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When you buy or sell a property you will need to instruct a solicitor to help you with the legal elements of your transaction. 

A solicitor will be able to guide you through your purchase or sale and will be responsible for ensuring that all of the finances are in place and that contracts are correctly drawn up.

There are three main stages that your solicitor will work through with you when you buy or sell a property:

1. Agreement of Sale

Once an offer has been made and accepted on a property your next step will be to instruct your solicitor to work on your behalf.

If you are selling a property they will obtain your title deeds and prepare the contract for sale. They will also begin to negotiate the completion date which is the date that the financial transaction takes place and you can move out.

If you are buying a property they will request your deposit (which will be placed in a holding account). They will deal with your mortgage offer and check all of the conditions for you. They will also request searches to take place with the local authority.

They will then let you know the results coming from the searches and will deal with any questions or issues that may arise from it.

2. Exchange

Your solicitor will arrange a date where both parties are happy for contracts to be exchanged. This means that the transaction has taken place. Whilst it is possible to exchange and complete on the same day there is usually a period of a couple of weeks between exchange and completion. 

Both buyers and sellers will need to visit their solicitor to sign their contracts. If you are selling your property then your solicitor will receive the deposit and organise the final account. 

They will also collect any balance of funds that are still needed. If you are buying a property then your solicitor will hand your deposit over to the sellers solicitor and collect any balance of funds required. 

They will also organise any final searches to check for debts and bankruptcy. They may also recommend that you take a final look at the property you are purchasing before completion.

3. Completion

This is the big day when the transaction takes place. If you are selling a property then your solicitor will make any payments owing to the mortgage lender and let the Land Registry know of the sale. 

They will also transfer the balance of funds over to your account. If you are buying a property your solicitor will send your deed to the mortgage lender. 

Send off an application to the Land Registry office to register you as the owner of the property and organise your payment of any Stamp Duty owing to be sent to HMRC (Revenue and Customs).

Both parties will receive a call from their solicitor to notify them that completion has taken place.

If you are looking for a solicitor, we recommend choosing one who is local to the Hatfield, Stevenage or Welwyn Garden City areas as they will have a greater knowledge the area and will be used to working closely with the local authority. 

Wrights have longstanding relationships with a number of local solicitors and will be happy to put you in touch with a firm that can represent you during your property transaction.