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How to respond to buyer queries

When selling your home, it is crucial to effectively navigate the process of responding to buyer queries during both completion and pre-contract negotiations. These interactions can make or break a deal, so it's essential to handle them with care and attention to detail.

Let’s take a look at the types of questions you could be asked, your obligations regarding replying to queries, and how you can respond appropriately.

Looking to sell your home? Contact your local CJ Hole branch today.

What kinds of questions could you be asked during the conveyancing process?

The types of conveyancing questions you get asked during the process is dependent on both the property itself and the requirements of the buyer. Here are some examples of conveyancing enquiries that you could be asked:

  • The property’s features and details

  • The legal title of the property

  • The condition of the property

  • The documents that are required for change of ownership

  • Any planning permission that has been granted for the area

  • Any restrictive covenants that are in place

  • Rights of access

  • Any future development plans in the area

It is completely normal to receive questions from the buyer during the conveyancing process, so don’t be alarmed if you are asked to confirm some details about your property.

Related: Your guide to conveyancing

What are your legal obligations?

There is actually no legal requirement for sellers to reply to buyer queries, however they are expected to act in good faith to ensure a smooth transaction.

Therefore, if they do provide a reply, they must ensure that the information provided is accurate and in no way misleading. Any false statements could result in legal action being taken against the seller.

Tips on responding to buyer queries

It is essential to provide accurate, timely, and helpful information while also protecting your own interests.

Be accurate

It’s important to be as accurate as possible. Providing incorrect information can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and even legal issues down the line. On the other hand, accurate responses help build trust with potential buyers, showcase your professionalism, and increase the likelihood of a successful sale.

Clarify when you’re not sure of the answer

It is perfectly normal to encounter questions from buyers that you may not know the answer to.

When faced with uncertainty, it is essential to handle the situation with honesty. Instead of trying to fabricate a response or deflect the question, simply admit that you do not have the information readily available and offer to follow up with the required details.

Related: Five ways to speed up the sale of your home

Keep important documents to hand

By being able to promptly provide relevant documents, you demonstrate that you have nothing to hide and are upfront about the condition and history of the property. This level of transparency can build trust with potential buyers and make them feel more comfortable moving forward with the purchase. It can also streamline the process, and prevent any unnecessary delays.

Related: What paperwork do you need to sell a property?

Always go through your solicitor

It is essential to always go through your solicitor when responding to queries, as it ensures that you provide accurate and legally sound information.

Your solicitor will help you navigate any legal complexities that may arise during the negotiation process. They will protect your best interests when selling your home and ensure that your rights are safeguarded throughout the process, while also helping you approach negotiations with confidence.

Encourage buyers to gather their own information

By encouraging buyers to conduct their own research and gather information, you are showing them that you are transparent and trustworthy.

When buyers take the initiative to research, they are more likely to feel confident in their choices and ultimately more satisfied with their purchase. It can also help you save valuable time and effort, allowing you to focus on other aspects of the process.

For more advice, download our free guide to selling your home.

Can the buyer pull out of the contract due to misrepresentation?

In the case of misrepresentation - when a property is different to how it is marketed - the buyer may indeed have the right to pull out of the contract. The misrepresentation could be in the form of false statements about the condition of the property, inaccurate measurements, undisclosed defects, or any other material information that may affect the buyer’s decision.

If the misrepresentation is material and the buyer suffers loss or damages as a result, they may have the right to seek compensation for their losses through legal means. Because of this, being fully transparent and honest about your property is extremely important.

Buyer beware

The buyer beware principle is based on the idea that buyers and their solicitor should conduct their due diligence when purchasing a property. This includes inspecting the property, asking questions, and seeking out any potential issues that may not be readily apparent. However, sellers have a responsibility to be honest and transparent when responding to buyer queries.

What’s next?

After you have responded to the buyer’s queries and the terms of the sale have been negotiated, it is time for both parties to exchange contracts. At this point, the sale becomes legally binding and both parties are committed to completing the transaction.

A completion date will then be set before finances are finalised and final checks are complete. Following completion, the buyer’s solicitor will register the transfer of ownership with the Land Registry and they will become the legal owner of the property.

Remember, a good estate agent can make all the difference when negotiating a sale as they have the necessary knowledge and expertise to achieve a successful sale that protects your interests.

Here at CJ Hole, our team of experienced agents can facilitate your move and ensure a smooth, stress-free transaction. Request your free valuation today to begin your move.

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