How the Conveyancing Procedure Works
When you feel like you’re fully in the picture, it can really put your mind at ease. It’s precisely why we’ve compiled this useful guide to how the conveyancing process works. Of course when you’re dealing with DC Law, you can always rest assured that expert, personalised advice is never more than a phone call away. What is conveyancing?
If you are buying a property, the conveyancing process begins as soon as you’ve had an offer accepted. When you are selling, it is wise to get things moving legally as soon as possible after putting your property on the market, so you are ready to go as soon as you accept an offer.
- Welcome Pack: once you have confirmed you’d like us to take care of your property transaction, we’ll send you our welcome pack. You can choose to receive this either digitally or by post: however you prefer. You’ll usually receive a courtesy call from a member of our team too. They’ll check we have all the right details and answer any questions you may have.
- Initial Documents: there is certain information that we’ll need so that we can get everything underway for you. We’ve worked hard to make this process as straightforward for you as possible, but we’re always on hand to help if you need us. Just give our dedicated new business team a call or drop them a line with any questions.
- Sales Memo: once you’ve accepted an offer we’ll need a sales memo. This can come from your estate agent if you’re using one. If not, we’ll need one from you. We can guide you on what to provide us with.
- Title: once we have the sales memo, we’ll request a copy of the title. This is where our experts’ technical skill comes into play. We will check through the title to ensure there are no issues. Once we are satisfied we’ll send a draft contract to you and your buyer. We’ll need you and anyone else living in the property to sign it, then you should return it to us, as quickly as possible.
- Mortgage: if the property you are selling has a mortgage on it, we’ll get in touch with your lender and ask them for a redemption statement. You’ll need to let us know if you have any other loans secured on the property too, so we can contact those lenders as well.
- Enquiries: the buyer’s conveyancer will review the draft contract and various other documents and respond to us with any questions. We will use the details you provided in your welcome pack to answer the questions, but if there’s anything we need to clarify, we’ll give you a call.
- Exchange of Contracts: when everyone is happy with the agreement, a completion date will be set and contracts presented to both buyer and seller for signature, exchange of contracts can then take place. At this point, all parties are legally bound to complete on the agreed date. This is the point at which it’s all systems go with things like booking removals companies and starting the process of packing up your home. Our moving home checklist provides some useful tips on what you’ll need to be doing at this stage.
- Completion: on completion day, your buyer’s conveyancer will pay us the balance of the sale price, less the deposit we are already holding. As soon as the funds are with us this means the transaction has completed. At this point you will need to vacate the property. The signed transfer document and the title deeds of the property will be sent by us to your buyer’s conveyancer. We’ll settle the outstanding balance on any mortgage and loans, pay your estate agent’s fees if applicable, and settle our own fees as agreed using the funds from the sale. You will notified once completion has taken place and keys can be exchanged!
- Post Completion: any balance left from the sale price once all the mortgages, loans and fees have been settled will be paid to you on the day of completion using the account details you have provided. Your previous mortgage lender will confirm in writing that your loan has been settled and we will send this on to the buyer’s conveyancer, allowing them to register the purchase with the Land Registry and officially finalise the transaction.
- Mortgage: by this point you will already have chosen a mortgage lender and should at least have received what is known as an ‘offer in principle’. Now is the time to apply for a firm offer, and your lender will request information about the property you wish to purchase together with the details of your appointed conveyancer. You can read more about the mortgage side of buying a property on our mortgage advice page. Whilst you are in discussion with the lender, we will start work on the legal aspects of the transaction.
- Survey: you may be instructed by your mortgage lender to obtain a certain type of survey on the property you are buying. If you are not, you may wish to think about investing in one anyway. You can read more on our surveys page, but in summary, you have a choice from basic report through to full structural survey, and the type of property you are buying will determine the level of survey you should opt for. A survey is highly recommended.
- Searches: a contract pack will arrive from the seller’s conveyancer and at this point we will request any relevant searches. There is more information on our searches page about the types of searches we may need to request. Needless to say, we will put our expertise and experience to excellent use in appraising the information that is returned to us, so we can be sure your purchase is trouble-free from the outset.
- Enquiries: if necessary we will raise any queries on the searches and contract pack with the seller’s conveyancer. You will receive a report on our findings and are welcome to contact us with any questions, or to ask our advice. Any decisions made will involve you at every step. At this point you will also receive a copy of the draft contract which you should review carefully before signing and returning it to us.
- Mortgage Offer: your mortgage lender will provide us with a copy of your mortgage offer. We will carefully review the offer to ensure the terms and any special conditions are clear to you.
- Deposit: once everything is agreed and any issues with searches, mortgage conditions or other queries are resolved, we will request your deposit which we will forward on to the seller’s conveyancer to hold until completion.
- Exchange of Contracts: when the signed draft contract arrives back with us, we will agree a completion date with the seller’s conveyancer, and then exchange of contracts will take place. At this point, you and the seller are legally bound to complete the transaction on the agreed date. You can go ahead and start planning your move once contracts are exchanged. We have put together some useful information on what to do at this stage in our moving home checklist.
- Completion: on the agreed completion day we will transfer the purchase price less the deposit, including the funds received from your mortgage lender, to the seller’s conveyancer. As soon as the funds reach them, the transaction has completed. At this point the seller will vacate the property and you will be free to move in. The signed transfer document and the title deeds of the property will be sent to us by the seller’s conveyancer.
- Post Completion: once the purchase has completed we will pay any Stamp Duty Land Tax on your behalf and advise the Land Registry that you are the new owner of the property. A copy of the title document and any other documents provided by the seller will also be sent to you a few weeks after completion.