Considering buying or selling at auction? As auction conveyancing specialists we want to share our knowledge with you. Our list of FAQs aims to answer all the questions we frequently receive about auctions and explain why auction is the best way to buy and sell all types of property and land.
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What is Conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal transfer of property from the current owner(s) to the new owner(s).
Why do I need a Solicitor or Conveyancer when my property is sold?
Instructing a qualified professional will ensure you’re fully informed of any complications with the property and Title, which could cause significant issues or be costly in future, delaying your sale. Buying and selling property is one of the largest transactions you can carry out in your lifetime, and it would be extremely high risk to complete the transaction without a qualified professional guiding you throughout the process. Our team will be happy to assist you at each stage, protecting your interests and ensuring all legal requirements are met.
What is the difference between a Solicitor and Conveyancer?
A Conveyancing Solicitor is fully trained in legal services but specialises in Conveyancing. This can be helpful in a particularly complex transaction involving other areas of law, such as selling the property as an Executor under a will or a court order (such as in Divorce). A Conveyancer lives and breathes property law in terms of selling and buying a property and has exceptional experience in the process.
What’s an Auction Pack and why do I need one?
If you decide to sell your property at auction you will need an Auction Pack. Auction Packs include all relevant information such as Title Deeds, Property Information Forms (PIFs), fittings and contents form(s), leasehold information form(s) if applicable, searches and pre-prepared replies to enquiries. If you’re selling on behalf of another party, evidence of your right to sell will also be included. Having an Auction Pack pre-prepared and ready to take to auction makes the property more attractive to potential buyers and prevents later delays you would commonly find in a traditional transaction.
What’s a Leasehold Management Pack and why do I need one?
A Management Pack provides important information regarding a leasehold property. The pack is obtained from the Freeholder or their Managing Agent and contains information on the management of the freehold, ground rent, service charges, any planned future renovations, buildings insurance and other relevant information to ensure the buyer is aware of any responsibilities should they proceed with the transaction. It also contains information required by the buyer to transfer ownership. You will need to request this from your Freeholder or Managing Agent, who will confirm the cost payable by you (which you will need to pay in addition to the cost of the Auction Pack prepared by Medway Law)
Why do I need to complete the Property Information Forms (PIFs), pre-sale?
When selling at auction, it’s important to provide prospective buyers with important information about the property. This information is also used by the buyer’s Solicitor during the Conveyancing phase of the process, so it’s important to complete these forms fully and to the best of your knowledge to prevent any potential delays.
What if I’m acting as Power of Attorney?
If you’re acting as Power of Attorney and dealing with the sale of a property on someone else’s behalf, you will need to check that you satisfy the following criteria before we can proceed; you’ll need to be able to provide us with the original Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or a copy certified by a Solicitor;
The LPA must give power to deal with the property and financial affairs on behalf of the individual; and
if more than one Attorney is appointed, all Attorneys must be party to the sale unless the LPA specifically states that you can act jointly and severally. If the Donor is of sound mind, they will need to provide their permission for the sale to proceed under your authority.
What if I’m acting as an Executor?
As an Executor named in someone’s will you’re allowed to sell their property as long as there are no surviving Joint Owners or clauses in the Will which prevent the sale of the property. As an Executor, you may need to apply for a Grant of Probate – this is a legal document giving you authority to carry out any instruction within the will, which may involve the sale of a property. You will need to provide Medway Law with the original Grant of Probate, or provide us with a copy certified by a Solicitor. If you have applied for the Grant of Probate but are not yet in receipt, please be aware that if there are excessive delays with the registry office this will in turn delay the sale (as this document gives you the right to sell the property).
What if I’m acting as an Administrator?
If the Proprietor has passed away without leaving a Will, you’ll need to apply to the Probate Registry to obtain Letters of Administration. This document gives you the legal right to sell the property and you will have the authority to administer the Estate. We will need the original Letters of Administration or a copy certified by a Solicitor to proceed with the sale.
What’s the difference between Private Treaty (or ‘open market’) and The Modern Method of Auction?
A Private Treaty sale is the legal name for an open market sale, where a sale is negotiated (usually via an Estate Agent) between a buyer and a seller. Once a purchase price is agreed, both parties instruct a Solicitor to act on their behalf. There are no Reservation Fees or timescales on a Private Treaty sale, but this can cause completions in excess of 100 days and a 30% fall-through rate. Both the Modern Method of Auction (MMoA) and Traditional Auction boast transaction end dates, offering all parties speed, security and transparency throughout the transaction. Once the auction closes, the buyer pays a Reservation Fee to secure the property.
I don’t live locally – do I have to visit the Medway Law office in person?
All work is carried out via email, telephone and post, so there is no need to attend our office in person.
What is ‘exchange’ or ‘exchange of contracts’?
