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Why you should instruct a Solicitor before finding a buyer for your home.

When you make the decision to move home but you need to sell one home to buy the next, like the majority of home movers, the process generally starts with getting your home valued by one or more estate agents.  You have chosen your agent, now you need that offer to be able to start the whole process, a process in England and Wales which is often criticised for being unnecessarily slow.  Because our solicitors are both legal professionals and providers of a customer-focused service they understand that communication is key to alleviating these frustrations but it is also possible for the home seller to use the time between entering the market and accepting an offer to instruct a solicitor and therefore be instrumental in cutting the overall transaction time by weeks.

There are two or, if you are a leaseholder, three essential forms provided by the Law Society that must be completed in order to be sent to your buyer’s solicitor.  These forms are the Property Information Form, the Leasehold Information Form and the Fittings and Contents Form, legally known as TA6, TA7 and TA10.  They are lengthy and often require the seller to provide information and evidence of certain things, things that a buyers solicitor is likely to ask for down the line if they are not provided with an initial contract package.  Some of the information you will not be able to provide perhaps until you have found your next home as you may not know what you need to take from your current home but the majority of the information you will be required to provide you should be able to obtain.

Common items of information that take sellers time to find or obtain are often things like planning permissions, building regulation certificates, guarantees, electrical and gas certificates and insurance policies etc.  Leasehold sellers often struggle with things like providing evidence of consent for alterations and finding out who actually deals with things like block insurance and aspects of management.  If these things are collated prior to finding a buyer we will often see a number of weeks come off of the time taken for the conveyancing process to be completed.

As a firm Mayo Wynne Baxter can help you to get these few steps ahead by taking your formal instructions to act for you in your sale at the point of you marketing your home.  On receiving your instructions we are obliged to run Anti Money Laundering checks which are done on receipt of your identification documents, we can then send out your initial letters with the aforementioned forms for you to complete without the pressure that having to find all the relevant information in a short space of time may put you under if you wait until you find your buyer.

People are often concerned that if they do this they will incur fees but apart from the £6 per person it costs for the Anti Money Laundering checks we are able to get you this far into the process at no cost with the view that once your buyer is found we will be in a position to send a full contract package weeks earlier than if we had to wait for all the required information and forms to be completed after you had accepted an offer. This means that you will move quicker just by engaging us to act for you at the point that you put your home up for sale rather than waiting until your buyer has been found.