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All You Need To Know About Conveyancing

If you are considering buying or selling a property you will need a conveyancer. We’ve established a handful of useful tips and advice to help you find a regulated conveyancer and explain everything you might need to know about conveyancing in the UK.

For Homeowners, first time buyers and sellers the legal aspect involved when selling a property can be not only frustrating at times but also quite intimidating too. If it is not the numerous legal jargon, it is the unending papers and documentations. So we have created this article to help you understand the conveyancing process and assist in taking the stress out of this process.  

This article will discuss all you need to know about conveyancing, including what the process entails, why it is necessary, how and where you can find conveyancing services, and the costs involved.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the term for the legal process of transferring the ownership of a property from one party to another. Likewise, it may describe the laws governing the transferral and ownership of property.  Conveyancing also refers to all the body of legal and administrative work required to ensure that a house purchase or sale is legally valid.

Whether you are buying or selling, property conveyancing and its details is vital to a successful transfer of a property. It is that verification process that ensures you are buying what you think you are buying.

If you are re-mortgaging a property you will also need a conveyancer to complete the associated conveyancing process.

Who are conveyancers?

No matter how you look at it, the process of a property purchase or sale is not a walk in the park. And conveyancing is one of the reasons why that is the case due to the complicated processes involved.  Understandably, most people looking to buy or sell a home cannot handle these technical requirements independently, hence the need for experts who can do it on their behalf. Also if you are looking to buy a property with a mortgage, most mortgage lenders will insist on using a regulated and licenced conveyancer.

If you need someone to handle the conveyancing process for you, you need a Conveyancer. Traditionally conveyancing is completed by a solicitor, all solicitors practising in England and Wales are legally required to be registered with the Law Society and are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Also in recent years conveyancers have become more popular and specialist conveyancers have started conveyancing services who are licensed and regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC). Many conveyancers are solicitors who have chosen to specialise in conveyancing.

Who needs a conveyancer?

A lot of administrative and legal work is involved before reaching a successful completion of the transaction.   While conveyancing services are not compulsory, having these experts in the picture can save you from the complications of the process. They also help fast-track the entire process to ensure quick completion of the transaction.

Summarily, you need a conveyancing solicitor if you are;

  • Buying or selling a property;
  • Planning to move into a new home or relocate a business;
  • Planning to buy a property to rent or let.

In essence, any process involving the transfer of the deed of a property requires the services of a conveyancer.

How can a conveyancer help you?

Bringing a conveyancer aboard means hiring a professional to act on your behalf during the sale or purchase of your property.

Among other things, a conveyancer can help you with the following when buying a property:

  • Preparation, clarification, and submission of legal documents
  • Property research and verification of certificate of title
  • Placing of deposit money in a trust account
  • Estimating the adjustment of any taxes and rates
  • Full representation with vendors or vendors’ representatives
  • Property settlement

On the other hand, if you are selling a property, a conveyancer will;

  • Represent you in dealings with the buyer or buyer’s representatives.
  • Help you complete all legal documentation.
  • Review the contract of sale and ensure the property meets council standards.
  • Arrange finances, payments of deposits, and stamp duties.

The expertise of a conveyancer will always come in handy, except you have an in-depth understanding of the procedures involved and have sufficient time and money to arrange and coordinate all the required documents.

Steps in the Conveyancing Process

There are several steps involved in the conveyancing settlement process. Considering how important these processes are, there is a specific timeframe attached to each. Hence, hiring a conveyancer to manage the entire process is recommended so you do not miss out on anything.

It is important to note that the conveyancing procedures and practices differ across all territories or states. That said, the general process is largely unchanged and can be divided into three main stages:

  • Initial Agreement
  • Exchange of Contracts
  • Completion

Stage 1 – Initial Agreement

The first stage of the conveyancing process is where the buyer and the seller agree to a price. Once there is a price agreement, each party instructs their representatives to commence the conveyancing process. The transaction details, once ready, will be sent to the interested parties.

The seller is expected to complete documentation like the Property Information Form and the Fittings and Content Forms. The solicitors representing the seller will also prepare a contract, which will be forwarded alongside the details of the title of the property and copies of other vital documents.

When the buyer is obtaining a mortgage, they must provide a firm written offer of a mortgage from the mortgage company. The buyer is expected to have their finances sorted and their Mortgage Deed signed.  Finally, the buyer’s solicitors are expected to do a Local search for the property in question.

