Conveyancing involves transferring home ownership or a legal title to land from a seller to a buyer, or between two entities. The first step in conveyancing begins when your offer is accepted and ends when you have the keys to the house firmly in your hands.
Who handles the conveyancing?
It is important to hire a competent conveyancer in any transaction. A conveyancer provides adequate advice about the sale of the property. The conveyancer also prepares the documents needed and handles the settlement process. Ensure that your conveyancer is licensed and qualified before engaging in any transaction. Conveyancers are not necessarily lawyers, but solicitors also carry out conveyancing.
Stages in conveyancing
There are three stages in any typical conveyancing transaction. The first one is before contract, followed by before completion, and the final stage is after completion.
On informing the conveyancer that you intend to use their service, you should receive documents to confirm the terms of business. Upon signing, return the documents as soon as possible to ensure that the work begins. In most occasions, you have to deposit some funds to cater for costs such as searches.
The conveyancer then writes to the seller's solicitor and requests a draft of the contract. The draft contract typically covers details such as the title of the property, a copy of the lease if in leasehold, and other standard details regarding the seller's property.
You should go through the details filled by the seller and raise any queries if any. If there are queries, your conveyancer will raise them with the seller's solicitor. A point to note is that if the property is leasehold, you might want to confirm that your conveyancer has sent a standard managing agents questionnaire to the seller's conveyancer.
This questionnaire is sent to the landlord residents association. A typical questionnaire asks for details such as the name, address, and phone number of the landlord. It also contains details about the registration fee, current ground rent, service charge, and other pertinent details to the property.
If you are on mortgage, your conveyancer should receive a copy of the same to understand the conditions and thereafter carry out the legal work on behalf of the mortgage lender. When everything is satisfactory, you can sign the contract and transfer a deposit to your conveyancer's bank to cater for the exchange. At this juncture, both you and the seller are legally bound. Backing out at this point entitles the other injured party to claim compensation for any losses arising.
When the seller receives all the money owed, he or she drops the keys to the estate agent and you are free to collect them. Your conveyancer should arrange for titles to be transferred to your name. If you are on mortgage, the deed is sent to the lender for safe keeping until you clear the loan.