When you’re buying a property, there’s a timeline for what happens from your offer to completion. Once you’ve received a mortgage offer and instructed a solicitor, then the legal process of transferring the property from the buyer to the seller – known as conveyancing – can begin.

Start the conveyancing process

You can do conveyancing yourself if this is a straightforward cash purchase. However, mortgage lenders will expect you to use a solicitor or conveyancer so that the process runs smoothly and they protect their money. Conveyancing typically involves:

• Dealing with contracts
• Calculating Stamp Duty – you can check this figure is correct using our online Stamp Duty calculator
• Conducting searches into the local area including local authority, environmental and drainage searches
• Dealing with payments, or disbursements

Using a specialist conveyancing firm can speed up the process, while a solicitor is ideally placed to sort out a wide range of issues because of their wide-ranging expertise. Whichever you choose, make sure you get firm quotes and negotiate a no sale, no fee agreement.

Get a valuation

Another of your conveyancer’s duties is to arrange a valuation survey on the property. This minimises the risk to your mortgage lender and should highlight any obvious problems with the property. However, this is not a full structural survey which will protect you, as the buyer, should you discover major problems after purchase.

Book a survey

Now’s the time to book a survey if you feel you need one. Remember, the valuation report is not a full survey and won’t pick up on any hidden issues – for that you need to instruct a qualified surveyor. A full structural survey is expensive, costing up to £1000, but it will give you peace of mind if the searches and valuation survey have raised any doubts about the property. Although the cost can deter some people from having a survey done at all, even a basic home buyers report can give you some protection if issues do arise. If you’re purchasing an unusual or period property then a survey is a must.

Should I get conveyancing done while waiting for survey report?

The answer is yes. Since the survey is an optional part of the process, you should start the process of conveyancing as quickly as possible. If you want everything to run quickly and smoothly then instruct a solicitor or conveyancer as soon as you put in an offer and before any surveys are completed.

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