conveyancing explained

Published: 29/11/2021

Conveyancing: a legal process by which property ownership is transferred from one party to another.

Selling a property in London can be a long, overwhelming, and complicated process, but with the help of a trustworthy conveyancer, you can make it as smooth and stress-free as possible. We've put together this comprehensive guide to help you through the conveyancing process.

The conveyancing process starts when an offer on a property is accepted. However, having a conveyancer in place before an offer is made will help speed up the process. We advise getting at least two or three quotes and considering personal referrals when choosing a conveyancer.

A conveyancer's duties include:

  • Drafting contracts
  • Obtaining mortgage offers
  • Conducting local authority searches to check for charges or encumbrances on the property
  • Analysing local authority searches
  • Confirming property details with relevant mortgagors
  • Facilitating the exchange of contracts
  • Transferring a deposit from the buyer to the seller
  • Notifying HMRC and dealing with Stamp Duty Land Tax liabilities
  • Transferring the title deeds of the property
Before you sign the Letter of Engagement, you'll need to verify your address and identity. You'll be asked to present your passport or driving license and supply a mortgage statement or utility bill.

Next, you'll need to fill out some forms, so it's essential to be honest, and transparent to avoid delays later on. The Property Information form informs the buyer of any changes made to the property, such as extensions or loft conversions. If you've replaced any windows and they're under warranty, you'll need to provide supporting documents.

If there's an outstanding mortgage on the property, you'll need to inform the mortgage lender that the property is being sold. They'll advise you to pay off the due balance or transfer your mortgage to your new property.

Once the paperwork is received, the conveyancer will create a "draft" contract and send it to the buyer's conveyancer. This agreement outlines fixtures and fittings in the sale and provides copies of all supporting documents. It will also give a completion date, usually two to four weeks after exchanging contracts.

At this stage, the buyer's 
surveyor will inspect the property's condition and possibly other professionals, such as plumbers and electricians, depending on the information provided in the questionnaires. The buyer may try to renegotiate the property's final price to account for any extra costs.

When the buyer is satisfied with the property's condition, and the draft contract has been agreed upon, the conveyancer will 
exchange contracts with the buyer's conveyancer. The deposit, usually 10%, will be transferred to the conveyancer's client account.

About four weeks after exchanging contracts, completion takes place. The conveyancer receives the outstanding balance, and the keys are handed over to the buyer.

In conclusion, selling a property in London can be a complex process, but with the help of a reputable conveyancer, it can be made as easy and efficient as possible. By following this guide, you'll be on your way to a successful sale.

If you would like to buy a property in central London and would like advice on any aspect of the conveyancing process, please call Circa London and one of our property experts will be delighted to help.
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