The Flanagan Collective

Information for

Home Buyers

Buying a House? Here’s a 4-Step Guide to Conveyancing!

The conveyancing process usually begins after your offer has been accepted, but it could very well have begun well before that.

To help guide you through such a confusing process, here’s a simplified 4-step guide to conveyancing.

·         Step 1: Hiring and instructing a conveyancing solicitor

The many laws, nuances and intricacies that apply to the process of conveyancing can be quite confusing and complicated. This is where a solicitor comes in, as they’re the ones who are trained and educated to handle all the problems that come with the process.

If possible, have your conveyancing solicitor involved in the process as early as possible. Some would advise to acquire the services of a solicitor even before your deal pushes through as it makes the whole process so much easier.

Either way, if you’re having a hard time choosing a solicitor, you can compare their quotes to see which ones offer the best package of experience, availability and price that suit your needs. Compare conveyancing quotes and get yourself a good deal.

·         Step 2: Mortgages, surveys, legal work and local searches.

Mortgages and surveys – If you plan on getting a mortgage to help you buy the house, you’ll definitely need the help of a conveyancing solicitor. Not that they’ll be the ones to take care of this, but they will help advise you about the legal documents necessary to make the process easier. They could also help you out in getting a survey done, especially if you plan on going the full structural survey route.

Local searches and enquiries – As you prepare the necessary finances for your purchase, your conveyancing solicitor will be busy making any relevant searches after receiving the contract pack from the other party’s conveyancer. This usually includes an Environment Search, Water and Drainage Search, a Local Authority Search and in some cases, even a Coal Mining Report is necessary. Your conveyancing solicitor will also take this time to carefully search and examine the contract, as well as the support documents to make sure that you won’t have any issues before and after you’ve moved into your new home. This may include verifying the building regulations compliance of the house or building itself, any alterations made, past flood, insurance problems, and others that will be included in a report that will be sent to you, their client.

Legal work – Your conveyancing solicitor will also be the ones responsible for preparing the final contract for you to sign. You’ll be required to read the contract thoroughly, so be sure to read every bit of it. Don’t be afraid if something puzzles, or if you need any sort of clarification, or better yet, if you don’t agree with something stipulated in the contract.

·         Step 3: Completion

If there are any problems, you’ll be advised about any particular reason that the solicitor may see fit not to proceed with the purchase. Otherwise, you’ll be given a contract to sign and return to your solicitor, which signifies that you’ve authorised them to commit to the purchase

The “completion” date will then be negotiated by both parties and once agreed upon, your solicitor will take care of everything prior to the date, such as notifying the lender and drawing down the mortgage advance.

Do take note that cancellation of the purchase right after the completion date has been set may carry serious and expensive consequences. So, be sure that you think things through first before signing the contract.

·         Step 4: Finalising intricacies and moving in.

After the completion date, the property is yours by right. But, your conveyancing solicitor will have to take care of a few things first.

Namely, they’ll have to file the Stamp Duty Land Tax Return, as well as pay any dues applicable to the transaction. They’ll also have to apply the deeds to the Land Registry so that you’re registered as the new owner, and to note any mortgage as a secured charge.

Finally, the Land Registry will send your solicitor a new and updated copy of the legal title, which will then be forwarded to your lender, as well as to you.

Once everything has been said and done, moving in will be your next problem. But, that is a process that is far simpler and less taxing than conveyancing.