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buying, selling and renting a home

Understanding the Conveyancing Process

House Network

Conveyancing is an important legal aspect for anyone buying or selling a property that cannot be ignored or left to chance. As buying a new home is likely to be the most expensive purchase you will ever make, it is vital this is all done thoroughly to ensure every legal element is covered and you do not end up signing a questionable contract.

The conveyancing process begins the moment you have an offer for a property accepted and is only finalised when you are handed the keys. Here, the basics of house conveyancing are explained along with information about conveyancing fees so you can feel comfortable about the process.

Before the Contract

It is possible to do the conveyancing yourself when you have an offer accepted on a home but it can be incredibly difficult and time consuming. Most people are advised to use professional help. The first step once an offer is accepted is to find a solicitor, lawyer or qualified conveyancer to take charge of it.

At House Network we have built up a team of experienced lawyers who deliver a top quality conveyancing service. When you’ve bought or sold a home we can allocate one of them to look after your case in a friendly and professional manner. Each one has a strong knowledge and commitment to detail for delivering the best possible service. The chosen lawyer will then contact the seller’s solicitor confirming their position and to request a copy of the draft contract, standard forms and any other details.

During Contract Negotiations

Your conveyancer will then go through the draft contract but it will also be your responsibility to look through as well and raise any issues you may have. There are many things you can miss from just physically inspecting a property so the conveyancer will undertake a number of other checks to ensure there are no legal factors that have been missed.

Such checks can add on to the conveyancing costs. Common ones include:

  • Local authority searches: Takes between 1 to 6 weeks and can cost from £70 to 400 to see whether there are any plans for the area (e.g.: a new motorway nearby).
  • Check title register and plan, land registry: Costs £3 each just to ensure the seller actually has ownership as they must do legally to sell the property.
  • Environmental search: To check for any flood risk the house may come under. Also includes details about gas hazards, contamination, landfill sites and more.
  • Chancel repair search: Only for older homes. Costs £18 and is essential where appropriate to check for old liabilities that mean you must help pay for church repairs.

Contract Exchange and Mortgages

Your solicitor will go through a mortgage offer to ensure it is legally sound. A mortgage valuation will also need to be carried out. The lender will also require you to take out buildings insurance before signing a contract too.

Once your solicitor and you have checked and approved the contract, including matching up the inventory at the property and agreeing a completion date between the two parties, they can be signed and exchanged. Agree on a time, date and place and your lawyer will see to the exchange. After this is done you will be in a legally binding contract to buy the house with a set move in day.

After Contract Completion

Once the conveyancing has been completed and you have moved into your new home, your lawyer will tie up any loose ends. These will include covering land stamp duty, sending out the legal documents to the Land Registry, which you should receive around 20 days later, and sending a copy of the title deeds to your mortgage lender. Finally they will give you a bill for their services.

Conveyancing Fees

It is worthwhile looking at conveyancing quotes to get a good idea of how much it is truly going to cost for your new home. Here at House Network you can use our free online conveyancing calculator to discover cheap conveyancing rates whether buying or selling a home. You’ll receive a free conveyancing quote online, so it can be done from the comfort of your own home, at work or elsewhere.

Then you can make the most of an expert lawyer from our team to ensure everything runs smoothly with your move. Use the online calculator and generate what your conveyancing fees will be with House Network today.

Image courtesy of iStock.