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Conveyancing Explained – Leasehold Purchase Part I: The Quote

What do Solicitors do to earn their Conveyancing Fees? It’s a mystery to many clients. Those transfer and mortgage forms which you have to sign look simple enough, so. . . what are you paying for? 

The Conveyancing Solicitor you instruct for your Leasehold Purchase will actually be doing a lot of detailed work behind the scenes, and these articles are intended to give a brief overview of what’s involved in the “average” Leasehold Purchase. Not every step will be undertaken in this exact sequence, and there is always a chance that additional work may be necessary for particular properties.

When you consider that some stages, even this early in the process, require considerable diligence in order to adhere to strict regulations, you can begin to see how your Conveyancing Fee is being earned.

Conveyancing Part I – Quote & Confirming Instructions

The principal steps in the first part of the Conveyancing process include:

  • You request a Conveyancing Quote – basic details will be taken
  • Quote given Online or by phone
  • Quote confirmed in writing
  • You accept the Quote – contact your Solicitor to confirm
  • You will then be asked to confirm instructions by signing a form. This will create a contract with the Solicitor, and will incorporate ‘terms of engagement’ which set out the terms on which the Solicitor will act for you.
  • You will be asked to provide some form of ID, such as a passport or driving licence, and also evidence of your current address, such as a utility bill, unless the firm has acted for you in another recent transaction. Solicitors are now required to comply with the government’s money laundering regulations when carrying out any work involving handling money for clients, and also to satisfy the land registry anti-fraud regulations.
  • You will be asked for payment on account of search fees – the Solicitor will have to pay fees to search providers, so are required to receive the fees from you first to go ahead.
  • When you return the signed confirmation of instruction form with ID, the papers will be referred to the Conveyancing Solicitor’s compliance officer to check if there is any conflict of interest ( e.g. the firm is already acting for the seller)
  • Where there is any difficulty with ID, e.g. if you are resident abroad, you may be requested to supply copy ID documents certified by a local lawyer
  • A file will then be opened and details put in on computer system
  • The solicitor will inform sellers’ agents that the firm is acting for you, so that they can send property details.

Once these are completed, your Conveyancing Solicitor is ready to proceed with the pre-contract work, which I will consider in more detail in the next entry of this series on the Conveyancing process, Part II: The Pre-Contract Stage.

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