Selling a Property

Once I Have Instructed A Lawyer, What Can I Expect To Happen Next?


Step 1: Sale agreed
  • The lawyer will request title deeds

  • The lawyer will draft the Contract and send it to the buyer’s Solicitor

  • The lawyer deals with any additional enquiries from the buyer’s Solicitor. These might not be sent until the buyer has received the search results and the mortgage offer

  • The lawyer will then send the Contract and Transfer document to you to sign


Step 2: Exchange of contracts
  • Your lawyer will exchange Contracts with the buyer’s Solicitor over the phone which sets a fixed completion date

  • The lawyer will send the Contract to the buyer’s Solicitor

  • The lawyer will receive the buyer’s Contract and deposit

  • The lawyer will request a statement to find out how much is needed to pay off your mortgage and any other loans secured against the property

Step 3: Completion
  • The lawyer will receive the balance of the purchase price

  • The lawyer will pay off your mortgage, other secured loans and estate agent fees

  • The lawyer will send the remaining money to you or put it towards your purchase (if applicable)

  • The lawyer sends the Transfer document and any other relevant information to the buyer’s Solicitor

What Are Sort Of Enquiries Might The Buyers Solicitor Raise?

The buyers Solicitor will ask about legal issues that affect the property, e.g. if your neighbour has a right of way over your garden or if planning consent has been obtained for an extension to the property. 

Are There Any Enquiries That I Should Not Respond To?

Sometimes the buyer’s Solicitor will ask questions about the physical condition of the property or the state of repair of your central heating or gas / electrical systems. You are not legally obliged to give the buyer this information. If you give incorrect information, the buyer may sue you if they suffer financial loss as a result. e.g. if you say that the central heating is in good working order and it is not, the buyer may try to claim the cost of any repairs from you. 

Can The Estate Agents Answer Any Queries I May Have?

Yes, estate agents are often the best people to contact as they are able to talk to all parties.


Lawyers are not allowed to talk to other Solicitors clients. Estate agents can also help to negotiate the following:

  • The price of the property and any price reduction

  • Seek confirmation of exchange and completion dates from buyer and seller

  • The need for any repair work to be done to the property

  • Which items should be left at the property (i.e. carpets, curtains, light fittings etc)

How Long Will It Take To Complete The Sale Of My Property?

On average, a conveyancing transaction takes 8 - 12 weeks from the time the draft Contracts are received to completion, although a leasehold flat will take longer. How long it takes will depend on a variety of factors that include the speed of the lawyers, how long it takes to get search results back, the length of the chain of transactions (if any) and the legal issues involved.