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What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal term used to describe transferring (conveying) ownership of property or land from the seller to the buyer.
What does a conveyancer do?
Buying or selling a house or property can be complex and needs to be carried out by an experienced conveyancer, such as those at Graysons to ensure that the process runs smoothly and you are not hit with any unpleasant surprises.
A conveyancer carries out various activities, which depend on whether you are buying or selling, when representing you in your property matter, from the initial advice through to completing your sale. Here, we offer an insight into the work that a conveyancer will carry out when you instruct them to act on your behalf on your sale or purchase.
Hiring your conveyancer
Once an offer has been made and accepted, both buyer and seller will need to instruct (hire) separate conveyancers. When you do this, your conveyancer will explain the process you will go through and will tell you how much their services will cost. The conveyancers will prepare terms of business to which you should agree. If you are buying, you will supply details about the property you are buying, the estate agent, your mortgage lender and the seller’s solicitor. If you are selling the property, you will need to give your conveyancer details of your buyer, the property that you are selling and how much you are selling it for.
Both the buyer’s and seller’s conveyancers will need to check the identity of their clients. This can be done either manually if the client visits the office or can be done online.
Forms and documents required
The buyer’s conveyancer will request and check a draft contract from the seller’s conveyancer, along with the necessary forms and documents that the seller should complete. These include:
Fixtures and fittings
The seller will specify which fixtures and fittings are included in the sale. This can include everything from carpets, fridges, cookers, light fitting, wardrobes, curtains and curtain rails. If the completed forms include items the buyer does not want or does not include items that both have agreed will be left, the buyer can contest this via his/her conveyancer.
Property information form
This should give the full facts about important issues such as property boundaries, planning permission, ongoing neighbour disputes, building work and utility suppliers.
Title deeds or office copies
Title deeds will be obtained by the seller’s conveyancer from the deeds holder or office copies from the title register, along with any other documents required by the Land Registry.
All of these documents will be discussed with the buyer.
The buyer’s conveyancer will carry out all the necessary searches needed on the property, such as local authority, water, environmental and mining searches, and will discuss any issues that arise with the buyer. Searches can take between two and four weeks, depending on the particular local authority.
The buyer’s conveyancer will check the mortgage offer and ensure that all of the lender’s requirements to release funds are satisfied. If the buyer is not obtaining a mortgage, the conveyancer will check the origin of the funds being used to purchase the property to satisfy money laundering requirements. The buyer’s conveyancer will also advise on the amount of stamp duty land tax that must be paid on the purchase.
The seller’s conveyancer will obtain details of any outstanding mortgage from the seller’s mortgage lender.
Checking and obtaining contracts
The seller’s conveyancer prepares the draft contract and sends it to the buyer’s conveyancer with title documentation and copies of the property information form and fittings and contents form, who will check it. If any queries arise, the buyer’s conveyancer will raise them with the seller’s conveyancer, who may need to contact the seller or third parties to provide answers, which will be passed back to the buyer’s conveyancer.
When all enquiries are satisfied, the buyer’s conveyancer will prepare a property report for the buyer that contains all of the information the buyer needs to know about the house and the buyer will be asked to sign it.
Arranging deposit and completion statement
Once all of the enquiries and searches are complete, the buyer’s conveyancer will ask the buyer for the deposit and will request funding paperwork from the mortgage lender. Both conveyancers will then discuss completion dates with their clients. If there is a chain, completion dates will have to be discussed and agreed with everyone in that chain.
Once both parties have agreed a completion date, contracts are signed and exchanged. This is when the buyer and seller are legally bound to complete the transaction on the agreed date.
The buyer’s conveyancer will prepare the transfer deed and send it to the seller’s conveyancer for signature in readiness for completion. The buyer’s conveyancer will apply for funds from the mortgage lender.
Funds will be transferred between the buyer’s and seller’s conveyancers electronically and when this is done, the transaction is complete. The seller must move out of the property and the buyer can obtain the keys.
The seller’s conveyancer will repay any outstanding mortgage against the property.
Paying stamp duty land tax and registering with Land Registry
The buyer’s conveyancer will pay the stamp duty land tax to HMRC on the buyer’s behalf, and will register ownership with the Land Registry. Copies of the registered title will be provided to the buyer and the buyer’s lender. The Land Registry can take up to 6 months to return the registration application following completion.
What will Graysons’ fees be
You can get an instant estimate of what your conveyancing fees and charges will be by clinking here.