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What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the name given to the legal process of the transfer of ownership of property.

When should I instruct a Conveyancer?

As soon as possible! It is important to instruct us as soon as possible so we are able to take full instructions from you and contact all relevant parties in relation to the transaction.

Should I use a Licensed Conveyancer or Solicitor?

A Licensed Conveyancer is a regulated professional qualified and educated to provide expert legal advice regarding conveyancing law. Licensed Conveyancers don’t handle a wide range of legal matters that solicitors deal with, such as criminal matters divorces, litigation etc. and specialise purely in conveyancing matters. We are the experts.

My estate agent has referred a conveyancing lawyer to me - should I take their advice?

Many estate agents in the UK refer clients to a conveyancing lawyer. There is nothing wrong with this practice so long as it is based on the professionalism and expertise of the conveyancer.

How long will the conveyancing process take?

In an ideal world the property you are buying or selling would be empty, freehold, chain free and there would be no mortgage required. Under these unlikely circumstances the conveyancing could be wrapped up in a few days. It is difficult to advise when a transaction will be completed however we would consider that a standard transaction should take between 6-8 weeks.

What questions should I ask my conveyancing lawyer?

At the outset of your conveyancing it is important that you explain your own personal situation and exactly what you want. You should explain anything that may have an influence on your conveyancing. Finance needs to be discussed, whether there is a chain involved, estate agents and any specific requirements in relation to a proposed moving date. We cannot guarantee that you will move on your suggested date due to matters out of our control e.g. constraints in the chain. We will do everything possible to accommodate your request.

Can I have access to the property prior to completion?

If the property is empty the seller may well allow access to the property before completion. The usual reason is that there is essential work which needs to be carried out. If access is required please notify us as soon as possible so that a request can be made to the Sellers’ solicitor. Please note that it is not standard practice that the Seller will allow access to the property.

Can you guarantee me a quick completion?

We will always try to accommodate quick completions but only where circumstances permit. A quick completion depends on the willingness of all the parties involved in the conveyancing transaction to work towards this together. If you have entered into a “contract race” we will do everything to secure the property for you. However, please note that in these circumstances additional fees will be payable.

Will you keep my estate agents updated?

Absolutely. We will keep the estate agent up to date with information unless you specifically confirm that you do not want them informed as to the progress of the conveyancing transaction.

Is there a difference in registered and unregistered land - does it matter if my property is 'unregistered'?

Unregistered land is land which has not yet been formally registered at the Land Registry. Our conveyancing team are experienced to deal with unregistered land and this will not cause a problem or delay the process subject to all required documentation being available.

What is a contract race?

Sometimes the seller offers the property to more than one buyer usually on the basis that the first one to exchange contracts gets the property. The seller via their property lawyer is obliged to inform the parties concerned if contracts have gone out to more than one buyer.

Once I complete my purchase - when will I get the deeds to my property?

Ordinarily, you will receive the deeds, in the form of a Title Information Document, following the registration of your ownership at HM Land Registry. Registration can take several weeks to finalise following completion. However, if you have purchased the property with the benefit of a mortgage then we will usually send the Title Information Document and any other pre-registration deeds to the mortgage company. However, if the mortgage company do not require the pre-registration deeds then we will forward the same to you for safe keeping. You will always receive a copy of the Title Information Document from us.

When do I pay the estate agent?

Unless you have a prior alternative arrangement with your estate agent that you have told us about, we will pay their fees on your behalf out of the net sale proceeds of your property.

What happens at exchange of contracts?

After the contracts for the sale and purchase have been signed and all parties have agreed on a completion date, we telephone the buyers/sellers conveyancing solicitors and exchange contracts. All parties are legally bound when contracts are exchanged. A date is fixed for completion, the completion date is when parties physically move into their new homes.

Do I need to be with the conveyancing lawyer at exchange of contracts?

No. We do seek your consent before exchange of contracts, but we do not need you to be present for exchange of contracts.

Who chooses the completion date?

This is a matter for agreement between buyer and seller, once all the practicalities are arranged.

What fixtures and fittings can the seller remove from the property?

Usually a seller will complete a Fixtures and Fittings Form outlining the items to be included in the sale. This will normally be attached to the Contract. The buyer’s property solicitor or conveyancing lawyer should send this to the buyer to check this carefully.

I have no stamp duty payable on my purchase - Do I need to have a Stamp Duty Land Transaction Form?

Regardless of whether stamp duty is payable, all ‘land transactions’ must be notified to the Inland Revenue on an SDLT Form.

What are 'disbursements'?

These are third party fees and have nothing to do with the conveyancing quote itself. Which ever conveyancing firm that you instruct to deal with your conveyancing, these charges should be the same.

I would like to stay in the property I am selling after completion - is this possible?

No. The conveyancing contract will provide for “vacant possession” which means you must move out on the day of completion and clear the property of all your furniture and belongings. Usually the contract states a specific deadline on the completion date such as 2pm.

Do I need to attend your office during the conveyancing process?

Not necessarily, you are welcome to come and see us if you want to, but most conveyancing transactions can be completed by phone, fax, email and post.

Can I sue my buyer/seller if they pull out of the conveyancing transaction?

No. If exchange of contracts has not taken place then unfortunately there is nothing you can do if the other party pulls out of the transaction.

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