracts.
  7. Obtain the seller’s responses to additional enquiries.
  8. Take instructions and agree apportionments of the purchase price in respect of fittings and contents.
  9. Consider the position in relation to representation and proposed undertakings generally.
  10. If the buyer’s lender is not represented by the buyer’s solicitor, consider what arrangements may be required. For example, where mortgage funds are being transmitted directly or evidence of discharge or undertakings for discharge are likely to be required by the buyer’s lender’s solicitor and the buyer’s solicitor.
  11. Deal with any amendments to the contract after taking instructions if necessary.
  12. Agree the contract and any transfer.
  13. Obtain the seller’s signature to the contract and the transfer if agreed.
  14. Advise regarding the insurance and deposit arrangements in the contract.
  15. Confirm the completion date and ensure the seller is aware of the obligation to give vacant possession.
  16. Ensure, so far as is possible, that the fullest information is made available as to the status of other transactions in the chain.
  17. Confirm to the buyer’s solicitor the form of discharge that will be given by the lender(s) (through their own solicitors if separate solicitors are acting for the seller’s lender) so far as known.
  18. Inform the buyer’s solicitor if there are circumstances as to why identification of any seller’s lender will not be supplied for the application to the Land Registry.
  19. Consider whether undertakings are appropriate. If so, consider the type of undertaking to be offered in relation to any mortgage discharge required at completion.
  20. Respond to the buyer’s solicitor’s enquiries.
  21. Consider the SRA warning card on undertakings.
  22. Confirm the anticipated date for completion and arrange with the buyer’s solicitor to check the date with others in any chain to see if it is agreed.
  23. Request the client or estate agent to negotiate the date if required.
  24. Advise the seller about any apportionments that may be requested in addition to completion monies. Obtain the relevant supporting service charge or other documentation and receipts.
  25. Advise the seller about continuing to make mortgage payments that are due prior to the completion date.
  26. Consider the terms on which the deposit is to be held and by whom and advise the seller of potential consequences of default if, for example, the deposit is held to order.
  27. Use the appropriate Law Society formula for exchange by telephone or conduct a personal exchange.
  28. Exchange contracts.
  29. Ensure adherence with the undertakings implied by such an exchange.
  30. Notify all relevant parties that exchange has taken place immediately after exchange of contracts.
  31. Reply to the questions in the Completion Information and Undertakings form and send to the buyer’s solicitor.
  32. If not indicated previously, confirm the form of discharge that will be given by the lender so far as it is known.
  33. Consider and reply to any additional requisitions on title raised by the buyer.
  34. Provide the buyer’s solicitor with a copy of the transfer executed by the seller to be delivered on completion.
  35. Obtain redemption figures for all financial charges revealed in the official copies or land charges register (where unregistered).
  36. Obtain the seller’s instructions to pay the estate agent’s fees from the sale proceeds.
  37. On the day before completion or as early as reasonably possible on the day of completion, consider whether there is likely to be any delay. If so, notify the buyer’s solicitor and thereafter agree how communication will be handled during the course of the day until completion has taken place.
  38. If completion is to be by post, comply with the Law Society Code for Completion by Post without variation unless instructions are given by the seller and are specific to the needs of the individual transaction.
  39. Inform the buyer’s solicitor of receipt of completion monies. Inform the seller’s solicitor of the commitment of funds to the banking system or instructions given to the bank in accordance with the code.
  40. Completion
  41. Report completion to the seller and proceed with any related purchase transaction.
  42. If applicable follow the Law Society Code for Completion by Post.
  43. Notify the estate agent and/or any other key holder that completion has taken place and authorise immediate release of the keys.
  44. Notify the buyer’s solicitor that completion has taken place and the keys have been released.
  45. Date and complete the transfer.
  46. Dispatch the completion documents including the transfer to the buyer’s solicitor with any agreed undertakings.
  47. Send sufficient monies to the lender in accordance with any undertakings.
  48. Pay the estate agent’s or property seller’s commission if so authorised.
  49. Account to the seller for any balance of the sale proceeds.
  50. Provide the buyer with sealed Form DS1 (and ID forms where applicable) as soon as it is received and obtain related discharge of undertaking. If the lender has discharged any registered charge by electronic means, notify the buyer’s solicitor when confirmation is received from the lender. If none is received, contact the lender to obtain such confirmation.