The Conveyancing Process For Buyers – Explained

Man holding keys plain background

Step 1 – The Initial Conveyancing Stages
Choosing a Solicitor/Conveyancer – There are several options when searching for your legal representation; you can look online, use your estate agent’s or mortgage broker’s recommended conveyancer or you can use a traditional high street solicitors. Each home buyer will have their own preferences on the type of conveyancing service that they prefer to experience and at what cost, but generally speaking, the best value for money is found online.

Once you have chosen and ‘instructed’ your solicitor or conveyancer you will receive their initial documentation, detailing their terms of service and the costs estimate for your transaction. At this point the conveyancer will write to the seller’s conveyancer confirming their instruction and requesting draft contracts and any other required documents such as the property title.

Step 2 – Legal Process:
Raising Enquiries – Your conveyancer will go through and examine both the contracts and supporting documentation in order to raise enquiries with the seller’s conveyancer. Standard basic enquiries can include:

  • Requesting a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate
  • Requesting a copy of the Latest Water Statement
  • Requesting a copy of the Planning and Buildings Regulation Certificate, should there have been any alterations to the property since construction.
  • Every property is different and therefore the type and number of enquiries raised can vary greatly

Searches – Surveys and Estate Agents usually cannot tell you everything about a property and in order to ensure that any potential issues are uncovered, your conveyancer will conduct a set of property searches, these include:

  • Local Authority Searches: The most common type of search via the local Council. Are there any building plans near your property? Are the roads adopted?
  • Environmental Search: Usually via the Environment Agency. This will highlight for example if your property is on a flood plain or on considered contaminated land
  • Water and Drainage Search: Where does your water supply come from? Are there any public drains within your property boundary which could hinder future building works?
  • Other searches: Depending on the location of your property, further searches may be required or advised by your conveyancer. For example, a Tin Mining Search in Cornwall or a Coal Mining Search in South Wales or Yorkshire.

Mortgage – The majority of buyers will need to secure a mortgage to purchase a property. Your lender will arrange a mortgage valuation for their security. After this and the relevant surveys are carried out then your conveyancer will receive a copy of the mortgage offer to review the conditions. Lastly, your mortgage lender will require you to obtain buildings insurance for the property as you are legally responsible for it once contracts have been exchanged.

Signing of the Contracts – In order for you to be ready to sign contracts, your conveyancer will have ensured that:

  • All enquiries raised have been sufficiently replied to and satisfied
  • The fixtures and fittings included with the property are as expected
  • A completion date has been agreed with the vendor – this can be simultaneous with the exchange or up to an indefinite time afterwards, usually around 2-4 weeks
  • That you have arranged to transfer the deposit monies to your conveyancer

Exchanging Contracts – The vendor and yourself will agree a date and time to exchange contracts. Your conveyancer will handle this for you along with the vendor’s counterpart. Once this has completed, you will have a legally binding contract to buy this property with the moving date set. If you pull out after this stage, you will lose any deposit monies paid plus you will be liable for any other contractual obligations. The vendor is legally bound to sell the property and cannot accept another offer or refuse to sell after this point without being in breach of contract and potentially facing further legal action.

Between Exchange and Completion – Your conveyancer will register your interest in the property, allowing them 30 days to complete the application to the Land Registry in order to transfer the deeds into your name. Both the vendor and yourself will make moving arrangements and your conveyancer will send you the final statement of account which will need to be settled with your conveyancer before the day of completion.

Completion – Once the vendor’s conveyancer has confirmed the receipt of all necessary funds then the keys will be released by the estate agent and you will be free to move in.

Post Completion – The loose ends for the conveyancer:

  • Paying the stamp duty
  • Ensuring all legal documents confirming the purchase of the property are received
  • Ensuring the mortgage lender has a copy of the updated title deeds
  • Settling their final bill with yourself

At Property Transaction we provide a convenient conveyancing process using telephone and email communication and an online tracking tool – so you can stay up to date with the process of your transaction 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your dedicated conveyancer will be your point of contact, saving you the hassle and inconvenience of calling into our premises. Offering fast online conveyancing quotes in less than ten seconds and competitive pricing, Property Transaction should be your first port of call when it comes to online conveyancing.

For more information about our property conveyancing services please feel free to give us a call. By doing so you are under no obligation to instruct us.