Your free guide from Preston Baker Estate and Letting Agents
Understanding sales progression
The process of sales progression starts when an offer is accepted on a home for sale. Both the buyer and the seller have responsibilities in this process.
A transaction involving a home is a major one and probably the most significant you will make, so it is very important to do things right. In order to do this you need to have an understanding of what is involved.
Both the buyer and seller should have a legal team for conveyancing to deal with the transfer of ownership of the property. Your legal team will look after a range of important matters. This includes obtaining title deeds, searches, liaising with mortgage lenders, drawing up a draft contract, dealing with enquiries and sorting an exchange and completion date.
To do all of the above the legal teams need a variety of information from the buyer and seller, and will perform ID and money laundering checks as part of the process.
There are a number of stakeholders involved in the sales progression process, including the buyer, seller, legal teams and mortgage lenders, and it is important that tasks are carried out in a timely manner to keep things moving and progress the sale.
It is the management of the sale of a property and the stakeholders involved that is known as sales progression.
“I’ve found everyone I’ve encountered at Preston Baker to be both polite and helpful. I’ve felt that throughout the process of buying a property through them I’ve never been left wondering what’s going on or if progress is being made; I’ve been updated regularly, and progress was steadily made throughout.” Jordan
Sales progression at a glance
Sales progression explained
Offer accepted and sale agreed
The sales progression process begins once an offer is accepted on a property and the sale agreed. At the point of the seller’s estate agent having the details of both parties’ solicitors, they will confirm the sale is agreed, subject to contract. You will be given a Memorandum of Sale (MOS) to confirm this.
Get a solicitor
To make a property officially yours you need conveyancing, and you need a solicitor for this. Preston Baker can introduce you to a solicitor if needed and work closely with them on your behalf.
When buying a property you need to complete your mortgage application and consider things such as how to protect your mortgage. Think of various scenarios, such as if you were to lose your job or became ill; you need to put in place mortgage protection to prevent you and your family being unable to meet your mortgage payments and the possibility of losing possession of the property.
Preston Baker Estate and Letting Agents has its own in-house Financial Services team that can help you with all your mortgage and protection requirements.
In most instances your mortgage lender will arrange for this valuation, the purpose of which confirms that the property being bought is worth the money you are being lent. This is not to be confused with a survey, which will give details of the condition of the property.
It is your responsibility to book a home buyer’s/ building survey when buying a property. If you don’t get a survey done you may not be aware of work that needs to be carried out and this can end up being costly.
Once you have instructed a solicitor work will start on the conveyancing process, which covers all the important legal matters.
The seller’s solicitor will draft a contract after receiving the title deeds to the property from the seller. This contract will be sent to the buyer’s solicitor
Details of property confirmed
The buyer’s solicitor will confirm all the details of the property by contacting the seller’s solicitor to check just what is included in the sale. This will include enquiring about things such as boundaries, any disputes and any changes that may have been made to the property.
The buyer’s solicitor will carry out searches on the property being purchased, including searches of Land Registry and Local Authority information. Such searches will check any planning history, environmental factors, drainage and mining close to the property.
When buying a property you need your mortgage confirmed before you can exchange contracts. When you receive confirmation of your mortgage check all the terms and conditions.
Buildings and contents insurance
As the sales progression process comes towards completion the buyer will need to get quotes for buildings and contents insurance. This is something Preston Baker Estate and Letting Agents can help you with.
It is important that all related insurance policies start from the exchange of contracts date.
Sign the contract
As a buyer, when the time comes to sign the contract for your new home, your solicitor will be in touch with you and arrange for the contract document to be signed.
Moving dates agreed
A date for the exchange of contracts and moving day (completion) will be agreed between the buyer’s solicitor and the seller’s solicitor. Now is a good time to look at finding a removals company if you need one.
Exchange of contracts
The buyer’s deposit will be sent to the seller’s solicitor, together with the signed contract. It is at this point that the buyer is legally bound to purchase the property and the seller is bound to sell once the deposit is transferred. It is now that all relevant insurance contracts should come into force.
