Stages of the conveyancing procedure, whether you are a buyer or a seller, or both, can include many stages and can feel quite overwhelming when you are in the depths of the process, but overall, it is a relatively simple journey and if you know what to expect it will appear to pass far more quickly - so in this article we have set out a roadmap for both buyers and sellers.
Firstly though, for buyers,before you even make an offer on a house that you have seen, get your mortgage approved in principle and select a conveyancing solicitor - your lending institution will have strict rules in place when it comes to conveyancers they choose to work with and selecting a solicitor not in their panel, may cause unnecessary issues and delays. So, it is advisable to get your ducks in a row when the home of your dreams comes on the market.
The Buyers Process
Instructing a conveyancing solicitor:
Once you have decided on your conveyancing solicitor, they will send some initial paperwork to you to complete. This will usually be their terms of business, a personal information questionnaire, information regarding your proof of funds and your stamp duty obligations.
These will include but are not limited to, local authority searches, a water and drainage search, an environmental search, and possibly a coal mining search should this be required. These searches come with associated fees and your conveyancing solicitor will usually charge you for these early in the process - there is usually no way to minimise these costs.
There are three main types of surveys: homebuyer's report, full structural survey and snagging survey each of which is vital to the process and the purchase can not go ahead without them.
Negotiate a completion date:
Your conveyancing solicitor will update you on the results of the searches. If all is good, the next step is to come to an agreement on a completion date with the seller. The completion date is the date the keys get handed over and should be acceptable to both you and the seller. Be flexible here, many sellers will want to time it for the start or end of a month to tie in with their mortgage payments.
Deposit money should be paid to your solicitor:
You are almost ready to exchange contracts, which means you need to get your deposit to your solicitor. Your solicitor will also get you to sign the contract at this point – this is the point where you commit to buying the seller's house.
When your conveyancing solicitor and the solicitor acting for the seller swap signed copies of the contract this is known as the exchange of contracts. There is now a legally binding contract between you and the seller. Once this has happened, you cannot pull out from the sale. If you do, you will forfeit your deposit money. But, on the plus side, the seller can't back out either.
This is the day you can collect your keys to your new home. Money will be sent from the buyers’ lawyers to the vendors’ lawyers. Once they receive the funds, they will release the keys to you and they can be collected from your estate agent! Congratulations!
Get a completion statement:
Your solicitor will give you a completion statement with a clear breakdown of the money you need to give the solicitor. This will include any outstanding deposit, stamp duty land tax, solicitors' fees etc. You will usually have to pay these on or before your completion date.
The Sellers Process
When you instruct a conveyancing solicitor for your sale, they will request your title deeds as well as ask you to complete a set of questions.
You will certainly need to provide:
- All property information
- Fixtures and fittings.
- If the property is under leasehold, all details will be required.
Make certain to talk about a completion date with your conveyancer to be negotiated with the customer's solicitor. Your home loan lender will certainly request your conveyancing solicitor provide a statement for the overall sum that requires to be settled on conclusion of your sale.
As soon as the contracts are traded, your solicitor will obtain the buyer's deposit-- this is normally 10% of the building price. At this point your buyer is unable to back out and you will remain in a legally binding contract to offer the property to them -- you can no longer approve or accept another alternative offer on the property.
Your conveyancing lawyer will need settlement for provision of their services upon completion on your property sale and they will then oversee the finalising of all accounts. A final settlement will certainly be drafted for your approval and then your conveyancing solicitor can confirm that all actions and monies have arrived at their destinations and the sale is final. They will also liaise with the purchases conveyancer to concur the same.
This concludes the process for both the buyers and the sellers, all that is left to do now is for the relevant solicitors to report to statutory authorities such as the Land Registry and HMRC.
Having a professional and experienced conveyancing solicitor on your team to take prompt action wherever and whenever necessary is key to the success of any property transaction and we have a wide database of just such parties - At Compare Conveyancing Quotes, we allow anyone who needs the assistance of a conveyancing professional to compare quotes instantly, get your conveyancing quote here. Last year we helped over 33,000 people find a conveyancer to help them on their property journey.