Conveyancing is the name given to the legal process of buying or selling property, including a leasehold, and involves carrying out a series of checks, to ensure that once the transaction is complete, that the buyer is assuredly buying good title to the property, free of any encumbrances. In theory it is a process that you can carry out yourself, although it is really not very advisable to do so, as the process is time consuming and very intricate. Missing one small detail could hold up the deal, or leave you with financial and legal problems. If you are buying a property and there is a mortgage involved, it its highly likely that the lender will insist it is professionally done as part of the terms of the loan agreement.
The First Stage
Once you have decided upon the purchase, or sale, you need to provide a letter of instruction to your lawyer or licensed conveyancer to act on your behalf and start to collect the documentation involved. The same process occurs nationwide, whether you are using legal conveyancing solicitors in Nottingham or Notting Hill.Firstly a local authority search is conducted to identify any registered concern with the property, and title documents are checked to ensure the seller is actually in a position to be able to sell. Draft contracts are prepared, containing buyer and sellers details, along with the precise terms of the proposed deal.
The Exchange of Contracts
Contracts at this point are not binding, so it can be a nervous period, hoping that you will not be gazumped. All pertinent information will be provided to you about the property from the investigation of title, and you will be asked to sign a fixtures fitting and contents document, along with a deed of transfer, which will transfer legal ownership upon completion. If a mortgage is involved you will sign the mortgage deed in the presence of a witness to formally secure the loan for the property. You will be provided with a completion statement showing you the precise balance payable to complete the purchase, including any stamp duty. Contracts can now be exchanged, with a completion date set, as agreed by both parties, at which point you are committed to buying the property. You will at this point need to have building insurance in place, to take effect from the date that the contracts are exchanged, not on completion.
Getting the Keys
Once the completion date has been set and contracts exchanged and the deposit paid, all that is left to finalise the completion, is for the final payment to be made to the seller’s conveyancer, and the transfer becomes complete, you will receive the title deeds and the property is yours. All you need to do is to pick up the keys for the property and start moving in. While some may view the conveyancing fees as an unnecessary added expense, given what is involved, probably the largest financial transaction of your life, this is really not correct.
Having your conveyancing done properly and professionally is absolutely essential, there is no room for error, and hence should realistically be viewed, as simply an associated and necessary expense when buying a property.