We can help deal with all aspects of your residential property transaction. Whether you are buying or selling a house, flat or maisonette our experienced solicitors can deal with all the legal aspects of your transaction. We also have a dedicated New Build and Right to Buy. We endeavour to make your experience of buying or selling easy, and often hear from new clients the disappointment they have had in the past with other conveyancing providers.
What is conveyancing
Conveyancing is the work involved in the transfer of legal ownership of land or property from one owner to another or the granting of an interest in a property, such as a mortgage.
Conveyancing process explained for sellers
- Once you have chosen and informed the solicitors you would like to commence the conveyancing process when selling your property, you will receive a ‘Letter of Engagement’ or ‘Confirmation of Terms of Business. This should be signed and returned promptly so the work can begin.
- Once your solicitor has been officially instructed to start the conveyancing process they will, if necessary, obtain the title deeds from your lender/Land Registry.
- You will be required to attend our offices for identification purposes and make payment on account.
- You will be required to complete a number of detailed questionnaires about the property and what you intend to include with the sale, which will be provided to you by your solicitor/conveyancer:
- The (TA6) is a general questionnaire and includes information on boundaries, disputes and complaints (like reported noisy neighbour complaints or boundary disputes), known proposed developments (like motorways or railways), building works, council tax, utilities, sewerage, contact details.
- If you do not own the freehold you should give more information on either the leasehold (TA7) or the commonhold (TA9).
- The (TA10) provides details of which fittings and fixtures you would like to include with the property.
You must fill these forms out truthfully and to the best of your knowledge; if it later transpires that you have not been fully truthful you could be sued for compensation. Or, if they find out before exchange of contracts, it might make the buyers nervous that you are misleading them about other things and they may pull out.
- Once the solicitor has obtained the title deeds and you have returned the standard forms these are then sent to the buyer’s solicitor for approval together with a supporting package which will include documents dealing with title, planning and any applicable guarantees.
- Once the paperwork has been examined by the buyer’s solicitor they may require clarification on certain points. The conveyancing process entitles the buyer to raise enquiries with your solicitor, who may need to liaise with you to provide the information requested.
- The next stage of the conveyancing process when selling your property involves the approval of the contract by the buyer’s solicitor to sign in readiness for exchange.
- You will need to sign the approved contract.
- Prior to exchange your lender will supply an up to date statement to your conveyancing solicitor detailing the amount required to repay your mortgage (if applicable).
- Before exchange all parties involved need to agree on the completion date.
- Post exchange you will be sent a statement detailing our charges, loans to be repaid and all other outgoings. Any balance due to your solicitor will need to be in their account and cleared prior to the completion date.
- You will be required to sign a ‘Transfer of Deed’ in readiness of completion.
- Your solicitor will pay off any mortgages and other expenses giving an undertaking to your buyer’s solicitor to send your lender’s final formal release of mortgage through. The title deeds and signed transfer will then be sent to your buyer’s solicitor.
- Once your solicitor has confirmed all the remaining monies have arrived then the conveyancing process involved in selling your property is complete. You should arrange to drop off the keys with the agent for the buyer to collect.
Conveyancing process explained for buyers
- Once you have chosen and informed the solicitors you would like to commence the conveyancing process when buying your property, you will receive a ‘Letter of Engagement’ or ‘Confirmation of Terms of Business. This should be signed and returned promptly so the work can begin.
- Your solicitor will write to your seller’s solicitor to confirm they are instructed and request a copy of the draft contract and any other details, such as the property’s title and the standard forms.
- Upon receipt, your solicitor will examine the draft contract and supporting documents and raise enquiries with the seller’s solicitor. This will include checking the ‘title register’ and ‘title plan’ from the Land Registry– these are the legal documents proving the seller’s ownership.
- You will be expected to go through the forms the seller has completed and let the solicitor know if you have any queries or concerns.
- Property searches. There are things you may not know about the property just from viewing it with estate agents or even getting a survey. Your solicitor will do a set of legal searches to ensure there are no other factors you should be aware of. Some searches will be recommended by the solicitor for all purchases and others will be required by the mortgage lender to protect them from any liabilities that the property may have. Searches include:
- Local authority searches: are there plans for a motorway in your new garden? How about radioactive gas? The Local Authority and usually takes 2-4 weeks, but can take up to 6 weeks.
- Water authority searches – finding out how you get your water and if any public drains on the property might affect extensions or building works.
- Chancel repair search – to ensure there are no potential leftover medieval liabilities on the property to help pay for church repairs. The laws around Chancel repair changed in October 2013 so now the onus is on the Church to establish and lodge liability with the Land Registry.
- Environmental Search – this report is used on the vast majority of transactions and is provided by either Landmark or Groundsure. The report will give information about contaminated land at or around the property, landfill sites, former and current industry, detailed flooding predictions, radon gas hazard, ground stability issues, and some other related information.
- Your solicitor will receive a copy of your mortgage offer and go through the conditions.
- Before exchange of contracts can take place your lender will require you to get Buildings Insurance for your new home. You are responsible for the property as soon as contracts have been exchanged so it is in your interests to do so.
- Signing the contract. Before signing the contract your solicitor will need to ensure:
- All enquiries have been returned and are satisfactory.
- That fixtures and fittings included in the purchase are what you expected.
- A completion date has been agreed between the two parties.
- Arrangements to transfer the deposit into your solicitors account so that it is cleared in time for an exchange. The deposit is normally 10% of the value of the property.
- Your solicitor will exchange contracts for you. This is usually done by both solicitors/conveyancers reading out the contracts over the phone (which is recorded) to make sure the contracts are identical, and then immediately sending them to one another in the post.
- Once exchanged you will be in a legally binding contract to buy the property.
- Your solicitor will lodge an interest in the property which will mean that the deeds to the property are frozen for 30 working days to allow you to pay the seller and lodge your application to the Land Registry to transfer the deeds into your name.
- Your solicitor will send you a statement showing the final figure to pay, which will need to be cleared into your solicitors bank account at least one day before completion.
- Completion is normally set around midday on the specified date although in practice takes place when the seller’s solicitor confirms that they have received all the money that is due. Once this happens the seller should drop the keys at the estate agents for your collection. You can then move in.
- After completion your solicitor will:
- Pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on your behalf.
- Register you as the new owner with the Land Registry.
- Send a copy of the updated title deeds to you and your mortgage lender.
Get a Quotation
Our fees are competitively priced and unlike other firms we have no hidden charges. Click the link below for a free no obligation residential conveyancing quote.
Our clients come back to us time and time again and recommend us to their friends. Why? Because our lawyers provide an efficient, personal, service. They treat their clients as individuals and make sure that clients know what is happening at all times. We know that our reputation depends on every single one of our clients being pleased with the service we give them, and we act accordingly.
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