If you are interested in buying or selling a property you may have heard the term ‘residential conveyancing’ mentioned before, but what does it mean? In this article, we explain everything you need to know about residential property conveyancing.
So, What is Residential Conveyancing?
Residential Conveyancing refers to the legal process of purchasing or selling a property. It is the action of transferring the contractual title of a property from one owner to another. The entire property conveyancing process will be completed by a property solicitor or conveyancer.
The Process of Residential Conveyancing
The process of residential conveyancing commences when an offer on a house is accepted and finishes when an individual receives the keys. The process usually takes between 8 and 12 weeks to complete, but can vary depending on your situation. Occasionally the process can take much longer to complete if there are any issues. It’s extremely important that each step of the process is completed efficiently to avoid delaying the property conveyancing process.
Transferring a property from one owner to another is complex and requires a lot of work. When you buy a property, you will need a conveyancer or property solicitor to complete the residential conveyancing process. Below we highlight the key stages in the purchase process.
- Quote – you will be supplied an initial quote.
- Memorandum of Sale – once sale is agreed the estate agent supplies the memorandum of sale to the parties. This provides the full details of the transaction and allows the solicitors to start processing the transaction.
- Open the Purchase File – Firstly, the conveyancer will open the purchase file for your new property. This involves sending you a letter to explain the terms of business and request items such as ID, evidence of source of funds and a payment on account of £300.00. In addition, you will complete a purchase questionnaire allowing you to raise any queries you have regarding the property. At this stage, you will be given a fixed fee estimate based on the information provided. The cost can change if the legal work becomes complicated.
- Contracts – Your conveyancer will receive the drawn-up draft contract pack from the seller’s solicitor.
- Contract pack – The contract pack will be made up with the following documentation:
- Draft contract
- Office copies and title plan
- Property Information Form (information form completed by seller about the property)
- Fittings and Contents Form (form completed by seller confirming what will be left at the property i.e. cooker/washing machine/beds etc)
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- Any supporting documents such as warranties, guarantees, planning permission and building regulations.
- If Leasehold there will also be a copy of the Lease as well as key information from the Landlord.
- Title check – on receipt of the contracts your conveyancer will check all documentation to make sure nothing is missing and there are no problems with the title.
- Conduct Searches – This is a vital part of the conveyancing and property search process. The searches done on most properties are as follows:
- Local search – this search confirms if the road at the property is maintained by the local authority or if it is private. It also confirms any planning/building regulations applications amongst many other important things.
- Drainage search – this search confirms if the drains are maintained by the water board or are private. It also confirms the location of water/sewage pipes.
- Environmental search – provide details of the property and surrounding areas in relation to possible contaminated land and flooding amongst other issues.
- In Yorkshire a Mining search is often required.
- Mortgage offer – if the transaction is being part funded by a mortgage your conveyancer will check the mortgage offer to make sure all details are correct and deal with the lenders standard and special conditions.
- Provide Expert Legal Advice – Your conveyancer will provide expert legal advice and raise queries on not only the title to the property but also in relation any of the searches carried out.
- Stamp Duty Payment – The conveyancer will calculate and pay the stamp duty bill on your behalf. However, following the impact of COVID-19 the Chancellor has announced a temporary Stamp Duty Holiday on properties completed before 31st March 2021.
- Collect & Transfer Funds – The conveyancer will ask for your deposit being 10% of the purchase price and will arrange to transfer the funds to the seller’s solicitor on completion.
- Exchange of contracts – once your conveyancer is satisfied that all queries and issues are resolved on your transaction you will be asked to sign the contract documentation. Exchange of contracts is when all parties formally agree to the completion date. When you exchange the completion date is fixed. Exchange and completion can be on the same day as exchange or there can be an agreed amount of time between exchange and completion.
- Completion – once exchange has taken place you will receive your keys on the day of completion. Your conveyancer will ensure that mortgage funds are drawn down in time for completion. You will collect the keys from the estate agent when the funds have been received by the seller’s solicitor.
- Post Completion – once completion has taken place your conveyancer will apply to HM Land Registry to register your ownership of the property. This will take several months after completion.
The Importance of Property Conveyancing
The importance of property conveyancing is to ensure an individual buys a property that has no unknown restrictions or problems and the property will sell without any issues later on.
Property Services from Morrish Solicitors
Here at Morrish Solicitors, we understand how time consuming and annoying it can be to buy or sell a property which is why we aim to make the process as hassle-free as possible with our professional property and conveyancing services. Our specialist property solicitors and conveyancing department have extensive knowledge and experience in all areas of property services including; Residential Sale and Purchase, Re-Mortgage Work and Transfer of Equity etc.
As one of the leading Conveyancing Solicitors in West Yorkshire, we pride ourselves on delivering the very best residential property services in the area. Our friendly conveyancers and property solicitors will efficiently handle your conveyancing process so, you can have peace of mind while we complete your transaction. We are an approved Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) Law firm
If you require advice regarding our property services please contact us on 033 3344 9607 or 033 344 9609 and ask to speak to the Conveyancing and Property Department, who are based in our Pudsey and Yeadon offices. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] with your request.