Ever wondered what conveyancing involves?
Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring ownership of a property from one party to another.
Firstly the conveyancing solicitor will need proof of ID and will undertake anti-money laundering checks if you are purchasing a property, to establish how you have acquired the monies you are using towards the property.
The vendors solicitor will prepare a draft contract for your solicitor, including supporting documents as below-
- Property Information Questionnaire
- Fittings and contents form – this form will outline exactly what is included with the property. It may also detail any freestanding appliances and whether they are included and at what price.
- Gas safety record and Electrical safety report – this confirms the safety of your boiler and heating system and the electrics in your home. Not every home owner will have these unless the property has previously been rented out.
- Certificates and warranties – this could include things like a damp proofing warranty, new windows (Fensa certificates) or warranties for any appliances.
- Records of any building works and insurance claims – you should be notified of any building works carried out and any insurance claims.
- Bankruptcy search – the mortgage lender requires this. It will confirm that you have not been declared bankrupt.
- Local authority – this will reveal any public rights of way across the property and any council plans nearby.
- Land registry – obtaining the ‘title register’ and ‘title plan’ from the Land Registry database to confirm the general boundaries.
- Flood risk and environmental –A report that shows historical flood data within 400 metres of the property. The environmental search looks at ground contamination nearby.
- Water board – to check where the water supply to the property is from and information on the draining and sewage, including any public drainage on the property.
- Optional searches – depending on where you are in the country, there are other searches that may be carried out for your property, for example mining searches.
Once your solicitor is satisfied with all the searches and enquiries, they will produce their final report and a copy of the contract to be signed. The final report will be a summary of the results on their checks and searches, giving you one last opportunity to review all the information.
After signing the contract and returning it to your solicitor, when to exchange contracts will be arranged and the completion date will be written into the contract.
You will be advised by your mortgage company to have building insurance cover at this stage.
In a property chain, all contracts need to be ready to exchange at the same time.
Exchange of contracts often takes place over the phone, with both solicitors reading out the contracts to ensure they are identical.
Once contracts have been exchanged, the property transaction is legally binding and if you pull out for any reason, you will lose your exchange deposit and will still be accountable for any outstanding legal fees.
You are now in a position to finalise removal plans, notify your broadband supplier, re-direct mail etc
Once contracts have been exchanged you can now look forward to completion day and physically moving to your new home.
Your solicitor will finalise paperwork and payments such as SDLT, estate agent fees and their own fees, before issuing you with a completion statement.