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What Are The Different Stages of The Conveyancing Process When Buying?

12 September 2019

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First time buyers can often be left confused and overwhelmed by the conveyancing process. Residential conveyancing experts True Solicitors LLP break down the legal steps to buying a property below.

Step 1: Instruct a conveyancing solicitor

Once you’ve found your ideal property and have had an offer formally accepted you need to instruct the services of a conveyancing solicitor to legally complete the sale. The details of the solicitors acting for the buyer and the seller will be exchanged by the estate agent. Once details are shared the seller’s solicitor will send your conveyancer the contract pack along with the Property Information Form and The Fittings and Contents Form.

The documents contain important information about the property such as boundary disputes, planning permission, guarantees and warranties and environmental matters etc. The Fittings and Contents Form contains a list of items that will be included in the sale of the property, such as curtains, blinds, carpets etc. If the property is leasehold a copy of the lease will be included in the contract pack. The pack will also contain the title deeds indicating the type of ownership of the property.

If you are purchasing the property with the help of a mortgage your solicitor will also receive a copy of the formally accepted mortgage offer.

Step 2: Arrange a Property Survey

Although it is not legally required it is a wise idea to have an independent property survey conducted. The survey report will highlight any major faults with the property and may recommend additional investigations, making you aware of potentially costly repairs and allowing you the opportunity before exchange to renegotiate the purchase price.

Whilst a survey is recommended for every home buyer, it should be viewed as a necessary expense for those buying a property that:

  • is a listed building
  • has a thatched roof or timber frame
  • is an old or unusual build
  • is in poor condition

The results of the property survey may influence your decision to go ahead with the purchase or decide to pull out, if you deem the work required to fix any issues with the property too expensive or time consuming.

Step 3: Conduct property searches

At this stage your conveyancing solicitor will carry out, what are known as ‘searches’ to find out vital information on the property and any associated risks, before you exchange contracts with the seller.

The type of searches that you need depend largely on the location of your property, there are however three main types of searches that are advisable for all properties, including:

  • Local Authority
  • Environmental
  • Water and drainage
  • Flood risk
  • Mining searches
  • Planning searches
  • Chancel repair liability

Read more about what conveyancing searches include by visiting our blog.

Your solicitor will review all of the search and survey results on you and your mortgage lenders behalf, to ensure that there are no hidden surprises when you move in. They will highlight any issues which should be of concern and advise on how they can be best remedied.

Step 4: Exchanging the contract

Before the contract is exchanged your solicitor will work with you to identify and resolve any issues, before you are legally bound to complete the purchase.

A final completion statement, transfer deed and mortgage deed will then be agreed and signed for by yourself.

Your solicitor will conduct a final check with the Land Register to confirm that no changes have been made to the property since the initial searches. After which the signed transfer deed will be sent to the seller’s solicitor, contracts will be exchanged and the deposit sent to the seller’s solicitor.

At this stage you are legally obliged to purchase the property.

Step 5: Purchase completion

The day when the sale is finalised and the property is legally transferred to you is known as completion day. Your solicitor will pay the balance of the sale price (minus the deposit already paid) to the seller, and obtain the signed Transfer Deed.

If purchasing the property with a mortgage your solicitor will request the finances from the mortgage lender.

Other documents including the title deeds, transfer deeds and evidence of any outstanding mortgages will also be obtained by your solicitor.

Stage 6: Post Completion

In the final stage of the conveyancing process your solicitor will arrange for any Stamp Duty (if applicable) to be paid to Revenue and Customs. They will also register you as the new owner of the property with the HM Land Registry, this legally has to be done within 30 days of completion of the purchase.

If you have purchased with a mortgage HM Land Registry will send the title deeds to your solicitor to pass onto your lender. If you are a cash buyer the title deeds will be passed on to you.

If you’re looking to instruct a solicitor for your new property purchase True Solicitors LLP offer a competitive and transparent service. No completion, no fee. Use our conveyancing calculator below and receive a quote in an instant.

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