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Property Law

Selling your house? Don’t make this avoidable mistake

Are you selling a property?

If you are you can avoid a mistake I see every week with property owners who are selling.

They come to me and tell me they have just gone sale agreed, after the property has been on the market for perhaps months, and now want contracts issued to the buyer’s solicitor as soon as possible.

This is understandable and sensible because if you are selling you want to avoid a delay between going sale agreed and issuing contracts just in case the purchaser suffers from buyer’s remorse.

Or has developed a habit of house hunting and continues to feed the habit.

The big problem, however, is that this is the first I am hearing of the proposed sale. Now I am going to have to take up the title documents from the lender who is holding them as security for the mortgage.

Consider for a minute that I must prepare an authority  to allow me take up the title deeds, get my clients to sign it, send it in to the lender, and then wait for the lender to take the documents out of archival storage and send them out to me.

You could be looking at a wait of up to two weeks from start to finish.

Meanwhile your buyer may be having second thoughts and teetering on buyer’s remorse. There is a genuine risk that the sale will fall through if the seller cannot strike when the iron is hot and get contracts issued and signed.

This risk is entirely avoidable because all the seller has to do when placing the property on the market with the estate agent is to tell his solicitor that the property is going on the market.

At this point the solicitor can take up the title deeds and be ready to issue contracts as soon as a buyer goes sale agreed. He could have 6 to 8 weeks, perhaps longer, to get the title deeds and draw up contracts.

Then when the parties go ‘sale agreed’, contracts go out, no friction. No buyer’s remorse. No wondering what’s going on or what the delay is. No worrying that the bank will respond quickly and send the deeds out.

This mistake requires one simple step: tell your solicitor of your intention to sell at the same time you are negotiating terms with the estate agent.

Then, things can move seamlessly to a successful sale.