Buying a new home is an exciting but stressful process, full of new opportunity but also new lingo that you need to learn and processes that have to be completed.
One of these things is ‘conveyancing’ – which is the term used to refer to the legal transference of property ownership from the seller to the buyer.
It’s helpful to know what to expect, and we’re going to outline what conveyancing involves. However, a little bit of knowledge isn’t the same as expertise. This means that you’ll also need to find a conveyancing solicitor to help make sure that everything is done correctly, and no nasty surprises pop up further down the line.
What is conveyancing
So, conveyancing means transferring the legal ownership of a property from one party to another. But what does that actually involve? Well, the seller – or more likely, their solicitor – will be responsible for producing a legal contract for transferring ownership. That will include crucial details such as the sale price, the boundaries of the property and any legal rights or restrictions, and when the completion date will be.
As the buyer, you can ask your solicitor to find out more information from the seller or negotiate details of the contract. Once you are both happy, you will each sign a final copy of the contract and send it to the other party. This is legally binding, and means that the money will be transferred and keys will be handed over. At that point, neither party can simply pull out of the contract.
How does a conveyancing solicitor help?
As conveyancing is a complex legal process, it isn’t advisable to go through it without expert help. The solicitor that you appoint will be able to take care of several aspects of the process for you, including communicating with the seller’s solicitor, carrying out necessary checks and searches, liaising with your mortgage lender, agreeing a completion date with the other party and swapping the two contracts with the seller’s solicitor once they have both been signed. They can also help you with the tax return and stamp duty.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t be involved at all. You’ll need to have input on key factors such as the moving deadline, and you’ll also be responsible for informing your lawyer of any pre-negotiations that you’ve had with the sellers. For instance, if you’ve agreed for certain fixtures or furnishings to be included as part of your sale, your solicitor will need to ensure that it’s included in the contract.
You should feel comfortable calling your conveyancing solicitor to ask any questions that you have, so make sure you choose somebody with good reviews and a reputation for giving good service.
Overall, conveyancing doesn’t need to be a worrying or overly complicated process, so long as you go into it prepared and ready to provide your solicitor with all the information that they need. And once it’s done, you’ll be almost over the finish line in buying your brand new home.