What is the conveyancing process, when buying a house?
As leading conveyancing solicitors, Isle of Wight and Hampshire, we provide a comprehensive service to our clients.
In this article, we will set out to demystify conveyancing, by answering some of our most frequently asked questions. First up, we will clarify the conveyancing process, when buying a house…
What is the conveyancing process, when buying a house?
Conveyancing is the legal process whereby the ownership title of a property and/or land is transferred from a seller to a buyer. It is a legal requirement that contracts for the sale of property are put in writing.
Straightforward conveyancing normally has two stages:
- Exchange of contracts – two copies of a contract of sale are signed, a copy is retained by each party. Under English law, agreements are not legally binding until contracts are exchanged
- Completion – when the legal title passes and equitable rights merge with the legal title
Conveyancing is usually carried out by a solicitor or licensed conveyancer.
It is designed to ensure that the buyer secures the title to the property, along with all the rights associated with it.
Prior to the purchase, the buyer’s conveyancer must ensure that their client will rightly obtain the title to the land. The seller must be the confirmed legal owner and have the right to sell the property.
The conveyancing solicitor must also find out about any restrictions that could hinder a mortgage or future onward sale in advance of the purchase. In England, this involves performing ‘conveyancing searches’ by checking various public records.
The seller’s conveyancing solicitor will prepare a draft contract which should then be approved by the buyer’s solicitor.
What are conveyancing services?
Here at Churchers, our expert property conveyancing solicitors can provide advice and support with:
- selling your home or property
- purchasing a home or property
- mortgaging or remortgaging your property
- releasing equity from your property
- buying a new build home
What searches are involved in conveyancing?
Conveyancing searches are enquiries made by your acting solicitor on your behalf.
Searches are a vital part of the process and aim to uncover information about the property you plan to purchase, before you are legally committed. Your conveyancing solicitor will carry out a number of searches, namely:
- Land Registry – ownership and boundaries
- Local Authority – charges or restrictions
- Water and property
Searches typically relate to issues that would impact your enjoyment or the future value of your property, such as:
- planning permission for a future development or road that would impact your property
- TPOs on your property (Tree Preservation Orders)
- the quality of the ground on which your house is built
- contaminated or polluted land
- Radon detected
- water and drainage
- landslides and flood risks
- access rights
- Chancel repair
Searches can take from 48 hours to several weeks and should be completed and approved before you exchange contracts.
What is the average cost of conveyancing?
Your legal fees are dependent on your chosen firm of conveyancing solicitors.
However, our fees cover all of the legal work and other administrative tasks required to complete the sale or purchase of your home. This includes:
- registration at the Land Registry
- payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax, if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax, if the property you wish to buy is in Wales
- handling of disbursements to third parties
Our solicitor fees typically range from £695 to £1,100* for a standard freehold purchase. Our exact fees can depend on a number of factors, including the complexity of the transaction and the location of the property.
Please click here for further details of our conveyancing fees and disbursements. Alternatively, we would be pleased to give you a quotation, tailored to your specific situation.
How long does conveyancing take?
On average, for a straightforward purchase with a short chain, the conveyancing process takes 8-12 weeks. This timeframe runs from acceptance of an offer to ‘completion’ of the purchase. Please note, this is just a guide and many factors can impact this process.
When do I pay conveyancing fees?
Conveyancing fees are usually paid at the end of your transaction, on completion.
How to choose a conveyancing solicitor
If you’re wondering how to choose a conveyancing solicitor, here’s a helpful checklist:
- Are they on your mortgage lenders panel?
- Are their fees and charges transparent?
- Have you had a recommendation?
- Do they have a good reputation?
- What are their industry credentials?
- Do they have local knowledge?
- Will they provide proactive and prompt communications?
Why choose Churchers conveyancing solicitors in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight
Although online conveyancers who operate in bulk might seem like an easy option, there may be risks associated with this approach.
When you appoint our knowledgeable team of solicitors, you can be assured that:
- we are approved members of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme
- we’re on the panels of all major lenders so, whoever your lender is, we can help you
- we’ll provide you with a personalised service that you can rely on
- we’ll ensure that your house purchase or sale goes smoothly
- we’ll remove much of the stress by giving you a proactive conveyancing
- we have over 150 years of experience in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight
- we will guide you through each step of the process to keep things simple
- we will negotiate and exchange contracts and completion
You will have peace of mind, knowing that you are in safe hands with a service you can trust.
Call us today
Churchers is a trusted firm of conveyancing solicitors in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight. For all enquiries regarding our conveyancing services, please call us today on 01329 822 333.
* plus VAT, prices correct as at August 2022