Change of address
It’s important when moving house to let everyone you need to know about your forthcoming change of address. You need to inform your utility companies as they need to take metre readings; you don’t want to get charged for what you haven’t used. You’ll also need to let the bank, your employer and anyone else you want to know about your impending address change. If you contact Royal Mail it can organise a mail redirection for you; it’s worth setting this up for at least a few months.
Don’t forget to confirm your moving date with your chosen removals company.
On completion day the buyer’s solicitor will pay the outstanding balance of the purchase price to the seller’s solicitor. When this money is received, the seller’s solicitor will let the estate agent know and the keys will be released. This is when the property officially transfers ownership.
What can go wrong in sales progression?
Sales progression can and often does go smoothly. When everyone involved in the process does what they are supposed to it helps greatly and keeps any stress to a minimum.
However, things can and do go wrong. Some of the most common problems in the sales progression process are:
- A buyer who said they had funding in place actually doesn’t.
- Surveys can reveal a multitude of issues with a property, including damp and structural problems; this can cause the buyer to renegotiate on price or pull out.
- Indecisive buyers changing their minds and pulling out.
- A change of circumstances, such as illness or relationship problems.
- Gazumping – another buyer makes a better offer to the seller prior to you exchanging contracts.
- Chain collapse – the sale of a property further up or down the chain falls through which means that your sale can no longer proceed.
- Slow-to-act stakeholders – this can slow everything down and cause issues in the process.
- Down valuation where a property may be down valued due to legal issues such as boundary problems.
“Elizabeth has made the whole process so easy and stress free, she has been an absolute pleasure to work with!” Amanda
Sales progression and property chains
Sales progression when there is no chain is far more straightforward and a relatively simple process compared to when a property chain exists.
When there is no chain the buyer has nothing to sell and the seller has nothing to buy.
When there is a property chain
It becomes more complicated when you are in a property chain as there are more stakeholders involved and with that more chance of delays and issues, which have a knock-on effect on all other stakeholders in the chain.
Property chains really are something to be aware of when moving house. (See our free guide to property chains.)
“Heidi was brilliant in organising my mortgage so quickly for me and Lindsey kept in touch throughout the whole process of the sales progression and put my mind at ease with all of my queries. They were both friendly, approachable, knowledgeable and had great communication. Thank you for all of your help!” Holly
How to speed up sales progression
Sales progression can be stressful, complicated and frustrating, but it doesn’t need to be.
It pays to use the services of an estate agent to lessen the strain of sales progression. At Preston Baker Estate and Letting Agents we pride ourselves on our sales progression efficacy; it is core to our success and reputation, and helps make moving easier for you. We communicate with you fully throughout the whole process, so you are always aware of what is happening, while taking the strain from you by moving the process along and liaising with all the stakeholders for you.
At Preston Baker you have a dedicated team looking after you from beginning to end, and your team is highly qualified in the sales progression process to get your sale to completion. We know this is the most stressful part of a move and it’s our mission to remove as much of the stress from moving as possible so we focus really hard on this element of the process to make life as easy as we can for you.
Things you can do to help
Get together all the information your solicitor may need. This will help prevent delays.
This information includes:
- Identification in the form of a passport, driving licence or recent utility – this is needed to comply with current money laundering regulations.
- Copies of guarantees, certificates, warranties for any changes or improvements to your property such as extensions, planning consents, remedial work or building regulations.
- Details of fixtures and fittings.
- If selling instruct a gas safety certificate and electrical test. A large number of solicitors will request up-to-date details that gas appliances and electrics have been checked, so if this isn’t something you do regularly this is worth sorting once you have accepted an offer.
Prepare your house
When it comes to moving you will want to present your house well, but also think about preparing for the move ahead in plenty of time. Get ready by sorting through possessions and decluttering. Start to pack things up; it will save you last-minute stress.
Agree a moving date
If you can agree a moving date with other parties it’s a great help, but be prepared to be flexible here. If a mutually agreeable date can’t be found look at options such as moving into short term accommodation.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Communication is key in sales progression, so keep talking and building rapport with the stakeholders involved. It makes moving much easier.
“The most efficient and thorough solicitor I’ve dealt with. I never had to chase anything it was always done!” Sam