Conveyancing is the legal transfer of home ownership from the seller to the buyer.
So what does Conveyancing involve?
Conveyancing will be carried out by a licensed conveyancer or a conveyancing solicitor. The conveyancing process includes conducting property searches, exchanging contracts and finalising the sale. It’s a vital process to the transaction, ensuring it’s completed legally.
This includes the drafting and signing of contracts, which is just one of the many reasons why it’s so important to work with a professional and verified conveyancer.
It’s highly advised you hire a trusted, qualified and experienced conveyancer as it’s often a difficult and complicated process to get through. It is essential that the transaction is completed accurately as any error could result in the contract not being legally binding.
To help you understand the conveyancing process, here is a step-by-step guide of the conveyancing process in the UK for sale and purchase of the property:
Step 1: Selecting a conveyancing solicitor
This is when you instruct a conveyancer or a solicitor to help you with the selling or buying your house.
The solicitor will carry out Anti Money Laundering, source of funds / Know Your client checks.
Once the sales memorandum from agents is received, the Solicitor will then contact the seller’s/buyers Solicitor confirming instructions.
Step 2: Enquiries and conveyancing searches
On a sale transaction, buyers solicitors raise enquiries. Legal enquiries are answered by the solicitor, any specific enquiries regarding the protocol forms or for property is answered by the client.
On a purchase transaction, the buyers solicitor reviews the contract pack, the deeds and searches to raise enquiries.
Step 3: Securing your mortgage and house survey
The buyer will apply for a mortgage. It is important to inform lender with your correct details and provide the information they requested to provide mortgage offer in principle.
Some lenders carry out desktop valuations and some carry out psychical valuations to provide a mortgage offer.
A home buyers survey is not a requirement. This is for the buyer to arrange if they deem necessary.
Step 4: Signing the Contract
On sale transition, when buyers solicitors approve the contract it is sent to client to sign.
On a purchase transaction, when all enquiries are satisfied, searches are in and if there is a mortgage offer it is received then the solicitor will report to their client and send out the contract together with all relevant documents to sign.
Step 5: Exchange of contracts
On sale transition, when signed documents are received and all is satisfied and a completion date is agreed the sellers and buyers Solicitors finalise the contract when it becomes legally binding to buy/sell the property.
Also See: What is Online Conveyancing in UK
On purchase transition, the procedure is as per sale mentioned above. In addition to this before exchange of contracts the buyer is required to send their deposit which is used at exchange stage.
Step 6: Completion
On a purchase transaction if balance of funds was required to complete the solicitor would have sent a completion statement before the completion date and requested mortgage funds from lender (if there is an mortgage) to ensure all completion funds are received before day of completion.
Also See: Conveyancing Solicitors in Cambridge
On the day of completion, the solicitor will transfer the completion funds to sellers solicitors, when sellers solicitors receive the funds they will ask the agents to release the keys to the buyer.
On a sale transaction, once the buyer’s solicitors send completion balance and it is received by sellers solicitors, they will complete the transaction, inform agents to release the keys. The solicitor will then make the relevant payments of estate agent commission and redemption balance (where there is an existing mortgage), any disbursements then send the net sale proceeds back to seller.
Step 7: Post completion
On a sale transaction, the deeds, signed documents etc. are sent to buyers solicitors. When there is a mortgage some lenders have requirements to follow of completing forms and submitting information, the solicitor deals with them and sends to lender.
Also See: Conveyancing Solicitors in Bournemouth
On a purchase transaction, the solicitor completes the stamp duty form and submits to HMRC with any stamp duty land tax payable. When the deeds are received from sellers solicitors, the application to register buyer is prepared and submitted to land registry. Once the client is registered as new owner the solicitor sends deeds to client and lender.
The Timescale in Conveyancing
The Conveyancing process does vary everyone, which depends on whether you’re in a property chain or not. A typical conveyancing process can take anywhere between 8 and 12 weeks from the point the sale is agreed.
The Costs in Conveyancing
Fixed fee conveyancing – is when a fixed price is agreed for your conveyancing process beforehand, it won’t change. It’s common for a lot of UK conveyancers to operate a fixed fee service, but not all conveyancing solicitors will use it as some still work at an hourly rate.
A fixed-rate service – also known as fixed price or flat rate conveyancing, is often preferred by customers as it allows them to budget for the expected costs rather than to have an estimated amount with possible surprise costs added on.
“No sale, no fee”- Conveyancing is a service offered by some conveyancers that means if the property sale or purchase falls through, you don’t have to pay for the conveyancer’s legal fee. It’s important to note, you might still have to pay for other third-party services such as the property searches and your surveyor.