What does a solicitor do for the seller

4 min read
A property solicitor is instructed during the transfer of a property title from one person to another; more frequently called conveyancing. The work a solicitor undertakes depends on whether they are acting for the buyer or the seller. In this article we are going to explain what a property solicitor does for the seller and what you should do if you want a more stress free sale - and the seller is the one who gets the conveyancing process kick-started!

If you are buying then you should read our other article - What does a solicitor do for the buyer?

For the seller, the solicitor’s obligations are to provide evidence to the buyer’s solicitors that has been supplied to them by their clients. In some instances information won’t be available and they should in these cases assist in procuring the information the buyer’s solicitors need. You can read the property forms a seller has to complete here - Property Information Forms.

Under the stresses that come with buying a home you'll need expert, independent property advice from your solicitor. We have property solicitors specifically trained in the strategy of buying and selling a property. If you are looking for a property solicitor for your conveyancing then call us on 0333 344 3234 or click on here to get an online quote.

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Sold as seen

A property in England and Wales is sold under the principle of caveat emptor, or better known as buyer beware. Simply put, the buyer cannot recover damages from the seller for defects on the property that rendered the property unfit for ordinary purposes. The only exceptions are if you actively concealed defects or otherwise made material misrepresentations which amount to fraud.

As the seller, you should present to the buyer as much information as you have available about your property with as much detail as possible. By not presenting this information you risk a long drawn out conveyancing sale and potentially, a buyer pulling out - no buyer wants to feel the seller is hiding issues.

What information should you provide

If you are selling a leasehold

Management Information including information about ground rent and service charge accounts, last 3 year's accounts, planned maintenance or major works

Additional documents, certificates & guarantees

Planning permissions & Building Control for any extensions or under pinning, gas safety certificate, boiler maintenance, FENSA certificates and asbestos removal certificates

What does your solicitor do?

The primary role of the seller's solicitor is to provide the information given to them about the property to the buyer's solicitor and support the seller in obtaining any additional information required. These are the main tasks a selling solicitor undertakes:

  • Draft contracts – Your solicitor drafts the initial legal contract to be sent across to the buyer's solicitor
  • Responding to enquiries – following the receipt of the draft contract, legal title and your property documents (as above) the sellers solicitor responds to any questions (also known as raising enquiries) the buyers solicitor may have (this is where you'll find out if you are missing documents which can cause delays to your sale).
  • Investigating issues – for some enquiries that can't be easily evidenced, the seller's solicitor needs to complete further investigation to try and satisfy them. The challenge here is if there is limited or no information to provide.
  • Exchange contracts – once the buyer's solicitor has satisfied their enquiries they agree with the seller to exchange contracts making the buyer legally bound to buy the property. Although buyers can still pull out, this can be financially costly (read more about Can you pull out after exchange of contracts)
  • Day of completion – on the day of completion the seller's solicitor receives the money for the sale, discharges the mortgage (if required), pays the estate agent, deducts their fee and then sends the net sale proceeds to you.
  • Post completion – following completion the seller's solicitor receives the DS1 discharge documents and, when leasehold, settles the sellers liabilities for ground rent and service charges.

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Exchanging Contracts

Exchanging Contracts

What does a solicitor do for the buyer

What does a solicitor do for the buyer

Buying a house

Buying a house

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