First and foremost, conveyancing is the process of getting all the required legal documents in order before you buy or sell a house. Conveyancing can be carried out by an estate agent, their solicitor or an independent solicitor, and has to be done to ensure that when the property changes hands, the buyers legally have ownership of the home.
At Jordan & Halstead, our experienced team can help advise you on how to go about the conveyancing process, what you need and how to make the process of conveyancing as simple as possible. In this post, we’ll give you a step by step guide as to what conveyancing is all about and what to expect from your conveyancer whether you’re buying or selling your home.
Conveyancing is required for both buyers and sellers, and the process is slightly different for both parties.
Instructing Your Conveyancer
Firstly, you should instruct your solicitor or conveyancer. When you’re deciding on your conveyancer, do your research! You should make sure that the conveyancer you choose is trustworthy, easy to communicate with, and is reasonably priced (The process usually costs between around £1000 and £1500, though it varies depending on the value of your property). Find out exactly what is included in your conveyancing fees to avoid any nasty surprises, as well as where your conveyancer is based – if they’re local, it could make it much easier to pick up and drop off documents, helping the process move more smoothly and without delays.
When you’re buying a home, you should instruct a conveyancer before you make an offer, while if you’re selling, you should instruct before you accept your offer. The conveyancing process starts when you instruct, and finishes when you hand over the keys to your buyers.
Drawing Up The Contract
In order to draw up a high-quality contract, you will usually have to fill in several forms, based on the method of ownership of your property, and any legal issues relating to your property. These will usually contain fittings and contents forms, and property information forms, detailing the boundaries of the property, land registry and any other aspects of the property your buyers will need to know. If the property is a leasehold, you may need to fill out additional forms.
During this process, your conveyancer will also check the title deeds to confirm that you are the legal owner of the property.
Your conveyancer will then use this information to draw up a legally binding contract and send this to your buyers’ solicitor. If the buyer has any questions or disputes about the contract, which may have been brought up by the buyer’s survey, these can be flagged up at this point, giving you time to sort and negotiate the contract around these issues. This may mean you carry out any repairs before leaving the property, or deduct the expenses from the sale price.
Once you and the buyer are happy with the terms of the contract, you’ll both sign and it will become a legally binding agreement. The buyer will then transfer their deposit, which is usually 10% of the property value.
Once you have both signed and exchanged contracts, you will set the completion date. This is usually set around 2 weeks from the date of exchanging contracts, though depending on the chain of buyers you are in, this can be extended to four weeks or longer. This gives you much more time to pack, arrange movers, and make arrangements for moving out of your house.
Your chain is essentially the group of people who are buying and selling homes at the same time as you, and who your sale is directly or indirectly related to. If you’re a first time buyer, buying a second home or are buying a home without selling for any reason, you will be at the start of your property chain. If you’re selling a home without buying, such as selling on an inherited home or downsizing your property portfolio, you are the end of your chain. For everyone in between who is buying and selling at the same time, when they can move out of their old home and into their new home is dependent on other people in the chain. A chain can have only two people in it, or many more, depending on the house and the market you are buying and selling in.
In an ideal world, a smaller chain gives you more flexibility in when you move and how you carry out your conveyancing, but in reality, the length of chain your home becomes part of is really down to luck. At Jordan & Halstead, we’ll help make moving as stress-free as possible, even if you’re part of a long chain. Our team of supportive experts can offer support and advice to help make the process of buying and selling your home easy and enjoyable.
Completion is the day the final balance is paid to you by the buyer, and the day you must be out of the property, as it is legally owned by the buyer.
Often completions happen on a Friday to give buyers the weekend to settle in and raise any issues, but midweek completions are also good as a buyer if you can be flexible with your time, as if there are any issues when you move in, you won’t have to wait the whole weekend to get them sorted.
After completion, your conveyancer will settle your account with your mortgage provider and estate agent and the buyer’s conveyancer will register the home’s change of ownership with the Land Registry. This is done within five weeks of completion, and then you are done with the conveyancing process!
At Jordan & Halstead, we do everything we can to make the conveyancing process as easy and stress-free as we can. Whether you’re buying or selling, our team of experts are always on hand to help you find your dream home. Contact us today, and find out how we can help customers across the North West, including Chester, Cheshire, Wilmslow, South Manchester, Flintshire and North Wales buy and sell in a stress-free process that can help you get the best out of your home.