‘Sale’ through to exchange

It’s very exciting to get an offer accepted on your home, but until you exchange, nothing is guaranteed. The gap between exchange and completion is relatively small compared to pre-exchange, and although most buyers and sellers wish to exchange quickly, sometimes complications can arise which can make the process take months, causing a lot of unnecessary stress for everybody involved. Here are some top tips on how to make the process less painful…


If you’re unfamiliar with the term, exchange of contracts means when the buyer and the seller sign legal contracts, and the buyer pays a deposit. Once this has happened, everything becomes legally binding.


Most people need to sell their own property first in order to pay the deposit, which can cause a delay. However, there are many other factors too. A good estate agent will of course be chasing things up on your behalf, but here’s a few things you can do to help you on your way too…



Use a recommended solicitor - Also referred to as a conveyancer, they will be your legal representative who deals with the transfer of property on your behalf. They are crucial to the whole process, so ask around for recommendations for firms known for their fast turnarounds.


Organise your mortgage - It’s now even tougher to get a mortgage, so if you can, start applying for one right at the beginning of your apartment search, if not before. You will need a Mortgage in Principle (MIP) or Decision in Principle (DIP).


Completion date – Try and agree an approximate date with the other party.  At the outset both parties should voice their expectations on timings.


Be on top of paperwork - Various forms will need to be filled in from your solicitors and your lender as soon as possible as any delay will hold up the progression of the sale. Also find out what you need to progress your mortgage at the outset e.g. bank statements and ID.


Have costs covered - Have all the necessary funds in place, and pay these on time. For example, the buyer needs to provide monies to the solicitors to initiate the searches being applied for. If you’re the seller of a leasehold property, which apartments tend to be, you need to pay for a management pack early on as this can take time to collate.


Always be available - Make sure you are easily contactable and around to sign the paperwork and contracts. I.e don’t go on holiday!