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Q. What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
A. An Energy Performance Certificate gives the property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. The EPC will also state what the energy efficiency rating could be if improvements are made. It is a legal requirement to have an EPC before marketing your property for sale. Salters Residential will be happy to arrange this on your behalf.
Q. Do I need a board?
A. Whilst it is not mandatory, a surprising number of buyer enquiries come from people who have seen a ‘for sale’ sign on a property. We would therefore strongly recommend that you take advantage of this form of advertising.
Q. What happens when someone makes an offer?
A. We make sure everyone who has a vested interest in your property has seen it before a final decision is made. This will be all the decision makers. With a vast number of first time buyers requiring the financial assistance of family, we request they too see the property to make sure they are happy where their money is going. This reduces any possibilities of a change of mind further into the transaction. If your buyer(s) require a mortgage, we have an independent financial advisor who will verify their affordability.
Q. Do I need my Title Deeds?
A. Yes, as they confirm that you own the property. If there is a mortgage the Title Deeds will be held by the lender (bank or building society).
Q. When do I instruct my solicitor?
A. We would strongly advise you to instruct your solicitor as soon as you decide to market your property. This is so that your solicitor can apply for the title deeds (proof of ownership) and prepare a contract in readiness of a sale being agreed. If you have a managing agent (leasehold property), then your solicitor should apply for the Leasehold Information Pack as soon as possible as it can take 3/4 weeks to be compiled and released by the managing agents.
Q. How will viewings be arranged?
A. We are happy to accompany prospective purchasers on all viewings which can be by appointment with you, or you may wish to supply us with a set of keys.
Q. What happens at exchange of contracts?
A. You can authorise your solicitor to proceed with the exchange as soon as all the conveyancing queries raised by the purchaser’s solicitor have been answered satisfactorily, the purchaser’s funding is in place and they are ready to exchange. Contracts are usually exchanged by a phone call between the solicitors, a completion date is set and a deposit paid on the purchaser’s behalf by their solicitor to your solicitor. At this point the transaction is legally binding.
Q. What happens at completion?
A. The purchaser’s solicitor will send the seller’s solicitor the balance of monies due to complete the sale. The seller’s solicitor then prepares a statement of account, deducts the agent’s and solicitor’s fees, expenses, pays the balance of the seller’s mortgage (if applicable) and forwards the remaining monies to the seller.
Q. Do I need to transfer the utilities and council tax at completion?
A. On the day of completion all utilities (electricity, gas, water, telephone etc.) should have meter readings done, where applicable, and utility companies and council tax should be advised of change of ownership for the property.
Q. How long will it take to complete the purchase?
A. There are certain factors that can speed up or delay the completion of a house purchase/sale, but ordinarily we would expect a straight forward transaction to complete within 6 to 8 weeks of the purchase being agreed and solicitors being instructed. You or the seller should never commit to delivery of goods, taking time off work or a date for works at the property until the solicitor confirms the actual completion date.
Q. When should I instruct a solicitor?
A. As with your financial arrangements, it would be prudent to source a solicitor prior to finding your ideal home. Having these matters in hand may give you an advantage when negotiating on a purchase.
Q. Can the seller pull out if they get a better offer?
A. Until the contract has been signed by both the seller and you, and their respective solicitors both have a copy of the signed contract, either you or the seller can pull out of the transaction at any time for any reason. No money will be payable as compensation by the person pulling out of the property sale.
Q. When do I sign the contract?
A. Your solicitor will ask you to sign the contract once they are satisfied that the sellers solicitor has provided all the necessary searches, certificates and other documentation, as well as answering any queries about the property that they might have raised. Generally, you will not be asked to sign the contract until the solicitor is in receipt of your mortgage offer.
Q. How is a completion date chosen?
A. Once the title deeds of the property have been checked and queries have been resolved and documents received to the satisfaction of your solicitor, they will discuss a completion date with you. The solicitor will advise you of the soonest possible completion date and you can instruct them as to your preference. This date will be communicated to the seller and their solicitor to see if same is agreeable. Once all are in agreement a date will be added into the contract before being sent to the seller for their signature. You should note however, that even at this stage, the completion date can change and nothing is binding until the seller signs the contract and your solicitor has a copy of it.
Q. How long does it take the lender to release funds?
A. Ordinarily the lender will advise the solicitor that they need 4 to 5 working days to release the mortgage money they are lending you. Your solicitor will not request this money until the contract is binding which is why there is always a short delay between contract being signed and the actual completion when keys are handed over. Your solicitor will take into account how long it takes for the lender to release the money when advising you of the earliest possible completion date.
Q. What happens to my title deeds on completion?
A. Once you get the keys of your new house there is still a significant amount of registration work that will be carried out by your solicitor. As such, the title deeds of your property will remain with your solicitor for some months before finally being sent to your lender for storage. They will hold the deeds until such time as you replay in full the mortgage you have with them.
Q. What time and where do I get the keys from?
A. Normally you will collect the keys from the estate agent that marketed the property. Unless the contract specifies otherwise, the seller normally has to vacate the property by 12 noon and have the keys available for collection at the estate agents by 2pm.
Q. What items must the seller leave at the property?
A. Most items can be removed from the property much to the surprise of many buyers. Carpets, light fittings and more can be taken. A list of fixtures and fittings will be provided by the seller prior to the contract being signed which will set out what they intend to remove and what they are prepared to include in the house price. In some instances they may offer items for sale for the purchaser to consider. Any items on this list to remain at the property must not be removed on the day of completion. Also, there is a duty on the seller to remove rubbish from the property prior to completion taking place.
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