It Pays to Know What Conveyancing is All About

When buying a property, whether for the first time or not, it is important that your purchase goes through the conveyancing process. It is a crucial requirement that determines whether you get to legally own the property or now. While it sounds ominous to first-time home buyers, it it actually a helpful process and not as complicated when properly advised of and carried out.

What basically is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal and administrative process done to oversee the legal transfer of the property’s ownership from its current proprietor to you, the buyer. It starts when your offer the buy the property has been accepted by the seller and gets completed once all payables are settled, the paperwork is sorted, and the sale-purchase contracts are signed and exchanged.

Who oversees the conveyancing process?

While you can go through the entire conveyancing process on your own, it is more ideal to hire a property solicitor or a licensed conveyancer to carry out the tasks. It isn’t as complicated as it seems but in involves quite a number of tasks that would take a reasonable amount of time and paperwork to get sorted. More so, you will need as much property transaction experience and familiarity with property transactions laws to make sure nothing goes wrong throughout the process.

Although all lawyers may offer the service to you, not everyone will be well-versed enough to guarantee a seamless and timely completion, hence, it’s more appropriate you hire a solicitor specialising in conveyancing. And quite as importantly, if you’re getting a mortgage to buy the property, your lender is very likely to trust a conveyancer (in their approved panel) to oversee the valuation of the house and determine how much you can borrow.

What does a conveyancer do to help?

The first things on the list is to provide you with expert advice on how the transaction goes through each phase till you move in. A conveyancer should be able to set your expectations on what tasks are carried out, the potential issues you might face, and how to overcome them.

They also make arrangements on your behalf to have a thorough inspection of the property, and have searches conducted to find out future plans of the Local Council in the area that could affect the property. A conveyancer should also be able to take care of the payment arrangements for the other costs - e.g. Stamp Duty Land Tax, Land Registry fees, search fees, survey fees, etc.

And just when you think that’s all they do, it’s important that your conveyancer should be around to draft, review, and oversee the signing and exchange of contracts between you and the seller; while also taking care of the documents to make sure that by completion date, the property will be legally registered in your name.

How much will the process cost?

Conveyancing fees vary from one firm to another. The services are basically divided into two - the conveyancer’s basic fees and the legal disbursements. Some conveyancers will charge their clients a fixed amount for their basic fees and others may charge an hourly rate. The disbursements, on the other hand are the associated costs (Land Registry, Stamp Duty and other fees) covered by the conveyancer and are later on charged on your final invoice.

When looking for conveyancers to hire, don’t forget to ask for detailed conveyancing quotes to make sure you don’t miss on any charges.