Conveyancing doesn’t have to be a daunting process, so here is our 10-step guide to make it simple.
1. Make an offer on a property you are interested in.
The seller may accept, reject or negotiate this offer. Once the price has been agreed, get qualified conveyancing solicitors to draft your contract of sale. Using reputable conveyancing solicitors is the safest way to ensure all your documents are correct.
2. If you are buying the property with a mortgage, pass your offer in principle to your conveyancer. They will also act for the lender.
3. Property searches will be requested by your conveyancer to build a picture of both the property and the surrounding area. Information is requested from multiple sources, including the local council and water company.
4. The searches can take some time, so your conveyancer will simultaneously confirm the legal title with Land Registry to ensure the vendor(s) is/are the rightful owner(s).
You may also wish to instruct a surveyor to check the property for issues such as subsidence, damp and other problems that may reduce the property’s valuation.
There is some useful information on buying and selling your home on the government website.
5. Your conveyancing solicitors will send a list of questions to the vendor. These are known as requisitions: questions that will not have been answered at a prior stage, such as issues with the title.
6. The inventory provided by the vendor(s) will be checked to confirm what is included in the sale, such as white goods, blinds and carpets.
7. Once everything has been checked and agreed, the parties can exchange contracts. These include information about the price and the completion date, which will have been mutually agreed.
8. Make sure you have insurance for the property.
While liability generally rests with the seller until the sale completes, it is advisable for the buyer to obtain building insurance as soon as contracts have been exchanged.
9. You will need to transfer your deposit to your solicitor before completion – unless this is being passed up the chain. Your solicitor will request the funds from your lender if applicable.
10. After completion, the property’s title will be transferred from the vendor to the purchaser. This is the stage at which the solicitor will pay any stamp duty that is due.