Signing Contracts

Since receiving the draft contract from the seller's solicitor, the purchaser's solicitor will have been in correspondence with their client about what is covered. Before signing the contracts, both solicitors will need to ensure that:

  • Enquiries have been returned and answers are satisfactory for all involved
  • Fixtures and fittings included in the purchase are what have been discussed and agreed on
  • A completion date has been agreed between all parties. Exchange dates can only be set by solicitors/conveyancers in agreement with their clients
  • Arrangements to transfer the deposit into the purchasers solicitor's account have been made so that it is cleared in time for an exchange. The deposit figure is usually 10% of the agreed sale price, however this figure can be negotiated via you solicitor

It is the duty of the solicitors to converse with each other regarding exchange of contracts.•This is usually done by both solicitors reading out the contracts over the phone (a recording is also taken) to ensure both sides have an identical copy, and then immediately sending their signed copy to the other sides’ solicitor in the post.

If you are in a chain your solicitor will repeat this for both your sale and purchase, but will only release the contract if the parties involved in the lower chain are all happy to go ahead. Occasionally this process can be delayed if one party is not ready. Part of the sales progression role at Parker Hall is to help ensure that this does not happen and to keep all parties in the chain aware of the current situation.

Once you have exchanged contracts… both parties will be in a legally binding contract to buy/sell the property with a fixed date for completion and release of keys. This means that:

  • Both sides are legally obligated to complete on the property
  • The seller can no longer accept any viewings or another offer
  • If completion does not happen, the purchaser will lose the deposit and owe the seller more if the deposit was less than 10% - the purchaser could be sued for damages if they fail to complete

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