Conveyancing is the legal process of buying a home. In this guide we will explain everything you
need to know about the process when buying, with a step by step timeline.
What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal transfer of home ownership from the seller to you, the buyer.
This process usually starts when you have an offer accepted on your new purchase and finishes on completion, the day you receive the keys.
Who does the conveyancing?
A conveyancer or solicitor usually conducts this process, they work for you to ensure that the legal obligations are met for both parties and lender requirements.
Whether purchasing, selling or remortgaging a property, you will require a solicitor or conveyancer to complete the legal work both for you and your mortgage lender.
Why use our conveyancing service?
At Breeze, we can recommend a conveyancer for all of the legal work you require, no matter if this a remortgage or purchase and tailored your specific requirements.
An important point to note is that not every solicitor can work with every lender, so we always ensure that our recommended solicitor is able to work directly with the lender you are using.
This saves you the additional stress of having to change solicitor’s in the middle of a purchase for example or significant delays trying to get the solicitors authorised with the lender.
If you are considering using your estate agent’s recommended conveyancing solicitor, it is a good idea to compare conveyancing quotes, this means you can ensure you are getting a fair price as well as comparing any additional charges that might occur.
All of our legal partners we recommend work with pre agreed prices as well as no hidden fees, so you can have the peace of mind that you know all costs, upfront.
How long should conveyancing take?
The average conveyancing process for a purchase should take between eight and 12 weeks. A guide below shows the breakdown of how this works:
Instruction to exchange:
1. The first stage is for the conveyancer to contact the seller’s solicitor and obtain the contract pack plus raise any necessary enquiries with the seller’s solicitor. This is at the point of you having the offer accepted and a mortgage application submitted.
You will be expected to go through the documents the seller has completed and let the solicitor know if you have any queries or concerns.
2. Your conveyancer will then request and obtain a copy of your mortgage offer, plus carry out the necessary local authority searches. Quite often a large delay is due to these searches as it often depends on the local authority as to how quick these are received back, which can be as long as 12 weeks.
These searches often include, but are not limited to: environmental searches including flood risk reports, water authority searches, chancel repair search, optional and location-specific searches such as mining searches.
Local authority searches are extremely important, imagine if there are plans to build a motorway in your garden? What about radioactive gas?
3. Your conveyancer will then analyse the results of the local authority searches as well as mortgage offer and report back to you with the important details. They will also discuss possible completion dates with you and negotiate a date with the seller’s conveyancer.
Before signing the contract, your solicitor will need to ensure:
– That all enquiries have been returned and are satisfactory
– That fixtures and fittings included in the purchase are what you expected
4. You then need to provide the deposit to your conveyancer. They will then inform the sellers solicitor that you wish to proceed with exchange of contracts and swap signed contracts as well as notify them that the deposit has been paid.
Once you have exchanged contracts, you are in a legally building contract to buy the property, there are legal ramifications if you pull out after this point as well as losing your deposit.
Breeze Top Tip
Before exchange of contracts can take place, your lender will require you to get buildings insurance for your new home. This is because you are liable for the property as soon as contracts are exchanged, so you need to protect yourself in case of any eventuality. Our home insurance page can help with this in more detail and to obtain quotes.
Exchange to Completion
- Your conveyancing solicitor will then prepare a completion statement and send this to you to review. They will also contact your mortgage lender to arrange release of funds, as well as prepare the transfer deed and notify the Land Registry of a change of ownership.
- At this stage, your conveyancer will transfer the payment for the house to the seller’s conveyancer as well as receive the title deeds, transfer deeds and obtain proof that any outstanding mortgages have been redeemed.
- The seller will move out (although they may well leave this to the day of completion). You can then collect your keys to your new house when instructed by the seller’s estate agent and move into your new home.
Does the conveyancing process differ for a remortgage?
Yes, the process varies slightly in that there is not another party to deal with. Your conveyancing solicitor will only have to deal with your new mortgage lender. They will still have to complete some priority searches, for example Local Searches, even though these will have been completed when the property was initially purchased, however this is a lot quicker and with a lot less cost than a purchase as there is far less involved.