House conveyancing is the legal process of transferring ownership of a property from one person or entity to another in the United Kingdom. It can be a complicated process involving various legal requirements and paperwork, but it is essential to ensure a smooth and lawful transfer of property ownership.
In this article, we will provide a simple overview of the house conveyancing process in the UK, highlighting key stages and considerations along the way. Here at Aventine Property, we offer a deal-sourcing service, we work with professionals to close the deal and guide you from the initial process to property completion.
Stage 1: Finding a Property
Before the conveyancing process begins, a buyer must find a property they want to purchase. This involves searching online, working with an estate agent, or attending property viewings. Once a buyer has found a property they want to buy, they will typically make an offer through their estate agent.
If the seller accepts the offer, the conveyancing process can begin. It’s important to note that the buyer and seller can agree to conditions of the sale, such as a completion date or the inclusion of certain fixtures and fittings, before the conveyancing process begins.
Stage 2: Instruction of a Solicitor or Conveyancer
The next step in the conveyancing process is to instruct a solicitor or conveyancer. These legal professionals are responsible for handling the legal aspects of the property transfer on behalf of the buyer.
A solicitor or conveyancer will conduct various searches and checks to ensure that the property is legal and meets all the requirements for transfer of ownership. This includes conducting a title search to ensure that the seller has the legal right to sell the property, and checking local authority and environmental records for any potential issues, such as planned developments or environmental concerns.
Stage 3: Exchange of Contracts
Once the solicitor or conveyancer has completed their searches and checks, the next stage is to exchange contracts. This involves the buyer and seller signing and exchanging identical copies of the contract, which sets out the terms and conditions of the sale.
At this point, the buyer will typically be required to pay a deposit, usually around 10% of the property’s value. This is a non-refundable payment that secures the property for the buyer.
After exchange of contracts, the sale is legally binding, and both parties are committed to completing the sale on the agreed date. If the buyer fails to complete the sale, they may forfeit their deposit, and the seller may take legal action to recover any additional costs or losses.
Stage 4: Completion
The final stage of the conveyancing process is completion. This is when the buyer pays the remaining balance of the purchase price, and ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.
Once completion has taken place, the buyer will typically receive the keys to the property, and the seller will vacate the property.
After completion, the conveyancer will register the change of ownership with the Land Registry. This is a legal requirement and ensures that the new owner’s details are registered with the Land Registry, which is the official record of land and property ownership in England and Wales.
Throughout the conveyancing process, there are several key considerations that both buyers and sellers should be aware of: Read more about the role of conveyancing in UK home buying.
Costs: Conveyancing can be expensive, and buyers and sellers should budget for legal fees, as well as any other costs associated with the sale, such as stamp duty and land registry fees.
Timeframes: The conveyancing process can take several weeks or even months to complete, so buyers and sellers should be prepared for potential delays.
Mortgages: If the buyer is taking out a mortgage to finance the purchase, the lender will typically require a valuation of the property before agreeing to lend the money.
Leasehold vs Freehold: Buyers should be aware of the difference between leasehold and freehold properties. Leasehold properties are owned for a fixed period of time, while freehold properties are owned