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Conveyancing costs for purchase only

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What is purchase conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring a property from one owner to another. It begins from when you first instruct a conveyancing solicitor and continues through to completion of your property transaction i.e., when you exchange keys for your property. The conveyancing fees involved for this service are a necessary part of the property purchasing process.

Conveyancing services are required for buying and selling a property as well as for re-mortgages and transfer of equity.

What is the conveyancing process for buyers?

When purchasing a property, the conveyancing process requires a number of legal and administrative steps. The following information will guide you through the process.

MilestoneThe key conveyancing steps for home buyers

Conveyancing company and conveyancing fees research

  • When looking to purchase a property it is important to start your home purchasing conveyancing research early and understand conveyance solicitors' fees for buying a house.
  • Consider speaking to an online conveyancing company as they offer conveyancing advice and have access to a panel of conveyancing solicitors that will suit your individual needs
  • Compare conveyancing quotations to get a good understanding of what conveyancing costs are involved
  • Being prepared will allow you to move forward more quickly when you have found the house you want to buy

Your mortgage promise

  • If you need a mortgage, then getting a mortgage offer in principle before you start your home search is important. It will allow you to know what house you can afford and allow you to make an offer on a property
  • Some estate agents will not let you start viewings or accept offers until a mortgage promise is in place

Home Buyers Protection Insurance

  • Consider taking out Home Buyers Protection Insurance
  • This will give you a level of financial protection if your house purchase falls through
  • Click here to read more about Home Legal Directs Premium Buyer Protection Insurance

Instruction

  • Instruction is the process of engaging a conveyancer to undertake chargeable work on your behalf for the purchase of your property.
  • Once you have found your new home and your offer is accepted, you will need to instruct your own conveyancer
  • Before you proceed, ensure you understand the conveyancing fees and the Terms and Conditions of your selected conveyancing solicitor
  • If you are getting a mortgage, check your chosen conveyancer can act for your lender. If your conveyancer is not on your lenders panel, it could cause delays and additional fees
  • Make any initial payment to proceed. A file opening fee or deposit is typically required at this point as well as acceptance to the Terms and Conditions for that conveyancer or conveyancing network.

Issue of Memorandum of Sale

  • Once you are happy with your conveyancer, provide their details to your estate agent
  • The seller will also be required to provide this information to their estate agent
  • On receipt of this information, your estate agent will produce a Memorandum of Sale. This confirms the offer price and the name and address of yours and the seller's respective conveyancers
  • The document is sent to all parties

Intro call and Welcome Pack

  • Following instruction, you will typically receive an introductory call or email from your conveyancer to go through the initial details.
  • You will then be sent a Welcome Pack from your conveyancer.
  • This will include a Client Information Form for you to complete. The information required includes your personal details, details about the property you are buying, your current mortgage information and confirmation on how you are going to fund the purchase of the property such as a mortgage or other method such as a gifted deposit or as a cash buyer. Requirements for your identity check will also be given.
  • Complete the form and return to your conveyancer with the necessary paperwork
  • Returning this information quickly will help speed up the conveyancing process

Arrange Mortgage Valuation

  • Formalise your mortgage offer by arranging a valuation survey with your lender.

A valuation survey is carried out by a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) valuer who are instructed by the mortgage lender. Working on behalf of the lender rather than the buyer, the objective is for the bank to gain confirmation the mortgage amount is appropriate for the offer price. The valuation will look at any issues that could affect the value of the property.

Arrange a Home Buyers Survey

  • Arrange a Home Buyers Survey or a more detailed Building Survey.
  • This survey will identify any issues that may be problematic to resolve or affect the value of the property for example damp or structural defects
  • There are survey fees associated with these surveys with the Building Survey being more costly. The type of survey you require will depend on how concerned you are with the structural integrity of the property, or you could be instructed by your lender following the mortgage valuation survey

Submit documentation for AML and identity checks

  • Check what is information is required for your anti-money laundering (AML) and identity checks
  • As a buyer you will be required to show proof of funds as well as proof of identity name and address.
  • It is good advice to check how this personal information is submitted and stored.
  • Submit this documentation to your conveyancer or if you are using a conveyancing network, to their AML/Identity checking team

