Conveyancing is the branch of law specifically relating to the legal side of moving home. Conveyancers are lawyers that specialise in the legal side of moving home. A conveyancer will go through the legal process to transfer the property ownership from one person to another.
Like most people, you’re probably wondering how the process works, how long it will take and how much it will cost.
There are two major phases of conveyancing; exchange and completion. Lots of work goes into the process before these stages, which can often mean the whole process can take a number of weeks or months to complete.
Why do I need a conveyancer when buying a home?
Whether you’re getting your foot on the property ladder or moving into your forever home, the buying process can feel overwhelming. A conveyancing firm will complete the legal work to transfer the ownership of your chosen property. They will also be there at each step to guide you through the whole process.
The conveyancing process starts once your offer on a house has been accepted and ends once your ownership is registered at the Land Registry. As soon as you have confirmation that your offer has been accepted, you will need a conveyancer to get started on the legal work that is involved in transferring ownership of a home.
When using a conveyancer there is a specific process that needs to be carried out in order to transfer the legal ownership of property.
The conveyancing process:
Step 1: ID checks will need to be carried out as part of the conveyancing firm’s due diligence. They will then also check the house title to make sure everything is as it should be.
These local checks will flag up any potential issues with the property or land, which will be required by the mortgage provider.
For sales, a conveyancer will provide the correct forms you will need to complete for your buyers and the transaction.
Step 3: Your conveyancer will work with the other party’s conveyancer to progress the transaction, make enquiries on your behalf and iron out any issues which may have developed as a result of the searches and surveys.
Step 4: If you’re purchasing with a mortgage, they’ll check the mortgage offer and deal with any special conditions
For sales with a mortgage, they will conduct work with your lender, which may include getting a redemption statement.
Step 5: They’ll work with the other conveyancers in the chain to arrange dates for exchange of contracts and completion.
Step 6: Prepare a financial statement so you know what funds you need for both parts, and transfer funds for the stamp duty if required.
Step 7: Finally, they will register the change of ownership with the land registry for you. If you are selling, this will be taken care of by the buyer’s conveyancer.
It may seem all very complicated…but in retrospect a good conveyancer will strip out the legal jargon for you and help make the process a lot smoother and seem easier to understand.
Who does the conveyancing?
Unless your mortgage provider stipulates a specific firm, it is up to you who you get to do our conveyancing. While all solicitors will be qualified to undertake this type of legal work, not all will be experienced in this area. So, it makes sense to opt for a conveyancing expert that specialises in residential property transactions or to go with a dedicated licensed conveyancer. Licensed Conveyancers are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers and solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Buying property is an expensive business, but the good news is that you needn’t pay a fortune for your conveyancing. Costs vary and depend on the value of the property. For more detailed information on this, take a look at our guide to conveyancing fees.
To get an up to date and competitive quote you can use our conveyancing quote calculator. The amount quoted will include the cost of the conveyancer’s time and the fees for registering with the Land Registry and any searches undertaken. When you receive a quote from us, we will give you a price that includes everything. We don’t have any hidden extras or hide things in our small print. For those buyers who are concerned about a sale falling through and winding up out of pocket, we also offer a no-completion, no fee service.
If you are purchasing your first home, take a look at our first time buyers guide, full of handy information on the steps you can expect to take throughout the journey.