What is a conveyancer?

A conveyancer is someone who assists in this process, acting as a go-between for buyers and sellers. They look after their clients interests.

The legal process of buying a house usually involves the following steps:

1. The buyer and seller agree on a price for the property, the buyer and seller both instruct a conveyancer/solicitor, and a memorandum of sale is sent to all parties including both the buyer and seller’s conveyancers/solicitors.

2. The buyer applies for a mortgage if needed and there is a mortgage process that happens specifically for the mortgage application.

3. The buyer fills in their client information pack so that their solicitor can act for them.

4. The seller also fills in their information pack, this is how the seller’s solicitor makes the draft contract which is sent to the buyer’s solicitor/conveyancer.

5. Once the buyer solicitor has received the draft contract they will ask the buyer to pay for the searches. These are reports the solicitor orders from the local authority, that cover drainage, environmental and local authority planning information.

6. Once the searches have been received back (this usually takes about 4 weeks), the buyer’s conveyancer can then look through the draft contract which contains all the information about the property along with an energy performance certificate and other relevant documents such as a gas safety certificate. They will also look through the searches and if there are any questions they need to raise with any of the information the solicitor has gone through they will raise enquiries with the seller’s solicitor.

7. The enquiries will be raised and the seller will then need to answer these, once the buyer’s solicitor is satisfied that the buyer’s interests are protected then they will ask the buyer to sign a TR1 form. This is a legal document requesting a change to the land registry on who the owners of the property are.

8. The solicitor will then need the mortgage offer to check over any special conditions and requirements of the lender and ask the buyer to sign the mortgage deed.

9. The buyer will pay their deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) and agree on a completion date, once this is agreed the buyer and seller can then exchange contracts and the solicitor will send the certificate of title to the lender to request the drawdown of the funds in readiness for completion.

10. The buyer’s solicitor will then register the ownership of the property with the land registry and once this is complete, keys are handed over to the buyer and they become the new owners of the property.

What is Stamp Duty?

Stamp duty is a form of tax that is paid when purchasing a property l. The amount of stamp duty you have to pay depends on the purchase price of the property and whether it is your main home or not.

What is the Land Registry?

The Land Registry is a government agency that records the ownership of land and property. They keep a register which contains information about all registered titles to immovable property in England and Wales.

How much does a conveyancing cost?

Solicitors fees vary depending on the firm themselves but usually range between £1300-£1800 for buying a house and between £900 – £1200 for selling a property, but these fees can be more depending on the value of the property. This can vary depending on who your conveyancer is and how much experience they have, if you are looking to purchase a property, it is always best to search online for conveyancers in the area you want the property.

It is important to remember that when purchasing a property, there are several other costs that you need to take into account such as stamp duty, land registry fees and mortgage fees but we always cover this off in full with all our clients so you have a breakdown of all the associated costs.

Momentum Mortgages are mortgage brokers based in Sevenoaks, Kent. We help people to buy, invest or remortgage property while reducing stress and saving time. We have helped clients all over Kent including Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Maidstone, Swanley, Dartford, Bromley, Orpington and more.

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