What Is Involved In The Conveyancing Process?

July 13, 2012

The conveyancing process is the legal process by which property is bought and sold. It involves making sure paperwork or other documents or inspections (such as a building survey) related to the sale are completed correctly at various stages of the buying/selling transaction.

Both buyers and vendors have to use a conveyancer to handle the various stages of buying and selling property.

There are five basic stages to the conveyancing process:

  • Find a quote from a conveyancing firm or conveyancing solicitor and instruct them
  • The vendor’s conveyancing solicitor will then prepare a draft contract and send this to the purchaser’s conveyancing solicitor with a property information form (known as an SPIF), a copy of the deeds, and other information such as details of the fixtures and fittings included
  • The purchaser’s conveyancing solicitor will carry out the Land Registry search and will also search for local planning applications which might affect the property in some way in the future eg planning permission granted for new buildings near the property
  • The buyer will at this stage sign a Mortgage Deed confirming that any mortgage required to buy the property is in place with a mortgagor and at this stage of the conveyancing process, contracts can be exchanged and the deposit will be paid by the purchaser to the vendor’s conveyancer
  • After this, a completion date will be set, which involves the buyer arranging to transfer the monies for the sale to the vendor’s conveyancing solicitor
  • After this has happened, the deeds and Land Registry documents will be sent to the buyer’s mortgagor and any outstanding on a previous mortgage held by the vendor will be paid, as well as any disbursements (other costs relating to the sale, such as legal fees) before the balance of monies is forwarded to the vendor’s bank account. The buyer’s conveyancer will also arrange to pay disbursements like Stamp Duty.
  • In the final stage of the conveyancing process, the buyer’s conveyancing solicitor will register the property at the Land Registry in the new owner’s name. The buyer’s mortgage company retains the Title Deeds as security against the mortgage. The vendor will receive the money from the sale of the property, minus legal costs, which might include a redemption settlement for paying off a mortgage early.
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The conveyancing sector has changed in recent years following the introduction of conveyancing panels by banks and building societies offering mortgages.

Buyers and vendors can still choose their own firm of conveyancers, although some lenders will insist that a firm of conveyancers from its own conveyancing panel is used, or two sets of conveyancing fees might have to be paid.

There have also been changes to the type of information required by the buyer’s conveyancer, including details of the energy efficiency rating of a property.

The conveyancing process has also become faster and cheaper in recent years as a result of online conveyancing, which is carried out remotely, meaning expensive face-to-face meetings with your conveyancing solicitor no longer take place.

The advantages are that a buyer or vendor can access their conveyancing account 24/7 to check on progress, meaning fewer delays.

Most documents – except some historic deeds – are now available online, so searches for planning applications or at the Land Registry are also much faster and help speed up the conveyancing process.

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Category: Conveyancing Guide

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