The conveyancing process can seem like a complex and confusing mystery to those who are new to it. Add to that the fact that, for most of us, a property purchase will be the most we will ever spend on one item and you have a fairly high pressure situation. However, conveyancing doesn’t have to be a nightmare if you know what’s involved.
In simple terms, conveyancing is the legal process by which a property is transferred from one person to another. Your Solicitor in a conveyancing transaction is called a ‘conveyancer.’
How do you start?
Instruct a conveyancer. Conveyancing is not a simple process if you attempt it alone and, given the high values involved, best done with professional support. Your conveyancer will contact the Solicitor for the seller and open a channel of communication through which information regarding your purchase can be obtained.
Obtaining the sale pack
The first step in the conveyancing process is reviewing the sale pack. This will include a draft contract and a whole range of information about the property, from whether it is tenanted, to any history of disputes and who supplies the utilities.
As a buyer, searches are an essential part of your process as it is these investigations that will reveal any potential issues that need to be taken into account. The standard searches include: local authority, water authority and environmental searches. You may also need to carry out additional searches, depending on the property, such as a flood search or a tin mining search. After the searches are done you should have all the information you need on everything from planning permissions to public footpaths.
Once you and your conveyancer have all this information then it’s time to start querying anything that looks unusual or needs attention. There may be issues with the draft contract or questions that have arisen as a result of the searches. This process should be thorough so that nothing falls through the net. Your conveyancer will send the queries via the seller’s Solicitor and forward and replies received on to you.
Confirming documents and mortgage
Your conveyancer will send you documents, such as fixtures and fittings forms and boundary information that need to be reviewed. It’s important that you confirm whether or not these look as you expected them to and raise queries if not. At this stage your Solicitor should also receive your mortgage offer from your lender.
This is the point at which the contracts are signed by both the buyer and the seller. Both the property price and a completion date are agreed and the contract is binding.
Before signing the contract you will pay the deposit to your Solicitor, if you choose not to go through with the purchase after signing the contract then you will lose the deposit. If the seller opts out after the contract is signed then it’s possible for you to sue.
On the completion date you should receive the keys to your property. Usually, these are handed over once the seller has received the balance of the sale price. You will also need to transfer the cost of Stamp Duty Land Tax and any other fees to your conveyancer. Once this is done, all that’s left is the move itself and enjoyment of a property that is now all yours.
If you’re buying a property in Lancaster or Preston and would like to speak to a specialist conveyancing Solicitor please click here or call 01524 386500.