One of the most frequently asked questions online is “what is a conveyancer and what do they do?”
To answer this question we have put together a step by step guide to conveyancing.
As soon as you have accepted an offer to buy a property you should instruct a solicitor or licenced conveyancer to act on your behalf to deal with all the legal arrangements in buying and registering the property. Check that they are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority or the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.
The conveyancer will then carry out the following:-
- Open the purchase file – your conveyancer will send you a letter setting out their terms of business and an estimate of their fixed fees. You will be asked to fill in an information form to provide:-
- Your contact details, date of birth, national insurance number and photo ID such as passport or driving licence.
- details of your estate agent,
- details of your mortgage lender(if you are having a mortgage)
- proof you have the money for the deposit
- Request for searches – your conveyancer will request a Local Authority Search and Environmental and Water searches to be carried out. The searches will cost approximately £300 but will uncover any potential issues with the property such as public rights of way, compulsory purchase orders and enforcement notices for the property.
- Contact the estate agent and seller’s conveyancer – your conveyancer will ask the estate agents marketing the home for a notification of sale (also known as a memorandum of sale) which contains the solicitor’s details for each party in the chain. Your conveyancer will then contact the seller’s solicitors to let them know they’ve been instructed to act for you with the purchase of the property.
- Receive all paperwork from the seller’s solicitor-the seller’s solicitor will send your conveyancer the following: –
- A draft contract,
- A copy of the Title (or ‘Deeds’) for the property,
- The property’s ‘protocol documents’. Which contains: –
a. a Seller’s Property Information Form, which must disclose any known issues with the property
b. a Fittings and Contents Form, listing what will and will not be left in the property
c. a Leasehold Information Form, giving details of the amount of ground rent payable and contact details for the freeholders
- Carry out checks and raise queries – your conveyancer will carefully go through this paperwork and all the searches raising any questions and queries with the seller’s solicitor.
- Send paperwork to you to sign-your conveyancer will send you all the checked documents to sign and return.
- Request your initial deposit –your solicitor will ask you for a deposit, which is usually 10% of the purchase price; this payment can be made by online bank transfer.
- Arrange dates for exchange and completion –Your conveyancer will now discuss with you a convenient date at which to move into your new home (known as completion). That date will then need to be agreed with the seller’s solicitor and those parties further along the chain. Once a completion date is agreed, your conveyancer will organise a date to exchange contracts.
- Exchange of contracts –once the contracts have been exchanged and the deposit paid to the seller a completion date can be fixed. The purchase is now legally binding
- Completion -your conveyancer will then send you the final completion statement. Any outstanding balances are now payable. E.g. stamp duty, management fees and legal fees. Your conveyancer will also request the payment of the mortgage from your lender. Once the seller’s solicitor receives the payment for the property they will release the keys to complete the sale.
- Register change of ownership – the seller’s solicitors will send your conveyancer the signed Deeds which transfer the property from the seller’s name to yours. Your conveyancer will now register the change of ownership with the Land Registry.
If you need help or advice buying or selling a property contact Peter Robinson & Co. on 0161 678 7996