Exchange of contracts will only take place when everyone has arranged their finances and is ready to exchange.

Stage 2 – Exchange of Contracts

The exchange of contracts is the next stage once all the parties involved have decided on a completion date. Once there is an exchange of contacts, the buyer is expected to pay a deposit – usually 10% of the purchase price. However, if the buyer is relying on the proceeds from a sale of their property, the deposit from such sale is used in connection with the purchase. This removes the need for any deposit from the buyer.

The completion date is usually two-four weeks after the exchange of contracts, with the exact time depending on the decision of both parties. It is usually a weekday, and it is on this day that both parties move.  The buyer’s solicitors are expected to prepare the Transfer of Property between the exchange of contracts and completion. The same will be approved by the solicitors and then signed by the parties.

If the buyer is obtaining a mortgage, their solicitor must forward a report of the title of the property to the Mortgage Company to secure the Mortgage Advance payable a day before completion. The requirements for advance vary across Mortgage Companies.

Finally, the solicitors representing the buyer will make final Land Registry and Land Charges searches and obtain the balance of money required from the buyer to complete the process.

Stage 3 – Completion

The completion stage is where the buyer’s solicitors send the balance of the purchase money to the seller or his solicitors via Telegraphic Transfer. Upon receiving the money, the seller or his solicitors will ask the estate agent to release the key to the buyer. Furthermore, the seller solicitor will also send the Transfer of the Property document, alongside other title deeds or documents regarding the property.

If there are any mortgages on the property, the seller’s solicitors will redeem them and account to the seller for the proceeds of the sale. On the other hand, the buyer’s solicitors will send any stamp duty and the Land Transaction Return in respect of the property to the Inland Revenue.

Finally, the Inland Revenue will send in a certificate to the buyer’s solicitors, which will be used to register the title of the buyer at the Land Registry.

How much does conveyancing cost?

Conveyancing costs will be wide ranging depending on the type of company used such a solicitor or conveyancing firm and will be based on the service requested such as a sale only, purchase only, sale and purchase, equity release or re-mortgage.

As an example, the cost for a sale only service might be in the region of £700 and the cost of a purchase only may be in the region of £1400.

What is included in a conveyancing quote?

When you obtain a quote from a Conveyancer their quotation will be based on two elements as follows:

1. Basic Fee

The Basic Fee will cover the standard cost for the conveyancer’s time to complete the service you have requested. This cost will vary depending on the service requested and the method used to calculate the quotation. For example some companies charge a fixed-fee and others will charge on an hourly basis, however the most common fee is based on a sliding scale depending on the property value, the more expensive the property the higher the fees will be. This is usually because the greater risk involved on a higher purchase price.

Other aspect will alter the cost of the conveyancing service such as if you are selling a leasehold property the basic fee will probably more expensive than if you are purchasing a freehold property due to the additional work involved. The basic fee may also increase if you are purchasing a new build, a Shared Ownership, Help to Buy (ISA) property, Right to Buy or Buy to Let.

2. Disbursements

Disbursements are costs incurred by the conveyancer that will be charged to you, these are pretty standard across the industry and should be similar across most conveyancing quotes because some will be related to standard fixed charges incurred during the conveyancing process.

Here are some common disbursements:

For Buying a Property

Local authority searches

This search will reveal any planning permissions and building regulation approvals that may impact the property. It will also confirms whether the road which gains access to the property is adopted and therefore maintained by the local authority.

Environmental search

This search reveals matters such as whether the property is in an area that is potentially affected by subsidence and flooding.

Water and drainage search

This search reveals whether the property is connected to foul and surface water drainage systems and whether the property is connected to mains water.

Mortgage handling fee

a fee may be charged by your solicitor for dealing with the legal aspects involved in setting up your mortgage.

Telegraphic transfer fee

This fee is charged by your bank and will cover the cost associated with sending money used to purchase the property to the seller’s conveyancer.

Land registration fee

this is a fixed cost disbursement that depends on the cost of the property being purchased. Conveyancing quotes should factor in the real cost of the land registration fee. One thing to consider is if you are purchasing a property in Scotland, you will need to register your title with the Land Register of Scotland.

