If you are buying a property you will need a conveyancing solicitor, luckily Law Firm Cygnet Law is here to explain.
Conveyancing is the legal transfer of homeownership from a seller to a buyer. The process first starts when you have an offer accepted when buying a property and finishes when you receive the keys.
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What is the Conveyancing Process?
Buying property in England and Wales follows a standard legal process that must be followed, you will usually use a conveyancing solicitor or licensed conveyancer as your legal representative in the process.
If you have found a property you are interested in it’s a good idea to contact a legal representative as soon as you are ready to make an offer. If you are negotiating and have agreed upon a price the details of both parties solicitors will be exchanged as the estate agents.
The conveyancer for the seller will send the buyer’s team a formal agreement to sell called a contract pack along with the property information form and the fittings and contents form.
These forms provide information about the property being purchased and what will be included in the sale, such as furnishings including carpets etc. The contract pack will include the title to the property and forms the seller has completed. If the property is leasehold, the lease will be included in the pack.
Your conveyancer will take care of the paperwork on your behalf but it’s important to go through yourself and raise any concerns or questions that you have.
During these early stages, your offer to purchase the property will have been accepted and if you are using a mortgage to purchase the property the application will have also been approved. During this stage, it’s worth arranging a property survey to gain some insight into the property.
Your conveyancer will carry out all of the required searches, such as a local authority search. The searches undertaken will provide essential information about the property including the property boundary, any disputes, rights of way and any planning constraints or permissions.
Depending on the property you are purchasing and its location other searches may need to be completed.
The contract pack. Mortgage offer and local authority searches will be assessed by your conveyancing solicitor. If they find any issues such as the property being in contaminated land, any council planning near the property or if anyone has right of way over your land they will let you know.
Talk to your solicitor about a completion date and negotiate with the seller’s solicitor. Your conveyancer will make contact with their solicitor and make them aware of you want to progress with the contract exchange and are also ready to send the deposit.
During the exchange process, your conveyancer will pull together the final completion statement, the transfer deed and the mortgage deed you need to agree upon and sign. These documents will outline what you as a buyer need to do and what money you will need to provide for completion.
Your conveyancer will also organise the final land registry searches to ensure no changes have been made to the land registry since the initial searches. The seller’s solicitor will be sent the signed transfer deed and other necessary documents, after which contracts will be exchanged and the deposit will be sent to the seller’s solicitor. Once the exchange is complete you are legally committed to proceed with the transaction.
Completion day is the day the sale is finalised and the property is transferred to you. Your conveyancer will receive the transfer deed and ask you for the finances from the mortgage lender if you’re using one.
Finally, title deeds, transfer deeds and proof of outstanding mortgages will be obtained by your conveyancer.
Post completion the conveyancer will send your deeds to your lender, arrange any stamp duty and send your documents to HM Land Registry to register you as the property owner, this needs to be done within 30 days of the completion. From here HM Land Registry will pass the title deeds to your conveyancer who will pass it to you as a cash buyer or your mortgage lender.
Why Do You Need a Conveyancer?
A property lawyer can handle all the legal aspects of a property transaction for you. As conveyancing specialists, they provide a wealth of experience and knowledge that is useful when spotting potential problems before they arise including:
- Issues highlighted by the plans of the property
- Incorrect paperwork
- Clauses in contracts from the other party
- Potential legal issues including fraud
Without the help of a conveyancer, you might struggle with the process which can lead to legal and financial issues. A conveyancer also holds indemnity insurance that protects you from a financial loss in certain conditions such as a defective lease, bureaucratic problems and a lack of planning permission or building regulations consent.
Because of the battle residential conveyancing can be due to conflicting interests using a fully insured and licensed conveyancer can protect you from any problems you may deal with.
All conveyancers are also governed by either the Council of Licensed Conveyancers or the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This means that if you are faced with any problems you can take legal action and the issue can be looked at by an authority.
The legal side of residential property can be a difficult and drawn-out process with a lot of paperwork involved that needs to be processed properly in the right order to successfully complete the transaction. With all of the hassle that goes into moving house, it’s for the best to leave the legal process and all of its complexities to conveyancing professionals who have the time, knowledge and expertise to deal with the process.
If you’re looking at purchasing a home it is best to get a dedicated conveyancing professional to deal with the complexities of the process for you. This gives you more time to focus on what matters, moving into your new home.
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Millie is a perfectionist with a passion for property and writing articles. You’ll find her researching the latest housing trends and the newest up and coming areas worth investing in. Read more about Millie here.