What Is A Conveyancer?

What is a conveyancer?

Have you found your dream home and you’re ready to move ahead with a purchase? If so, you’ll need the services of a conveyancing solicitor to help you.

A conveyancer plays an integral role in the transaction of a piece of land or property, whether residential or commercial. So, what can they do to help you get over the line and purchase the home of your dreams?

Continue reading to find out everything there is to know about conveyancing solicitors and the conveyancing process.

The role of a conveyancer explained

A conveyancer is somebody who helps you through the process of buying or selling a property.

As conveyancing is the legal process of transferring the ownership of a property from one party to another, you’ll require the services of conveyancing solicitors to complete the process to ensure all legal ownership is transferred correctly.

When buying a house, your conveyancing solicitor will:

  • Check title deeds
  • Organise the correct property searches and surveys
  • Organise ownership transfer
  • Liaise with the seller’s solicitor
  • Check your mortgage offer
  • Agree on a completion date
  • Organise financial transfer and handover of keys

What does the conveyancing process include?

The entire conveyancing process can take up to 24 weeks in some cases as there are a lot of steps to navigate. Any delay to this timeframe can depend on whether there’s a chain involved, if the property is a leasehold, if you’re using a gifted deposit to help you buy, and delays from either the buyer or seller.

The conveyancing process goes as follows:

ID checks

First, your conveyancer will carry out identity checks to ensure no sinister offences, like money laundering and mortgage fraud, have occurred from either party. This will involve you providing different pieces of identification, like a driving licence, passport and utility bill.

If everything is clear, they’ll move on to the next stage of the process.

Draft contract package

The seller’s solicitor will provide the draft contract pack for the buyer’s solicitor. This will include a draft contract of sale, the seller’s property information form and any warranties, planning permission, and building control certificates.

This pack will also include the title deeds and plan of the property.

Your conveyancer will then identify any defects or problems raised by the title which could be an issue for the buyer.

Searches

Next up, your conveyancer will conduct some vital searches on your property. These searches are essential to ensuring all is good with the property and the buyer isn’t stung by a property riddled with issues.

Once the searches have been completed, your conveyancer will raise enquiries based on the findings and information contained within the draft contract pack.

The searches conducted include:

  • Local Authority Search – This will reveal a lot about a property, including granted and refused planning permission, building regulations and other factors, such as whether the property is in a conservation area.
  • Environmental Search – Among other things, contamination and nearby landfill sites are checked here. An Environmental Search will also work out the probability of flooding in future.
  • Water and Drainage Search – This search will reveal if the property is connected to the public water supply and sewerage.

Property report and exchange

The buyer will then be made aware of the search results via a Property Report. This includes information discovered during the searches, the mortgage and any restrictions.

Once everything has been agreed, the contracts can be exchanged and the deposit (usually 5 to 10% of the house price) is paid. From here, the buyer is now legally bound to complete the purchase.

Completion

You may be surprised to know that completion is the penultimate stage of the conveyancer’s role.

Here, the sale is finalised and the property is legally transferred to the buyer once all funds have been deposited to the solicitor representing the seller. Once they’ve received the funds, you’re clear to go and pick up the keys to your new home!

Post-completion

This stage is where the conveyancer will complete their final steps. They’ll arrange for any Stamp Duty Land Tax to be paid and register the buyer as the new owner with the HM Land Registry, officially completing the transaction.

Do you need a conveyancing solicitor?

If you’re purchasing a property with a mortgage, then you’ll likely need a conveyancer. Most lenders require a buyer to appoint a solicitor if they’re applying for a mortgage.

If you’re not using a mortgage to purchase a property, then a conveyancer is not mandatory. However, going ahead without one is a major risk because it requires such a huge amount of very specific work.

While doing your own conveyancing can save solicitor fees, it brings with it huge risks and complexities that are best left to a professional. DIY conveyancing takes up a huge amount of time which can add to an already stressful situation.

Avoid the risks and the stress and consider hiring conveyancing solicitors in London.