Guide to the Conveyancing Process

Conveyancing Solicitors

Conveyancing Store guide to Conveyancing Solicitors

The Buyers Guide To Conveyancing

Buying a home is likely to be the biggest financial commitment you make. To make sure there are no nasty surprises along the way, we have put together this guide. It will tell you what to expect when it comes to conveyancing, whether you are buying or selling a property. Get your conveyancing quotes quickly and for free.

Firstly, it’s worth mentioning the importance of  having a conveyancer on board early in the process. This is so you can act quickly once you are in a position to move.  We compare associated firms of lender panel conveyancers who offer you some of the best conveyancing quotes in the UK

There are many detailed tasks involved in conveyancing.  We have condensed them into a number of key steps:

Step 1:  After you have instructed your conveyancing solicitor to begin work, they will contact the sellers conveyancer and request the “information pack”, which contains 4 key items:

  • Property Information Form: This is a standard questionnaire. It gives the details of any boundaries (and disputes) and other key property information.
  • Fixtures, Fittings And Contents Form:  This form lists what is and is not included in the sale.  It may include things like furniture, curtains, white goods etc. Be careful to agree with the seller what you are getting and let your conveyancer know if there are likely to be any areas of concern.
  • Title Deeds:  these documents show that the person selling the property owns it. Secondly, it sets out any rights or obligations that affect the property.
  • Contract: this is drawn up by the seller’s solicitor/conveyancer. It  sets out the main terms of the proposed agreement, including names and the price.

Step 2:  The conveyancer will carry out a number of searches.  A list of questions about the property is sent to the local authority. Searches confirm a number of things, such as proposed changes to the local area and whether there have been planning applications on the property.  If the property is in a mining area, then the solicitor will also carry out a mining search. Read all about searches here.

Step 3: You will then need to negotiate and agree the contract, based on this and any surveys you have had.

Step 4:  You will need a copy of a mortgage offer (if you are buying with a mortgage), not just an agreement in principle. This will be given once contract terms have been agreed.

Step 5: You are now ready to agree on exchange and  completion dates. Once contracts are exchanged, the deposit is paid. This is no longer refundable if you pull out of the sale. Completion is when the house becomes yours (usually around a week later and the funds are transferred. 

Step 6: Your conveyancer hands over to the seller’s solicitor the remainder of the purchase money (buying price less the deposit you have provided) and in return your conveyancer receives;

  • The transfer document, which is needed to show the house is now transferred to you (and will need to be sent to the Land Registry) and
  • The title deeds, which is the evidence of ownership and sets out the obligations on the owners.
  • Stamp Duty is paid and any loose ends are tied up.

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The sellers guide to conveyancing

When selling your property you will need to appoint a conveyancer to complete the legal process.  Compare conveyancing quotes  here. They will help you put together the documents required for selling your property and manage the process of the sale as listed below.  The process will run a little like this:

Step 1:  Prepare your property for sale:  You and your conveyancer will prepare a seller’s pack, which includes four basic documents:

  • Property Information Form (TA6): This form is for you to give the prospective buyer detailed information about the property. It will ask for details of boundaries (and disputes) and other key property information.
  • Fixtures, Fittings And Contents Form (TA10):  This tells each party exactly what is and isn’t being included in the decide what is and is not included in the sale of the house.  You can change any details before the contract is agreed.
  • Title Deeds:  These documents show that you own the property. They could be held with your mortgage provider.  They also set out any rights or obligations that affect the property.
  • Contract: this is drawn up by your conveyancer, and sets out the main terms of the proposed agreement, including your names and the price agreed (after negotiation).

Step 2:  Contract Negotiation: The buyer or their solicitor/conveyancer will read the documents and carry out any other required searches.  They may also get independent surveys done.  Your conveyancer might have to answer some queries. You may be involved in discussing some elements of any forms you have completed.

Step 3: Exchange Contract: If all of these queries and responses run smoothly, you and your buyer will need to agree on a completion date and exchange contracts.  This is the key moment and neither you nor the buyer can turn back without the possibility of incurring significant penalties.

Step 4:  Completion: Your conveyancer will now transfer the Title Deed and transfer document to the buyer’s solicitor/conveyancer in exchange for the money for the house.  This will then be used to repay your mortgage and the fees associated with the sale of the house.  You then get the remainder, unless you are using it to buy another property.

Compare Conveyancing Quotes

When you compare conveyancing quotes , choosing a regulated conveyancing solicitor or licensed conveyancer means you can be confident that your case is handled correctly. The following regulatory bodies make sure you have some comeback should  something go wrong. 

  • The Conveyancing Quality Scheme – CQS

The CQS is run by the Law Society and accredits law firms offering residential conveyancing. It requires members to demonstrate compliance with the highest standards of professional practice. A Conveyancing Quality Scheme best practice mark  acts as a strong trust factor that a particular team of conveyancing solicitors has the necessary skills and experience to provide a reliable service.

When using a conveyancing solicitor, you should also make sure that their law firm is Lexcel accredited, which is the Law Society’s general quality mark for excellence in legal practice management and client care.

  • The Solicitors Regulation Authority – SRA

The SRA sets the standards for all solicitors and law firms in England and Wales and establishes general principles and a code of conduct for members. They also monitor solicitors and their firms to make sure they are following the rules.

The SRA investigates complaints and, where necessary, can take regulatory action. 

  • The Council for Licensed Conveyancers – CLC

The CLC regulates conveyancers who are not solicitors, but are specialists in conveyancing. The CLC sets education and training standards, issues licences to and maintains a register of practitioners, monitors standards, investigates allegations of misconduct and takes disciplinary action when required.

Conveyancing solicitors should be members of professional bodies such as the Law Society and the Council of Licensed Conveyancers. Check which professional body they’re a member of before appointing them.

It’s very important, when you compare solicitors on our Solicitor comparison site to ask how much you would have to pay if the sale falls through. Some firms offer ‘no move, no fee’, but always double check what that means. For example, does it mean that you still need to pay third party costs? Do you need to get an insurance policy to be eligible for this?

It’s common for disbursements to be excluded from most ‘no sale no fee’ conveyancing quotes. However, if you’re unsure whether to progress with a purchase, you can always instruct the lawyers but ask them not to incur any expenses yet, and to hold off on any searches. 

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Read here how to save money when moving house.