Stamp duty

The amount of SDLT payable will be dependent on the property purchase price and the purchaser’s situation, for example First time buyers are exempt from paying SDLT on all property purchases up to £300,000.00. If the property value is over £300,000.00 you will pay SDLT on a sliding scale, depending on the property value. If you are purchasing a property with someone who has purchased a property before, you will not benefit from the FTB relief.

Also if you are purchasing a second home you will usually have to pay an additional 3% on top of the SDLT rates, Please see GOV.UK website for the current tax fees payable in relation to properties.

Please note that in Scotland Stamp Duty Land Tax does not apply, the applicable tax is The Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT).

For Selling a Property

Land registry office copies

This will confirm that you are the legal owner of the property you wish to sell.

Mortgage redemption fee

a fee may be charged by your solicitor for dealing with the legal aspects involved in paying off the remainder of your existing mortgage.

Hiring The Right Conveyance Solicitors

Considering how vital the conveyancing process is, you cannot afford to go with the wrong hands. That said, it is not exactly easy to find a good conveyancing solicitor. But if you can make the extra effort to find a professional and experienced conveyancing solicitor, it will be worth the stress.  Working with a reliable conveyancer will make your ownership and title transfer process swift and easy.

Conducting online searches and reading through reviews for the conveyancers prior to requesting a quotation from them. Always get multiple quotations for the conveyancing work you require as you could easily be overpaying for the service and ensure they provide you with a list of disbursements and expenses that could also be payable once the service has been concluded. When reviewing the quotation make sure they are compared on a like for like basis, some companies will include the disbursements required and others won’t. once you have reviewed the quotes and customer review and you’ve decided which one to proceed with, it’s always a good idea give them a quick call to gain an understanding of the company’s workload and the solicitor / conveyancers current workload as some companies may be too busy and they won’t have the time available to give you a good service. You can also have the opportunity to ask about the persons experience who’s dealing with your conveyancing work.

Also remember that any conveyancer that you deal with must be licensed by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC). If you have chosen to work with a solicitor ensure that they are registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). And accredited with the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS).

If you would like any more information of conveyancing or have any question, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 644 5311 or email us on Admin@sellmyhomenow.co.uk

If you would like to sign up to our newsletter please enter your email below

All You Need To Know About Conveyancing

If you are considering buying or selling a property you will need a conveyancer. We’ve established a handful of useful tips and advice to help you find a regulated conveyancer and explain everything you might need to know about conveyancing in the UK.

For Homeowners, first time buyers and sellers the legal aspect involved when selling a property can be not only frustrating at times but also quite intimidating too. If it is not the numerous legal jargon, it is the unending papers and documentations. So we have created this article to help you understand the conveyancing process and assist in taking the stress out of this process.  

This article will discuss all you need to know about conveyancing, including what the process entails, why it is necessary, how and where you can find conveyancing services, and the costs involved.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the term for the legal process of transferring the ownership of a property from one party to another. Likewise, it may describe the laws governing the transferral and ownership of property.  Conveyancing also refers to all the body of legal and administrative work required to ensure that a house purchase or sale is legally valid.

Whether you are buying or selling, property conveyancing and its details is vital to a successful transfer of a property. It is that verification process that ensures you are buying what you think you are buying.

If you are re-mortgaging a property you will also need a conveyancer to complete the associated conveyancing process.

Who are conveyancers?

No matter how you look at it, the process of a property purchase or sale is not a walk in the park. And conveyancing is one of the reasons why that is the case due to the complicated processes involved.  Understandably, most people looking to buy or sell a home cannot handle these technical requirements independently, hence the need for experts who can do it on their behalf. Also if you are looking to buy a property with a mortgage, most mortgage lenders will insist on using a regulated and licenced conveyancer.

If you need someone to handle the conveyancing process for you, you need a Conveyancer. Traditionally conveyancing is completed by a solicitor, all solicitors practising in England and Wales are legally required to be registered with the Law Society and are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Also in recent years conveyancers have become more popular and specialist conveyancers have started conveyancing services who are licensed and regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC). Many conveyancers are solicitors who have chosen to specialise in conveyancing.

Who needs a conveyancer?

A lot of administrative and legal work is involved before reaching a successful completion of the transaction.   While conveyancing services are not compulsory, having these experts in the picture can save you from the complications of the process. They also help fast-track the entire process to ensure quick completion of the transaction.

