What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal process of changing the title of a property from one name to another. This changes the legal ownership of the property from the original owner to the new one. Read more on the subject of what is conveyancing, here.
What is the first step in the conveyancing process?
Once you have instructed a conveyancer, they will reach out to the other side and discuss the draft contract, address, and any pre-contract queries. A draft contract will be drawn up containing information from the property's title deeds, the buyer and seller details, and how much the buyer is paying for the property.
What are property searches?
Property Searches are an important part of the buying process. They contain essential information about the property to protect the buyer from any nasty surprises. The most common searches are the Land Registry check, which is compulsory by law, the Local Authority Search, the Drainage and Water Search, and the Environmental Search. Depending on the location and conditions of the property being purchased, further searches may also be requested by your conveyancer.
When can I sign the contract?
Once all property searches have returned and any surveys have been carried out, enquiries can be raised. The other party will need to satisfy each of these and check the property's fixtures and fittings are as expected. Once all enquiries are resolved and the seller has provided the required paperwork, a completion date will be arranged.
What is the difference between exchange and completion?
Exchange refers to the exchanging of contracts. Both conveyancers will read out the contract over the telephone to ensure they are identical and then send them to each other. Once exchanged, the contract is legally binding. Completion refers to the date the big move can take place. It is usually set for midday. When the seller's conveyancer confirms that all monies due have been received, the seller will drop off the keys at the estate agent for the buyer to collect.
What should you pay for a conveyancer?
The average price for legal fees is difficult to pin down due to the variation of factors influencing the final figure. However typically you should expect to pay between £500 and £1500. Note that on top of these fees there are usually mandatory government and other disbursements such as search costs and stamp duty.
How much is stamp duty?
If you are buying a property for more than £125,000 and are not a first time buyer, you will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax. First-time buyers (assuming all partners in the purchase are first time buyers), will only pay Stamp Duty beyond £500,00. Use our stamp duty calculator to work out how much will you pay: Stamp Duty Calculator
How do your conveyancing quotes work?
Our desire is to give the most honest representation of your expected fees when giving you a quote. We have to do this in the absence of full knowledge. If you were to ask for a quote on a size 7 pair of shoes for a lady, and that was the only information you gave, you can imagine that the quote would need to be a large range, and would have to make a few assumptions. Luckily we have agreements with a network of conveyancers that allows us to give a fixed fee for the legal part of this. In fact every online conveyancing quoting system has the same problem. So we all lean on the parts we can control and quote on that. We have to walk a line of making assumptions that will give wildly high quotes for some customers and wildly underquote others. We aim to be as clear as we can on this, and word our quotes in such a way that we are not guilty of dishonesty. We encourage you to read your quotes, read our terms and conditions, ask our staff about things you don't understand, and make informed decisions.
Can I Do My Own Conveyancing?
The short answer is "Yes". The longer answer is that we don't recommend it. For two reasons: 1) we won't make any money :) 2) The process is very complex and time consuming. Much like building your own garden shed, it is just down to a matter of experience. We doubt you have done it before, or you would not be on our site, and the learning curve is steep and unforgiving. Worse than that it changes depending on the variables. And all for something you will only do a very limited number of times. Read more about DIY Conveyancing here.
When Should I Apply for a Mortgage?
You should start the process of applying for a mortgage before you seriously start to look for somewhere to buy. The average time from mortgage application to offer can take between 18 - 40 days. Read more about When to apply for a mortgage here.
What is surveying?
Property surveying in a nutshell, surveying involves the various inspections and reports carried out when buying a property. It's a big investment - some might say massive.
Do You Need to Use a Local Conveyancing Solicitor?
Fortunately, your conveyancer does not in fact need to reside in your area. Your choices are much wider than before conveyancing's evolution into a more tech-embracing world. Our network of conveyancing professionals, means that you benefit from the years of experience of conveyancing solicitors that you would not have had access to before. Read more about whether you need a local conveyancer here.
What should I look for when buying a property?
These range from general things such as structure and storage space, to specific requirements such as sound-proofing. From a safety of investment point of view, you could employ the help of professional property surveying to be sure there are no nasty surprises. The list is long, but here is a good start for things you should look for when buying a property.
Why online conveyancers cost less than conveyancers in your area?
High street offices and other physical premises cost a lot of money to hold and maintain. Also, high street conveyancers only have access to a limited number of potential customers. This means that they can not benefit from teh economies of scale that a company such as Home Legal Direct can with our conveyancing network. We aim to support these high street conveyancers, and try to make deals with them when we can, to get them into our family of great suppliers. Read more about high street conveyancer prices here.