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Buying a home – it all begins when an offer on a home has been accepted, and ends when the buyer formally receives the keys.
Everything in between is called conveyancing. In this post, we cover this subject further and discuss the various processes and costs involved.
Conveyancing requires action from both the buyer and the seller.
For the buyer, the first step is to have an offer accepted on a house. You then need to hire a solicitor to act on your behalf. They will write to the seller’s legal representative to confirm they have been appointed and will then conduct a local authority search of your prospective house.
This in depth background check, undertaken in partnership with the local council, helps to ensure that a property is free from defects. At this stage, a draft contract is submitted, which your solicitor will check over for you.
Assuming everything is all in order following the searches, you will need to limber up your writing hand in preparation to sign the following:
A seller should start by completing the Property Information Form and the Fixtures, Fitting and Contents Form. Then send the title deed to the buyer’s legal representative. It is common for a seller to hire a solicitor at this stage of conveyancing.
As long as there have been no issues with the local authority search, your solicitor will receive the signed contract from the buyer, and a date to exchange contracts will be set.
When buyer and seller come together to exchange the signed contracts, the documents then become legally binding.
Following the exchange, the seller should arrange to have the keys dropped off to the estate agent managing the sale. Once the buyer collects them, the transfer of the property is officially completed.
There are no industry pricing schemes for conveyancing costs, so fees tend to vary quite a bit. Fees can also depend on a number of factors including the location – for instance, if a property is near a river or a coal mine it may require additional environmental searches. However, in general, fees tend to fall somewhere between £850 and £1,500.
If you hire a solicitor, you will need to pay for their time and work. These legal costs generally start at around £500, but can be considerably higher. If you want to reduce costs in this area, you can opt to avoid using an estate agent’s recommended conveyancer, which will likely include a commission – a factor that could push your fees up.
Conveyancing costs are typically paid after the transfer of a property from seller to buyer. However, you may be asked to pay a deposit for legal fees and up to 10% of the conveyancing fees up front.
Some solicitors offer a no sale, no fee guarantee in the event that a deal falls through and some may even waive the legal fees. However, before you hire their services, it’s worth getting a clear explanation of their policy in this area.
Although there are a variety of conveyancing companies around, at House Network we try to help vendors in keeping everything under one roof to aid the sale process. To find our how we could possibly help, check our Mi-Ctrl conveyancing section and grab a quote
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