Conveyancing is a legal process by which a property is transferred from the previous owner to a new owner. This process involves checking and searching of information on the property being sold. This search reveals if or not the property is sellable and if or not there are any legal problems tied to the property.
Conveyancing is a long process and takes up to 12 weeks to complete. Conveyancing is carried out by conveyancing solicitors.
Steps in conveyancing
Make an offer to buy
Once you have decided to buy a property, let the seller’s solicitor know. The solicitor will provide you a contract pack. This will contain all the necessary information about the property in study. If you like the contract pack, make an offer.
Mortgage approval and Local authority searches
If you are buying it on mortgage, have that approved and get a copy of it. Ask your lawyer to carry out a Local authority search on the property for any hidden legal problems. Your solicitor will give his/her report on the contract pack, the searches and the mortgage offer. Review and clear any grey areas with your solicitor.
Negotiate a completion date
Zero down on a completion date after consultation with your solicitor. This is the date on which you make the full payment for the property and the property becomes legally yours with collection of the keys. Sign the contract, thereby consenting to the completion date.
Informing the seller’s conveyancer
Your solicitor will inform the seller’s solicitor that you are ready to proceed further. The seller’s solicitor will draw another contract. Remember, until the parties SWAP the contracts, they are NOT legally obligated to go on with the buying/selling procedure.
Exchanging of contracts
The sellers sign the contract on their part agreeing to sell and handover the keys after receiving full payment. The contracts are swapped between buyer and seller via the respective solicitors. Now the contracts are legally binding.
This is a legal document talking about your financial breakdown of the money you have paid and that remains to be paid. This also includes the solicitor’s fee. A pre-completion search can be carried out at this stage by the solicitors.
The seller’s solicitor will prepare the transfer deed which transfers all the ownership to the buyer. As a buyer, you need to sign this in presence of a witness and hand it over to your lawyer. You will receive this back once the full payment has been made.
Mortgage money and completion
Your lawyer will request release of mortgage money from the lender. Make the payment. The lender will hold the title deed until you repay the borrowed money.
If you have no mortgage or are a cash payer, the process completes with receipt of title deed, stamping of transfer deed, payment of stamp duty and registration of ownership at Land registry.