Laura Finnigan of the Thompson Smith and Puxon Residential Property team discusses what can be done before your sale is agreed to ensure a smooth and speedy transaction.

If you are thinking of putting your property on the market, or indeed your property is on the market but a sale has not yet been agreed, there are a number of things that you can be doing to help your sale to go through quickly and smoothly, once the right buyer comes along. Too many sellers instruct a solicitor only once the sale is agreed. This can cause a delay in their solicitor being able to collate title documents and prepare the legal title for sale. If your solicitor is instructed prior to a sale being agreed, your solicitor will have more time to investigate your property title fully. This will mean that any quirks or abnormalities with your title can hopefully be ironed out and dealt with at an early stage, often before they even become a problem.

As part of your sale you will also be required to complete some protocol forms which will form part of the draft contract package. These are standard forms which ask for details relating to the property, such as what building works have been carried out and who traditionally has maintained the boundaries. Whilst these are standard forms, they can often take a while to complete if the information required is not to hand. Your solicitor will be able to let you have copies of these forms so that you can start working through them straight away.

It is also a great idea to start collating all of the documents you have relating to the property: guarantees, warranties, certificates, planning consents and any other associated documents which will be called for once a sale is agreed. Start to think about which fixtures and fittings you intend to keep and which you intend to take with you as you will also be required to complete an inventory at the outset of the transaction.

Essentially, the better prepared you are for your sale, the easier the process should be for both you and your purchaser. This is of course a benefit to both parties and enables both of you to achieve the goal that you are both aiming for – a stress-free sale or purchase.

Laura can be contacted on 01206 217020 or by email at For more information on the home buying process download a copy of our Guide to Moving Home here.