Making an Offer
Once the offer is accepted, the seller will usually notify the estate agent who will confirm that agreement has been reached. The seller and the purchaser will each notify the estate agent of their choice of solicitor, and the estate agents will prepare a memorandum of sale to be sent out to all parties and their legal advisors.
It is important to be aware that although a purchase price might now be agreed upon, there is nothing legally binding about the agreement to buy or to sell (this will only happen at the exchange of contracts).
This is an often criticised feature of the English conveyancing process and there has been discussion about changing the process to make the purchase process legally binding at a much earlier stage.
The seller’s solicitors will usually only send out draft contracts when they have the title deeds in front of them. The sellers themselves will also be asked to complete a Property Information Form and a Fixtures and Fittings Form and send that to their solicitors.
There will often be a delay in the seller’s solicitors sending out draft contracts. This is because most people have a mortgage over their property and therefore the solicitors have to contact the mortgage company for the title deeds.