Going through conveyancing is a mandatory phase when buying a house. This involves the legal process and the needed paperwork to ensure an impeccable transfer of ownership of the property from the seller to you.
While a lot of people, especially first-time buyers are a bit confused with what conveyancing is all about, this comprehensive guide will give you a better understanding of the process.
What is conveyancing?
This refers to the legal and administrative work done when transferring the ownership of the property from its seller to the buyer.
It starts when your offer to buy the property was accepted and wraps up when the agreement between the seller and the buyer has been duly signed and the property was paid.
Who works on the conveyancing part?
A solicitor, a property lawyer, or a licensed conveyancer can do the work on your behalf. Hiring a conveyancer means authorising them to act on your behalf to work on the paperwork and the legal aspect of the buy-sell process.
To save a reasonable sum of money, you can hire an online conveyancer for as low as £500. However, since the communication and checking of the work progress is done via the Internet, you may need to be a little computer and Internet-savvy to do this.
And although all solicitors are authorised to do this kind of work, not all of them have the experience.
It will be more ideal to hire a solicitor who specialises in residential property transactions to make sure that everything is in order – besides your option of hiring a licensed conveyancer, of course.
Your mortgage lender can also refer you to different conveyancers whom they approve of.
How can a conveyancer help you?
One of the first things conveyancers do is to inspect the property and coordinate with authorities and utility offices to find out if the seller made plans about the property, or any other pending financial and legal obligations. They will also see to it that the house is not located to anything that might cause its new owners any worries.
They also take responsibility in advising buyers of the costs involved in the transaction, including but not limited to stamp duty and other incidentals. Aside from these, conveyancers will also check the contracts and create one if needed to complete the transaction. They also get in touch with your mortgage lender to inform them of what’s going on.
They will generally act on your behalf and be in charge of arranging the payments, together with registering you as the new owner with the Land Registry.
How much does hiring a conveyancer cost?
The services vary depending on the value of the house you intend to buy, although the legal work does not make much difference whether you’re buying an expensive mansion or a more affordable and smaller flat.
Conveyancing generally costs about £850. This includes the conveyancer’s fees, communication costs, together with the council searches and Land Registry registration.
As mentioned earlier, online conveyancers can be considered as they are reasonably cheaper.
And because the market for conveyancers has become more competitive, no-completion-no-fees deals and fixed-rate services are now being offered.
Some of them may require an upfront free while other will wait until the transaction progresses. Whatever the case is, it is better to ask about their fees at the first instance of making an enquiry.
Can I do it on my own?
Although possible, it is not strongly encouraged especially with the amount of paperwork and legal aspect ahead. It may consume a lot of time and a slight mistake can cause you big trouble.
Mortgage lenders may also decide against doing the conveyancing on your own as it might put them at financial risk in the end. To make sure that you encounter the least amount of stress possible when buying a home, hiring a solicitor for conveyancing (or a licensed professional) is most helpful – especially when you’re a first time buyer.