Selling and buying? Why it's best to use the same solicitor

News at Eden Harper | 02/04/2018

Selling a property and buying a property simultaneously is a common situation to be in, as most people need to sell one property to finance the purchase of another. The property buying and selling chain can be agonisingly slow moving, and it will only move as fast as the slowest person in the chain. 

If you are in this situation - selling one property and buying another at the same time – you may want to use the same solicitor to handle all legal aspects relating to the sale of your current property and the purchase of your new property. It makes sense to use the same solicitor for both processes, especially given that trust and communication are exceptionally important between seller and solicitor, buyer and solicitor. 

It is generally prudent to choose a property solicitor or conveyancer around the time you choose your estate agent, as this will give you and the solicitor more time to make sure you have all the paperwork in place and ready to go, so that when the moment comes, you won't be the ones holding up the property chain. 

What does a solicitor do as part of sale?

The solicitor or conveyancer carries out the task of conveyancing. This is the process whereby property ownership is legally transferred from you, the seller, to the buyer of your property. Once an offer on the property has been made, and that offer accepted, you will then instruct the solicitor to carry out the legal work for you. 

Once you have informed the solicitor of any necessary details related to the sale of the property, they will request that you fill in paperwork forms and provide answers to a series of questions about the property. The solicitor will contact the mortgage lender and get the relevant documents from Land Registry. The next stage is the preparation of the draft contract, which the solicitor will draw up and send to the buyer's solicitor. Once the buyer's solicitor is happy, a completion date can be arranged. This will then lead to the exchange of contracts, and the transfer of the deposit from the buyer's solicitor. 

What does a solicitor do as part of purchase?

Once you make an offer and this is accepted, you will instruct your solicitor. The solicitor will then carry out property searches (such as local authority searches), and then request a copy of the draft contract from the seller's solicitor. If you need to obtain a mortgage, your solicitor will go through the terms and conditions with you. Once all matters in the draft contract are approved/signed off and a completion date is set, you will need to transfer the deposit into your solicitor's account. Once complete, your solicitor will manage the exchange of contracts. 

Why is it best to have the same solicitor managing both your sale and purchase?

Naturally, you can use the same solicitor to act for you in both the sale of your current property and the purchase of another property. The same solicitor is not generally used to act for two parties with conflicting interests (i.e the buyer and seller of the same property), however. To make sure the process runs as smoothly as possible, it will help to have a solicitor you know and trust - where communication is proactive and clear - to handle all the administrative and legal work for you. 

Selling a property and buying another at the same time is rarely a stress-free, straightforward process. If you are looking to sell your property in Brixton or Battersea, we can help. Request a sales valuation today.