Buying a home of your own is exciting, but it can also be a little bit stressful! Whilst the purchase process might seem complex, it’s really not. To help you get your head around it and put you at ease, our mortgage experts have created this helpful guide to conveyancing; that is, the legal transfer of a property’s ownership. Let’s break it down into several stages.
Stage 1: instruct your conveyancing solicitor.
This is the point at which you make contact with your solicitor and they agree to take on your case. Once you have returned some initial documents, they will get to work. The estate agent will exchange your solicitor’s details for the details of the seller’s. Your conveyancing solicitor will then be sent several documents by the other solicitor including information about what’s included in the sale, details about the lease if applicable, the title deeds, and a copy of your formal mortgage offer.
Stage 2: property searches.
The conveyancing solicitor will carry out a series of investigations into the property and any associated risks. This is known as a property ‘search’, and they will request upfront fees for this. Though the type of searches required can vary, there are some which are recommended for every purchase, including local authority, flood risk, environmental, planning, water and drainage.
Stage 3: contracts.
Once any issues that have been identified by your independent survey or the conveyancer’s searches are sorted, you will receive contract paperwork from the seller’s conveyancer. Your solicitor will check the details and negotiate to draw up a finalised version. You will agree and sign a completion statement, transfer deed and mortgage deed, and the conveyancer will conduct a final check with the Land Registry. They will also raise any enquiries you or they have about the property, and any prompted by the property searches or replies.
Stage 4: mortgage.
At this point, your mortgage offer is received, and your conveyancer will check through the details and make sure the conditions have been satisfied. If you’re worried about the mortgage process at all – don’t be! Our expert mortgage advisors are here to help – contact us today!
Stage 5: final checks.
To confirm you are happy to proceed with the purchase, your conveyancer will send you a detailed report about the purchase and the property which you will need to sign and return. Once all documents have been received from you by the conveyancer, arrangements will be made to transfer your deposit to the conveyancer ahead of exchange of contracts.
Stage 6: contracts exchanged.
Once all parties have agreed upon a completion date and all enquiries have been satisfied, contracts are exchanged. You will then exchange documents and your deposit will be transferred to the seller’s solicitor. At this point, you are legally bound to go through with the purchase.
Stage 7: completion.
It’s the exciting part! This is the stage where the sale is finalised, and the property becomes yours by law. Your solicitor will arrange for the balance of the sale price minus deposit to be paid by requesting the finances from your lender. The solicitor will then obtain a range of documents that confirm your ownership, including transfer deeds and title deeds. Within 30 days of completion day, the conveyancer will also arrange for stamp duty to be paid, and register you as the new owner with the Land Registry.