Conveyancing is the transfer of a property’s legal title from one person to another. In a nutshell, it involves all legal and administrative processes attached to buying or selling a property. So, how does conveyancing work? See at our step-by-step conveyancing process explanation below for an answer to that very question…
How Does Conveyancing Work? A Step by Step Explanation
The first thing to know about the conveyancing process in the UK is that it usually takes between six and eight weeks, depending on the time of year. There are five main ‘phases’ of the conveyancing process: initial contract drafting, conducting searches, signing contracts, hand-over, and post-completion…
The first thing that needs to happen in the conveyancing process is the acceptance of a buyer’s offer by the property owner. Once an offer is accepted, both parties ‘instruct’ their conveyancers (really just a telephone call).
The two conveyancers will then contact each other and go over a draft contract, addressing any queries about the property in question. These are known as pre-contract enquiries. Once both conveyancers are happy to proceed, a draft contract will be drawn up.
This draft contract will feature information about the property, information about both buyer and seller, as well as the amount of money being paid for the property. At this point the buyer will need to confirm and finalise the mortgage with whoever they’ve chosen to secure a loan through.
The next phase of the conveyancing process is handled by your conveyancer, and involves a range of searches conducted in and around the property in question. These searches are essential to ensure that you have no unforeseen issues cropping up at a later stage:
- Land Registry Check
This check makes sure that the seller is the legal owner of the property in question.
- Water Authority Search
This checks that the property’s water system is in good condition.
- Local Authority Search
Looks to see if there is any planned construction around the property.
- Flood Risk Check
Looks to see if the property is at risk of flooding.
- Environmental Search
Checks the property for any potential hazards like landfills or contaminated land.
In this phase of the conveyancing process your appointed conveyancer will inspect the property’s fittings (light switches, bulbs, electrical sockets) and the seller will need to compile a list of items that will be removed, and items that will remain on the premises.
Once all the necessary checks and searches have been completed, a completion date will be established. The property buyer will then transfer the deposit (where applicable), and both parties will sign the contract.
The penultimate phase of conveyancing is the actual exchanging of contracts. Here both conveyancers will read out the contract over the phone, ensuring that they are identical. Once both parties are happy that the contracts are in order, they will exchange contracts in person or via email.
Once the contract is exchanged it is officially legally binding. Completion is usually set for midday on a specific date, by which the seller’s conveyancer needs to confirm that all funds have been received. The seller will then drop off the property’s keys with the estate agents, after which the buyer can collect them and gain access to their property.
Once the monies have been transferred, and the property’s keys have been handed over, the buyer’s conveyancer will perform a few post-completion activities that can include:
- Transfer registration with the Land Registry
- Bill for their services
- Send the title deed to the mortgage lender
- Pay stamp duty on buyer’s behalf
Conveyancing Solutions in the United Kingdom
Home Legal Direct is a firm of exceptional conveyancers and solicitors who understand the ins and outs of property transfer. We strive to render the entire conveyancing process as simple as possible for all parties involved, and have assisted countless United Kingdom residents with property legal services of all variety. Contact us today and find out more about our conveyancing solutions!