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A beginner’s guide to buying and selling a house

Buying or selling a house can be daunting, and it’s not as though anyone sits down and teaches you how to do it. This guide offers a quick overview of the whole process, although some details might vary.


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As a Buyer

The first step is obviously to find a property you like and put in an offer. After that, you’ll need to get moving quickly, or the purchase process can take a long time. There are several different stages, and delays can rapidly add up. The first thing you’ll need to do is arrange your mortgage, and get a firm offer in writing from the lender. Your mortgage lender will arrange a survey to make sure the property is worth the value of the mortgage.

The next step is to find someone to do your conveyancing – in other words, to handle all of the legal processes associated with the purchase. You have plenty of choice here, from local solicitors to nationwide firms. It’s important to get more than one conveyancing quote because fees and timelines vary widely. Your conveyancer communicates with the seller’s conveyancer, runs searches with the Land Registry, local authority and other agencies to investigate any possible problems with the property, and makes sure the money makes it from your bank or mortgage lender to the seller.

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If the property costs enough to require Stamp Duty, your conveyancer also takes the money from you and pays that. Finally, after completion, you’ll pick up your keys and the deed to your new home from them.

As a Seller

The process for sellers is slightly less complicated. You’ll probably already have an estate agent who handled the marketing of your home, and your conveyancer will liaise with them, get deeds from your bank and statements from the Land Registry, draft the contract of sale, and check that the buyer has received their mortgage.

Although there are fewer steps, you still need a conveyancer and a conveyancing quote. Companies like Sam Conveyancing provide conveyancing quotes online. That’s especially important if there are chains involved – if you’re buying a new property at the same time, or the buyers are selling their old property as well as buying yours.

The right conveyancer can make all the difference to the process, for both buyers and sellers, so research thoroughly and choose carefully.