If you are considering moving house or taking your first steps on the property ladder, you will be legally obliged to carry out the process of conveyancing. Conveyancing is the ‘act of transfer of title to property from one person to another’. Put simply, this means that conveyancing is the legal process of buying and selling property.
Who Does the Conveyancing?
It is now a legal requirement that conveyancing is undertaken by a property solicitor or licensed conveyancer. A single lawyer is not able to act for both parties because this would cause a conflict of interest. The buyer and the seller must have their own legal representation. Solicitors, unlike licensed conveyancers, usually practice all areas of law and are regulated by the Law Society. Licensed conveyancers specialise only in conveyancing and are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyances. However, consumer protection standards and the process of conveyancing will be the same for either type of legal support. There are also firms that specialise in a swift conveyancing process, like Quick Move Conveyancing, and these companies are particularly useful if time is of the essence.
The Conveyancing Process
When you’ve hired a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer, they will be in charge of ensuring that the terms and conditions of the contract for sale are fair and that all the financial information provided is in good order. They will act on behalf of either the buyer or the seller to represent their interests in the purchase or sale of the property.
The seller’s conveyancer will request a copy of the land registry entry for the property, and this is sometimes referred to as the ‘office copy’. They will include the land registry plan and details when preparing the contract for sale. The contract will be passed to the buyer’s solicitor, who will then apply for the official searches from a variety of bodies, the local authority included, and assess the contract for sale. If the buyer is taking out a mortgage, the solicitor needs to see a copy of the formal mortgage offer and guarantee that the buyer will be able to complete to transaction. Once all the contract queries have been resolved and the searches and proof of funds received, then both parties can exchange contracts. The exchange of contracts is a legally binding agreement, and neither party can now back out of the property sale. At completion date, the keys are handed over and the buyer can move into their new property.