By Lara Mitchell

The run-up to Christmas is probably our busiest time of year with lots of clients wanting to be in their new home in time for Christmas.

In order for our accounts department to process all payments our last day for completions is Wednesday 19th December. All WBW offices will close at lunchtime on Friday 21st December and we will re-open on Wednesday 2nd January 2019.

If you are selling or buying a property leading up to Christmas, here are a few things you can do to ensure the process runs smoothly:

1. Sale or purchase – if you have any queries when you receive paperwork from us please do give us a call as we are more than happy to go through the paperwork with you either over the telephone or by appointment.

2. Complete and return all initial client care paperwork fully, clearly and promptly, and provide money on account.

3. Where possible please attend the office with your photo driving licence or passport in order for us to take certified copies. If you are unable to attend the office please do let us know and we will advise you accordingly.

4. On a sale please provide us with any deeds and documents you have for the property at the start of the transaction. For example, FENSA certificates (for replacement windows and doors), NICEIC certificates (for works to the electrics), gas safe certificate for the installation of a boiler, service record for the boiler and any guarantees or warranties you may have.

5. If the deeds for the property you are selling are stored with another firm of solicitors please arrange to have them released to you as soon as possible – this process can take some time.

6. If you have a mortgage on the property you are selling please provide us with the correct account details at the start of the transaction in order for us to obtain an up to date redemption statement.

7. If you require the assistance of a mortgage to purchase, please arrange this at your earliest convenience. The mortgage lender will carry out a valuation of the property, but, if you wish to have a further survey of the property again, please arrange this as soon as possible.

8. The majority of clients like us to be in receipt of a copy of their mortgage offer before instructing us to apply for the non-refundable searches (local search, water and drainage search and environmental search). In order for us to apply for searches promptly please arrange your mortgage as soon as possible and provide money on account at the start of the transaction.

9. On a sale, the buyer’s conveyancer will raise enquiries (these are questions about the property you are selling). We will respond to as many as we can but are likely to need some responses from you. Where possible please try to answer fully, clearly and promptly.

10. Where possible, to avoid postal delays over the Christmas period, please correspond by email and/or telephone and attend the office with paperwork and to sign documents etc.

11. Please ensure that funds required towards your purchase are available.

Please note for standard sale and purchase transactions we estimate 6-8 weeks. This is only an estimate as transactions are dependent on several factors, for example, the length of the chain, the speed of other conveyancers in the chain, mortgage lenders and search result times.

Most importantly until exchange of contracts has taken place, both seller and buyer are entitled to withdraw from the transaction at any time. It is also worth noting the proposed completion date is not fixed. We strongly advise you wait until exchange of contracts has taken place before booking removals and handing in notice if living in rented accommodation.

For further information or advice on selling your property or any other property matter, please contact your local WBW Office.