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WTW House Selling Guide


Moving home or selling a house can be a difficult and stressful time, so in this guide we will try to simplify the stages of a normal purchase and give you some practical advice & information.

We want to make the process as easy as possible, so feel free to contact us on 01535 662644 for any additional help or advice along the way.

It can take anywhere between six and twelve weeks for a sale to be completed even if there is no mortgage or chain involved. We will always do our best to keep you informed of progress made or any delays that may impact the time taken to complete your transaction.

If you need to speak to one of our Property Team face to face then we always recommend that you make an appointment. You can do this by phoning reception on 01535 662644.

Meet our Property Team

Sarah Bright Licensed Conveyancer         Myron Handzij           Lee Kirby

Sarah Bright                     Myron Handzij                 Lee Kirby


For further information about our team and their contact information please visit our website at www.wtwsolicitors.co.uk.

Glossary of Terms

A chain is a sequence of linked house purchases, each of which is dependent on the preceding and succeeding purchase.

Completion Date
One of the terms of the contract will be the completion date. This is the date on which title to the property is transferred by the seller to the buyer. It is also when the buyer gets the keys to and takes vacant possession of the property. This is normally set for two weeks after the Exchange of Contracts but can vary.

The sum payable by the buyer’s as a first instalment on the purchase of the property. The seller is normally entitled to a deposit of 10%.

Exchange of Contracts
Exchanging contracts or Exchange of Contracts is the final step before completion and occurs after a Solicitor or Licensed Conveyancer has carried out all the necessary searches and there is agreement to the contract terms. Once each party has signed the contracts and they have been exchanged, they are legally binding.

Licensed Conveyancer
A Licensed Conveyancer is a specialist legal professional who has been trained to deal with all aspects of property law.

Property Searches
Property searches are the enquiries a Solicitor or Licensed Conveyancer makes to a local authority and/or agency before buying a property on behalf of a client. The answers make prospective buyer’s aware of issues before they complete their purchase, such as legal interests in the property, rights of way over the property, and planning restrictions or proposals.

A title means having legal ownership of the property.

Vacant Possession
Vacant possession is the right of the purchaser to have the exclusive use of a property on completion of the sale with any previous occupant/s having moved out.

Selling a House – The Stages in the Legal Process

1. We will provide a no obligation free quote for the cost of selling your house.

2. Legal Fees:
a. Please not that our fees will always include VAT.
b. Our bill will include our legal fees and any fees paid to third parties to progress the sale e.g. the Land Registry.
c. Legal Fees are normally calculated on the amount of time spent on a transaction but some of the fees we charge are fixed and we will talk you through all of these.
d. If we think that the final cost will be higher than our estimate then we will let you know. This could be because the sale has been more complicated than anticipated and has therefore taken more time to resolve.

3. If you choose us to act on your behalf then we will issue a confirmation letter with our Terms & Conditions (one copy of which you will need to sign and return to us). This letter will also include various forms and documents for you to complete and return to us

4. Once we have received your completed forms we will then prepare and issue the contract and provide any supporting documentation to the buyer’s legal representatives.

5. The supporting documentation provided by you will include:
a. Law Society Property Information Form (TA6)
b. Law Society Fittings and Contents Form (TA10)
c. Any Guarantees
d. Any Certificates
e. Planning Permissions
f. Building Regulation approval or consents
g. Any other relevant information which you have relating to the property.

6. The buyer’s legal representative will:
a. Review the documentation and provide copies to the buyer for comment
b. Send the Property Searches to the appropriate local authority and/or agencies
c. Raise any queries about the property through us. If we can’t answer any of the queries then we will contact you for your response.

7. The buyer’s legal representative will draft the Transfer to transfer the legal title from your name(s) into the buyer’s name(s) on completion. This will be sent to us for approval.

8. Once the Transfer has been approved we will arrange for you to sign both the Contract and Transfer in readiness for exchange and completion. These documents can either be signed at our offices or sent to you at your home address for signing.

9. Once all enquiries have been answered and all parties hold their clients signed Contract & Transfer, we can then start the process of agreeing an exchange & completion date. If you have any specific dates in mind, please let us know as soon as possible and we can put the same forward to the buyer’s solicitors. Please note that if there is a chain this process may take longer

10. Exchange of Contracts:
a. Once the completion date has been agreed by all parties involved, we will start the process of exchanging the contracts. This is done by way of a telephone call between us and the buyer’s legal representative in which we agree the terms of the contract and date the contract.
b. the buyer’s legal representative will arrange to pay the buyer’s deposit to us to be held in our client account until completion.
c. At this point you will be legally bound to the sale and the completion date
d. Please note that we will always contact you prior to exchange of contracts to make sure that you are still happy with the completion date and that there have been no changes.
e. We will contact the estate agents and ask for their invoice to be paid on completion

11. Completion:
a. If you have a mortgage or finance that is secured on the property we will have obtained (with your authority) a settlement/redemption figure that is valid on the completion date.
b. The purchase price (less the deposit and including any additional negotiated items) is paid by the buyer’s legal representatives in exchange for the Legal Title to the property.
c. Funds will be transferred via the banking system. Please be aware that this can take time, particularly where a chain is involved.
d. If you are moving to another property do not expect the keys to be available until early afternoon.
e. Keys are normally handed over via the estate agents. We would recommend that arrangements for the handover are agreed in advance of the Completion date. The estate agents will not release the keys until we have received the balance of the sale money.
f. Meter readings – Don’t forget to take final meter readings for your utility companies.

