A complete guide to conveyancing – what you need to know
Whether you’re buying your first house or a subsequent property, the process can feel just as daunting and stressful each time. The process of purchasing or selling a home can have huge implications on your life and for many of us, will be the biggest transaction we ever go through.
Our mission at Osborne Morris & Morgan is to provide a clear and transparent service to ensure that you do not endure any further stress during this time. We strive to provide you with as much information as possible and clearly explain the process as we go through, step by step. We explain each stage with our clients to reduce any anxiety and concerns that can crop up throughout the process.
So, what are the stages you can expect in the average property sale and purchase process?
Congratulations! You’ve made an offer on a house … what next?
- Instruct a Conveyancing solicitor to act
The term ‘instruct’ simply means that you choose a Conveyancing solicitor to deal with the legal requirements of buying a house. The Conveyancing solicitor will then prepare a documents pack, including a covering letter which explains your costs, identity documents that they need to see and provides you with details that you need.
You will be asked to pay an initial fee, for searches, and to sign and return all paperwork.
In the meantime, the sellers Conveyancer will be organising a contract pack for your Conveyancing solicitor.
- Searches are arranged
Searches gather all of the information that may affect the property you’re buying. If there is a risk of flooding or if there is planning permission for a new railway line at the bottom of your garden, it is important to be aware of anything that could potentially affect the future of your investment.
Your Conveyancing solicitor may need to raise additional searches if necessary.
For more information on searches, you can visit our Conveyancing questions answered article.
- Enquiries answered
Once your Conveyancing solicitor has received the contract pack from your seller’s Conveyancer, they may have some additional enquiries to raise. This ensures that everyone is clear about what is included in the sale of the property and that building regulations compliance exists for any alterations etc. These enquiries can go back and forth for some time until your Conveyancing solicitor is satisfied with the responses.
- Obtain a mortgage
If required, you will be working with your mortgage broker or advisor to apply for the necessary mortgage.
Your Conveyancing solicitor will need a confirmed mortgage offer in order to proceed.
Once the mortgage offer is available and enquiries and searches are to their satisfaction, your Conveyancing solicitor will proceed to the exchange of contract stages.
- Ownership title signed
Your Conveyancing solicitor will report to you with the “Title” and Contract for your signature and request your deposit. The “Title” is the document that provides you with proof of ownership.
Once the deposit and the signed contracts are received, a completion date is agreed between parties.
- Exchange of contracts
In order to complete the transaction, all members of the chain must be ready to exchange contracts. With everybody in the process having signed their contract, your Conveyancing solicitor will contact the sellers Conveyancer and exchange contracts.
Once this has happened, the completion date is legally binding and you will be responsible for fees if there are any delays in the process.
Exchange and completion can be a few days apart or a few months apart although in most cases it is a week but it can also happen on the same day.
- Completion – moving day!
The chain completes when all monies have been transferred, keys can then be released.
You will be able to collect your keys from the estate agent or at the property. You will receive your H M Land Registry Confirmation of registration a few weeks after you have actually moved in.
What if you also have a house to sell?
You will need to choose a Conveyancing solicitor to help you with both the sale and purchase of properties.
After completing and signing the initial paperwork, your Conveyancing solicitor will receive enquiries from the purchaser’s Conveyancer and you may need to provide additional paperwork and proof of purchase/building regulation compliance.
Once all enquiries are satisfied, a completion date is agreed with the rest of your chain in mind and contracts are signed and exchanged.
In a sale transaction, you may receive a redemption figure from your existing mortgage lender. This is the final figure for settling your mortgage (including charges and interest). Your Conveyancing solicitor will arrange to clear it when you switch to the new mortgage for your new property.
Next, funds will be received to allow for completion. Your existing mortgage will be redeemed and any estate agent fees will be due.