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Conveyancing Process Explained for Buyers and Sellers

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16th May 2024 (Last updated on 6th Jun 2024) 6 minute read

The conveyancing process is the legal transfer of property ownership from one party to another. It begins once an offer has been accepted and ends on completion.

Hiring a conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor will ensure the process is as efficient as possible. They will handle all legal aspects of the property transaction. This is essential for all property transactions, especially when handling complex transactions such as listed buildings.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the buying and selling conveyancing processes.

  1. Conveyancing Timeline for Buyers
  2. Conveyancing Timeline for Sellers
  3. Finding a Conveyancer

Conveyancing Timeline for Buyers

The buying conveyancing process is usually longer than the selling process. This is because the buyer submits more documentation and must wait for their mortgage offer to be verified if required.

Here are the steps in the buying conveyancing process:

Conveyancing Process for Buyers

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1. Instruct Your Conveyancer

Your conveyancer will require essential documents to kickstart the process. This includes proof of identity, address, and the offer that was accepted. Proof of identity examples can be a passport or driving licence. You can use bank statements for proof of address.

2. Receive Initial Quote

This quote contains the deposit and various charges you will need to pay. This includes any third-party disbursements such as property searches. Once you have agreed on the quotes provided, you can sign and return them to your conveyancer. All monies will be sent to your solicitor's bank account.

3. Conveyancing Searches

Conveyancing searches reveal any environmental problems that affect the property and surrounding area. These are the Environmental Search, Local Authority Search, and the Water & Drainage Search. This information should be found at the local council. This takes between 2-6 weeks on average.

4. Review Mortgage Offer

Your conveyancer will review your mortgage offer and confirm that it has been verified. Your mortgage lender may carry out a mortgage valuation survey at this stage. They will also look over your property survey results. If you have received negative survey results, your conveyancer can provide advice on how to proceed with the transaction. Arranging a mortgage offer takes around 4 weeks.

5. Receive Draft Contract

Your conveyancer will provide you with the draft contracts which must be reviewed and signed. This will contain results from the local searches and consider the survey results.

6. Enquiries and Negotiation

Any queries will be negotiated between the buyer and seller’s conveyancers. This stage can be time-consuming if numerous problems arise.

7. Finalise Contracts

Your conveyancer will draft up a transfer deed and completion information form. The contract papers will then be sent to the seller’s conveyancer for approval.

8. Arrange Deposit Payment

Your conveyancer will require the deposit payment and the exchange of contracts will be organised.

9. Exchange Contracts

Exchanging contracts makes the property transaction legally binding. This means if you decide to withdraw from the sale beyond this point, you will face financial penalties.

10. Pre-Completion Searches

Your conveyancer will carry out last-minute checks known as pre-completion searches. This is a financial check to ensure the buyer can still afford to purchase the property.

11. Completion Day

Completion day is when ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer, finalising the transaction. Your conveyancer will need your mortgage lender's details to confirm that the mortgage has gone through. The time between exchanging contracts and completion is 1-2 weeks.

12. Pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

Stamp Duty is paid within 30 days of completion and is done via your conveyancer. It is known as Land Transaction Tax (LTT) in Wales and Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) in Scotland.

13. Register with the Land Registry

You will need to submit a TR1 form and mortgage deed to the Land Registry via your conveyancer. This will confirm you as the legal owner of the property.

14. Receive Transfer and Title Deed

Your conveyancer will provide the transfer deed, title deed, title plan, and proof the seller has paid the outstanding mortgage.

15. Move In

Congratulations! You can pick up your keys from the estate agent. Now you can move in and enjoy your new home.

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Conveyancing Timeline for Sellers

The selling conveyancing process differs as the seller doesn’t have to arrange a property survey or mortgage. However, those buying and selling at the same time should ensure their transaction aligns to avoid any overlap.

Here are the steps in the selling conveyancing process:

1. Instruct Your Conveyancer

Your conveyancer will require proof of identity, address, and the sale price you accepted. They will also need paperwork from your mortgage provider including a mortgage statement.

2. Receive Initial Quote

Your quote should include a full breakdown of the cost, so you know exactly what you are paying for. Selling conveyancing fees tend to be cheaper than those buying due to the fewer steps required. Once you are happy, you can sign the contract for the conveyancer’s services.

3. Complete TA Forms

You must submit the TA6 and TA10 forms to your conveyancer. These standard forms provide general information on the property as well as details of fixtures and fittings. You will also need to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

Note: Those selling a leasehold property must fill out the TA7 form, also known as the Leasehold Information Form.

4. Provide Additional Information

You must inform your conveyancer of any neighbour complaints, planning permissions and what will be left in the house. If you omit any details, you could face legal action.

5. Send Contract Pack

Your conveyancer will send this to the buyer’s conveyancer. The contract pack includes the draft contract and property information forms. It will also contain the Land Registry documents such as the title register.

6. Receive Pre-Contract Enquiries

Your conveyancer will receive pre-contract enquiries from the buyer’s conveyancer. They will then act on your behalf throughout the negotiations and finalise the details before proceedings.

7. Prepare Property For Survey

Tidying your property before the survey will ensure the survey is as efficient as possible. Make sure nothing is blocking any entrances. Your conveyancer will await the results from the buyer’s conveyancer.

8. Answer Further Enquiries

Following the survey results, your conveyancer will answer any further enquiries on your behalf. This can be a lengthy process if the buyer receives negative survey results.

9. Exchanging Contracts

The transaction will be legally binding once the contracts have been formally exchanged. Following this point, neither party can withdraw from the sale without facing legal repercussions.

10. Review Transfer Deed

Your conveyancer will review the transfer deed and completion information form. Once this is approved, you can agree on the completion date.

11. Completion Day

Legal ownership of the property will be transferred from you to the buyer using the TR1 form and your mortgage will be paid off. You must hand over all keys and vacate the property so the buyer can move in. It takes around 1-2 weeks between exchanging and completion.

12. Transfer of Funds

Your conveyancer will send a sale completion statement and transfer the remaining funds from the sale to you on completion. This is typically done via bank transfer. You should then inform your utility providers and buildings insurance of your move.

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Finding a Conveyancer

At Compare My Move, we can connect you with up to 6 conveyancers to save you up to 70% on your conveyancing costs. All our conveyancing partners have passed our strict verification process for your peace of mind. This means they are all regulated by either the SRA, CLC, LSS, LSNI or CILEx.

Need a Surveyor?

Once you've found a conveyancer, you soon might need the help of a RICS property surveyor. Simply fill in our integrated conveyancing and surveying comparison form to get connected today.

You can compare companies through our integrated conveyancing and surveying form by filling out a few extra steps. We will then connect you with local conveyancers and surveyors to save on the whole process.

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