The conveyancing process explained to buyers

The conveyancing process is a bit different depending on if you are a buyer or seller of a property. Before we begin with the conveyancing process for buyers, let’s start with the basics:

Conveyancing is the transference of the legal ownership of a property.
The process usually begins when you make an offer on a property, and it ends when you have the keys in your hands.

So, before you make an offer and start the process, you should:

  • Get a mortgage decision in principle (DiP):

Choose the mortgage that best suit you. Do not be carried away by the one with the lowest interest rate; instead, do proper research.
When you have decided on a mortgage and completed all the application forms, the mortgage provider gives you an agreement in principle.

A decision in principle (DiP) is a document stating that the lender will allow you to borrow a certain amount for a property you make an offer on after meeting certain criteria.

A DiP gives the seller assurance that you have the means to pay for the property and will not slow down the conveyancing process.

  • Pick a Conveyancing Solicitor.

Although the estate agent will recommend a conveyancer, you do not have to take the recommendation.

Distance is not a barrier to conveyancing, so you can decide to go with an online conveyancing solicitor. The online conveyancing quotes you receive may be cheaper than a local firm of conveyancing solicitors.

A quick Google search or asking family and friends who have recently bought or sold property is an excellent way to find a conveyancing solicitor.

Also, confirm that the conveyancing solicitor you have settled for is qualified and licensed.

  • Protect against the costs of failed transactions.

Most online solicitors have a policy of no completion, no fee. If the transaction falls through, you do not suffer any financial loss.

  • Instruct your conveyancing solicitor.

Instruct in this case means reaching out and informing the conveyancing solicitor that you would like them to work for you.

The solicitor will send you a letter of engagement and a client care letter, and other documents to form the contract. Your solicitor will also need documents like:

  • your bank statements, passports or driving licence (to ID you)
  • utility and council tax bills (to prove your address).
  • Bank statements (to prove you can pay for the property)
  • The decision in Principle document (if you are taking a mortgage)

After you make your offer and the seller accepts, you should:

  • Get Information:

Your solicitor will ask the seller’s solicitor for a copy of the draft contract and a copy of the sale pack, which you will both review and raise additional enquiries.

Your conveyancer will also do some searches, including the local authority searches, water authority searches, environmental searches, and chancel repair searches, to confirm the property is not situated in a ‘risk area.’

  • Sign the contract & Set the Completion Date.

Before you sign the contract, you would have had to complete the document your mortgage provider has requested, so your solicitor can arrange funds to be available when required.

When your solicitor can assure you that you have complete information on the property and have asked all the questions you may have, you may proceed to sign the contract for the purchase and Form TR1- the document that transfers ownership.

  • Take out building Insurance
  • Exchange Contracts with the seller
  • Completion

The seller must sign Form TR1. You will get the form after the balance of the property has been paid. After this, you get the keys to the property, and it is all yours

Though there will be tasks to do after completion, this covers the basics of the steps.

Please note that the following documents: insurance documents, indemnities, surveys, the Property Information Form, boiler servicing records, electrical installation certificates and guarantees should be kept safe with you.

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