Conveyancing questions answered
Even with thorough planning, moving house can be one of life’s most stressful events. Recent research shows nearly two in three adults believe it to be the most stressful life event, coming above a relationship breakdown, divorce and starting a new job.
Regardless of whether you’re a first time buyer or a seasoned professional mover, buying or selling a home can bring with it complications and potential pitfalls.
Having an experienced conveyancing solicitor can make all the difference in helping to avoid any last minute surprises which can be impossible for many to anticipate.
What Is Conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal term for transfer of ownership of property, whether you are buying or selling.
Why should I Choose A Conveyancing Solicitor?
As conveyancing solicitors, we are property specialists and our expert and friendly legal advice is offered at a fixed fee, meaning no hidden costs. We are also independent of estate agents.
Estate agents often have an agreement with a firm of solicitors to refer work to them in return for a referral fee (added to your bill).
What Happens After I Appoint my Conveyancing Solicitor?
Once you have chosen your conveyancing solicitor, they will draw up a draft contract (or terms of engagement) which set out their charges and deposits required. They will then write to your seller’s solicitor to confirm they have been instructed on your before and request a copy of the draft contract and any other details.
You are given a copy of the draft contract to go through and have the opportunity to raise any questions or concerns with your solicitor. They will, in turn, also review all the documents and raise any questions with the seller’s solicitor.
What Are Property Searches?
When buying a house or flat, your Conveyancing Solicitor will carry out various property searches. These are important as they highlight information about the property that you might otherwise be unaware of, such as whether a motorway is planned for near the end of your garden or if the extension you love is due to be pulled down because it did not have planning permission.
Property searches that are normally carried out include:
- Local Authority
- Land Registry
- Environmental (can include flood risk)
- Drainage and Water
- Planning Search
- Chancel Liability
We will clearly show your search fees, along with legal fees and disbursements, when we provide you with a quote.
What Happens At The Different Contract Stages (Signing, Exchanging & Completing)?
Signing – Before signing the contract your solicitor will need to ensure you have relevant funds available or a mortgage in place. They will make sure all questions have been answered and a completion date agreed.
Exchanging – Before you exchange you need to have buildings insurance ready to be put on risk and your deposit needs to be in your solicitor’s account. Your solicitor will exchange contracts on your behalf, once completed you are in a legally binding contract to buy the property. Your insurance will then need to be put on risk from the date of exchange.
After exchanging you’ll receive a statement from your solicitor showing the final amount owing, this needs to be paid (and showing as cleared) at least one day before completion.
Completion – this takes place on the agreed date of completion once the seller’s solicitor confirms they have received all monies due. At this stage the keys can be released and should be available for you to collect either from the vendor or the estate agents.
Your solicitor will then pay your stamp duty land tax. You should receive your legal documents approximately 20 days after completion and it is important to file these away safely for when you next sell your property.
Should I Make a Will When I Buy My House?
Yes! Even if you already have a will in place this should be revised after purchasing a new property to make sure everything is still applicable. Our specialist will solicitors can help you with making a will, or revising an existing one.
Buying a property is probably the biggest purchase you will ever make. This is why it is essential that you find an expert conveyancing solicitor to advise you.
Founded in 1980, Leighton Buzzard solicitors Osborne Morris & Morgan provide outstanding legal advice to clients throughout the Home Counties.
We understand the importance of having an experienced conveyancing solicitor on your side when buying or selling a home.
Call us on 01525 378177 or contact us online for more information.