Conveyancing is the legal term used to describe the legal and administrative process of transferring property from one person to another.
Click on the drop down headings to see some of your questions answered.
We will take initial instructions from our clients usually by asking them to complete our ‘client Questionnaire’. This provides most of the information we will need to proceed with your transaction in the most efficient and smooth manner. If there is anything else not covered in the questionnaire which you would like us to know please add as much as detail as you can.
We will then contact the estate agents who will send to us a ‘sales memorandum’ which will highlight the sellers solicitors details. We will write/email the sellers solicitors requesting for contracts and a copy of the deeds. The sellers solicitors will usually send this along with a fixtures list which will state what the seller is leaving behind, what he is taking away and what he may sell at an extra price. Again these will be all previously agreed between the buyer and seller.
We will at that stage apply for searches which are usually the local authority search, drainage search and the environmental search. If our search software picks up the property being purchased is in an area requiring further searches, this will be notified to us. Central parts of the midlands require coal mining searches and properties in Cornwall require Tin mining searches. The search will also reveal if further enquiries need to be raised ie if the property is close to a river or a railway line or a motorway.
If you are purchasing with the aid of a mortgage, your mortgage provider will carry out a home buyers report which looks at the property structurally. Depending on the type of report requested this may be a simple valuation report or a full detailed one. The report will highlight any further issues of concern ie damp problems etc and will indicate any legal areas of concern ie shared rights of way etc.
Once we receive the results of the searches, we prepare a ‘Report on Title’ which will be a summary of what you are buying and will indicate if any further enquiries need to be raised or not.
Once all enquiries are satisfactorily relied to we will ask you to sign the contracts and mortgage deeds and to return these back to us with a 10% deposit.
At this stage we will exchange contracts. This is a legal process and makes the Conveyancing transaction legally binding which means neither you nor the seller can pull out without incurring further costs. At this stage we agree a completion date which is the date you will receive the keys to the property. This is usually 7 days after completion but can be longer if there is a chain involved ie there are a number of buyers and sellers in the transaction or if there are special requirements from either parties.
At this stage we will prepare a final completion statement and send this to you requesting the final balance to complete the transaction. We will also request the mortgage loan from your lender and carry out a final search against the property before we complete to make sure there are no further loans or charges the seller has taken out against the property before we complete.
On the day of completion we will send the final balance to the seller’s solicitors and wait for them to receive the funds. This usually happens by midday day but depending on the how many parties are in the chain, it can be sometimes quite late in the day when keys can be picked up.
After completion we will register your transaction with the Inland revenue which is a legal requirement as well as the Land registry. This process can take anywhere up to 8 weeks. Once we receive confirmation the deeds have been registered we will send you a copy and a copy to your lender. The land Registry now keeps all original documents.
The process is similar but slightly different. We will take initial instructions but you will be asked to complete a fixtures list as well as a Sellers Property Information form which will let the buyer know if there are any disputes with neighbours over boundaries or other disputes, if there have been any planning applications to the council, if there are any guarantees with the property etc. If you are selling a leasehold property we will ask for details of the landlord and any managing gents involved. They will send to us a managing agents pack which will highlight last 3 years service charges accounts, if there are any future rises in the service charge, any amounts in arrears and the legal requirements to sell the lease. The management pack usually costs between £75-£350 plus VAT depending on the agents.
We will also ask if there are any mortgages against the property and the amounts outstanding. Once we collect all the information we will prepare a contract to send to the buyers solicitor and we will send a copy of your deeds to prove you own the property along with the lease if its a leasehold property.
Once the buyer is happy with all the documents provided his solicitor will write to us to confirm he approves the contract. Depending on the results of his searches he may raise additional enquiries which we will send to you to answer. These are usually of a standard nature but if you are not sure please do not be afraid to ask us for assistance.
At this stage we will exchange contracts which makes the Conveyancing process legally binding which means you cannot with draw from the transaction and nor can the buyer. The buyers solicitor will send to us 10% deposit which we hold in a client account. Sometimes we ask the buyers solicitors to ‘hold to our order’ which means the buyers solicitor will hold this and send to us the full amount on completion. This usually happens if there is a short time between exchange of contracts and completion dates.
We will then send to you a final completion statement which will highlight all the amounts to be received and paid out on completion date. We will also send to you a final documents called a ‘Transfer’ which is the official document that will be sent to the land registry to indicate you have sold your property. We will send you a list of what you need to do on completion date ie inform the relevant authorities ie water board etc. You should take a final meter reading of all your utilities. You should leave your property in a tidy and clean condition without causing any damage to the property.
On completion date we will wait for the money to be sent to us by the buyers solicitors and we will redeem ( pay off) your current mortgage, pay the estate agents fees, pay our fees and send to you the balance either by cheque or direct transfer. A direct transfer can take 3-4 days unless you have asked us to send a faster payment which attracts a surplus fee of £30.
This depends on a number of factors ie how many parties are in the chain, if you have obtained a mortgage offer or not, if the seller or buyer has found another property etc. On average most transactions take 8-10 weeks but they can be much more quicker or much longer.
You can pull out of your purchase or sale up till exchange of contracts. We do not recommend this of course but if there are a change of circumstances beyond your control you should notify us and the estate agents as soon as possible to avoid any further costs being incurred by all parties concerned.
We are happy to negotiate a reduced price on your behalf but we usually find the estate agents are the ideal party to go to for this. If there are any legal issues we will of course advise you if they can be resolved or whether we need to obtain further clarifications. The insurance industry now offers what’s called ‘legal indemnity’ cover for most legal problems ie if the deeds lack rights of way or there have been breaches of planning regulations. We will recommend such insurance policies if the need arises.
Please call us on 01354 661700 and we shall be happy to assist you. An appointment is not always necessary and you are always free to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for initial enquiries. Once your file is open we shall dedicate one member of staff for all your queries throughout your entire transaction along with their email address.
If you have any further questions or require more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.