15 February 2022

The housing market enjoyed its biggest New Year bounce in five years according to Zoopla, with demand from buyers increasing by 49% in January.

So, if you have accepted an offer on your house what should your next step be? Paralegal Jayne Harwood has some essential advice for first time sellers.

If there is an estate agent marketing the property, they will issue your solicitor with a Memorandum of Sale which provides details such as the names of buyers, buyers’ solicitors and sale price. Your solicitor will then open a file and send initial documentation to you to complete. On receipt of the completed documentation your solicitor will issue draft contract documentation to the buyers’ solicitors consisting of a draft contract of sale, together with information relating to the legal title and the property itself.

What happens if unexpected issues arise on the searches?

Your solicitor will explain to you any unexpected issues that are sometimes raised in respect of the buyers’ search results. These can vary from property to property and your solicitor will discuss with you the best way to resolve the issues.

What are the costs I am likely to incur?

Fees are charged on a sliding scale and are dependent upon the sale price. We always provide clients with a quotation before we are instructed and an estimate of costs when the file is opened. There can sometimes be unexpected fees that cannot always be included in our initial quotation to you, for example, the property may be un-registered, and the work involved in this regard is more in-depth and protracted and will incur an additional fee. However, as soon as we are aware of any additional fees that may be payable, we would discuss these with you and confirm this in writing.

What other complications could arise when I’m selling?

On receipt of the contract documentation the buyers’ solicitors will usually raise enquiries. These can range from something from very simple to quite complicated which can sometimes slow down a transaction, especially if contact needs to be made with a third party such as a Landlord or Managing Agent. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have, no question is too trivial.

How will my solicitor help me in the sale process?

We will assist in whatever possible way we can. During the pandemic we have predominately been using email to issue documentation as opposed to using the postal system. Most clients do like being able to print, sign and return their own documents to us. Not everyone has access to technology, so we are still happy to post documentation, chat to you over the phone or make an appointment for you to attend the office. So please do just call us to discuss your concerns.

For more information on buying or selling a property contact Jayne Harwood on 01935 846274 or email