12. After Completion:
a. We will provide a statement after Completion giving a detailed breakdown of how the money has been used including any deductions for:
i. Mortgage/s
ii. Finance
iii. Estate Agent Fees
iv. Legal Fees
b. Where there is a balance owing to you we will either send an electronic payment via your bank or building society or, if you prefer, send you a cheque. We will ask you to confirm your preference and provide your bank account details (if appropriate) in writing before the Completion Date. PLEASE NOTE – We are unable to accept bank account details verbally due to the risk of fraud.

Important points to note:

Failure to Complete

If you fail to complete on the agreed date then your Buyer can claim losses (or penalty interest) from you and the deposit will need to be refunded.

We always recommend that enough time is taken between the Exchange of Contracts and the Completion Date to ensure that the property can be cleared to meet the requirement for Vacant Possession.

Always check the details in the Standard Conditions of Sale which form part of the Contract.

Signing the Contracts

It is likely that you and the buyer will sign the contracts prior to the actual exchange date to avoid any last minute problems or panic. You will not be committed to the sale until the actual Exchange of Contracts takes place.

Agreeing a Completion Date

Do not agree a completion date with the buyer. Always speak to us directly so that we can liaise with the other legal representatives and consider the best date for you & the rest of the chain.

Booking a Removal Company

We would advise booking a provisional date (without a cancellation fee) with a removal company. Once Exchange of Contracts has been completed you can confirm the date. We cannot be held responsible for any cancellations fees.

Being in a Chain

In most cases houses being bought and sold end up in a chain. This tends to dictate when the Exchange of Contracts can take place and the time taken for the sale of the property to be completed.

Exchange of Contracts

The legal process up to Exchange of Contracts usually takes between six and twelve weeks (even if you do not require a mortgage). In some cases the process can take longer but we will always keep you advised of the up to date position. Rest assured that we will do all we can to minimise any delays

Reasons for delays include:

o The time taken for purchasers to secure funding or a mortgage.
o If someone in the chain pulls out of a purchase and the chain is broken or collapses.
o The time taken for the Property Searches to be completed, the results returned and any appropriate follow up or further searches completed.
o Issues arising from Land Registry searches e.g. boundaries, leasehold restrictions & negotiations.
o Other reasons might include the time taken for those in the chain to return documentation, holidays or other existing commitments.

Law Society Property Information Form (TA6)

As the seller you need to provide accurate and honest information when completing this form. This will include:

1. Boundaries – which boundaries have you been responsible for
2. Disputes & Complaints – any previous or current disputes or issues
3. Notices & Proposals – any works due to be carried out by a neighbour, local council or business that could impact the property
4. Alterations, Planning and Building Control – any alterations or additions to the property
5. Guarantees & Warranties – copies of any applicable guarantees should be provided (originals provided upon completion)
6. Council Tax – details of the council tax band
7. Environmental Issues – details of flooding & radon gas for example
8. Formal & Informal Arrangements – informal rights of way or access, maintenance agreements or parking
9. Other Charges – e.g. freehold rent or maintenance charges
10. Occupiers – other adult occupants or tenants
11. Transaction Information – when would you hope to complete the sale (non binding)
12. Services – testing of electrics & central heating system and energy suppliers
13. Connection to Utilities & Services – whether the property has mains supplies or private
14. Signature of Seller/Sellers & Date – this should be current so if your property has been on the market for some time you may be asked to provide an updated version.

If you are unsure about what information to provide or have a general query about completing the form then please do not hesitate to contact us.

A specimen form can be found on The Law Society website:


Law Society Fittings and Contents Form (TA10)

This form is to try to make clear which items are included in the sale. If an item is for sale a price should be inserted and negotiated directly with the buyer. If we are instructed to negotiate the sale of any items an additional cost may be incurred.

1. Basic Fittings – e.g. boiler, doorbell, alarm
2. Kitchen – e.g. hob, cooker, washing machine
3. Bathroom – e.g. towel rail, mirror, cabinet
4. Carpets – covers all flooring
5. Curtains & Curtain Rails – includes blinds
6. Light Fittings – instructions provided if a light fitting is to be removed
7. Fitted Units – e.g. fitted wardrobes
8. Outdoor Area – e.g. garden furniture, water butt, clothes line
9. Television & Telephone – e.g. aerial, satellite dish
10. Stock of Fuel – e.g. LPG, Oil, Wood
11. Other Items – any other items not covered on the form
15. Signature & Date – this should be current so if your property has been on the market for some time you may be asked to provide an updated version.

Where additional sums have been agreed please let us know so that the amount can be added to the contract to ensure it is paid on the completion date.

Please note that the Fittings and Contents will form part of the contract and is legally binding so if you need to make any changes to the information provided, please let us know as soon as possible, prior to exchange of contracts, so that we can inform the buyer’s legal representative.

A specimen form can be found on the Law Society Website:


Free Initial Enquiry

We would be delighted to explain how we can help you. For your free, initial enquiry, please: