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Conveyancing

How Does Conveyancing Work?

Introduction

The conveyancing process was always going to be a tricky one. Not so much for the details or legalities themselves, but because of all the moving parts and boxes to tick.

As much as your solicitor or conveyancer will oversee the whole journey, it’s always handy to have an idea of the process for yourself.

Background Information

Once you’ve selected your solicitor or conveyancer, there’s a period of requesting and gathering info on your property. While your property professional is conducting identity checks, assessing your mortgage status and acquiring the title deeds, you’ll be put to work too.

You will be asked to fill out and return the following forms:

  • A Property Information form (TA6): this is a general questionnaire and includes information on boundaries, disputes and complaints (like reported noisy neighbour complaints or boundary disputes), known proposed developments (like motorways or railways), building works, council tax, utilities, sewerage, contact details. If you do not own the freehold you should give more information on either the leasehold (TA 7) or the commonhold (TA9)
  • Fittings and Contents form (TA10): provides details of which fittings and fixtures you would like to include with the property. You can find an example form here.
  • Completion Information and Undertakings (TA13): is more technical, but also includes finalisation details including arrangements to hand over the keys, how and where you will complete, and ensuring that the house is free of all mortgages and liability claims.
  • Seller’s Leasehold Information Form (if your property is leasehold).

These are all pretty standard forms that you can get a hold of before you even select a solicitor or conveyancer. Get ahead if you can by having these forms ready to go as soon as you decide to sell. You must fill these forms out truthfully and to the best of your knowledge; if it later transpires that you have not been fully truthful you could be sued for compensation. Or, if they find out before exchange of contracts, it might make the buyers nervous that you are misleading them about other things and they may pull out.

Preparing contracts

This is where the work really begins. Your solicitor or conveyancer will draw up a contract that outlines all the details of your property and sale (known as the ‘contract pack’). It will include information on:

  • the sale price
  • the property boundaries
  • which fixtures and fittings (like carpets and kitchen units) are included
  • any legal restrictions or rights, like public footpaths or rules about using the property
  • any planning restrictions
  • services to the property, like drainage and gas
  • when the sale will complete.

Offer accepted & contract reviewed.

If a buyer wishes to make you an offer on your property, your estate agent will let you know. If you accept the offer, your conveyancer/solicitor can spring into action and accommodate the buyer’s requests for a survey etc. This is where the above contract pack changes hands and is reviewed by the buyer’s conveyancer/solicitor.

At this stage it’s all about the buyer’s team assessing the property and contract details. From conducting searches to sorting out mortgage offers, the buyer’s conveyancer will work through the terms and let you know when they’re happy and ready to proceed.

Contracts exchanged.

This is where the contract is signed and you establish a legally binding commitment with your buyer. It’s difficult and costly to pull out of the deal now so be sure of what you’re signing. With the contracts signed and exchanged, your solicitor/conveyancer will receive the buyer's deposit (usually around 10% of the property’s value or whatever you agreed to in your contract).

Any deeds are now transferred to your conveyancer/solicitor alongside a rundown of any charges such as your conveyancer’s fee, any outstanding loans or mortgage amounts to settle.

The completion date is also set in stone now so you can get busy with packing and start things moving.

Completion

Now comes to the final step. Your solicitor/conveyancer will confirm that money has changed hands and that the property now legally belongs to your buyer.

While you’re moving and getting settled in, your property professional will oversee the funds transfer and take care of any final details. This includes:

  • Registering ownership with the Land Registry
  • Paying off any mortgages or expenses associated with the sale
  • Transferring the title deeds
  • Arranging for any keys to be delivered to your buyer.

Next Up

How Much Does Conveyancing Cost?
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