What is Conveyancing?

Selling or buying a property can be a daunting experience. Follow our basic guide to conveyancing to help fill in the gaps in your knowledge. There is some useful information below, however if you need any further help or advice with conveyancing please contact us.

A conveyancing transaction consists of two main points: exchange and completion. The exchange of contracts is when the equitable title passes and the completion of the sale is when the legal title passes. During the process of selling or buying property conveyancing occurs in three separate stages: before contract, before completion and after completion. In the stage before exchange both the seller and buyer may pull out of the sale.

Conveyancing is carried out by either a solicitor or licensed conveyancer. Fees vary depending on the complexity of the property transaction. The general turnaround time from instruction to completion in the UK is around 10 to 12 weeks; this can vary greatly depending on the specifics of the sale in question.

Typically the seller or seller’s estate agent will assist in price negotiation and once a price is agreed by seller and buyer the sale is passed onto the solicitor. A survey may then be carried out if the buyer wishes. At this stage it is usual for the solicitor to obtain the property deeds and carry out the relevant searches. The seller’s solicitor will then draft the contracts of sale which need to be approved by the buyer’s solicitor. After approval and prior to exchange the seller will complete a fixtures and fittings inventory.

Once contacts have been exchanged on the property the sale becomes legally binding and neither party can pull out without incurring a penalty.

Once the sale goes through to completion the solicitor will register the new ownership of the property with the Land Registry.

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