Conveyancing Guide

Step-by-Step Conveyancing Guide

For the vast majority of people, buying a home is their biggest-ever purchase. It's also one of the most stressful experiences.


Selling a property can be just as chilling.


Whiteheads Solicitors have put together this guide to explain the procedures and, hopefully, make what's involved in buying and selling a home clearer. 



What is conveyancing?   


Conveyancing is the legal work necessary to transfer ownership of a building or land from one owner to another.


In legal jargon, it's the act of transferring 'title' to property from one person to another. 


It generally involves three steps: 


  • 1: The agreement of sale 

  • 2: Exchange of contracts 

  • 3: Completion


There are two key landmarks in the process...


'Exchange of contracts' is the point of no return, where things become legally binding (the buyer is protected from withdrawal from the deal or from any attempt to reduce the selling price). 


Any time up until this point, either party can withdraw from the process without penalty. They will still, of course, be responsible for costs such as surveyors or mortgage application fees. 


When contracts are exchanged, a deposit is payable of up to 10 per cent
of the purchase price.


'Completion' is the day on which ownership of the property changes hands and the balance of the purchase monies are paid. 


It sounds straightforward - but the process can be much more complex.



When do I need to seek legal help?


It's a good idea to instruct a conveyancing solicitor once your home goes up for sale.


The sooner they are involved, the more paperwork can be dealt with and that could save a lot of time and trouble later on. 


For example, not only can the contract be prepared but standard property information forms can be completed so they're ready to be sent out as soon as a buyer is found. 



What does it involve?


Conveyancing ensures that the buyer secures 'title' to the land, together with all the rights associated with it (such as rights of way).


It also means you are notified of any restrictions before you purchase.


The last thing you want is a nasty surprise after the event, such as a planned motorway next to your house or costly legal disputes over boundaries. 


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