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Darren’s insights

Unlocking Your Move

So - you have agreed a sale, congratulations! But what do I do next? What is the other side meant to be doing? Let us walk you through the process to help make things simple, and unlock progress to your move.



Let us start by saying that this isn't the bible of moving home. Each sale is different from the next, and each property as unique as it's owner. This is a useful guide to steer everyone in the right direction, but most importantly, we are here to help. If you have questions, concerns, or would just like to find out where in the process you are, please don't hesitate to call, email or message us.

Day 1-3

Both buyer and seller need to formally instruct solicitors.

This simply involves completing their paperwork and paying any upfront costs that are requested. Selecting a reputable solicitor can have the biggest impact on how swift, and how simple the whole process can be. You should look for someone with good experience, feedback and who has capacity to work with you. The seller should prioritise completing the property information forms, as these form part of the draft contract pack that will be sent over to the buyers solicitor. Without these, the buyers solicitor can do very little to progress the transaction.

Days 2-7

Buyers should submit their mortgage application and book in any surveys.

If a mortgage is required, now is the time to submit an application to a lender. Using a broker or financial advisor is always best, not only do they have access to products from all lenders, they also can establish which lender is most likely to give you a mortgage based on the property, and your situation.

If you intend to have a survey on the property, now is the time to get this booked in. It's always best to understand if the home that you intend to buy has any underlying issues early in the process, rather than at the last minute!

Sellers should be liaising with their solicitor and providing documents

In addition to the property information forms, solicitors will need everything from boiler installation certificates / planning permission / building control completion certificates, the list is endless. If you are selling a leasehold property, you should speak with your solicitors about ordering the pack from the managing agent - formally known as they LPE1. This contains vital information on the running of the building, the accounts and service charges. Managing agents usually take a couple of weeks to turn these around so get ahead of this to ensure no unnecessary delays!

Days 8-35

Buyers - Keep liaising with your solicitor and your lender

With all of the initial rush out the way, things tend to cool off in weeks 2-5. Your solicitor will be busy collating all of the paperwork, and raising enquiries with the sellers solicitors. Basically a 'question and answer' exercise to ensure that no stone is left unturned. your lender will likely request further documents from you, just keep turning these around as soon as able. By the end of week five, typically you should have a mortgage offer, a survey report, and your solicitor finalising their report.

Sellers - Just keep answering questions!

Your solicitor will be peppered with questions, some of these will seem pointless, some of them obvious, and it can get frustrating. These questions are not only from the buyer, but from their solicitor, and also their mortgage lender. They all serve a purpose. It's important that you respond to these swiftly to put the buyers solicitor in a position to move forward to exchange.

Days 36 - 49

Buyers - Putting yourself in a position to exchange

Weeks 6-8 should see your solicitor tying up loose ends in terms of legal enquiries, and when they are satisfied, they will produce their 'report on title' for you. This generally looks like a massive packet of documents that they have collated, in addition to a summary page with any outstanding points or things that you should be aware of. This report is usually sent out alongside a contract for signature, and a request for the 10% deposit required to exchange contracts. Once you have digested the report, return the signed contracts, along with the deposit, and this puts you in a position to exchange contracts.

Sellers - Putting yourself in a position to exchange

Similarly to your buyers, you should now be dotting the I's and crossing the T's - dealing with the last niggling enquiries. If you haven't already, your solicitor should be sending you the contract for signature. Signing this document doesn't mean that you are legally bound to the sale yet, so return it signed as soon as you are able.

Days 50-56

Exchange of Contracts

What everyone has been working towards, the legal exchange of contracts. Once both solicitors have their respective clients signed contracts, the buyers deposit is in place, and an agreement reached on a mutually convenient completion date, the solicitors can exchange. Physically, this is just a telephone call between solicitors that only lasts a couple of minutes. Once this takes place, both parties are legally bound to the sale and you are definitely moving - congratulations!

Day 56+

Completion day

It's finally here - you have made it. I am sure that you will have been busy with this for days already, but you need to ensure that you are all packed up and ready to move. Once the sellers solicitors confirm receipt of the purchase funds, the sale is completed, and the buyers have authority to collect the keys. Don't forget to take meter readings for your utility providers to open / close their accounts - and then Bon Voyage!

Once again, every sale isn't a straight line as described above, each sale with have it's obstacles, be it chain related, a less favourable survey, or financial. Darren & Kristian have a combined thirty years experience helping people move homes, and we have overcome many challenging transactions. Whether you need advice on a difficult situation, or just an ear to rant to, we are only ever a phone call away


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