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The Conveyancing Process Explained

So you’ve had your offer on a property accepted, Congratulations! You may be wondering what the next step is and what you need to do to help progress your purchase as efficiently as possible. Below is a quick stop tour of the conveyancing process:

  1. Find a conveyancer to act for you. You should ensure that you find someone who you feel comfortable with.Here at Girlings, we pride ourselves on being approachable and it is important that you feel you can ask any questions you may have. We fully appreciate that the process may be unfamiliar to you and you will need guidance throughout the process, it’s what we’re here for. We will provide you with a quote showing the total fees we anticipate will be incurred on your purchase including our fees for acting for you and all fees payable throughout including Stamp Duty Land Tax, searches etc. so that you can make an informed decision. Once you confirm that you wish for us to act on your behalf we will open a file for you and send out initial paperwork for you to complete and you will be required to attend one of our office to produce evidence of your identity.
  2. You should advise the estate agents selling the property of your conveyancer’s name, firm and contact details as soon as you have chosen someone to represent you.
  3. Once the agents know who is representing the seller as well as the buyer they will send a “Memorandum of Sale” to you, your conveyancer and the seller’s conveyancer. This is usually an A4 sheet of paper confirming the property details, purchase price and contains contact details of the conveyancers acting for both parties.
  4. If you are obtaining mortgage funding for the purchase you should complete any necessary forms that the lender or broker require and advise them of full details of your conveyancer so that (most often) they can instruct the conveyancer to act for them on the mortgage. A lender will often seek to instruct the same conveyancer as the due diligence on the property required in acting for you is often similar to that required in acting for a lender.
  5. The conveyancers will write to each other to confirm they are instructed and the seller’s conveyancer will send the draft “contract pack” to the buyer’s conveyancer. The pack contains the legal title documents for the property proving the seller’s ownership; forms that the seller has completed with information about the property; any miscellaneous documents such as guarantees for works carried out at the property and a draft contract.
  6. The buyer’s conveyancer will review everything sent through in accordance with your instructions. They will raise what are known as “enquiries before contract” which in effect are questions on the title documents and the property generally. For example, if the seller has advised that an extension has been built recently, we will ask for evidence that this was in accordance with Planning and Building Control requirements.
  7. You will be asked to confirm that the registered plan for the property shows the extent of the property as you would expect to ensure that there isn’t another parcel of land which you were expecting to be in the purchase which hasn’t been included. Provided you are happy with this, we will ask you to provide money for searches and instruct standard property searches on your behalf.
  8. Searches can take several weeks to be returned. Depending on what the results are, we may need to raise some further enquiries upon receiving these.
  9. The seller’s conveyancer will need to liaise with the seller as to some of the enquiries and once we have received satisfactory replies to all enquiries from them, we will be in a position to report to you on the property. Our report will explain all of the documentation received, including for example, any rights exercisable over the property, whether the road on which the property abuts is maintained by the council or whether you will be liable to contribute to the cost of repairs, and whether necessary consents have been obtained for works. We will also at this time provide you with a completion statement showing a breakdown of all of the costs of the transaction.
  10. Once you have read the report and provided that you are happy to proceed, you will need to sign the documents and return them with any funds required. Once a date has been agreed by seller and buyer for the moving day (completion) and you have given the go ahead to do so, contracts are exchanged.
  11. Exchange of contracts is the point at which you are legally committed to the purchase and the completion date is set. Practically, exchange will most often be the date when you need to effect buildings insurance on the property as risk usually passes to a buyer from exchange. You may also wish to book removals at this time.
  12. If you have a lender we will confirm to them that the title to the property is good and marketable and give notice of the completion date and request that they send mortgage monies to us in plenty of time.
  13. On the day of completion, we send the purchase monies to the seller’s conveyancer. Once they receive these they will let the estate agents know that they can pass the keys to the property to the buyer and will let us as the buyer’s conveyancer know that completion has occurred. We will let you know the good news straight away!
  14. We will then deal with matters such as submitting and paying the Stamp Duty Land Tax and applying to the Land Registry to register you as owner of the property together with other formalities.
  15. Once we have received the updated title documents showing you as owner, these will be sent to you for safekeeping and the process is complete.

For further information please contact our Residential Property Department.

Click here for a conveyancing quote.

Before relying on this commentary please read the Reliance on information posted section in our Terms of Website Use in our Legal section. Please note that specialist advice should be taken in relation to any specific queries and the information above is provided for general information purposes only.

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Our Experts

Gemma Bath

Head of Department
Residential Property

Chris Dewhurst

Residential Property

Louise Farrow

Residential Property

Julie Smith

Chartered Legal Executive
Residential Property

Laura Foster

Licensed Conveyancer
Residential Property

Shehaam Van Twest

Licensed Conveyancer
Residential Property

Thomas Picknell

Assistant Solicitor
Commercial Property

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