Conveyancing is a word that is fresh on everyone’s lips, from property solicitors in Surrey to buyers and sellers across the country as they try to complete sales before the end of the financial year.
According to Rightmove’s house price index, 650,000 properties are currently changing hands, with completed sales being replaced by new ones at almost the same rate.
Despite being a very important part of the housebuying process, conveyancing is often greatly misunderstood, so here is a step by step guide to how conveyancing works when buying a property.
Making And Accepting An Offer
The first step of the conveyancing process is made after the buyer of a property makes an offer that the seller accepts.
At this point the Conveyancer (which is typically a property solicitor from the area) gets involved and whilst the buyer arranges the mortgage and property survey, the conveancer obtains the contract pack from the seller’s conveyancer.
Pre-Contract Enquiries And Searches
After the initial offer step, the next step is property searches, which are typically undertaken with the help of the local authority and the Land Registry.
These check for potential issues with the sale or that might affect a resale later on, such as chancel fees, conservation areas and unique land ownership.
nquiries about the pre-contract and gets a copy of the mortgage offer, which often will have conditions that must be met before a purchase can be met such as required searches.
The conveyancer working for the seller answers these questions and these answers, along with the contract pack contents, search results and mortgage offer is provided to the buyer to think about.
As the decision after this is ultimately final, the buyer needs to ask as many questions as they need to feel comfortable and clear agreeing to the contract.
Deposits and Exchange Of Contracts
When the buyer is ready to move ahead with the sale, they will make arrangements to pay the deposit to their conveyancer to get ready for the exchange of contracts.
The exchange of contracts is the most important part of the conveyancing process, as it stipulates a completion date and legally commits both buyer and seller to this decision.
After this, the conveyancer prepares a transfer deed draft and completion information form that will be completed and approved by the seller’s conveyancer and solicitor respectively. After this, a final copy of the transfer deed is made and signed by both parties.
Next, the conveyancer prepares a completion statement, carries out searches that need to be undertaken before the sales are completed and formally applies to the mortgage lender for the loan.
Final Transfer Of Keys and Deeds
After this, the seller leaves the property as agreed and gives the keys to the estate agent, sending the title deeds and transfer deed to the buyer’s conveyancer.
The conveyancer pays HMRC’s stamp duty, as well as receiving confirmation that the seller has paid the remaining mortgage on the property.
After this, the final steps are to register the property in the buyer’s name and ensure all title documents are copied and received by the buyer and mortgage lender as required.