How To Guide On The Stages Of Conveyancing
Buying or selling a home? There are a lot of different stages involved, and one of them is conveyancing, meaning the legal part of buying and selling a home. What is a conveyancer? They are those who specialise in the associated paperwork that comes with buying or selling a home. What is a conveyancing solicitor? They’re essentially the same thing. What does a conveyancer do? They work through the legal process of moving property ownership from one person to another. How does conveyancing work, though? This guide will help you see it both from the buyer’s and the seller’s point of view.
If You Are Selling Your Home . . .
If you are selling a home, the conveyancing process begins when you hire a conveyancing solicitor. You’ll tell them what you want to do, and they will confirm those instructions by sending you a letter. Inside will be their terms of business and the costs you can expect to pay for their services. At that point, they will ask for proof of your identity.
Identity verification is essential in the selling house process because the law requires that several professionals perform identity checks during the real estate process to help meet money laundering regulations. Fraud risks are fairly high when buying and selling homes because of the large sums of money involved, and if a conveyancing solicitor knows the individuals involved, that helps reduce the risk of fraud in these cases. There are many different forms of ID you can use to prove to your conveyancing solicitor that you are whom you say you are. You can typically use either a new driving license with a photo or a current passport. You can also typically use a birth certificate or a current EEA member state identity card. If you don’t have any of that, often you can use a benefit book or even an entry in a local or national telephone directory. If you still don’t have any of that, chat with your solicitor concerning the type of proof they need. In addition to proving who you are, you may also need to prove where you live. Typically, you can just use a recent utility bill or a bank statement. Often if you have a house or motor insurance certificate, those will work too.
Once the identity checks are complete, the next step in the conveyancing timeline happens when your conveyancing solicitor will send you a fittings and contents form as well as a property information form for you to complete. If you own a leasehold, you’ll be required to fill out other informational forms. The fittings and contents form is sometimes called a TA10, and it’s fairly straightforward. It helps identify what will be included in the sale of your property and what will be excluded. This can include things like free-standing furniture, appliances, and hanging mirrors. It also included things like carpets, doors, and heating systems. There are 11 sections to complete, and each contains a group of items homes commonly have. The seller is supposed to tick the box to show whether an item is included or excluded from the sale. There’s also a box to tick if there is no similar item at the property. The property information form is commonly called the TA 6, and it helps detail the exact nature of the property for the buyer. It asks about the boundaries surrounding the property, any disputes or complaints you’ve had in the past concerning the property, any notices or proposals that might affect the property (like communications from the local authority), any changes you’ve made to the property, warranties associated with the property, insurance about the property, environmental matters that might affect the property, access rights, parking, who lives at the property, and what utilities are available.
While you’re completing those forms, your conveyancer will be working to obtain title deeds from the deed’s holder as well as copies of the title register and any other documentation the Land Registry will require. Your conveyancer will also learn more about the details of the current mortgage on the property.
At that point, a draft contract can be prepared, and your conveyancer will need the associated documentation you completed so it can all be sent to the buyer’s conveyancing solicitor.
The buyer’s conveyancing solicitor will then look at the contract and ask any questions the buyer might have. Your conveyancing solicitor will then respond to those enquiries.
Once that’s happened, the buyer’s conveyancer will confirm that they’re happy with the answers and they’ve gotten all of the information necessary from their searches. At that point, the two parties agree on a completion date, and the contracts are exchanged. The transaction is now a legal requirement. Your conveyancer will get a settlement figure to repay the current mortgage, and the buyer’s conveyancer will draft a transfer deed and send it over.
Your conveyancer completes the transfer deed, and when the day of completion arrives, you must vacate the property at the appointed time and hand over the keys. The buyer’s conveyancing solicitor sends the proceeds of the sale to your conveyancer, and the title deeds are sent to their conveyancing solicitor. Your solicitor will handle the payments to the estate agent and the existing mortgage lender. He or she will also take out his funds before the balance is remitted to you.
If You Are Buying A Home . . .
If you’re the buyer, the process of buying a house is a bit different when it comes to conveyancing. There are many steps to buying a house in the UK, and it begins when you make an offer on the property, and that offer is accepted by the seller. At that point in the process of buying a house in the UK, you’ll tell your conveyancing solicitor what you wish to do. The same identity checks that are required for a seller are required for a buyer, too. The next of the buying house stage has you arranging for a survey of the property and applying for a mortgage. Your conveyancer will confirm his or her instructions in a formal letter, and they will lay out the terms of their business structure and what you’ll be expected to pay.
Your conveyancer will then contact the seller’s conveyancer to get the contract pack at this point in the house-buying timeline. That pack will include all of the information the seller has completed. Your conveyancer will look it over, and you will be asked to do the same thing just in case either of you has any questions about the property. Then your conveyancer will carry out any necessary searches and get a copy of the mortgage offer on the property.
What happens after enquiries are answered? By that time in the stages of buying a house, the seller’s conveyancer and the seller should have answered all of your questions. Once you’re happy to move forward, arrangements concerning the deposit can be made, and the exchange of contracts can happen. Your conveyancer will draft a transfer deed and a completion statement at this point in the buying house process, and send it over to the seller’s conveyancer. The seller’s solicitor will approve it, and a completion date will be set. On that date, the seller will leave and you’ll get the keys to the property.
Choosing A Conveyancer
Whether you’re the buyer or the seller, you’ll need to choose a conveyancer, meaning you need to choose the best person to handle the job for you. How do you choose the right person to handle the job for you, though? Is the cheapest always the best? This checklist will help you choose the perfect conveyancer to meet your needs.
- Start by asking family and friends for names of conveyancers they’ve used in the past. Often, you’ll find someone who has bought or sold a home in the past year, and typically, you’ll find several people. They’ll be able to tell you who they used for their home sales or purchases, and what they liked about that professional.
- If you don’t have anyone in your circle who has purchased or sold a home recently, you may want to ask your lender, broker, or an independent financial advisor for a bit of advice about connecting with the right professional.
- Whether you get a few names or not, you’ll also want to spend some time searching online for the right person. Keep in mind that any online search is going to bring up lots of names, but you can narrow that search by looking specifically in your area for conveyancers with whom you could work. You can further narrow your list by reading online ratings and reviews to help you connect with the right person.
- Estate agents can sometimes recommend a conveyancer for you, but it’s important to note that estate agents often have recommendation agreements with these professionals whereby they get paid a small fee for every person they refer, so you may not want to move forward with that choice.
- There are online conveyancers, and that’s one option you can choose. With this type of conveyancer, you’ll deal with a person via email or over the phone, and it can be a far cheaper option than traditional conveyancing services. You will, however, see lots of complaints about poor customer service and you may not always be able to speak to the same person each time you call. What’s more, though, is that these services are only for individuals with fairly straightforward transactions.
No matter who you choose, make certain they’re a member of the Law Society of England and Wales as well as a member of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. You’ll also want to be sure you get firm quotes for the total cost of service from each provider before you sign any kind of contract. All of those quotes should carefully break down all of the costs involved – even VAT – so you can compare them on a side-by-side basis.
Making The Right Choice
Now that you have the answers to questions like “What does conveyancing mean?” and “How do you find a conveyancing solicitor?” you’re ready to move forward with the process on your own. Just choose the right person to meet your needs, and then get started with the instructions. It may even be helpful to start searching for a conveyancer before you decide to buy a home or put yours on the market so that you can have someone in place the moment you decide it is time to move forward and positively finish the property sale.