Conveyancing in Six Easy Steps
Moving home isn’t easy and conveyancing can be a confusing process. To make it a little simpler for you, we’ve got an expert from Homeward Legal to explain everything you need to know about conveyancing in six easy steps.
1. Find a Conveyancing Solicitor
The first step is to find yourself a good conveyancing solicitor. You’ll want to avoid the estate agent’s recommendations as this is usually based on how much commission they will get from the deal. Choose your own solicitor who is experienced, professional and has a great reputation instead.
Your new solicitor will then give you a quote (hopefully with fixed fees so you know up front how much everything will cost) then they will draw up a contract with you to exchange with the seller’s solicitor.
Both solicitors will then read through the contracts and bring up any issues to discuss. This is when negotiations on topics like the price of the house come into play.
One thing you will need to pay particular attention to is the tenure of your new property. If it’s freehold, you have nothing to worry about, but if it’s leasehold with under 80 years left on it, you’ll want to look into this further as it could be a more expensive investment than you first thought.
3. Property Searches/Disbursements
If you are buying with a mortgage, your solicitor will apply for a set of legal searches called ‘Property Searches’ or ‘Disbursements’ which will tell you if there are any problems with your chosen property.
These will include:
- Local authority searches – to check if there are any roads or developments due to be built nearby or if there are any known natural problems like radon gas.
- Environmental searches – gives information about any issues with the surrounding area like nearby landfills, contaminated land, ground stability and other factors.
- Checking the title at the Land Registry – to prove the seller’s legal ownership.
- Water authority and flood searches – to find out about your property’s water supply, public drains, and if there is any risk of flood.
- Chancel repair search – to assess whether you will be liable to contribute to the cost of repairing local churches.
- Depending on the area, you may also need others including mining searches, or a Cheshire brine search to see if there are any disused coal or salt mines in the area.
4. Mortgages and Surveys
After the searches are completed and you’re happy with the results, you will need to ensure your mortgage is ready to go and you’ve paid your deposit.
Your lender will then want a very basic survey called a ‘mortgage valuation’ to assess if the property is a sound investment. You may want to back this up with your own in-depth survey at this point to ensure that there are no structural problems.
5. Exchange of Contracts
At this point you will exchange contracts with the seller and both decide on a completion date. The deposit will be paid and the contracts become legally binding.
Upon your completion date you will pay the rest of the money due on the property and receive your keys – now you can move in!
After this, your solicitor will tie up some final loose ends like paying Stamp Duty Tax, sending deeds to the Land Registry and mortgage lender and giving you their bill, then you’re all done.
If you’re ready to get started, get a free conveyancing quote online at Homeward Legal.