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How does the conveyancing process work?

Conveyancing solicitor London work to transfer ownership of a property from a seller to a buyer and advise on any legal issues with the property which may arise during the conveyancing process.

How does the conveyancing process work?

  1. Agreeing the deal

It is extremely important if you are a buyer to have your mortgage agreed, at least in principle, so that you are ready to proceed as soon as the seller accepts your offer. Delays caused by waiting for mortgages to be approved can lead to other purchasers coming up with a better offer and gazumping you. 

  1. Due diligence

Once the seller has accepted your offer, the estate agent will forward the details of the sale to both parties’ conveyancing solicitors. Therefore, it is important to have an idea of the conveyancing solicitor you want to instruct. Due diligence usually follows a similar process to that below:

  • Seller’s solicitor drafts the contract of sale
  • Buyer’s solicitor requests the draft contract and any other necessary documentation. Enquiries regarding the property are raised at this stage.
  • The buyer’s conveyancing solicitor will conduct several searches, for example, flood risk, or requests for local planning permission that may affect the property.
  • The buyer should arrange a mortgage valuation survey of the property (if they have not already done so).
  • If the buyer wants one, they should instruct a surveyor to do a HomeBuyers Report or Building Survey to confirm the condition of the property. Whilst this is not a mandatory requirement, it is advisable to obtain one.
  • The buyer should get buildings insurance in place ready for the exchange (not completion). This tends to be a lender’s requirement or condition of approval for most mortgages.
  • Ensure any linked sale/purchases in the chain are moving at a similar speed, and if not advise accordingly.
  • The buyer’s conveyancing solicitor should give their client a Report on Title. This provides details on everything a buyer will need to know about the property they are purchasing. It will also contain the results of searches and enquiries. 
  • The parties solicitors negotiate the completion date.
  1. Exchange

Following due diligence, and the terms of the purchase having been agreed, the parties are ready to exchange. Both parties sign the contract and return it to their conveyancing solicitors. This is the point at which the buyer gets their deposit ready (usually 10% of the purchase price). 

  1. Completion

Both parties conveyancing solicitors prepare a completion statement which details the transfer of funds and any expenses that need to be met. On completion, the buyer’s solicitor transfers the balance of funds, including any funds provided by a mortgage. Following completion, the buyer can get on with moving into the property.

After completion, the parties conveyancing solicitors will complete the post-completion process, which includes:

  • Registering the transfer of ownership of the property into the buyer’s name
  • The buyer’s solicitor will calculate and pay any Stamp Duty due
  • If a mortgage was used to buy the property, the buyer’s solicitor will register the charge over it
  • Settling all outstanding fees

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