The house sale process

The steps below describe what actually happens during the house sale process, and what your solicitor and the buyer's solicitor do during the period leading up to you receiving payment for your house.

  Seller Buyer
1 Solicitor provides written confirmation of fees and other matters and asks Seller to complete Seller's Property Information Forms (SPIF) and List of Fixtures and Fittings. Solicitor provides written confirmation of fees and other matters and asks the Buyer to provide the cost of the initial searches.
  Solicitor now waits for draft contract documentation - in particular a filed plan of the property.
Solicitor orders Office Copy entries and filed plan from HM Land Registry and obtains title deeds from the Seller or, if he has a mortgage, from the mortgage lender.  
Solicitor prepares Draft Contract documentation and forwards this with SPIF, Fixtures and Office Copies to Buyer's Solicitor.  
2   Searches are applied for which could have a 2 to 3 week lead time (usually much quicker)
3   Solicitor might wait for searches to be returned before approving/amending the draft contract - raising any enquiries with the Seller's Solicitor - and drafting the Transfer document for the Seller's Solicitor to approve.
Solicitor approves/amends the draft Transfer and replies to any enquiries.  
4 Seller meets with his Solicitor to discuss dates and sign the Contract and Transfer. Buyer meets with his Solicitor to discuss dates, mortgage offer and sign the Contract, Transfer and Mortgage Deeds (and to provide any balance of purchase funds - (if any).
5 Solicitors EXCHANGE CONTRACTS (over the phone), legally committing buyer and seller, and agreeing a date for completion.
6 COMPLETION will then take place on the dates agreed, at which points the seller is paid in full, and the buyer collects the keys.

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