WHAT IS IT? AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
Across England and Wales, between 30% and 40% of residential sales fall-through before contracts are exchanged. The time it takes to reach exchange has become an industry-wide problem, with many sales transactions taking 90-100 days (or more) – In our opinion, this is far too long! - Especially when your life plans can often ride on the sale of your house.
Sales progression management is the process of monitoring all the tricky milestones and liaising with all parties to ensure that communications are responded to promptly and any disputes are handled sensitively. This process is best handled by someone to whom a successful outcome means a completed sale. That person is usually your estate agent.
So, one of the questions you need to ask an agent before you decide to engage their services, is “How is sales progression managed in your oﬃce?”. You need to know someone is on your side, ﬁghting your corner should the going get tough - it often does!
At Wilkinson Grant & Co we make sales progression management a priority. By adopting industry best practice, working closely with sixteen local law ﬁrms and employing our own in-house former property lawyer, we have devised systems and procedures to help speed up the process and reduce the chances of your sale falling–through. By instructing your solicitor and getting essential paperwork in-hand, even before a buyer has been found, you can save weeks at the start of the sale process. Then, carrying out strict due diligence with buyer qualiﬁcation, checking any chain details, ensuring realistic timescales are agreed between all parties from the outset and monitoring and managing the process throughout, your chances of a stress-free successful sale are greatly enhanced.
1Instruct your solicitor early – as soon as you go to market and deﬁnitely before you get an oﬀer.
2Expect a Surveyor – Your buyers are likely to ask a surveyor to inspect your home and report on their ﬁndings. This is a very normal process – you can end up with buyers having two surveys, one the mortgage company instructs and one for their personal use.
3Get your documents together – such as details of any work you have had done to the property, planning permission, guarantees and certiﬁcates.
4Ensure your agent carries out strict due diligence on your buyer, their status, proof and source of funds and investigate any chain details in full, chain details before commencing the legal process.
5Make sure any necessary surveys are carried out as early as possible.
6Complete and return all paperwork from your solicitor as soon as possible; for example, the ﬁxtures and ﬁttings enquiry form.
7Keep a diary of all communication and double-check anything you have sent has been received, whether by email or post.
8Ensure realistic timescales are agreed upon between all parties from the outset and communicated in writing.
9Monitor and managing the process throughout.
Before the conveyancing process can start we need to notify your solicitor of the terms agreed and you need to formally instruct them to proceed. Ideally, you will already have completed the initial paperwork, provided them with proof of identity documents, and paid them any up-front fees requested.
The draft contract will be forwarded to the buyer’s solicitors. The contract should include; oﬃcial copies, property forms and copies of all relevant planning and building regulations, certiﬁcates and warranties for your property.
The third step of the conveyancing process is the buyer’s solicitor carrying out searches.
The buyer's solicitors will check the documents and raise any necessary enquiries.
Once your buyer’s solicitor has received replies to all enquiries and the results of the searches, a report is created on the property and sent to the buyer. The buyer’s mortgage oﬀer should have been issued by this stage.
Your solicitor will arrange for you to sign the contract and Transfer Deed. A completion date is then discussed and agreed upon amongst all parties involved in the transaction. Your solicitor will then arrange for you to sign. A completion date is then agreed upon amongst all parties involved in the transaction.
The transaction and completion date becomes legally binding on the exchange of contracts. The buyer’s deposit will be held by the solicitors, and the buyer's solicitor will request mortgage funds.
Completion happens on the eagerly awaited ‘moving day’ and when the balance of the full purchase price is transferred to your solicitor. Once your solicitor has received the funds they will authorise the keys to be released.