The Quick Guide To Conveyancing

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Conveyancing is an area of the law that touches most of our lives in one way or another but about which most know very little. Conveyancing is a big topic and to fully understand it would require years of study and practical experience, however as a conveyancing client this depth of understanding is fortunately not necessary.
It will help the flow of your transaction however if you have a basic understanding of the process. So without further ado, here is TheAdvisory’s basic conveyancing survival guide.
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Before we begin, I should point out that this a basic guide to the conveyancing process. If you’re looking to undertake your conveyancing yourself then please read our guide to DIY conveyancing.

Stages of the Conveyancing Process

The process begins with instructing a conveyancer. Both seller and buyer should instruct a conveyancing lawyer.

Once solicitors are instructed the seller's solicitor will put together a set of papers called the contract pack which he will send to the buyer's solicitor. Until these papers are received the buyer's solicitor cannot start work on the file. When they are received the buyer's solicitor will order conveyancing searches and raise any enquiries he has. Remember this is a basic conveyancing guide, some firms may do things in a slightly different order.

Once search results are in and enquiries are answered the buyer's solicitor will report to his client, asking him to sign the contract and some other papers if he is happy with the report. A deposit is then paid by the buyer to his solicitor provided the rest of the chain is ready, contracts can be exchanged. Completion then follows on a pre-agreed date.

Instructing a Conveyancer

The first stage in conveyancing is instructing a conveyancer. You will need to sign the conveyancer's terms of business and complete a questionnaire. You will also need to provide ID documents. If you are buying, and you are providing a deposit from your own funds (i.e. not from a mortgage or the proceeds of a sale which the conveyancer is also dealing with) you may also have to provide evidence of how you have acquired the money.

Your conveyancer should not proceed to commence work on the transaction until you have provided satisfactory identification.

The Pre-Contract Stage

At the pre-contract stage, the seller's conveyancer prepares a pack of papers called the contract pack which is sent to the buyer's conveyancer. The buyer's conveyancer then checks through the papers, orders searches and raises any enquiries which he deems necessary. On receipt of replies and search results he will prepare a report for his client on his findings. His client may then ask for further enquiries to be raised or he may sign the papers and pay a deposit.

Once the buyer is happy with everything he will authorise his conveyancer to exchange contracts. Before exchange, a completion date must be set. The property will then be handed over on the completion date.

The Post-Exchange and Completion Stage

Following exchange of contracts the conveyancers must prepare for completion. The seller's conveyancer must obtain a redemption statement for any mortgages on the property and the buyer's conveyancer must order mortgage funds, collect any balance needed from his client and carry out pre completion searches. On the day of completion the buyer's conveyancer will transfer funds to the seller's conveyancer and the keys will be given to the buyer.

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