The conveyancing process is stressful – there’s no denying it. Whether you’re buying, selling or both, it’s a milestone occasion. However, your conveyancing can make or break the process. So, it’s important to get it right. Having the confidence that comes from choosing the right conveyancer can go a long way to giving you peace of mind.
This post goes through some of the most need-to-know information about the conveyancing process, with a focus on the conveyancing steps you will encounter throughout your journey.
If you’re looking for more in depth information about the conveyancing process for either buyers or sellers, why not download one of our free guides?
The conveyancing process explained for buyers
1. Finding your property
The first step is, of course, finding the property you want to buy and having your offer accepted by the seller.
2. Choosing Your Conveyancer
Choosing your conveyancer whilst you’re looking for your property is a good idea, as it enables things to get moving as soon as your offer is accepted. They will guide you through the process and help you move into your home as soon as possible whilst doing all the checks to ensure everything is correct and legal. So, choosing someone you trust and feel comfortable with is important.
When looking for a conveyancer, it’s important to make sure that they are fully qualified, experienced, and regulated; are good at communicating from the start; and have transparent fees so you can avoid any nasty surprises.
3. Let your estate agent know who your conveyancer is
Pass your conveyancer’s details to the estate agent who sold the property. They will send out a ‘memorandum of sale’ to both yours and the seller’s conveyancer, which records the price you’ve agreed to pay and each conveyancer’s details.
4. Documents from your conveyancer
Your conveyancer will provide the contract pack, legal title documents, questionnaires from the seller about the property and their ownership of it, and the fixtures and fittings form that outlines what is and what isn’t included in the sale price.
5. Local searches
Your conveyancer will apply for local searches against the property. If they have any further queries, they will raise these with the seller’s conveyancer.
Searches typically include Local Authority Searches to tell you more about the area around the property and any issues that could affect your use of it; Land Registry Searches that confirm the property’s legal ownership and clarify its boundaries; environmental searches that identify possible environmental risks and hazards; and surveys and inspections that are undertaken by the buyer at a separate cost to tell them more about the property’s condition.
Once the local search results are back, the mortgage offer has been issued, and your conveyancer has everything they need from the seller’s conveyancer, they will report to you on all aspects of the property, legal title, searches, and mortgage.
7. Set dates
At this stage, you can also discuss dates for exchange and completion. These dates typically depend on the seller and their purchase and moving arrangements.
8. Pay your deposit
Your deposit is also usually paid at this point. Once your deposit is paid, the conveyancer will ask you to sign the contract and mortgage documents.
9. Exchange of contracts
Once everyone is ready, you can move forward to exchange. This is the point at which the sale becomes legally binding. You are committing to purchasing the property, and the seller is committed to moving out and transferring ownership to you.
10. Between exchange and completion
Your conveyancer will let you know when you need to pay legal fees and additional monies for disbursements before completion. They will also let the mortgage lender know the date of completion so mortgage monies can be released in time.
Fees typically include legal fees which cover your conveyancer’s time and work, stamp duty (or Land Transaction Tax in Wales), and disbursements, which are incurred by your conveyancer on your behalf for things such as search fees, bank transfer fees, gifted deposit fees, and more. Your conveyancer will be able to let you know what fees apply to your transaction, and how much they will be.
Otherwise known as moving day! Your conveyancer will let you know once completion has taken place, and you can pick up the keys to the property.
For more information about the conveyancing process for buyers, our free guide contains everything you need to know. Click the button below to download it today:
The conveyancing process explained for sellers
1. Marketing your property
The first step is, of course, marketing your property and accepting the buyer’s offer. At this stage, you should decide on a sale price (as well as the minimum price you would accept), and gather any documents such as the title deeds and mortgage details to give to your conveyancer.
2. Choosing a conveyancer
Whilst you’re marketing your property, it’s a good idea to think about your choice of conveyancer. As a seller, you will have to fill out lots of paperwork about the property and your ownership of it. So, choosing your conveyancer before you accept an offer will ensure that you’re ahead of the game and things can progress as quickly as possible.
Furthermore, choosing the right conveyancer can make a real difference to the whole process. You should ensure that they are suitable experienced, qualified, and regulated; have a clear fee structure; and practice clear and open communication from the very beginning.
3. Memorandum of sale
Once you’ve agreed upon a sale, the Estate Agent will send out a ‘memorandum of sale’. this details the price the buyer has agreed to pay and the details of each conveyancer.
Your conveyancer will work on putting together the contracts pack, obtain the legal title of the property from the land registry, ask you to complete questionnaires about the property and your ownership of it, and ask you to fill out a fixtures and fittings form. This outlines what is and what isn’t included in the sale.
Your conveyancer will then send the contracts to the buyer’s solicitor and deal with any specific enquiries raised by them. They will let you know if they have any questions they need your assistance with.
If you have an outstanding mortgage on the property, this must be settled from the proceeds of the sale. Even if you will be using a mortgage to purchase a new property, it typically cannot be transferred over. You will need to contact the lender to obtain a mortgage redemption figure, which will be paid off on the date of completion.
7. Discuss dates
If you’re purchasing a property as well as selling, your conveyancer will coordinate so that once the chain is ready, you can agree on exchange and completion dates.
8. Transfer deed
Your conveyancer will send you the transfer deed to sign. This transfers the title of the property from your name to the buyer’s name. This will need to be signed and returned before completion can take place.
The final step! Your conveyancer will let you know the time on the date of completion that you will need to have moved out of the property, removing everything other than what you’ve previously agreed will be included in the sale price. If you have an associated purchase, completion for this transaction typically takes place on the same day, and you can move in.
Around this stage, you will also need to pay any fees, including your legal fees, estate agent fees, and mortgage redemption fees (if you have a mortgage outstanding on your property).
For more detail on the conveyancing steps you can expect to go through, our handy guide has you covered. Download it for free today:
Download our conveyancing guide now
But what about conveyancing terms, FAQs, common pitfalls in the process, and more detail on the conveyancing steps both buyers and sellers need to undertake? We cover all of this and more in our free, easily downloadable comprehensive conveyancing guides. We have guides aimed at both buyers and sellers, covering the information you need to know. Whether you’re a first time buyer or have done it all before, these guides are designed to help you. Click the buttons below to download one or both of the guides now: