What is Conveyancing?
10 April 2018 by Gayle Fordham
Conveyancing is the legal transfer of a property from seller to buyer. The process involves a Conveyancing Solicitor or Licensed Conveyancer acting on behalf of the buyer to make sure their client receives the title to the property and the land it sits on. Conveyancing is the process of the legal and administrative work which ensures the property passes from seller to buyer, in accordance with the law.
If you are the buyer, your conveyancer will:
- Liaise with the seller’s Solicitor to confirm that they are instructed, request a draft contract and details of the property title.
- Undertake the searches against the property, commonly local authority, water and drainage and environmental. These are to check for any liabilities such as planning development/restrictions, flooding, drainage or other issues/liabilities.
- Report to you on the results of the searches when they arrive.
- Raise enquiries with the sellers conveyancer on the title. These are the legal documents proving the sellers ownership and are a legal requirement. Raise any queries on searches and ensure these are dealt with, reporting to you on these when they are.
- With the assistance of the estate agent, arrange potential completion dates with both parties.
- Report on your mortgage offer when this arrives and ensure your finances are in place.
- Obtain your signature to the documents for exchange and completion and collect your deposit in readiness for exchange.
- Ensure that all enquiries have been returned and are satisfactory. That the fixtures and fittings included in the purchase are as you expected.
- Exchange contracts with the seller’s Conveyancer.
- Prepare the completion statement (this shows the final figure to pay which needs to be cleared into your solicitor’s account one day prior to completion).
- Request your mortgage advance from your lender.
- Transfer the balance of the purchase price to the seller’s Conveyancer on the date of completion.
- On completion day the sellers Solicitor confirms that they have received all the monies due. Once this has happed the keys can be collected from the estate agent and you can move in.
- Prepare and send a tax return and pay the Stamp Duty Land Tax to HM Revenue & Customs.
- Submit the application for registration of the property to your ownership to the Land Registry.
- Forward the title to you and your mortgage lender.
You will need to ensure your mortgage application is made promptly, when you have agreed to buy a property.
NB: Your Solicitor/Conveyancer should be able to give you a full breakdown of costs, fees and disbursements. Some Solicitors/Conveyancers will make payments to estate agents for referring you to them but they have to tell you that they are doing so and how much they are paying. Find out how much of the fee they are charging you is a referral fee and compare this with other quotes and decide whether paying this cost is giving you added value.