Legal Pack completed by the seller

  • Once you have returned the Client Information Form, your conveyancer will pass this to the seller's conveyancer.
  • At the same time, the seller will also be asked to provide detailed information about the property being sold. This includes the Title Deeds and completing a Property Information Form and a Fixtures and Fittings Form. They will also be required to submit any building related documentation such as planning documents and window certificates.
  • Your seller will identify items that will form part of the sale or will not be included in the sale.
  • This is a good opportunity to also discuss with your estate agent any items you need which the seller may wish to leave or sell e.g. a washing machine or tumble dryer

Contract compiled by buyer's conveyancer and ongoing review

  • Once the seller has completed their initial legal pack, it will be sent to your conveyancer to form the contract
  • The time frame for this is dependent on how quickly you and the seller provide the information
  • Once returned, the buyer's conveyancer will review the document and will raise any legal enquiries on your behalf with the seller's conveyancer as necessary
  • Queries about property boundaries or building work are common.
  • This forms the basis of the contract

Searches ordered by the buyer's conveyancer

  • Searches will be ordered on behalf of the buyer by their conveyancer or the conveyancing networks searches team
  • The three most common searches required are the Local Authority Searches, Water and Drainage and Environmental
  • Confirm with your conveyancer what searches are required and check for search packages as this may save you money
  • Searches can take up to 6 weeks but turnaround times do vary depending on the Local Authority.
  • Find out how Home Legal Direct initiate your searches by clicking here

Home contents and buildings insurance

  • Research your home, buildings and contents insurance as this will need to be in place when you exchange

Ongoing conveyancing legal process

  • Getting to the point of exchange is when some patience is required as it can be a time consuming and unfortunately sometimes stressful experience
  • Exchange relies on all factors coming together from everyone within the chain e.g. searches are back, any issues are resolved, all enquiries are satisfactorily answered and buyer's funds are in place
  • The length of time this takes will vary depending on the length and complexity of those within the chain.

Agreeing Exchange and Completion

  • When ready, the exchange and completion date will be agreed with any other parties in the chain. This will be co-ordinated between yourselves, your conveyancer and the other conveyancers in the chain
  • Once all those in the chain are in a position to proceed, you will be required to make a deposit transfer to your conveyancer
  • Ensure your home contents and buildings insurance for the property is in place.
  • Once this is done the exchange of contracts can take place.

Signing of the contract

  • You are ready to sign!
  • Once the contract is signed you are legally bound to buy the property
  • Completion usually takes place one or two days after exchange.

Completion day

  • On the day of completion, your conveyancer will transfer the funds to the seller's conveyancer and then to the seller
  • Once funds are received into the seller's bank account the seller's conveyancer will instruct the Estate Agent
  • The keys will be released ready for you to collect and the property is now yours. Congratulations! You made it!

Formal completion of the sale

  • Your conveyancing solicitor will pay your Stamp Duty on your behalf, settle any estate agent fees and take the conveyancing fee payment.

Registering of property with the Land Registry

  • Following the purchase of your property, your conveyancer will register the new property in the new owner's name at the Land Registry

Searches on a property

Conveyancing searches are searches carried out by your conveyancer through a service, on your behalf as a buyer. They provide critical information about your new property, that is not obvious and may be withheld by the seller. As the contract declares that you accept the property as it is, it is important to establish everything you can about the house you are buying. Unfortunately the obligation falls on the buyer to find this information out and the seller has a limited obligation to disclose information that they may or may not know about the property.

The searches constitute enquiries submitted to authorities including:

  • Local authority
  • Water authority
  • Environmental agency

These authorities check records and send back any information such as where pipes are, if the property is built hear a mine, or if the local church is likely to require mandatory payments towards an improvement or repair.

Learn about Property searches

First time buyers

As a first-time buyer you will have several mechanisms at your disposal to help make everything more affordable. For instance, as a first-time buyer you will not pay stamp duty on a property lower than £300,000, and your stamp duty will be much reduced before £500,000.

There are also several other benefits such as help to buy schemes that help people put in lower deposits or save you money on your purchase.

Advice for first-time-buyers

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