Buying & Selling: The Property Ladder | Davis Blank Furniss

Moving house is said to be one of life’s most stressful moments but it doesn’t have to be. If you know what to expect and approach the process with an open and realistic attitude you can move into your future home with a minimum of fuss.

To set the scene… you have found what you hope will be your next home. To sell your current place you have had the agents, along with a league of weird and wonderful people, many of whom you suspect are actually nomads just there for decoration inspiration rather than bona-fide purchasers, around for viewings upon viewings. Finally, you have a realistic offer on the table. All there is to do now is the paperwork and you’ll be in before you know it… right?

A quick turn around on a sale and purchase is possible but it requires openness about expectations from all parties. If you have deadlines that you need to stick to, the best thing you can do is to tell your solicitor as soon as you can, if for any reason it’s not possible, you will at least have more time to come up with Plan B.

As a seller, you will need to provide answers to all the questions that the buyers have in relation to your property. To narrow the scope of any enquiries, a transaction will normally start with two forms: the Sale Property Information Form and the Fittings and Contents Form. The more information you can include in these forms the better.

The best advice would be to dig out the guarantees you put in that “safe place” years ago if you can remember where that was. If you leave anything unanswered – or do not provide the documents associated with your answers – the buyer’s solicitor will be obliged to send another letter asking for them.

In the meantime, your solicitor will be drawing together all the information needed on your purchase, using the forms provided by the sellers and a range of pre-contract searches to ensure that your future dream home is not teetering on the edge of a mine shaft, or subject to more mundane evils such as a questionable extension that never quite got signed off. This can be a lengthy process where difficulties arise, but these are rarely as bad as they seem.  As there are a range of solutions to the problems that can present themselves, keep in touch with your solicitor and they will let you know what is best in the circumstances.

Once the questions are answered – and the documents are signed and back with your solicitors – you should be ready to exchange, where the agreement to sell at a mutually agreed completion date is made and is legally binding. A 10% deposit is usually required to be paid by the buyer at this stage. If the 10% coming in on your sale does not cover the 10% on your purchase then you need to be prepared to provide the difference.

The completion day is agreed at exchange. The time between exchange and completion can vary from taking place on the same day, within a week or two (which is most likely), to months in advance. This is entirely open to you to negotiate, but if you are obtaining mortgage funds most lenders will require at least five working days to get your mortgage money to you.

In the run up to completion, it is vital that you keep in touch with your solicitor as any issues that arise now need to be dealt with quickly. Finally, make sure any funds needed from your own savings are ready and available and you really will be in before you know it!


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Excellent experience start to finish – always very responsive to any queries and the turnaround on the property I was buying was very quick, even in the busy time leading up to stamp duty deadline. Jenny was always very helpful and went above and beyond to close on a short timescale.

Ben Armitage

“Very approachable, practical solutions to problems, but most of all very responsive which I personally think is very important because if you need help, you need it quickly, or at least to know someone is looking at it for you”.

Joanne Rowe, Finance Director, Greater Manchester Chamber

“Always able to contact, very approachable, friendly and professional”

Nives Feely, JAM Recruitment

“I believe I have been able to establish a professional working relationship with everyone I have come into contact. Importantly, I sense the relationships which have been established give me the confidence that I can make contact with Davis Blank Furniss at any time and on any matter. I would also like to express my thanks to the very impressive “gatekeepers” who work in reception, not only for making me very welcome, but also for their professionalism”

Bill Pryke, CEO, Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors

“Thank you for your efficient and friendly help throughout this process. We have had it easy but your approach has been part of that”.

Robert Amsbury (Conveyancing Client)

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for the ongoing support and assistance the firm has offered to our parents over the years. I hope also that we may be able to call on you if necessary in the future.”

Valerie Fisher (Probate Client)

“Jo always provides great service, understands our needs and delivers on her promises. Our needs are relatively simple but the complexity arises out of the volume of work and short time frames, Jo always delivers.”

Peter Fernandez, Corporate Director at Royal Bank of Scotland

“A big thank you to all who dealt with my wife’s claim… We would not hesitate to recommend Davis Blank Furniss to anyone that may be in a situation like we have been…”

Anon (Personal Injury client)

“Before putting my case in Kirsty (Morbey)’s capable hands I’ve met a couple of other solicitors. None of them listen to me as intently as Kirsty and showed me as much empathy and understanding as she did. Simultaneously she was able to look at my case from legal perspective, explain all the options and follow each of our meetings with written summary of the discussed matters (in timely manner). Her advice was invaluable and led me to successfully ending the case matter (hopeful for good). I’m forever grateful for he work and would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for reliable, knowledgeable and committed solicitor”.

Anon (Family client)
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