Summarily, you need a conveyancing solicitor if you are;

  • Buying or selling a property;
  • Planning to move into a new home or relocate a business;
  • Planning to buy a property to rent or let.

In essence, any process involving the transfer of the deed of a property requires the services of a conveyancer.

How can a conveyancer help you?

Bringing a conveyancer aboard means hiring a professional to act on your behalf during the sale or purchase of your property.

Among other things, a conveyancer can help you with the following when buying a property:

  • Preparation, clarification, and submission of legal documents
  • Property research and verification of certificate of title
  • Placing of deposit money in a trust account
  • Estimating the adjustment of any taxes and rates
  • Full representation with vendors or vendors’ representatives
  • Property settlement

On the other hand, if you are selling a property, a conveyancer will;

  • Represent you in dealings with the buyer or buyer’s representatives.
  • Help you complete all legal documentation.
  • Review the contract of sale and ensure the property meets council standards.
  • Arrange finances, payments of deposits, and stamp duties.

The expertise of a conveyancer will always come in handy, except you have an in-depth understanding of the procedures involved and have sufficient time and money to arrange and coordinate all the required documents.

Steps in the Conveyancing Process

There are several steps involved in the conveyancing settlement process. Considering how important these processes are, there is a specific timeframe attached to each. Hence, hiring a conveyancer to manage the entire process is recommended so you do not miss out on anything.

It is important to note that the conveyancing procedures and practices differ across all territories or states. That said, the general process is largely unchanged and can be divided into three main stages:

  • Initial Agreement
  • Exchange of Contracts
  • Completion

Stage 1 – Initial Agreement

The first stage of the conveyancing process is where the buyer and the seller agree to a price. Once there is a price agreement, each party instructs their representatives to commence the conveyancing process. The transaction details, once ready, will be sent to the interested parties.

The seller is expected to complete documentation like the Property Information Form and the Fittings and Content Forms. The solicitors representing the seller will also prepare a contract, which will be forwarded alongside the details of the title of the property and copies of other vital documents.

When the buyer is obtaining a mortgage, they must provide a firm written offer of a mortgage from the mortgage company. The buyer is expected to have their finances sorted and their Mortgage Deed signed.  Finally, the buyer’s solicitors are expected to do a Local search for the property in question.

Exchange of contracts will only take place when everyone has arranged their finances and is ready to exchange.

Stage 2 – Exchange of Contracts

The exchange of contracts is the next stage once all the parties involved have decided on a completion date. Once there is an exchange of contacts, the buyer is expected to pay a deposit – usually 10% of the purchase price. However, if the buyer is relying on the proceeds from a sale of their property, the deposit from such sale is used in connection with the purchase. This removes the need for any deposit from the buyer.

The completion date is usually two-four weeks after the exchange of contracts, with the exact time depending on the decision of both parties. It is usually a weekday, and it is on this day that both parties move.  The buyer’s solicitors are expected to prepare the Transfer of Property between the exchange of contracts and completion. The same will be approved by the solicitors and then signed by the parties.

If the buyer is obtaining a mortgage, their solicitor must forward a report of the title of the property to the Mortgage Company to secure the Mortgage Advance payable a day before completion. The requirements for advance vary across Mortgage Companies.

Finally, the solicitors representing the buyer will make final Land Registry and Land Charges searches and obtain the balance of money required from the buyer to complete the process.

Stage 3 – Completion

The completion stage is where the buyer’s solicitors send the balance of the purchase money to the seller or his solicitors via Telegraphic Transfer. Upon receiving the money, the seller or his solicitors will ask the estate agent to release the key to the buyer. Furthermore, the seller solicitor will also send the Transfer of the Property document, alongside other title deeds or documents regarding the property.

If there are any mortgages on the property, the seller’s solicitors will redeem them and account to the seller for the proceeds of the sale. On the other hand, the buyer’s solicitors will send any stamp duty and the Land Transaction Return in respect of the property to the Inland Revenue.

Finally, the Inland Revenue will send in a certificate to the buyer’s solicitors, which will be used to register the title of the buyer at the Land Registry.

How much does conveyancing cost?

Conveyancing costs will be wide ranging depending on the type of company used such a solicitor or conveyancing firm and will be based on the service requested such as a sale only, purchase only, sale and purchase, equity release or re-mortgage.

