A step-by-step guide to the conveyancing process.
If you are buying, selling or remortgaging a house, you will need to carry out conveyancing. However, for many homeowners this process can prove very complicated.
A conveyancing solicitor or licensed conveyancer acts on behalf of the buyer to ensure their client receives the title deeds to the property and the land it occupies. By understanding what it involves, you will save yourself several surprises along the way.
What is conveyancing?
In terms of the law, conveyancing is the transfer of legal title of property from one person to another, or the granting of an encumbrance such as a mortgage or a lien.
The process begins when an offer has been accepted on a property, and it ends once the final contracts have been signed and all money has been transferred to complete the process.
Who does the conveyancing?
A solicitor or conveyancer usually conducts the process, but it is possible – although difficult – to do it yourself, as long as you are not taking out a mortgage. Bear in mind that it is a complicated and time-consuming business, though, which could end in disaster if you fail (for example) to spot a boundary dispute.
All solicitors in England and Wales need to be registered with the Law Society and regulated by the Solicitors Regulations Authority, and conveyancers will need to be licensed and regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own societies – the Law Society of Scotland and the Law Society of Northern Ireland respectively.
Why do I need conveyancing?
When you buy, sell or remortgage a property, conveyancing is needed to ensure the legal transfer of rights to the property.
What is the cost of conveyancing?
Conveyancing fees range from £250 to £1,500. The average costs will vary depending on the value of the property you wish to buy, sell or remortgage, whether is it freehold or leasehold, and whether schemes such as Right to Buy or Help to Buy are being used.
How long does the conveyancing process take?
The average conveyancing process takes between eight and 12 weeks to complete.