The conveyancing process can be pretty daunting. There are many steps you need to follow, and depending on what property you are purchasing, there could be even more! Conveyancing is something that requires an expert, one who knows the terminology, the procedures and the stages.
Sounds too much for a first-time home buyer? Don’t worry; we’ll guide you through every step of the conveyancing process.
Acceptance of Offer
So, you have found your property and agreed on the price with the seller. Estate agents and sellers will ask for the details of your solicitor at this point. That is why you need to find a conveyancer while looking for a property. When you’re ready to purchase, you only need to inform your solicitor, and they will send you a confirmation of your instruction immediately.
Survey and Searches
A survey is a detailed inspection of the property carried out by a surveyor. This is a crucial step of the conveyancing process to uncover any underlying issues that could turn major in the long run. Sure, you may need to spend more on this, but it’s worth it. It’s better than being surprised with higher costs in the future due to specific home issues you could have caught early on.
In case you have a mortgage, your lender will carry out a valuation report to determine the value of the property based on its current condition. However, it’s not smart to rely on this alone. Hence, hiring a surveyor for a thorough property inspection is a must.
Your conveyancer will also require a search report performed by the local authority. The seller should address any issues based on the information in the search and survey reports.
Exchange of Contracts
Exchanging contracts happens before the day of completion. This process takes place over the phone between each parties’ solicitors.
Before this takes place, you will meet with your conveyancer to sign documents, and you will be given information on how you can transfer deposit funds to your solicitor. The deposit is necessary before the exchange of contracts. Therefore, your solicitor may request your mortgage funds directly from your lender to ensure they come on time.
The exchange of contracts is the point where you become legally bound to purchase the property. Additionally, the exchange of contractors will provide the buyer with the security that completion will take place on the agreed date.
At this point, you forward your deposit, which is typically 10% of the purchase price. If you withdraw from the purchase after the exchange of contracts, the deposit will be forfeited to the seller. On the other hand, if the seller withdraws from the purchase, they may face penalties. However, it’s very rare for any parties to withdraw once they reach this stage; so, there’s nothing to worry about.
On the completion date, the seller leaves the property. Your conveyancer will send the funds to the seller’s solicitor, and once they receive them, the seller’s solicitor will notify you that the keys can be collected.
Usually, the keys are at the acting estate agents’ office. Moreover, completion often happens around lunchtime, but it will still depend when the seller’s solicitor receives the funds.
There are still things to be done following the completion date. The conveyancer will work on the filing of a stamp duty land tax return to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or a land transaction tax return to the Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA), as well as the payment of any tax that is due on your behalf.
The property will be registered under your name with the HM Land Registry as well. Once done, the conveyancer will send an updated version of the title to you.
Make Things Go Smoothly
As a first-time buyer, you can make the conveyancing process a lot easier and move faster. How?
Have a mortgage before you look for a property: It’s a good idea to know how much you can borrow and arrange a mortgage in principle. So, when your offer has been accepted, you can get on with the conveyancing process immediately. Be aware that applying for a mortgage can get complicated, which is why it’s one of the things you need to sort out first before anything else.
Seek an estate agent’s help: Most first-time buyers tend to do everything by themselves, thinking it’s easy until it’s not. That’s why it’s essential you seek the help of an estate agent that can smooth the waters when things get choppy. An estate agent can also help make the transaction go easily.
Fill out forms promptly: When you’re quick to respond to requests for information, the quicker your agent and solicitor will be able to move to the next stage of the process. So, when filling out forms, make sure you do it accurately and promptly. Avoid mistakes that can use up valuable time.
Stay on top of the process: It’s easy to lose track of where you’re up to when buying a house. That’s why it’s important you know how each stage is progressing so you can stay on top of what can be a confusing process.
Sort out your finances: Always be prepared for the many fees you have to pay for. Sort out your finances before diving into the conveyancing process and ensure you have enough funds to make it through.
Find a Conveyancer You Can Trust
The most important tip for the conveyancing process as a first-time buyer is to take the time to find a conveyancer you can trust. It’s true that the process can be daunting, and the right conveyancer can take the time to guide you every step of the way. You need to feel secure you’re with the right conveyancer who will take the lead and who can speed up the process.
Shop around and compare conveyancing quotes. As you do so, use this opportunity to look into the reputation of the conveyancer as well. There is a lot of information online to help you get a grasp of their reputation, such as reviews you can find on their websites, directories and social media platforms.
Estate agent may also recommend a conveyancing solicitor. Personal recommendations are a good place to start as well.
When choosing a conveyancer, it’s crucial you choose one who’s regulated by the relevant body.
Start the Conveyancing Process Today
The term “conveyancing” is a description of the legal process of transferring the interest of a property from one party to another. The conveyancing process can be confusing. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of paperwork involved and it’s not as straightforward as some may think. Because of this, it’s a smart move to work with a reliable and trustworthy conveyancing expert.
Get accurate conveyancing quotes by the best conveyancing solicitors here at Conveyancing Calculator. We provide online residential conveyancing quotes in the UK, whether you are a first-time buyer or selling a long-time home. Get a quote today!