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The first-time buyer’s guide to conveyancing

18th Oct, 2013

We know that it’s important, but do we know why? It seems that there are a lot of first-time buyers out there who want to get a foot on the housing ladder, but why don’t fully understand what conveyancing entails.

So we thought it’d be a good idea to take a closer look at conveyancing process and have a go at making it a little easier to digest.

What is conveyancing?

Before you can buy a house, you need to make sure of a few things. You need to know that you have a good ‘title’ to the land, you need to know that the person selling the property is actually the owner of the property and that they have a legal right to sell it.

You also need to make sure that there are no other problems that could prevent you obtaining a mortgage, or affect the re-sale if you ever decided to move.

And this is what conveyancing is. It’s the process by which your solicitor ensures that all these things are in place, and that the exchange or contracts, the passing of the title and the completion of the sale go smoothly.

So how does it work?

There are 3 stages to the conveyancing process. We won’t go into too much detail about each of the stages here, but we’ll give you a good overview so you have a better knowledge and understanding of them.

So what are they?

Stage One

This occurs before the Exchange of Contracts. It’s when a draft contract is put together and negotiated, and the draft will contain the full detail of the prices, of each party involved, and other important transaction information.

At this stage your solicitor will check the title of the property, go through the contract and raise any queries you may have.

Once negotiations have taken place and the contract agreed upon, a completion date is set, and if you’re getting a mortgage you’ll also receive a formal mortgage offer on the property (rather than a simple mortgage agreement).

Stage Two

Once stage one is satisfied, the contract is signed and you’re then able to hand over your deposit (which is usually 10% of the purchase price and non-refundable) to the seller, and a transfer document which transfers the title of the property from the seller to you, the buyer, is then exchanged.

Stage Three

The completion stage. The keys are handed over, you receive the title deeds and the property is yours once the remaining balance of the house price (the cost minus the deposit) is settled through your solicitor.

After that, you’re free to move in.

If you’d like to know more about conveyancing, do feel free to get in touch. You’ll be able to speak to one of our team, and we’ll try to help in any way we can!