A common question for people selling their house is, ‘Can I sell my house without instructing a solicitor?’
Unfortunately the transaction may not be as straightforward as you think. There can be many unforeseen problems and complex issues that require a solicitor or conveyancer to resolve.
Here are some reasons we believe it is vital for you to have legal representation when selling your house:
A legal representative will have the relevant experience and knowledge to flag up any potential queries with the title. The property may be unregistered or be registered with a restriction or charge that may need to be resolved
A solicitor or conveyancer will draft a contract according to the type of transaction. They will be able to include any special conditions needed for your particular sale and therefore protect you.
Buyer’s solicitors will raise enquiries regarding your sale property. Any response given can be relied upon, should the buyer then wish to do so in a litigious matter, so it is vital that these are answered in the correct way. If you reply to the enquiries you could end up giving warranties whereas a solicitor would protect you and not allow you to word it in such a way. A solicitor or conveyancer will be best equipped to deal with enquiries of this nature as they are experienced in this field.
When a sale is completed the funds are sent to your solicitor by the buyer’s solicitor after they have done their relevant checks to make sure they are sending them to a valid solicitor’s client account. In the absence of seller’s solicitors, money would need to be sent directly to the sellers. This poses a huge risk as far as the money laundering regulations are concerned. The buyer’s solicitors will always be reluctant to send money directly to sellers.
The seller’s solicitors need to provide undertakings to show that any current mortgage on the house will be removed at completion, as this will satisfy the buyer’s solicitors. Undertakings are the promises that solicitors make and if they fail to carry out a promise, they can face a severe penalty, or in a worse case scenario they can be struck off. If you do not have a solicitor acting on your behalf, an undertaking will not be provided, which means the buyer’s solicitors would be completing the transaction without confirmation that the mortgage will ever be repaid. This is a huge risk for buyers and their solicitor will not let them proceed.
Selling a house can be a minefield if you are doing it alone. Please do instruct a law firm to conduct this work for you, as not only can they make sure that your interests are protected but they will also be able to tackle any complex issues that may arise throughout the process.
If you would like to talk to one of the team about selling a house or any other conveyancing matter please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
If you found this article helpful we would recommend reading our previous post, ‘What to expect when selling a house.‘Talk to our legal team
The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.