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Congratulations! You’ve taken the exciting step of buying or selling a property. But amidst the whirlwind of emotions and logistical planning, there’s a crucial element that ensures a smooth transition: conveyancing.

At Clarity Legal Services, our expert conveyancing solicitors understand that navigating the legal aspects of a property transaction can feel daunting. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to empower you throughout the process, answering key questions like “What is conveyancing?” and providing a detailed breakdown of the five key stages involved.

 

What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing refers to the legal process of transferring ownership for a property. It’s essentially the behind-the-scenes magic that ensures a clean and secure transaction for both the buyer and seller. A conveyancing solicitor acts on your behalf, handling the legalities and protecting your interests every step of the way. They act as your guide through a complex process, ensuring all the necessary checks and balances are in place for a successful property transfer.

 

The 5 Stages of Conveyancing: A Breakdown

The conveyancing process involves a series of crucial steps to ensure a smooth property transaction. Here’s a breakdown of the five key stages:

 

1. Initial Instructions & Contract Review:

  • You’ll provide your conveyancer with details of the property transaction (purchase or sale) and any relevant documents like proof of identity and address.
  • The seller’s conveyancer will prepare the draft contract of sale which will include both the sellers and buyers details, property details and price. 
  • This will then be sent over to the buyer’s conveyancer to review along with supporting documentation, such as the Land Registry title documents and certificates for any work that has been carried out at the property

2.  Searches & Enquiries

  • The buyer’s conveyancer will conduct various searches to uncover any potential issues with the property. 
    • These searches typically include:
    • Local authority searches to identify outstanding debts on the property (council tax arrears), planning restrictions (extensions, listed buildings), 
    • Environmental Search which reveals any potential environmental hazards
    • Drainage and Water Search which checks if property is connected to the mains.

 

  • They will also check the Land Registry title documents to confirm ownership, any rights of way (easements) affecting the property, and restrictions on future use.
  • They will then raise enquiries with the seller’s solicitor to clarify any ambiguities in the contract or property details (e.g., boundaries, fixtures and fittings included).

 

3. Mortgage Offer & Due Diligence

  • If you’re obtaining a mortgage to finance the property purchase, your conveyancer will liaise with the lender to ensure they receive all necessary documentation for the mortgage offer.
  • This may include proof of income, employment details, and credit checks.
  • They will also conduct due diligence on where your deposit is coming from as they need to ascertain a full picture of where they have come from, not just evidence that the funds are available to you. 

4. Exchange of Contracts

  • Once all searches are complete, enquiries are addressed to everyone’s satisfaction, and the mortgage offer is confirmed, contracts will be exchanged. This creates a legally binding agreement between buyer and seller.
  • A deposit (typically 10% of the purchase price) is usually paid at this stage.
  • A completion date, the day which the money and keys change hands, will be set.

5. Transfer of Funds & Completion

  • On completion day, your solicitor will handle the transfer of funds by bank transfer for the property purchase (or receive funds for the sale) 
  • They will ensure the funds are securely deposited and accounted for before the keys are handed over 
  • They will then oversee the official transfer of ownership with the Land Registry, electronically registering you (the buyer) as the new legal owner.

 

How Long Does Conveyancing Take?

The timeframe for conveyancing can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • The complexity of the transaction (e.g., leasehold property, complex chain of buyers/sellers)
  • The efficiency of other parties involved (e.g., estate agents, mortgage lenders, local authorities)
  • The workload of your solicitor and the seller’s solicitor

However, a typical conveyancing process in England and Wales can take anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks to complete. This is from the point that solicitors are fully instructed and not just from when an offer is accepted.  It’s important to be realistic about the timeframe and factor this into your overall moving timeline.

 

Clarity Legal Services: Your Trusted Conveyancing Partner

At Clarity Legal Services, we go beyond simply processing paperwork. