Selling property requires To understand how things are done at Think Conveyancing, below is a step-by-step guide on the conveyancing process for sellers so you know what to expect from pre-engagement with us to post-settlement of your matter.
Please speak to our customer concierge to get a free quote as well as some general information on the services we provide.
If you decide that you are happy for us to act for you, we will then email you an engagement letter for you to sign. The engagement letter sets out our legal fees, estimated disbursement costs and the type of services we will provide.
We will also send you a questionnaire for you to complete. It is important that you complete this questionnaire as it will provide us with all the information we need to prepare the relevant documents for settlement.
Once you have signed the engagement letter and submitted the completed questionnaire to us, your matter will be allocated to a practitioner and you will receive an email from your practitioner confirming that he or she has been assigned to look after you.
Preparing the Contract and Vendor’s Statement
Before you sell your property, it is extremely important that you provide the prospective purchaser with a signed Vendor’s Statement (also known as a Section 32 Statement) which discloses such information as is required under Section 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962. If the Vendor’s Statement is not provided to the Purchaser beforehand or if the Vendor’s Statement contains incorrect or insufficient information, the Purchaser will be entitled to take legal action or withdraw from the sale without any compensation to you.
Your practitioner will prepare both the Contract and Vendor’s Statement for you. In order to prepare the Vendor’s Statement, your practitioner will first need to order the necessary property certificates and it will normally take 2 to 3 weeks for all the certificates to come through if a standard order is placed. If you urgently want to sell and need a Contract and Vendor’s Statement prepared as soon as possible, your practitioner can place a priority order (provided this option is made available by the relevant authorities). However, please note that the authorities will charge a higher search fee for such priority orders.
Once the Vendor’s Statement is ready, you will be emailed a copy for your signing. You will need to email the signed copy back to your practitioner who will then send both the Contract and the signed Vendor’s Statement to your selling agent. Your selling agent will then be able to provide a copy of the Contract and Vendor’s Statement to prospective purchasers for their review.
Once you and the Purchaser have both signed the Contract, please ensure that your practitioner is provided with a signed and dated copy as soon as possible. The real conveyancing process begins when your practitioner receives a fully signed and dated Contract.
Mortgage Discharge Form and Early Release of Deposit
If you have an existing mortgage over the property, the mortgage needs to be discharged at settlement. For this purpose, your practitioner will email you a Mortgage Discharge Form for you to complete and sign. Once completed, you will need to email the signed Mortgage Discharge Form back to your practitioner so they can forward the form to your mortgagee.
Your practitioner will also email to you an Early Release of Deposit Authority for your signing. Once you have signed the Early Release of Deposit Authority (also known as a Section 27 Statement), this will be sent to the Purchaser’s practitioner (together with the mortgage information letter provided by your mortgagee) for the Purchaser’s signing.
The Purchaser must sign the Early Release of Deposit Authority if your mortgage over the property is less than 80% of the purchase price (as there is no need for the Deposit to be securely held by the selling agent to discharge your mortgage at settlement). If this requirement is not met, the Purchaser is entitled to reject the Early Release of Deposit Statement. However, if the Early Release of Deposit Statement is signed by the Purchaser, this effectively authorizes an early release of the Deposit to you before settlement.
At this stage, you will also be advised to perform a Verification of Identity (VOI) Check as this is a requirement under the law. Your practitioner will provide you with information on how and where you can perform the VOI check.
The Transfer of Land document will be prepared by the Purchaser’s practitioner. Once your practitioner has received the original Transfer of Land document signed by the Purchaser, they will post the same to you together with a Goods Statement (Duties Form 4A) for your signing. You will need to return the original documents to your practitioner once you have signed them.
Preparing for Settlement
If there is a mortgagee involved, your practitioner must first receive confirmation from the mortgagee that they are ready for settlement before your practitioner can book in settlement with all the relevant parties.
Once settlement has been booked in, the Purchaser’s practitioner will provide your practitioner with the Statement of Adjustments. The Statement of Adjustments sets out the apportionment of rates, taxes and other outgoings between the Vendor and Purchaser. This ensures that you as the Vendor pay your portion of outgoings up to the date of settlement and the Purchaser is liable for the remaining portion from the settlement date onwards. Your practitioner will be responsible to check the Statement of Adjustments to make sure that the calculations are correct.
Your practitioner will then need to request from your mortgagee for confirmation on the payout figures which are needed to discharge the mortgage. Once the payout figures have been obtained, your practitioner can then provide cheque directions to the Purchaser’s practitioner who will then forward the same to the Purchaser’s bank. The Purchaser’s bank will be responsible to bring the requested bank cheques to settlement.
The day of settlement has arrived! Your practitioner will attend settlement on your behalf so you need not be physically present. Once settlement has successfully occurred, your practitioner will contact you to confirm that settlement has gone through and will also deposit the bank cheques obtained at settlement into your nominated bank account.
To conclude the entire conveyancing process, your practitioner will notify the relevant authorities including the Water and Council authorities of the change of ownership. You will also receive our Post Settlement Letter which sets out everything that took place at settlement together with the necessary enclosures for your records.