The emotional side to moving home is often underestimated. Maybe you’re selling your current house and buying the home of your dreams, perhaps you’re a first-time buyer or you’re buying with a new partner. Or perhaps it’s happening in less happy circumstances, such as selling your late parents’ home, selling because you’re separating from a partner or you simply can’t afford to stay where you are.
Whatever your circumstances, the process of selling a house is a life altering moment that comes with many complexities. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that buying or selling your home presents as few bumps in the road as possible.
Many people will go straight to an estate agent to put their house on the market and/or look for another. But our advice is that you consult your solicitor before selling your home to help you find your ideal purchase. Here, Melinda Giles explains six reasons for doing so:
1. Checking All Documents are in Order
If you’re getting your house ready to sell, you should ensure that the title documents to your property are in order. Many owners assume that all properties are registered at HM Land Registry and it’s a tick-box exercise to sell them – this is a myth. Get the documentation checked by a solicitor beforehand to prevent any nasty surprises when selling your home.
2. Understanding the Costs
If you’re buying at the same time as selling your home, you’ll likely be dealing with more money than you ever will again. So many buyers simply rely on Google to work out stamp duty, search costs or legal fees. If you go to a solicitor first, they can give you accurate figures and you won’t be left scrambling to meet unexpected costs.
3. Separating from a Partner
If you’re separating from a partner, it may be that you or your ex are legally entitled to a bigger share of the sale proceeds than you have worked out or agreed upon. You don’t want to wait until you have a buyer to find the transaction is stalled when this crops up. Additionally, separating couples can, in some cases, be governed by the law in relation to divorce, break-ups of cohabitation, or providing a home for children. With the assistance of a solicitor, these sensitive areas can be dealt with ahead of selling your house to minimise the chance of disputes.
4. Selling on Behalf of a Parent
If you’re selling on behalf of an elderly or deceased parent, you need to be sure that the authority to sell – such as a probate or a Power of Attorney – is suitable for the sale. These are legal issues that must be resolved before contracts can be exchanged. Doing so beforehand with the help of a solicitor will help make an emotionally difficult process happen more smoothly.
5. Knowing if Your Property has Restrictions
Rights of way and restrictions on properties are issues that would often stop a buyer from proceeding. If they’re discovered partway through the process your chain could collapse. Getting a lawyer to look at it first can ensure you aren’t left high and dry mid-way through selling your house.
6. Buying with Another Person
If you’re buying for the first time with another person there are multiple circumstances to consider:
- What if you split up?
- Is one of you putting in more money in than the other?
- Are there children to consider?
- Are you being given a significant amount of money as a gift to use to buy your property?
With so many variables, the need for legal expertise is essential for preparing for all these eventualities.
Are You Selling Your Home?
If you’re currently selling your home – or buying a house – Giles Wilson’s Property Law experts can assist you with getting your house ready to sell as painlessly as possible.
Alternatively, learn about our Residential Conveyancing services here on our website.