Key Stages of Conveyancing In The UK

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While most buyers and sellers will not necessarily need to understand the full details of the conveyancing process (this is their lawyer’s job) an understanding of the steps is useful to ensure the transaction proceeds smoothly.

In short, conveyancing is the transfer of legal title of property from one person to another. There are different types of conveyancing transactions, residential, commercial and agricultural. There will be conveyancing firms who deal with all or just certain types.

Conveyancing also deals with different tenures – leasehold and freehold etc.

Key stages of conveyancing

Instructed by a conveyancer, they will then kickstart the process of opening a file for you, providing quotes and confirming the information they require from you as the buyer or seller.

Enquiries and searches, this is detrimental to the conveyancing transaction as it will allow you as a buyer to find out all you need to know about your property and ensure the title is free from defect. As the seller this will allow you to provide the information your buyer will need to proceed.

Exchanging contracts, this will be the key point of putting a legal stamp on your completion. Once all conveyancers in the chain have their paperwork, finances and replies in place all parties can mutually agree on a completion date and contracts can be exchanged throughout which then places all parties under a legal obligation to complete on the aforementioned agreed date. This is probably the most important key date in your conveyancing process.

Completion, this will be your moving day. To your conveyancer this will be the date funds are transferred throughout the chain and they can confirm completion and release keys via estate agents. The transfer of title can then take place.

During the conveyancing transaction you may feel it has gone quiet or is dragging on, however what you may not be aware of is behind the scenes your UK conveyancing solicitor such as AVRIllo who are also the leading Peterborough conveyancing solicitors are doing a lot of legal and administrative work that is required before exchange and completion can take place.

Each conveyancing transaction is different and requires due diligence by your appointed professional.

What is the Conveyancing Process?

The conveyancing process can be broken down into the following steps:

  1. Initial instructions – Seller and buyer instruct their own lawyers to act for them. They complete various initial forms.
  2. Draft Contract and Searches – The seller’s lawyer prepares the draft contract and sends it to the buyer’s lawyer. They order the searches.
  3. Enquiries – The buyer’s lawyers raise enquiries based on the draft contract pack, the sellers and their lawyers respond.
  4. Mortgage offer – While the above steps are going on, the buyers apply for their mortgage, and the lender issues an offer.
  5. Report – Once the searches are returned, all enquiries are answered and the mortgage offer is received, the buyer’s lawyer reports to the buyers on the property.
  6. Exchange – Once the buyers are happy, a completion date is agreed, and all documents are signed, exchange takes place. Both parties are legally bound at this point.
  7. Completion – Funds are sent to the seller’s lawyers, and keys are released to the buyers.

How long does the Conveyancing Process take?

At every step in the conveyancing process there is the opportunity for delay or complication. The current average is 5 months from sale agreed to completion, however the conveyancing process can often take as little as 8-12 weeks.

It will very much depend on how quickly the rest of the chain can act; how quickly the lender can issue the mortgage offer, or the enquiries can be satisfied, for example. If a complex legal issue arises which requires further investigation, such as a boundary issue or a problem with a Lease, this will add significantly to the conveyancing process timescale.

It can be very difficult to estimate how long the conveyancing process will take, this will be an ongoing conversation between the client and the lawyer.

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