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Instructing and working with a property solicitor

A property solicitor, or conveyancer, undertakes the necessary specialised, legal work required during the property selling process. As the property market in London is very competitive, appointing a property solicitor at the point you put your property on the market (before you find a buyer) can significantly speed up the process and reduce some of the stress.

Choosing a property solicitor

You should choose a property solicitor with knowledge and experience of the London market. The conveyancing process itself is broadly the same throughout the UK, however it is the attitude of your solicitor (plus their knowledge, experience and how proactive they are) that will have the biggest impact on the success of your sale.

When it comes to choosing a property solicitor or conveyancer, some solicitors or conveyancers (including Londonwide Conveyancing ), offer a ‘no move, no fee’ guarantee. This means if your purchase falls through before the exchange of contracts for any reason, you will not pay the legal fee. Solicitors might offer fixed fees, charge by the hour, or take a percentage of the property value, so it is important to know what the fees are likely to be from the beginning to avoid an unexpectedly high bill at the end.

If you are buying a property at the same time as selling your existing property, it is advisable that you appoint the same solicitor for both transactions. This will ensure a less stressful process and things can move along at a quicker pace than if you were to deal with two different solicitors.

What does the seller’s solicitor or conveyancer do?

  • Obtain the client’s formal instructions, property information and fixtures and fittings forms and verify their identity
  • Draw up the draft contract and gather the relevant contract bundle documentation, including the draft contract, official copies of Land Registry Title documents, lease (if applicable), Management Information pack (if applicable), the seller’s property information and fixtures forms, building regulation documents, Energy Performance Certificate and any other documents provided by the seller that may be relevant
  • Liaise with the seller’s current mortgage lender to prepare for mortgage redemption, making arrangements for any redemption penalty payable
  • Liaise with the seller to obtain responses to enquiries from the buyer’s solicitor
  • Negotiate exchange and completion dates
  • Manage the transfer of monies
  • Manage the mortgage redemption process and any other legal charges there may be against the Title (such as secured loans)
  • Manage the payment of Estate Agent fees
  • Any other legal work required as part of the transaction

Details on the documents that need to be submitted when selling a property.

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