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Conveyancing - A First Time Buyer Guide
You’ve finally found your dream property and have had an offer accepted by the estate agent, but now you’re starting to think “what happens next?” Read In-Deed’s First Time Buyer Guide below to find out more.
Conveyancing is the legal transfer of a property from one person to another. The majority of people choose to use a conveyancing solicitor or a licensed conveyancer to do this and if you are getting a mortgage your lender will insist you have a professional handle the work.
Congratulations on having your offer accepted – now the hard work can begin! The first thing you need to do is instruct your chosen conveyancing solicitor. People find their solicitor in a variety of different ways:- researching online, contacting local law firms, using ones recommended by friends or family or perhaps using ones their estate agent or mortgage broker have recommended.
There is no best way to find your perfect conveyancing solicitor as it is a very personal decision. Many choose their solicitor based on reviews, timescales, locality and/or fees. You can read In-Deed’s article “How to choose the right conveyancer or property lawyer” to see the types of questions you need to be asking.
Hint:- Instructing a conveyancing solicitor before making an offer can put you in a stronger buying position. Instructing a solicitor early means a lot of the initial paperwork can be completed, saving time and demonstrates you are a serious buyer. At In-Deed we offer this service free of charge! Call us on 0330 100 2322 to find out more or get an instant conveyancing quote.
You will quickly realise that conveyancing quotes will all look slightly different, which can be very confusing. If you are worried standard fees are missing from your quote it is best to call the law firm and double check. Any reputable company will be happy to sit down and explain everything in detail.
Your conveyancing quote should include:
- Legal Fees (and VAT)
- Acting for a mortgage lender – If you are getting a mortgage your conveyancing solicitor may charge an additional fee for representing your mortgage lender.
- Telegraphic Transfers - Same day transfers of money
- Filling in the Stamp Duty Land Tax Return Form
Your lawyer will also need to pay disbursements (third party payments) on your behalf. This will include the following:
- Searches – Should at least include Water and Drainage, Local Authority and an Environmental Search. Depending on the property’s location additional searches may be needed such as a coal search - it is worth checking what searches you will need and any additional fees that may apply.
- Chancel Search or Chancel Insurance
- Land Registry Charge
- Identity Checks
- Bankruptcy Searches
You should also check the small print of your quote. Some conveyancing firms offering cheap conveyancing will charge unexpected fees for things most standard conveyancing quotes include. This might be additional fees for expedited transactions, filling in an adult occupier form, if there is more than one person on the title deeds etc. Sadly it is not uncommon for people to find their cheap conveyancing becomes very expensive at the end.
At In-Deed we try to be as transparent as possible. Our instant online conveyancing quotes are accurate for 99% of our clients. If you are worried your conveyancing will be more complicated than normal please call us on 0330 100 2322 and we will run through your conveyancing quote in detail.
You can find out more information about conveyancing quotes by reading these two articles:
- Conveyancing costs | a guide to the hidden fees your property lawyer may also charge for
- Conveyancing fees – What costs to check for when receiving conveyancing quotes
- Notification of Sale - The estate agent will need to post the notification of sale or memorandum of sale to each party’s solicitors. This document contains everyone’s contact details and is needed before anything can truly happen.
- Complete the initial documentation - Your conveyancing lawyer will send you some initial paperwork which you need to sign and return.
- Certified ID – You will need to have two forms of ID certified. Your lawyer will tell you exactly what these can be and how these can be certified.
- Pay for disbursements – Before your conveyancing lawyer can submit the searches you need to pay for them. At In-Deed this is £260. Once all the searches are completed your lawyer will report back to you on what they contain.
- Send enquiries to the seller and their solicitor – Once your lawyer has received the contract they will send enquiries to the seller and their solicitor. This will consist of standard enquiries, questions you may specifically have and questions based on search/survey results.
- Receive replies to enquiries – Your seller and their solicitor will answer the enquiries. Your lawyer and you can either than ask more or agree to the answers.
- Formalise any mortgages – You will need to formalise any mortgages and sign the mortgage deed before contracts can be exchanged.
- Sign contract – Once you are happy with the contract, you need to sign it and send it back to your solicitor.
- Send deposit funds to your lawyer – It is standard for you to pay 10% of the purchase price as a deposit on exchange of contracts. Your lawyer will need this money in their client account before exchange can take place.
- Exchange of contracts – Once all the documentation has been completed and you have paid your deposit you and your seller can exchange contracts. Once contracts have been exchanged a formal completion date is set and there is no backing out.
- Before completion – You need to send any outstanding funds to your solicitor. If you are getting a mortgage your solicitor will have arranged for the mortgage funds to be sent to them.
- Completion – On the morning of completion your lawyer will send all the funds to your seller’s solicitor. Once these have been received the seller’s solicitor will confirm that the keys can be released. Usually, this happens around lunchtime or early afternoon.
- Post – Completion – Whilst you are settling into your new home your lawyer will submit the Stamp duty land tax return form and pay any stamp duty. They will also register you as the owners of the property with the land registry. Please note this can take several weeks to complete.
The average conveyancing process can take 8 -12 weeks. However, it can be shorter or longer as timescales are dependent on everybody involved in the chain. If you need to fast completion it is best to notify your conveyancing lawyer at the beginning.
In-Deed provides a tailored conveyancing service for buyers and sellers of residential property. We will provide you with a dedicated conveyancing lawyer, who you will work with from start to finish. You will be given their direct line and be able to easily manage your conveyancing from your secure online account. All our conveyancing quotes are price guaranteed and no completion, no fee so you can budget fully for your house move! Contact us today on 0330 100 2322 to find out more. Alternatively, get an instant online conveyancing quote!