When it comes to buying a house, selling a property, or refinancing a mortgage, conveyancing is usually part of the overall equation. For the uninitiated, this process is a legal transfer of a property from one owner to another. However, this legal transfer can be quite complex, tedious, and detail-oriented, which is why you need a professional solicitor or licensed conveyancer to help you with the entire process.
In this article, we will share with you what you need to know about conveyancing, and whether or not you can do it on your own.
The conveyancing process in a nutshell
By definition, conveyancing is a legal matter involving the preparation of documents for the transfer of a property. This term is typically used in real estate transactions when buyers and sellers change the ownership of land, building, or home from one person to another.
Conveyancing is performed using instruments of conveyance—those considered legal documents such as a contract, lease, title, or a deed. These documents detail everything that has been agreed upon as well as the duties and responsibilities of both parties—the seller and the buyer.
Here at Conveyancing Calculator, we help clients find fully regulated conveyancing solicitors in London through our digital calculator. Whether you are buying a house, selling your property, or refinancing your mortgage, we’ve got you covered!
The stages of the conveyancing process
If you aren’t sure of what goes through the entire process of conveyancing, we will now break it down into seven stages. That said, here are the seven stages:
Get a solicitor or licensed conveyancer: Your hired professional will take care of everything in the whole conveyancing process.
Seek funding and get a mortgage: If you need financial help for purchasing a house, you can apply and get approval for a mortgage from a prospective lender.
Have a homebuyer survey: This is a non-intrusive visual inspection to check and report on the condition of your home and highlight any defects.
Conduct conveyancing searches: As a mandatory part of the process, these searches are from the council, water board and environment agency and include information about your property.
Set contracts and have enquiries: Your conveyancer will review all your documents once the seller’s contracts, mortgage offer, and conveyancing searches are all set in place.
Exchange contracts: Both parties—the seller and the buyer––will then exchange contracts through their conveyancers.
Legal transfer completion: Once both parties agree on the terms and conditions stipulated in the contract, you can have a successful property transfer.
The complexity of the conveyancing process
Based on the seven stages of conveyancing, as mentioned previously, you can now see that the whole process is quite complicated and time-consuming. While it is partly true, you just have to consider what’s involved in the entire process. Take note of the following details:
The cost of the house being purchased or sold: You have to work with your conveyancing professional to ensure that you have fair house pricing and can afford to pay all related expenses.
The number of associated professionals: You and the conveyancer will definitely have to deal with various professionals—from the surveyor to your mortgage lender to real estate agents up to the other party’s conveyancer. These can take time as you have to go through different people.
The possible legal issues involved: Given that there’s a lot involved in the conveyancing process, you will be dealing with plenty of things such as title deeds, complicated contracts, large financial expenses, and even things like planning permissions involved. However, your hired conveyancing professional can assist you every step of the way to ensure a successful outcome.
The timeframe of the conveyancing process
Seeing that you will have many tasks to accomplish, you might be wondering about how long the entire conveyancing process will take. In theory, the conveyancing can take place on the same day, or it might take years depending on a handful of reasons. But to set your expectations straight, below are three different timeframes to know about:
Standard freehold conveyancing: six to eight weeks
Standard leasehold conveyancing: eight to twelve weeks
Shared ownership conveyancing: ten to twelve weeks
The cost of the conveyancing service
Another vital consideration in the conveyancing process is its overall cost. Keep in mind that the conveyancing fee varies from one firm to another. While some conveyancing professionals charge by the hour, others have a fixed fee.
You'll also pay more for leasehold (flats) conveyancing than freehold (houses) due to a more complicated process. Freehold conveyancing involves an extra party such as the freeholder, leasehold buyer and leasehold seller. Also, the shared ownership conveyancing costs more than leasehold conveyancing because it involves a housing association.
If you’re looking to compare conveyancing fees in the UK, be sure to use our Conveyancing Calculator. That way, you can get the hire and work with the best conveyancing professional that can make a difference in your real estate journey!
Performing conveyancing without a solicitor acting for you
When it comes to conveyancing, you may have asked yourself if you can do it yourself, whether it’s to save time or money. The truth is, you can! As long as you have the knowledge, expertise, and experience in the whole process, you won’t have any problems.
However, there’s a huge caveat as its complexity may get you overwhelmed. To ensure a smooth-flowing process, it’s still best to work with a professional solicitor. Below are some possible problems you may possibly encounter if you choose to perform conveyancing on your own:
Legal complications: You may not be able to deal with all legal matters as the whole process requires legal expertise.
Longer timeframe: It will most likely take much longer for you to complete the conveyancing process as compared to a conveyancing professional who is trained to do so.
Costly expenses: If you aren’t financially critical of the entire process, you may catch yourself spending more than usual or making costly mistakes.
Outsmarted: It’s more likely that the other party will hire a conveyancing professional. As such, you will want to work with a professional as well who can represent you the best way possible to ensure a desirable outcome.
No undertaking: When you hire a solicitor or licensed conveyancer, their given words called undertaking has legal implications. If they won’t be able to fulfil it, this action will be deemed as professional misconduct. You won’t be able to take advantage of these benefits if you choose to do the conveyancing yourself.
With all these issues that can possibly arise out of DIY conveyancing, it’s still best to hire and work with a professional!
At this point, you now know what conveyancing involves and how it works. Most importantly, you now have an idea of what it takes to do it yourself. Ultimately, it’s best to work with a solicitor or conveyancing professional who can help you every step of the way so that you can expect the legal transfer of your property to be successful!
We provide instant online conveyancing quotes in London that will help you search for the right property solicitor. If you’re looking to compare conveyancing fees in the UK, use our trusted and accurate Conveyancing Fees Calculator or get in touch with us today!