House Selling Process

House sale solicitors East Yorkshire and York area

If you are thinking of selling your home or investment property, you may have questions about the house selling process. We take a look at the steps involved and what you can do to make sure your sale goes as smoothly as possible.

At Lockings Solicitors, our conveyancing solicitors have extensive experience in dealing with all types of property sales and purchases. We know that this can be a stressful time and we always do all we can to make the process as easy as possible. We work proactively to avoid delays and are known for the level of service we provide. We will make sure that we are available to speak to you throughout to answer your questions and keep you abreast of progress.

We offer a FREE initial chat so that you can ask us any questions you may have. Call us on 01482 300 200, email us at or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and deal with conveyancing in East Yorkshire, the York area and beyond.

The house selling process step by step

As a seller, it can help your transaction move more quickly and efficiently if you deal with certain issues in advance. Our conveyancers can work with you to ensure that steps such as obtaining your title deeds and completing property information forms are dealt with early on, potentially cutting the time your sale takes to complete.

The main steps involved in a house sale are:

  • Obtain an Energy Performance Certificate
  • Choose an estate agent and market your property
  • Instruct a solicitor
  • Work with your solicitor to ensure initial paperwork is available
  • Accept an offer
  • Your solicitor sends out the contract package
  • Replying to enquiries
  • The survey
  • Exchanging contracts
  • Completion

Obtain an Energy Performance Certificate

You are legally required to have an Energy Performance Certificate or EPC in order to sell your property. This rates your property’s energy efficiency from A to G, where A is the most energy efficient.

Ideally your estate agent will want this before the property is marketed, or soon after. EPCs are valid for 10 years, so there may already be one in place and we can check this for you on the government website. If you have carried out work that could improve your rating, you may want to consider obtaining a new certificate.

An EPC is available from an accredited energy assessor.

Choose an estate agent and market your property

Once you are ready to market your property, you will need to choose an estate agent. You can ask local agents to value the property and speak to friends and relatives to see if they have any recommendations. You can discuss the figures suggested by the agents in light of your requirements. For example, if you want to move quickly you may want to set a slightly lower price to try and attract a buyer straightaway.

Instruct a solicitor

You should instruct a solicitor at this stage. If you ask us to represent you, we will be able to start work on issues such as verifying your identity, opening a file and letting you have initial ‘paperwork’ (most of our clients prefer the speed and ease of doing this on our secure online portal at no extra cost) to complete. This will include the property information and fixtures and fittings forms that need to be sent to the buyer’s solicitor.

Work with your solicitor to ensure initial paperwork is available

We will start to put together the paperwork needed for the contract package. This includes obtaining your title deeds, asking the Land Registry for an official copy of the legal title and plan of your property and making sure we have any additional documents such as guarantees and planning consents.

Accept an offer

The next step is to secure an acceptable offer. Once you have agreed on a price with a potential buyer, your estate agent will send us their details together with the name and address of their solicitor.

Your solicitor sends out the contract package

We will send out the contract package to the buyer’s solicitor straightaway so that they can start work immediately on going through the information, raising enquiries and applying for searches. The contract package will include a wide range of documents, including:

  • The draft contract
  • An official copy of the property’s title and plan
  • Copies of any documents referred to in the legal title
  • Copy planning consents and building regulations approval
  • Property information form
  • Fixtures and fittings form
  • Copies of guarantees, for example, in respect of windows or boiler or NHBC certificate

If the property is leasehold, extra information will be required, including:

  • Copy lease
  • Leasehold information form
  • Copy of the management company accounts
  • Copy of the buildings insurance policy
  • Ground rent receipt
  • Confirmation from the landlord or managing agent that service charges have been paid up to date

Replying to enquiries

Once the buyer’s solicitor has been through the paperwork, they are likely to have a number of questions for you. These will be sent to us and we will forward any that need your response to you.

The survey

Your buyer is also likely to have a survey carried out, as well as a mortgage valuation. If your survey raises issues and it is necessary to renegotiate the price, we can help.

Exchanging contracts

Once the contract has been approved by the buyer’s solicitor, we will obtain your signature to this. Unlike other contracts, it will not become legally binding until we exchange the contract with the buyer’s solicitor over the telephone.

Unless you plan on moving out in advance of the completion date, you will need to check with removals companies to see when they are available.

We will liaise with you and your buyer’s solicitor to agree on a completion date, then deal with the exchange of contracts. The buyer will pay a deposit on exchange, usually of 10%. Their solicitor will send this to us and we will hold it until completion. If you are tying in a purchase, the deposit will be used for this.

Once the exchange has taken place, you will be legally bound to complete on the agreed date.

We will obtain a redemption figure from your mortgage lender and provide you with a statement showing how much you will receive on completion or, if you are also buying a property, how much extra is needed from you, if anything.


Prior to completion, the buyer’s solicitor will let us have a transfer document for you to sign. On the completion day, once you have moved out, you should drop the keys to the property at the estate agent. Once we hear from our bank that we have received the balance of purchase money we will ring the agent and let them know that the keys can be released to the buyer.

We will send money to your mortgage lender to redeem your mortgage and send the title deeds and signed transfer to the buyer’s solicitor.

Contact our East Yorkshire and York area house selling solicitors

If you are thinking of selling your property, we would be pleased to represent you. We are extremely experienced in selling property in East Yorkshire, the York area and beyond and have an excellent reputation in our local area and online.

You can ring us for a FREE initial chat on 01482 300 200, email us at or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and deal with conveyancing in East Yorkshire, the York area and beyond.

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