What is Residential Conveyancing?
Residential conveyancing refers to the legal processes involved in buying or selling a property used for residential purposes.
When you are buying a residential property, you will almost certainly require a residential conveyancing solicitor to assist you with making sure all of the essential legal work, searches and taxes associated with buying a property are completed. It is vital to instruct a competent solicitor with the relevant qualifications and experience in order to ensure that the entire process goes as smoothly as possible.
Use our Conveyancing Calculator to make sure that you not only get a knowledgeable professional but also you get one for the right price. Our Residential Conveyancing comparison tool compares quotes from a range of solicitors allowing you to choose the right one for your requirements.
Selling a Residential Property
There are a number of stages that your conveyancing solicitor will handle when you are looking to sell your home. Your solicitor will usually get to the important work once the sale has been agreed and will interact with the buyers solicitor on your behalf. Some of the information that may be sent to your buyer includes:
- An information pack detailing answers to questions about the property. Questions can include issues with neighbours, planning permission that may affect the property, boundary lines and guarantees about any extensions or other building work you have had done. It is vital that this is completed as accurately as possible. If the property is leasehold, for example a flat, then there is usually extra information required detailing the freeholder, any service charges or ground rent and the management company. The pack will also list the fixtures and fittings that you will leave in the property once you have vacated, this can range from large household appliances, built in wardrobes and cupboards to light fixtures and plug sockets.
- Your solicitor will also send over a copy of your title, obtained either from you (the vender) or from the company with whom you currently have your mortgage.
- The contract of sale will also be sent over to your buyer’s solicitor.
Once all of the above has been completed and is satisfactory for both parties it is then down to the small matter of agreeing an exchange and completion date. During the exchange your solicitor will usually receive the buyer’s deposit and handle your mortgage lender’s settlement figure (the amount you need to repay once the property is sold). Contracts are then exchanged between solicitors meaning the sale is now locked in and going back on the agreement means you would incur a significant financial penalty. A transfer deed will then need to be signed and this will be handed over upon completion for the buyer to register the deeds in their name. The completion date will also be fully agreed upon exchange.
On the Completion day the buyer’s solicitor sends us the remainder of the fees for payment for the property which is used to pay off fees such as the remainder of your mortgage, estate agents fees or any other costs you may has incurred in the process. The deeds are then handed over and any reference to you and your property associated with the property will be removed.
Buying a Residential Property
Your residential conveyancing solicitor will guide you through the process of buying your property. If you are a first time buyer this can be extremely helpful as you will likely be very unfamiliar with the process. The process for buying a home is similar to the above process for selling a property, only in reverse. You receive the information sent over by the vender specifying information about the property, fixtures and fittings, a copy of the title and the contract of sale. As a buyer, however, there are some extra steps to ensure you can be completely comfortable with your purchase. This include a wide range of conveyancing searches including:
Local Authority Search – If there are any issues associated with the property such as planning or building regulations this search will identify those. It should also highlight any problems that council activities may cause the property and whether boiler replacements, electrical work any other significant building works have been carried out in accordance with building regulations.
Environmental Search – This will identify any issues with the land on which your property is built including issues related to contamination, subsidence, flood plain or whether the site was previously a landfill.
Drainage Search – Indicated whether your surface and foul water runs into public or private sewers and whether there are any pipes beneath the property.
Other searches include Bankruptcy Search and a Chancel check search which will check whether by owning the property you are then liable to make contributions to the Church in the area. Once the searches are completed, the mortgage has been arranged and you have had a building survey done then contracts are ready to be signed.
Once the contracts are exchanged you are needed to provide your deposit. Contracts can then be exchanged on an agreed date with completion coming on a later, agreed, date.
Compare Residential Conveyancing Solicitors
It is clear that there is a huge amount of, fairly complex, work that must be undertaken which is why it is vital to instruct an excellent residential conveyancing solicitor. Use our Conveyancing fees comparison tool to get the best deal!