The Conveyancing Process Explained for Buyers
Buying a home is one of the most significant financial decisions you’ll ever make, which is why it’s important to know all of the steps involved in the buying journey, including conveyancing. Within this article, we aim to provide a conveyancing timeline, so you know what the process involves and a time frame for completion too.
What is conveyancing?
The conveyancing process involves legally transferring home ownership from a seller to you as a buyer. Conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors are in charge of this legal transfer and home buyers pay for this part of the buying process to be handled.
What does a conveyancer do?
There will be a conveyancer for both the buyer and the seller, in this instance, we’ll go through what happens from a buyer’s perspective.
The buyer’s conveyancer will check a draft of the contract and read through all forms and documents needed, such as the property information form. The buyer’s conveyancer will also check the mortgage offer and advise how much stamp duty must be paid.
Conducts conveyancing searches
Searches are a standard part of the conveyancing procedure where checks on the local authority, environment and more are undertaken. These reviews uncover any issues that could potentially cause problems down the line for a buyer.
What happens if there are problems?
If any issues or questions arise, it is up to a buyer’s conveyancer to contact the seller’s conveyancer for information. Once all enquiries and searches have been completed, the buyer’s conveyancer writes up a property report with all information about the property included for the buyer to sign. Following this, the buyer will pay a deposit for their new home.
House completion date
After the conveyancers have agreed on a completion date, contracts are signed making the sale legally bound. Compared to buying an older home, it is more difficult to give a specific date for when a new build will be ready if it is not yet built. Because of this, it is common to exchange contracts “on notice” while setting a “long stop date”.
What this means is that the builder anticipates the home will be ready to move into at some point prior to the “long stop date” and when the build is nearer completion they will do what is called “serving notice” which is normally a period of 10 days from the notice date which will be the date you can complete the sale and move in. Long stop dates vary from 2 to 6 months depending on what stage of construction your new home is at.
Acts on your behalf
Before the case is closed, the buyer’s conveyancer will pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on behalf of the buyer, register the change of ownership with the Land Registry, send title deeds to your mortgage lender and then provide you with a bill for outstanding costs.
How long does conveyancing take?
Conveyancing takes place once the offer on your future house has been accepted and it finishes when the purchase has been fully completed. Conveyancing with no chain, such as buying a new home like ours at County Town Homes, is a quicker process and could take around 6 weeks. However, if there are several other sales involved in the chain, the process can be considerably longer with delays up to 6 months being possible.
Read our blog on how long it takes to buy a house to see where conveyancing comes in the whole process.
Advice for the conveyancing process
- Compare conveyancing quotes to get the best deal and make sure to ask if disbursements are included within this quote. The best deal doesn’t always mean the cheapest – remember you are buying what is probably the largest purchase of your lifetime it is often worth paying a little extra to ensure you have an expert looking after your best interests.
- Look around when choosing your conveyancer so that you ensure you’re employing someone reputable who is up-to-date with the latest conveyancing technology.
- If you are buying a new build home, it is helpful to choose a conveyancer with a specialism in new build properties.
- Provide all of the necessary documents quickly to speed up the process, such as ID, proof of address and mortgage details.
- Communicate with your conveyancer regularly to find out where they are up to in the process.
How much does conveyancing cost?
Conveyancing fees are split into the legal fees for your conveyancing solicitor to do their job and disbursements which are third-party charges for services such as searches. It is estimated that conveyancer costs overall could come to £1,000 – £2,000. This cost should be factored in when you are budgeting to buy a house.
To read more about the house-buying process and access helpful moving checklists, explore our blogs at County Town Homes.