Who Is The Conveyancer When Buying A House?
Conveyancing is the complex legal transfer of property ownership from the seller to the buyer. When purchasing a home, buyers must correctly appoint a qualified conveyancer to represent their interests during transactions. But who fulfils this conveyancing role for buyers? This guide examines the conveyancing process, specialists who conduct the work and considerations when selecting your representative as a buyer.
What is Conveyancing?
Conveyancing refers to the administrative and legal work required to change a property’s legal ownership when bought or sold. It has two main aspects:
Legal – Drafting contracts, transferring funds, registering ownership changes
Administrative – Conducting searches, answering queries, liaising between parties
Conveyancing secondary tasks include dealing with mortgages, paying stamp duty and recording new ownership with the Land Registry. Undertaken thoroughly, it ensures seamless property transactions.
Why Buyers Need Conveyancing
Conveyancing provides vital protections and assurances for buyers including:
- Verifying the property legally belongs to the seller
- Confirming the boundaries and amenities included
- Uncovering risks like planning disputes via property searches
- Checking for issues that may prevent mortgage lending
- Creating a legally binding contract between buyer and seller
- Securing ownership rights for the buyer
- Preventing future ownership disputes
Conveyancing is mandatory for all buyers to ensure their interests are secured.
Who Conducts Conveyancing Work?
Only licenced specialists can perform conveyancing work for buyers:
- Solicitors – Have full legal training with specific conveyancing expertise
- Licenced Conveyancers – Regulated specialists focusing solely on property transactions
Both meet official standards to safely handle transactions. Solicitors offer broader legal knowledge while licenced conveyancers specialise solely in property conveyancing.
When To Appoint a Conveyancer?
Buyers should appoint a conveyancer as soon as possible within transactions, ideally at the point an offer is accepted on a property. This enables the conveyancer to swiftly undertake key searches and enquiries about the property buying on the buyer’s behalf while negotiations conclude. Frontloading this work helps transactions proceed more quickly once the deal is formally agreed.
What Does the Buyer’s Conveyancer Do?
The buyer’s conveyancer handles important aspects such as:
- Performing searches on the property to highlight risks
- Overseeing the exchange of contracts & deposit
- Agreeing on suitable completion and move dates
- Liaising with lenders to secure required mortgage finance
- Checking the title deeds fully entitles the seller to sell
- Transferring funds securely at completion
- Registering the buyer as the new legal owner
- Answering buyer queries throughout transactions
The conveyancer works in the buyer’s best interests throughout the process.
Key Conveyancing Stages for Buyers
Whilst timings vary due to factors like property chains, typical conveyancing stages include:
- Instruct conveyancer – On offer acceptance
- Conveyancer undertakes searches & checks – 2-4 weeks
- Mortgage offer received – 4-6 weeks
- Both parties sign binding contract – 6-10 weeks
- Buyer provides balance funds – 10 days before completion
- Ownership transfers on completion day – 8-12 weeks
Maintaining contact with the conveyancer keeps buyers updated on progress during these key stages.
Importance of Conveyancer Communication
Regular communication between buyer and conveyancer is vital throughout transactions to:
- Provide important updates on progress
- Discuss any issues arising and agree on solutions
- Confirm requirements like instructions, and payments due
- Check understanding of stages involved
- Answering client questions or concerns
Two-way contact assists in smooth conveyancing and avoids potential misunderstandings.
Selecting the Right Conveyancer
Choosing the conveyancer is the buyer’s most critical decision. Consider:
- Recommendations from recent buyers
- Conveyancers specialising in a property like yours
- Experience handling purchases in your area
- Members of official bodies like CLC
- Fixed fees provide cost certainty
- Responsiveness and proactive chasing
Avoid assumptions that an estate agent’s recommended conveyancer necessarily offers the best service or value. Shop around before selecting.
Once instructed, changing conveyancers mid-transaction can cause significant delays and is inadvisable. Instead, address any issues arising directly with your conveyancer first or their senior team members. Unless negligent, try resolving concerns before looking to appoint another firm and restarting from scratch.
DIY Conveyancing Dangers
While online DIY conveyancing tools exist, buyers risk inadequate legal protections conducting this work themselves. DIY conveyancing is extremely unwise – the guidance and expertise of accredited specialists like solicitors or licenced conveyancers are strongly recommended for all buyers.
Conveyancing is compulsory when buying a house yet can seem confusing to navigate. Appointing a specialist conveyancing solicitor or licenced conveyancer to represent your interests is critical to ensure legal protection and a smooth transaction. Promptly instructing a conveyancer enables important work like searches to commence without delay, while regular contact provides you with updates and confidence as you proceed towards exchange and completion. Take care to secure an accredited conveyancer truly acting in your best interests.
- Only specialist solicitors or licenced conveyancers can legally handle conveyancing when buying.
- It is advisable to appoint your conveyancer promptly on offer acceptance.
- Conveyancers manage the legal work and liaise between all parties.
- Maintaining regular contact assists in a smooth process.
- Take care choosing your conveyancer – don’t just use an estate agent’s recommendation.
- Specialist conveyancing expertise is vital for buyers’ legal protection.