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The Conveyancing Process Explained

There are a number of important stages to the Conveyancing Process:

The Conveyancing Process – Stage 1 – Pre exchange 

Following a purchaser’s offer being accepted, ordinarily through an estate agent, both the purchaser and seller will instruct their respective Solicitors instructed for the Conveyancing.

To get the House Conveyancing underway, the estate agents will send to both firms a Sale Memorandum detailing all the important information such as the purchaser and seller’s personal details, the property address, the agreed price and the contact details of House Conveyancing Solicitors.

Both solicitors will contact each other – preferably by e-mail – confirming that they are acting on this conveyancing transaction.   The seller’s House Conveyancing lawyer will issue and send a draft contract, completed seller’s property information form and fixture and fittings form and any other relevant legal documents relating to the title.  

Where a property is leasehold, additional documents such as service/maintenance charge, accounts, ground rent receipts and additional enquiries such as a leasehold information form are required. The seller’s Solicitors acting for the House Conveyancing will request certain answers and information from the seller direct and the management company. This could lengthen the conveyancing process and add to cost and many management companies charge for management information .

The purchaser’s lawyers should check through the House Conveyancing documents and raise any necessary additional enquiries. Simultaneously, the purchaser’s conveyancing solicitors would check they are in receipt of the purchaser’s mortgage. The purchaser’s lawyer will also carry out an environmental search and perhaps a new local authority search if the searches in the HIP are out of date or not valid. Most purchaser’s conveyancing solicitors are also authorized to  act on behalf of the mortgage lender. Once the mortgage offer is received, the purchaser’s conveyancing solicitors will again check this requesting further information and clarification if necessary.

As and when the conveyancing lawyer for the purchasers is happy with all the conveyancing documents and mortgage offer, an appointment is made for the purchaser to attend the offices of the lawyer to go through the paperwork and sign the necessary documents . A deposit which is usually 10% of the price will need to made available to effect the exchange.

In the meantime the seller’s House Conveyancer should arrange for the seller to sign the contract in readiness for exchange .

The Conveyancing Process – Stage 2 – Exchange

With both parties in a position to exchange, the purchaser and seller via their conveyancing lawyers will agree on a completion date.   Once agreed, the purchaser’s conveyancing solicitors will request the mortgage advance from the Lender for the specified completion date.

The purchaser and seller’s lawyers responsible for the House Conveyancing will exchange contracts and that stage everything is set in stone contractually . If either the seller or purchaser fails to comply with completion, it will be breach of contract resulting to financial penalties.

There is no magic behind the exchange of contract, the conveyancing lawyers simply speak on the telephone, confirming the name and address of parties; the property address; the amount of deposit; the time of exchange and the date of completion. The conveyancers will then send their signed copy contract to each other to complete the exchange. The purchaser’s conveyance will send the deposit to the seller’s conveyancer.

The purchaser conveyancer will carry out some pre-completion searches.

The Conveyancing Process – Stage 3 –  Completion

The seller is advised to leave keys with the estate agents on the morning of the  completion date. The purchaser should wait for confirmation from their solicitors that they have completed and can pick up the keys and move. The seller’s conveyancing lawyer should call the estate agent once they have the completion monies and authorize them to release the keys to the purchaser.

At this stage in the House Conveyancing, the solicitor for the seller will be obliged to redeem the mortgage and pay the estate agents fee once the completion funds are in from the purchaser’s solicitors.

The Conveyancing Process – Stage 4- Post Completion

The purchaser’s conveyancing solicitors will need pay the stamp having had the money in form the purchaser for this – there are penalties if this is delayed.

The seller’s law firm should send the transfer documentation and all the deeds, including all original documents relating to the property together to the purchaser’s conveyancers. After they have  received confirmation that the mortgage has been redeemed, they will forward a copy of this confirmation to the purchaser’s lawyers to complete the House Conveyancing.

The firm instructed by the buyer for the House Conveyancing is under a duty register the property in the purchaser’s name and, if applicable, any  mortgage at the HM Land Registry as soon as possible.

Depending on how busy the land Registry are the registration formalities may take a month or two to complete.  If you have any questions please contact Tony on 033 0660 0286 to discuss the Conveyancing Process.

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