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Legal Advice for Buying and Selling a Home-Coveyancing

The Conveyancing Processconveyancing describes the legal processes surrounding the ownership transfer in the UK property market. The conveyancing formalities are handled by a qualified conveyancer or solicitor, who will ensure that the transfer of property ownership is done legally and according to their wishes of the buy or sell. First-time buyers homes in the United Kingdom, the conveyancing process can reveal complicated, overly administrator of the, slow and sometimes frustrating. The article looks at the practical issues involved, in terms of the roles and responsibilities, paperwork, costs and rules…

How to Find a Solicitor or Conveyancer? – the Law Society website will have contact details of qualified conveyancers and solicitors in your area. Ask friends and family if they could recommend a suitable conveyancer. If none are available from the recommendation, then find one based locally and telephone them to see how well they come across on the phone. In particular, are they a hurry to get you off the phone? Can you get through to the solicitor direct, or does an assistant take messages? Are they listening? Finding a local solicitor that will mean you have the added advantage being able to pop in to hand deliver paperwork, (as opposed to posting it which will cause a couple of days delay and risking loss of paperwork in the post). It is essential you seek professional legal advice from a qualified person. Normally their fees for an average house sale will be around £600. The cost of a conveyancing is made up of liaising with the buyer or seller’s solicitor, reviewing contracts and paintwork, exchanging contracts, dealing with the estate agent, surveyor and mortgage lender and other administrative matters.

One in three house sales fall through and conveyancing will form a part of the failed attempts by buyers or sellers to conduct the transaction. It can typically take two to three months from initial enquiries to final completion. Therefore, during that time, buyers and sellers need to have a good working relationship with their conveyancer. This ensures they are kept at speed and provide all the necessary paperwork required for the conveyancer to do their jobs properly. If you are selling your home, it is sensible to employ a conveyancer even if you don’t have a firm offer from the buyer yet. They will want to check the title deeds of your home and prepare other paperwork such as a draft contract.

Initial Investigations– during this step the conveyancer will send letters to all the people involved within the sale, notifying them that an offer has been accepted. This letter will be sent to the seller’s property agent, seller’s solicitor and estate agent. Likewise, the vendors solicitor will send details of the sale price and contact details of their solicitor. Next they will check with the lender to the property to obtain the title deeds. The buyers conveyancer will contact the seller’s conveyancer to ask a series of questions regarding the property and it’s ownership. Most of these are fairly similar and follow a fixed format. Some specific or unique enquiries will deal with individual elements to the property such as access to shared driveways, issues regarding possible sitting tenants and so on. Others are more standard and relate to the boundary responsibilities and any fixtures and fittings that are to be included or excluded from the property sale. Throughout the conveyancing process, you should keep copies of all of the letters and correspondence sent from your conveyancer and to them. This is essential, as you will probably need to refer back to previous documents to check questions or any potential confusion on either side.

Draft Contracts at this stage the solicitor will send you a copy of the draft contract for you to sign and send back to them. The draft contract is made up of the particulars of sale and conditions of sale. The particulars define the property details, whereas the conditions have the deposit amounts and proposed completion date information and contract exchange date. The conveyancer checks the contract wording to ensure it is accurate and not open to misinterpretation or confusion. They will also negotiate issues such as the level of deposit required, and the period of time between exchange and completion. This would conclude with telephone calls and letters between the buyer and seller’s solicitor is to ensure that both sides are happy with contract conditions which will bind the buyer and seller upon exchange….

Exchange of Contract during this stage the buyer and seller’s solicitors exchange contracts, following a final approval by phone to the buyer and seller accordingly. The deposit amount is agreed beforehand and is deposited from the buyer’s bank account into the sellers bank account, by the solicitor or conveyancer. It is at this moment that the buyer is committed to agreeing to the terms of contract they have all resigned. If the buyer decides to change their mind and pull out of the sale, they risk losing their deposit (which would be typically 5% of the purchase price).

Completion Dayon completion day, the full monies are transferred between the buyer and the seller. Typically the buyer will need to access a mortgage to pay the bulk of the price and monies are transferred direct from the mortgage lender to the seller’s solicitor. Your solicitor will have already obtained a settlement figure from your mortgage lender if you are selling a property. Following the completion of the sale, monies are dispersed and the outstanding mortgage amount will be paid back to the mortgage lender, by your conveyancer or solicitor. The final transfers are confirmed by telegraphic transfer. Once this has been done the keys can be released to the buyer from the estate agent. Back in the conveyancers office, the buyer’s solicitor will pay the stamp duty as well as inform the Land Registry that the buyer buyer is now officially documented as the new owner of the home. Prior to the completion date, the buyer should have arranged appropriate buildings insurance to cover the risk/ cost of repairing major damage. Assetsure can provides UK home insurance for buildings and contents for homeowners in the United Kingdom.

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