Conveyancing

Conveyancing

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring ownership of a home from the seller to the buyer. The process starts when the buyer’s offer is accepted and finishes when they receive the keys. A solicitor (or conveyancer) is usually instructed to carry out the conveyancing process, although occasionally the home-mover may do it themselves.

The average time taken for the conveyancing process is currently around 20 weeks, although this can vary according to various factors such as the length of the chain, the time it takes to receive local authority searches, whether the sale is through probate, and many other things.

Steps of the conveyancing process

Enquiries are questions about a property, raised by the buyer’s solicitor to the seller’s solicitor. They are an important part of legal due diligence to ensure that any potential issues are dealt with before contracts are exchanged.

Pre-completion searches are requests made to the Land Registry, which prevent charges being registered against the property between exchange and completion.

Searches are questions about a property, raised by the buyer’s solicitor to relevant authorities. They are an important part of legal due diligence to ensure that any potential issues are dealt with before contracts are exchanged.

Completion is the point at which ownership of the property is formally transferred from seller to buyer. The seller must vacate on or before this point, and the buyer may then have access.

At exchange of contracts, buyer and seller exchange signed contract documents, which means both sides are then in a legally binding agreement to complete the deal, with a completion date fixed for moving. The buyer’s deposit is usually transferred to the seller at the same time.

If you are in a chain of transactions, everyone in the chain normally exchanges contracts on the same day, which means the entire chain can be held up if one transaction is not ready to exchange.

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