When you’re about to buy a home, there are certain professionals who you will have to work with throughout the process. One of them is the conveyancer or solicitor.
Conveyancers have one primary duty, which is to oversee the legal process of transferring property ownership from the seller to the buyer. This process can be quite complicated as it involves various stages and can take at least two months. Considering this, you will need a licensed solicitor by your side to achieve a smooth transaction and turnover.
Since they play such a crucial role in one of the biggest transactions in your life, it pays to understand specifically what they do for you. The paragraph above is just a general description of their tasks, so we’re here to help you understand their role further.
In the sections below, we’ll be going through the tasks of a conveyancing solicitor as well as the nitty-gritty of conveyancing. Make sure to take notes!
The Importance of Conveyancing
As mentioned above, a home purchase is among the biggest transactions you’ll ever make in your life—if not the most. Since you’ll be paying a large sum for it, it only makes sense for you to ensure that it is worth its price. You must be sure of what you are buying.
On top of that, you also have to make sure that the transfer of ownership is smooth and lawfully performed. Otherwise, you may find yourself in all sorts of trouble in the future. It could be a heated dispute on the simple matter of parking spaces or a lease that is about to expire.
It is true that you can perform conveyancing on your own; it’s possible. You can inspect the property you are eyeing and oversee the legal aspects of the transaction without any help as well. However, it pays to remember that licensed conveyancers are experienced in their field.
More often than not, they know the right process and procedures to follow better than you do. They also have a network of professionals that they can turn to when sorting out potential issues that are out of their expertise.
The greatest benefit of working with a solicitor is that you won’t have to do all the hard work alone. The whole process of buying a new home is already stressful and time-consuming on its own. Having a conveyancing solicitor who will walk you through every step of the process will take a huge burden off your shoulders. Ultimately, it gives you that assurance that everything is handled properly.
The Best Time to Hire or ‘Instruct’ Your Solicitor
You’ll want to start listing down potential solicitors as early as possible. You may even start doing it as soon as you’ve taken the first concrete step towards homeownership. With that said, the right time to hire or ‘instruct’ your solicitor is once your offer on a property is accepted.
After hiring, your conveyancer goes to work right away. He will provide you with the terms of engagement. This is a document bearing their fees and the deposits you must pay.
After these papers are settled, your solicitor will get in touch with the seller’s solicitor to get a draft contract. Your conveyancer will also secure the necessary forms and other documents such as the property title deeds.
Local Authority Searches
When looking around for your new home, always keep in mind that there’s more to properties than what meets the eye. On top of that, these undiscovered aspects usually carry various risks that give rise to problems later on.
To address these risks, your solicitor will conduct local authority searches or property searches as part of the conveyancing process. These searches are performed to find out more about the property you are eyeing. Your licensed conveyancer will also enquire about its surrounding areas.
These searches aim to discover flood risks, ground contamination, ground stability, and other issues. Consequently, these examinations are meant to protect you from headaches later on and give you a better and stronger negotiating position.
Working With Your Solicitor
Throughout your home buying process, you will have to work alongside your solicitor to get the best results. Considering this, don’t be shy about getting in touch with them every week to ask for updates. You may also ask them if they still need anything from you.
This is a good way to make sure that things are going according to plan, especially if you’re on a tight schedule. It’s also an effective way to keep everyone on the same page.
The Final Stages in Your Home Purchase
All solicitors will conduct searches to ensure that the property has no problems. Once both parties are satisfied, you will now proceed to exchange contracts. At this point, deposits are paid and the contract now becomes legally binding.
Once all property searches, forms and surveys have been completed, your solicitor proceeds to finalise the contract. They will also exchange contracts for you.
On the other hand, you also have some work to do. You need to arrange your preferred completion date—a date that everyone in your property chain needs to agree on. While this may sound like a lot of work, the best thing you can do is be as patient and flexible as you can!
Around this time, your conveyancer will also send you a final statement. This contains the amount that you need to pay for the property, including any mortgage you have. It pays to mention that this sum must be cleared into your solicitor’s bank account at least the day before. As some bank transfers may take several days to clear, make sure to transfer the amount ahead of time.
When these funds are received by your conveyancing solicitor, he will then confirm the sale with the real estate agent. Consequently, the agent will release the keys to you, effectively making you a new homeowner.
Your Solicitor’s Final Tasks
Although you now legally own your new home, there are still things that your solicitor must wrap up. Particularly, he will need to send your legal documents to the Land Registry to confirm that you are indeed the new owner of the property.
Finally, he will send a copy of the title deeds to your mortgage lender and give you your legal documents back.
The process of buying a new home is an exciting one, but it can also be quite overwhelming. The bright side is that there are professional solicitors who will help you in every step of the way. While you work out the other aspects of this momentous transaction, they sort out all the legalities for you. Furthermore, they help ensure that you are getting your money’s worth by conducting thorough property searches. Ultimately, they handle all of the paperwork so you can move into your new home as painlessly and quickly as possible.
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