The short definition of conclusion of missives…
When there is agreement between the buyer and seller as to the price and date of entry.
As well as any other ancillary legal matters (e.g. the fact you’re buying the cooker in the house too).
And this is documented in “formal letters” sent between their respective solicitors.
The final formal letter simply concludes the contract and at that point there are no other matters to be agreed upon.
Formal letters are also referred to as “missives.”
What do we mean by “formal letters”?
The first formal letter is the written Offer that your solicitor will submit on your behalf for the house you want to buy.
In response to that, the seller’s solicitor will send a written acceptance along with the title deeds to your solicitor; this is known as the Qualified Acceptance.
The Qualified Acceptance will confirm the price and date of entry (the date you will get your keys).
It may also refer to some of the following points, if applicable to your property:
- Building Warrants, plans and Completion Certificate, if the property has been extended within the past 20 years.
- Listed Building Consent, if the property has been altered in the past 20 years and is a listed building.
- A SEPA Certificate for the registration of the septic tank, if there is private drainage.
- A water analysis report, if there is a private water supply to the property.
- An NHBC Insurance Certificate, if the property you are buying is less than 10 years old.
Once your solicitor has discussed the Qualified Acceptance and title deeds with you, unless there are any other legal matters that arise, your solicitor will be in a position to send another formal letter which will either (a) conclude the contract or (b) delete the time limit contained within the Qualified Acceptance and this will allow the seller’s solicitor to send their formal letter concluding the contract.
Once missives are concluded, you can be confident of the date of entry.
Then it’s time to book removals and get excited to collect the keys to your new house.
How we can help
This article looked to explode some of the legal jargon which surrounds finalising a contract of sale of a house – i.e. concluding missives.
We hope you found this useful and please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any queries at all. Initial enquiries are free of charge and without obligation to proceed further. This is the case whether you’re looking for clarification of anything that’s not clear from this article or wanting to ask about any of our wider house buying and selling services.