A conveyancing solicitor is a kind of legal professional who’ll oversee a transaction, making sure that everything is above board and legally binding. They’ll not only make sure that the process comes off without a hitch, but that the client is aware of their options throughout.
If you’re considering purchasing (or selling) property, then it’s worth acquainting yourself with the various stages of the conveyancing process.
Agreement to Price
The first stage in the conveyancing process is the acceptance by the seller of an offer for the property made by the buyer. This is where the asking price is informally fixed – while either party might decide to make changes later, doing so will jeopardise the transaction.
The seller will need to provide the buyer with information about the property, via a series of forms. These will be sent to the buyer’s solicitor, who can then come back with questions about specific points raised by their clients.
If the transaction is dependent on a mortgage, it’s at this point that the buyer will ensure that financing is in place. The buyer must sign a mortgage deed on the property before the transaction can progress.
Exchange of Contracts
Contracts are typically exchanged via a phone call. If the client is both selling and buying, then the contracts should stipulate that both transactions will occur on the same day. This will avoid the client being rendered homeless.
At this point the seller’s side will typically demand a deposit to ensure that the buyer is serious about proceeding. After contracts have been exchanged, completion usually follows within a few weeks. The prospective date for completion is usually outlined in the contracts.
Transfer of Property
This is a document prepared by the buyer’s solicitor, which must be approved by the other side and signed by both parties to the transaction. This must occur after the contracts have been exchanged, and is a prerequisite for completion.
The final stage of a transaction is completion. This always occurs on a weekday, on the day that both parties to the transaction will actually move house.
It’s only after this point that the property can be said to have been purchased. The buyer’s solicitor will send the outstanding purchase money. In some cases, this can be complicated by a chain. The seller’s solicitor can then release the keys to the property, and send the relevant documents to the buyer’s side. These will include the title deeds.
Finally, the buyer’s solicitors need to pay any stamp duty due to the Inland Revenue, before getting the title changed at the Land Registry to indicate the new owner of the property.