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What your conveyancing solicitor will do, stage by stage...

Planning on buying a new home this year? Then you will need to know about conveyancing. This is the legal side of a property purchase, you don’t need to carry this out yourself but you will need to instruct a solicitor to take care of it for you.

Here are the conveyancing and procedures your conveyancing solicitor will carry out when assisting you to buy a property:

Initial stages:

As soon as you have advised a conveyancing solicitor that you wish to instruct them to go ahead with their services in relation to your property purchase you will need to deposit funds to allow them to carry out all relevant searches required as part of the conveyancing process.

At this stage if you are buying the building jointly, you must likewise let your solicitor recognise exactly how you desire to hold the residential property, it is common placeto purchase a house in joint names so there are important decisions to be made in connection with joint possession. There are two ways in which you can jointly have a property;

  • Joint Tenantsis where both parties have an equivalent rate of interest in the home and if one of the parties passes away, the survivor immediately possesses the property.
  • Tenants in Commonis where you each hold a detailed share of the building as well as having the ability to leave that share to somebody else in your Will in the event of your death.

You will need to advise the Estate Agent which solicitor you intend to use to make sure that they can send out a "Memorandum of Sale" as well as "Residential or commercial property Particulars" to all parties.

Your solicitor will then contact the seller's lawyer to validate that they are instructed and to request the draft agreement. This must also be accompanied by a pack that consists of all information relevant to the property and any surveys and a questionnaire completed by the sellers. If the property is leasehold a duplicate of the Lease will certainly additionally be included.

You will most certainly need to inform your solicitor if you have a related sale and instruct them in connection with that if needed.

Pre-Contract Stage

Once the draft contract pack has been received, your conveyancing solicitor will examine the contract, the title deeds and the forms completed by the seller, and if necessary, raise any enquiries with their solicitor.

Your conveyancing solicitor will additionally after that carry out all relevant searches which can take 2/3 weeks to get, as you will be relying on the Local Authority with their existing workload.

If the building you are buying is leasehold, your conveyancing solicitor will require to send out a standard Managing Agents Questionnaire to the seller's solicitors which will subsequently be sent to the relevant Landlord/Managing Agents/Residents Organisation for completion as well as return.

If you are taking out a home loan or mortgage, your conveyancing solicitor will get a copy of the deal as well as verify the conditions and will normally take on legal services required by your lender as well.

Once all searches are complete and enquiries answered, your conveyancing solicitor will ask you to sign the contract papers including your mortgage deed.

Exchange of contracts

Before exchange of contracts your lender will require you to have your buildings insurance in place.

All parties involved need to agree on a completion date.

Once contracts are exchanged between the respective solicitors (usually over the telephone) you are legally bound to buy, and the seller bound to sell the property. Should either party pull out, the other will be entitled to claim compensation for breach of contract.

At the point contracts are exchanged, your solicitor will send your deposit monies to the seller’s solicitor. This acts as security for the seller in the event that you change your mind or for some reason are unable to pay the balance on completion. If this does happen the seller will be entitled to keep your deposit monies and may take you to court if the deposit is not enough compensation for breaching the contract. In the same way, if the seller’ breaches the contract and refuses to complete for whatever reason, you could apply to the court for an order to force the seller to complete or else get your deposit back and sue the seller for compensation. It is therefore very rare that a sale does not complete once contracts have been exchanged.

Between Exchange and Completion

Your solicitor will draw up the Transfer Deed so that the property can be registered in your name after completion. Your solicitor will also carry out some final searches on behalf of your lender at the Land Registry.

During this period you should, if you have not done so already, receive a final statement from your solicitor showing all expenses and giving you a final figure which you will need to make sure is cleared in their bank account before the day of completion. If you are buying with the assistance of a mortgage, your solicitor will order the mortgage monies in time for completion however in most cases a minimum of 5 working days’ notice is required for this by most lenders.

Completion (or Moving Day!)

Completion takes place when the seller’ solicitor confirms that they have received the balance of the money that is due. Once this has happened the keys ought to be released to you either directly by the seller themselves or via the Estate Agents.

Post Completion

Your lawyer will after that pay any kind of Stamp Duty Land Tax due, and also upon payment of the title deeds and also papers as well as Transfer authorised by the seller', register your ownership with the Land Registry.

Once the registration has been received back from the Land Registry, if you purchased with the assistance of a mortgage, your solicitor will send a copy of the registered title to your lending institution as evidence that their charge has been registered, which will continue to be until such time as you settle the loan in full.

To ensure you are getting a conveyancing solicitor who is offering you the most competitive rate and who will be acceptable to your lender, get a quote here.