Within a property transaction, a draft contract is prepared by the seller’s Conveyancer and sent to the buyer’s Conveyancer for approval. The contract will include details of the Legal Title of the property, a list of fixtures and fittings which are included in the sale and any special conditions relevant to the property. The buyer’s Conveyancer will then check the legal title and carry out preliminary searches and enquiries. Once all enquiries have been addressed, the buyer and seller both individually sign a copy of the contract and their legal representatives will exchange contracts. This is carried out between the Conveyancers over the telephone so you do not need to be present. At this point, the contract becomes legally binding, the completion date is fixed and neither party can withdraw from the transaction without incurring a financial penalty, usually 10% of the purchase price.
What happens on the day of completion?
The day of completion is the date that you move, and all money is transferred to buy the property. If you are the seller, your current mortgage will be redeemed by your Conveyancer. On the day of completion you should aim to move out of the house you’re selling by noon or, if you’re buying, you will be able to move in that afternoon once the completion has been confirmed. If there is a long chain, you may find there is a delay whilst the monies are transferred. We will do whatever we can to speed up the process and prevent any delays.
What happens with the keys?
If you are selling, you should take your keys to the Estate Agent on the day of completion. They will then hand the keys over to the buyer once the seller’s Conveyancer has confirmed the money has been received by the buyers of your property. If you’re buying, you’ll be able to obtain your new keys from the Estate Agent once your purchase money has been received by the seller’s Conveyancer, and the sellers have vacated the property. In the majority of transactions, completion and the exchange of keys usually takes place around 12 noon – 1pm.
What if my property is unregistered with the Land Registry?
The majority of properties are now registered with the Land Registry, however some properties that have had the same ownership for many years can potentially be unregistered. If the property is unregistered you will need to provide us with the original Title Deeds which will allow us to create an Epitome of Title to provide to the buyer’s Conveyancer.
What happens if the property I am selling has a tenancy in place?
If you are selling a property with an existing tenant in place, please inform us as soon as we are instructed. If the Tenant is to remain in the property after it has been sold and this has been agreed with the buyer, we will need a copy of the Tenancy Agreement and Deposit Protection Scheme certificate. If the Tenant is not to remain in the property you will need to ensure that you provide them with the required notice in accordance with your agreement and the Housing Act 1988.
How long does the Conveyancing process take for a Private Treaty (open market) sale?
Private Treaty (or ‘open market’) sales can take a long time to complete, as there are lots of factors which can impact and delay the sale. For example, if the buyer or seller are in a chain and waiting for another sale or purchase to progress, this can extend the timescale.
How long does the Conveyancing process take for an auction sale?
Auction sales generally progress quicker than Private Treaty sales as much of the legal preparation is done up front. This is done in the form of an Auction Pack which contains information like Local Authority searches, Title Deeds and other key information upfront. Auction terms also stipulate completion timescales of 28 days (for Traditional Auction) or 56 days (for Modern Method of Auction) from receipt of draft contracts, so buyers and sellers are committed to complete to this timescale upfront. In the case of unforeseen circumstances arising, all parties will be kept to up date so expectations are managed, and any new timescales will be agreed.
How long does it take to get an Auction Pack, so my property can go to sale at auction?
This can vary, depending on the type of property eg. If it is Freehold or Leasehold and other factors such as how quickly local authority searches are returned, but we endeavour to get this completed for you as quickly as possible.
What is the difference between Medway Law’s Auction Packs team and their Conveyancing team?
The Medway Law Auction Packs team are responsible for compiling the necessary information needed for the Auction Pack to provide prospective buyers with important material information about the property. The Medway Law Conveyancing team have expertise in the conveyancing process which is the legal process of transferring ownership of the property which takes place once the sale is agreed.
Who deals with payment of the Auction Pack?
Payment of the Auction Pack is made upon completion of your property sale and should be paid by your Solicitor to iamsold.
Who do I send ID to when I begin the process?
Medway Law will request Identification from you once the property is sold to fulfil all legal and compliance obligations.
Why do I need to send Original or Solicitor-Certified copies of Right to Sell Documentation?
You will need to provide your legal right to sell the property before proceeding, buyer’s Solicitors will use this documentation for registration purposes with Land Registry when transferring the property ownership.
Why can’t Medway Law’s Auction Packs Team give me advice when there are issues?
At the Auction Pack stage, the Auction Packs team is instructed by iamsold, not you, as the seller. Medway Law are only instructed by you, then seller, upon a sale being agreed and when they commence the Conveyancing process. At which point, and once instructed directly by you, they are able to provide advice on your sale.
If my Auction Pack can’t be finalised, could the property still be sold?
This may be possible, at the discretion of iamsold but will be discussed with you by your Auction Specialist if necessary. It is important that you provide us with all required information so that any issues are identified as early as possible.
Who can certify which documents?
For all documents, either a Solicitor or licensed Conveyancer will need to certify them.
When do I get my money for the sale of my property?
Once completion has taken place, Medway Law will transfer the funds directly to you on the day of completion. Please note, funds should be in your account by close of business.