A guide to moving


A Guide to Moving

"I'll never do this again!"

So many people say this at some stage when they are buying and selling a house – so here we outline the process of the transaction, and this forms part of our commitment to making your move as painless as possible.

The Sale:

1)      Contact us as soon as you intend to market your property so that we can:-

  • Apply for the title deeds from the lender (if you have one).  This way there will be no delay in issuing the contract once the negotiations have been finalised.

  • We can give you an instant breakdown of the costs involved (these aren’t just our fees, but the costs you may incur generally in a sale, particularly if you have a leasehold property and we have to obtain information from your freeholder or managing agent who may well charge a fee for providing this).

  • You can complete the various Property Information forms which will also be required by your buyer’s solicitor at the same time as we forward them the contract.  If we have your completed forms on file, we can issue contract paperwork promptly.

2)      A draft contract will be provided to the buyer’s lawyer, along with all the necessary supporting documents.  We will at the same time ask you to sign the contract in readiness for exchange once it has been approved.

3)      When the buyer have received the results of their various searches and the buyer’s mortgage offer (if he requires one), and their lawyer is satisfied as to title and has had any enquiries dealt with by you and us, we will negotiate a completion date and the amount of the deposit.  When all parties agree, contracts can be exchanged.

4)      On the day of completion, you must clear and vacate the property.  The time-frame is generally between 12 noon and 2 pm, depending on what has been agreed in the contract.  Usually the keys are left with the estate agent unless other prior arrangements have been made with us.  We will arrange to pay off your existing mortgage and also settle your estate agents account.

The Purchase:

When you let us know that you have found your new property, we will give you a break down of the costs involved and ask you to complete a Property Questionnaire.  The replies will assist in the enquiries we have to make on your behalf.  We will also ask you for money on account so that we can carry out the preliminary searches and also verify your identity, to satisfy Money Laundering rules.

When we receive the contract from the seller’s solicitor, we will:-

  • Apply for the local authority search, and any other searches we consider appropriate for your property, which will have been listed in our costs quotation.

  • Consider the contract and title.  It is usually necessary to raise additional enquiries of the seller’s lawyer.  When we are satisfied that everything is in order, we will return a copy of the contract to the seller’s lawyer so that the seller can sign in readiness for exchange of contracts.

If you require a mortgage, the offer has to be received from the lender before we will/can exchange contracts. You are also advised to have a survey or Homebuyers Report, a copy of which should be forwarded to us if there are any legal issues arising.

When all of enquiries have been answered, the search results have been received together with your mortgage offer (unless you are a cash buyer), we will report to you and ask you to sign the contract.  We will also ask you for the deposit to be used in exchange of contracts.  If you have a related sale, we will usually be able to arrange that the deposit received from your buyers is used for your purchase.

Exchange of Contracts:-

Most people who are buying and selling are involved in a CHAIN – this means that there is a linked series of transactions and EVERYBODY wants to complete their sale and purchase on the same day to avoid paying for bridging finance or rented accommodation. We have to wait until all parties in the chain have:-

  • A Mortgage
  • A local search result
  • Title approved
  • Agreed a completion date
  • We will liaise with the Estate Agents and other lawyers until exchange has been achieved.

When exchange has taken place, the completion date is legally binding and you can now organise your move.  Here is a reminder of a few of the things you need to deal with:-

  • Arrange contents and buildings insurance (the latter must be in place on exchange).
  • Contact Gas, Electricity, Water and Telephone Services and arrange for meters to be read and accounts to be transferred.
  • Book the removal van
  • Arrange for mail to be re-directed
  • Notify all insurance companies; employer; dentist; doctor; banks and building societies; DVLA; schools; relatives and friends; clubs etc, etc
  • Notify the Local Authority of your move and arrange to have the account for the Council Tax apportioned.
  • Arrange for someone to look after you pets and children on moving day!

The Completion:-

We will let you have a statement showing all the costs and disbursements due and will draw this up as soon as possible so that you can arrange to let us have any balance needed to complete in good time for completion.

On completion day, if you have a sale, we must wait for the buyer’s lawyer to send us the sale money by telegraphic transfer before we can send out the money by the same method on your purchase.  This means that it is unlikely that you will get the keys to your new house before lunchtime on the day of completion. We would suggest that you don’t leave your old house before checking with us that it is in order for you to do so.  If you just have a purchase, we can usually send the money quite early in the morning of completion, but you are unlikely to get the keys before midday as you must allow the seller time to vacate the property.

If you would like to discuss your property sale/purchase, or request a quote please contact me.

Name: Matthew Stubbs LLB (Hons)

Title: Conveyancing Partner

Email: matthew.stubbs@kpmlegal.co.uk

Tel: 0207 404 1995

Name: Faith Rossouw

Title: Qualified Paralegal and PA to Matthew Stubbs

Email: chancery@kpmlegal.co.uk

Tel: 0207 404 1995

87 Chancery Lane

London  WC2A 1ET

DX 105 LDE


  Tel: 020 7404 1995/0888

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