As an example, the cost for a sale only service might be in the region of £700 and the cost of a purchase only may be in the region of £1400.

What is included in a conveyancing quote?

When you obtain a quote from a Conveyancer their quotation will be based on two elements as follows:

1. Basic Fee

The Basic Fee will cover the standard cost for the conveyancer’s time to complete the service you have requested. This cost will vary depending on the service requested and the method used to calculate the quotation. For example some companies charge a fixed-fee and others will charge on an hourly basis, however the most common fee is based on a sliding scale depending on the property value, the more expensive the property the higher the fees will be. This is usually because the greater risk involved on a higher purchase price.

Other aspect will alter the cost of the conveyancing service such as if you are selling a leasehold property the basic fee will probably more expensive than if you are purchasing a freehold property due to the additional work involved. The basic fee may also increase if you are purchasing a new build, a Shared Ownership, Help to Buy (ISA) property, Right to Buy or Buy to Let.

2. Disbursements

Disbursements are costs incurred by the conveyancer that will be charged to you, these are pretty standard across the industry and should be similar across most conveyancing quotes because some will be related to standard fixed charges incurred during the conveyancing process.

Here are some common disbursements:

For Buying a Property

Local authority searches

This search will reveal any planning permissions and building regulation approvals that may impact the property. It will also confirms whether the road which gains access to the property is adopted and therefore maintained by the local authority.

Environmental search

This search reveals matters such as whether the property is in an area that is potentially affected by subsidence and flooding.

Water and drainage search

This search reveals whether the property is connected to foul and surface water drainage systems and whether the property is connected to mains water.

Mortgage handling fee

a fee may be charged by your solicitor for dealing with the legal aspects involved in setting up your mortgage.

Telegraphic transfer fee

This fee is charged by your bank and will cover the cost associated with sending money used to purchase the property to the seller’s conveyancer.

Land registration fee

this is a fixed cost disbursement that depends on the cost of the property being purchased. Conveyancing quotes should factor in the real cost of the land registration fee. One thing to consider is if you are purchasing a property in Scotland, you will need to register your title with the Land Register of Scotland.

Stamp duty

The amount of SDLT payable will be dependent on the property purchase price and the purchaser’s situation, for example First time buyers are exempt from paying SDLT on all property purchases up to £300,000.00. If the property value is over £300,000.00 you will pay SDLT on a sliding scale, depending on the property value. If you are purchasing a property with someone who has purchased a property before, you will not benefit from the FTB relief.

Also if you are purchasing a second home you will usually have to pay an additional 3% on top of the SDLT rates, Please see GOV.UK website for the current tax fees payable in relation to properties.

Please note that in Scotland Stamp Duty Land Tax does not apply, the applicable tax is The Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT).

For Selling a Property

Land registry office copies

This will confirm that you are the legal owner of the property you wish to sell.

Mortgage redemption fee

a fee may be charged by your solicitor for dealing with the legal aspects involved in paying off the remainder of your existing mortgage.

Hiring The Right Conveyance Solicitors

Considering how vital the conveyancing process is, you cannot afford to go with the wrong hands. That said, it is not exactly easy to find a good conveyancing solicitor. But if you can make the extra effort to find a professional and experienced conveyancing solicitor, it will be worth the stress.  Working with a reliable conveyancer will make your ownership and title transfer process swift and easy.

Conducting online searches and reading through reviews for the conveyancers prior to requesting a quotation from them. Always get multiple quotations for the conveyancing work you require as you could easily be overpaying for the service and ensure they provide you with a list of disbursements and expenses that could also be payable once the service has been concluded. When reviewing the quotation make sure they are compared on a like for like basis, some companies will include the disbursements required and others won’t. once you have reviewed the quotes and customer review and you’ve decided which one to proceed with, it’s always a good idea give them a quick call to gain an understanding of the company’s workload and the solicitor / conveyancers current workload as some companies may be too busy and they won’t have the time available to give you a good service. You can also have the opportunity to ask about the persons experience who’s dealing with your conveyancing work.

Also remember that any conveyancer that you deal with must be licensed by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC). If you have chosen to work with a solicitor ensure that they are registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). And accredited with the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS).

If you would like any more information of conveyancing or have any question, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 644 5311 or email us on Admin@sellmyhomenow.co.uk

If you would like to sign up to our newsletter please enter your email below

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