Property ownership is often considered to be one of the greatest achievements – but there is a lot to think about before you sign that contract.
When you are purchasing a home, you need to consider the legal process of buying, and you may hear many technical terms being used, such as conveyancing. But what is conveyancing, and why is it so important in England and Wales? Read on to discover more about this vital term.
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What is conveyancing?
By definition, conveyancing is the legal process that is undergone when you transfer deeds for buildings or land (commonly referred to as property) from one owner to another owner. It involves the administrative processes involved in such an exchange between buyer and seller and begins as soon as your offer is accepted. Conveyancing continues until you have gone through the exchange of contracts, signed them, and paid the monies associated with the sale.
Who carries out conveyancing?
Conveyancing can be carried out by a licensed conveyancer or solicitor who specialises in this area. Not all solicitors are skilled in conveyancing or understand property law in depth, so it is vital to make sure you research your conveyancing professional before hiring anyone. There is an option to hire an online conveyancer if your solicitor is not a specialist in conveyancing or you are looking for a lower-cost choice.
Why hire a conveyancer?
Whether this is your first home or you are purchasing a property for the third or fourth time, you don’t suddenly become an expert in the process of buying a house. Between all the other considerations such as selling your own home (or moving out of family space or rented property), informing utility companies, potentially moving areas, and arranging the physical aspect of transporting your possessions, it can easily become too much to handle. Hiring a conveyancer to help you with the legal legwork ensures that you have a guide and support during the more technical and challenging parts of your property purchase.
This legal process is extremely specific and important to get right, so a conveyancer is a great ally. Issues such as boundary disputes, being unaware of common property areas shared with neighbours, or perhaps not even knowing who truly owns the property you are buying can cause a lot of heartache and money lost without a conveyancer there to flag these issues before you exchange contracts and complete your sale.
Can you DIY conveyancing?
When you are purchasing a home, it is tempting to try and cut corners (and, more importantly, costs!) wherever possible. However, conveyancing is not something that should fall under this bracket. You can do your own conveyancing, however, it is extremely technical and takes up a lot of time. Any failures on your part to find issues could result in further problems down the line – such as not seeing where there is a flood risk or being aware of a dispute regarding boundaries or land. They can also inform you of any rights and restrictions that apply to the land you are purchasing, which can be extremely beneficial if you are planning to do any building and development work, or even renovations to a home that could have protected areas.
Perhaps most importantly, many mortgage lenders will refuse to accept DIY conveyancing, and require you to hire a professional to make sure all the details are correct.
What does conveyancing include?
Conveyancing covers a great deal regarding a legally binding property purchase and, while you will still have some responsibilities, most will be handled by your professional conveyancer. They are on hand to get in touch with the vendor’s solicitor in order to obtain your contract pack and draft contract, as well as your mortgage offer. They will also organise completion dates and follow through on local authority searches and land registry searches, providing a full analysis. This will include evidence of contaminated land or boundary disputes. Post-completion, they will send the transfer documents to the Land Registry.
A conveyancer can exchange contracts with the vendor’s conveyancer and transfer your deposit, as well as prepare and send your completed paperwork and transfer deeds. They can help you by dealing with the financial aspect of transferring funds, liaising with your lender, and ensuring that the correct tax return and stamp duty are paid, sending your title deeds to your mortgage lender.
The costs of conveyancing
While you shouldn’t do your own conveyancing if you can avoid it, there are of course costs associated with hiring a professional conveyancer. Your own conveyancing quote will vary based on how much the property you are buying is worth. The average cost of conveyancing for a family home is around £850 – £1800, which should include time spent, fees, letters, and registration. Online conveyancers can cost less than this amount, and some services do not charge a fee if the sale does not complete. This means that if the buyer pulls out of the sale, you are not left with a hefty conveyancing bill and no property. While conveyancers who offer this are often more expensive, it can be worth it to save money down the line.
Hiring a conveyancer can make your house purchase journey a lot easier and keep you from making any mistakes along the way. While it might seem like an unnecessary expense, it can help you to achieve the best outcome and settle into your new property faster.
Selling your property to Mark King will mean there are no costs in the conveyancing process; Mark King covers the costs of the entire process, and you will have no fees or costs incurred.