Guide to Buying and Selling a House

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Our conveyancing solicitors can help you buy and sell your house. 

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We know how stressful buying and selling a house can be, especially if you are a first time buyer. Our ‘guide to buying and selling a house’ is an outline of the residential conveyancing sale and purchase process. Please contact us to discuss your personal circumstances.

House selling and buying process

If you're buying a house in York, Selby, Malton or Pickering, our conveyancing team are on hand to help you negotiate the legal hurdles along the way. To get you started on your house buying journey, we've put together a guide to the process of buying and selling house. 

Buying a New Build

Buying a new-build house comes with its own issues and processes to follow. Read our blog for answers to questions on buying a new build house and some tips when buying a new build house.

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Sellers are required to commission, but won't need to have received an EPC before marketing their property. Your estate agent can put you in touch with an energy assessor to carry out the assessment.  If you are selling privately without the assistance of an estate agent, you can find an assessor on the Government’s website Get a new energy certificate - GOV.UK (

Selling a house – Your sale

Before signing and exchanging contracts,we:

1. Liaise with your estate agents.

2. Obtain your deeds from your Bank or Building Society.

3. Obtain up-to-date official copies of your deeds from HM Land Registry.

4. Provide you with Law Society Protocol Forms to complete.

5. Prepare and send out a draft contract to your buyer's solicitors.

6. Liaise with you to provide accurate replies to any enquiries which the buyer’s solicitor raises after reviewing our contract papers

7. Ascertain whether or not the buyers have received their mortgage.

Buying a house – Your purchase

Before signing and exchanging contracts, we:

1. Contact the estate agent.

2. Obtain a draft contract from your seller's solicitors.

3. Carry out a Local Authority search. This reveals information known to the local authority about the property itself.

4. Consider whether it is appropriate to make other searches.

5. Raise enquiries on the contract and legal papers with the seller's solicitor.

6. Review your mortgage offer once received from your mortgage lender, and advise you on the terms and conditions within it.

7. After a thorough review of all search results and replies to enquiries from the seller’s solicitor, prepare a detailed property report for you to read through.  You will ask us any questions you may have so that we can ensure you fully understand everything before we ask you to sign the contract and transfer deed.

When all of the above matters are completed, you will be in a position to exchange contracts. A deposit of up to 10% of the purchase price is usually payable by the buyer to the seller on exchange of contracts. Once the contracts are signed and exchanged, a binding contract exists and usually neither party can withdraw without incurring serious penalties.

For more information, contact our conveyancing team.

After exchanging contracts and before completion

You will now have a date for completion. You should make arrangements with your removal firm and with your sellers (or buyers) to have the gas and electricity meters read. You should also deal with Council Tax, water and drainage rates and other utilities you use.

We continue the transaction as follows.

Final steps to selling your house

1, Approve the final transfer deed which is prepared by the buyer’s solicitor and sent to us to check.

2. Where the money due from your buyer is not simply the sale price, we will prepare a completion statement for the buyer’s solicitor showing the final balance due on completion (this may be an extra payment for furniture, for example, or a sum of money knocked off the sale price for the seller to contribute towards a defective title indemnity insurance).

Final steps to buying your house

1. Prepare the final transfer deed for approval by the seller’s solicitor.

2. Request the mortgage funds (if needed) from your mortgage lender.

3. Prepare a completion statement for you, showing the money we have received to date from you (and expect to receive from your mortgage lender), along with the money which we will need to pay out to complete your purchase.  This will show the final balance needed from you, which you will transfer to us at least two working days before your purchase completes.

Completion day

This is the day that legal ownership of the house is transferred to the new owner, and usually when you move.  The buyer’s solicitor pays the purchase money to the seller’s solicitor, and the signed transfer deed is handed to the buyer along with any other paper deeds.

After completion

On your sale, we will settle your existing mortgage and pay your estate agents invoice.  In respect of your new house, we will submit the stamp duty form to HMRC and pay any stamp duty owed.  We will also deal with registering the transfer to you with the Land Registry (this can take several months – even up to 18 months – in some cases but the house is yours from the day of completion), and once registration formalities are completed we will forward a copy of the new deed register to you.

Let us guide you, step-by-step, through the process of buying and selling a house. 

Get in touch with our conveyancing experts.

We have an App and digital online login for conveyancing

Use your phone for everything – great! You can download our App and use it to work with our solicitor on your conveyancing matter – the App is packed with loads of technology to do key parts of the transaction in a digital way, taking away need for printed paperwork, pen writing and posting documents.

You can download the App in the App Store (Google and Android), search for ‘Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors’ to Open and Download the App.

You can visit our online login portal to login to your conveyancing transaction (once registered) at

We are very proud to be able to say that our residential property team have WON the award for Residential Property of the Year at the Yorkshire Legal Awards 2022, acknowledging us being a market leader and providing a high quality conveyancing service for clients.

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