What does a conveyancer do?
Buying or selling property is a complicated legal process. As a result, most people appoint a solicitor or professional conveyancer to take care of all the essential legal elements, known as conveyancing.
From the moment you have an offer accepted until that exciting day when you collect the keys, conveyancing is the legal process through which property ownership transfers from a seller to you.
You can do the conveyancing yourself, but unless you know your stuff, it’s probably quicker and easier to pay a professional – especially if you and the seller are hoping for a smooth and speedy transaction.
How do I appoint a conveyancer?
Once you’ve had an offer accepted and chosen your mortgage lender, now’s the time to get a conveyancer to work on securing your dream home.
Your estate agent or mortgage provider may recommend one of their preferred conveyancers, or you can do your research independently. Be aware, though, that some mortgage providers will only work with one of their trusted conveyancers.
Buyers usually choose either a qualified solicitor who specialises in conveyancing or a professional conveyancer. However, check out their credentials and feedback from previous clients before you sign on the dotted line.
Make sure you know what they charge, including any extra hidden costs or terms and conditions. It’s also important you feel comfortable that they can work to your timescale and keep up open lines of communication throughout the process. You don’t want to be chasing them for answers at every step of the transaction!
Once you’ve appointed a conveyancer, you’ll need to provide them with details of your mortgage, proof of your ID, and get all the legal paperwork checked and signed as quickly as possible. The conveyancer then writes to the seller’s solicitor, confirming their appointment.
What does a conveyancer do?
In brief, a conveyancer processes the legal documentation, searches, and exchanges involved in buying your new home. In addition, they will examine the draft contract for your property purchase and liaise with the seller’s solicitor about any queries or concerns you may have.
Your conveyancer will also conduct property searches, which may uncover information that’s not immediately apparent about the property just from looking at it. For example, check for any local plans that might affect your new home, verify boundary ownership, check for flood risks, and confirm that the seller does legally own the property they’re selling.
In a few cases, it might be that these searches turn up vital information that affects your willingness to buy the property – like plans for a new football stadium right on the doorstep – or alters the value of the building in some way. In this case, your conveyancer will also assist you with any renegotiations.
Finally, they will also process the documentation for your exchange of contracts, register your new ownership, and arrange the payment of stamp duty. Then, if all goes to plan, the only thing left for you to do is pick up the keys and get yourself moved in!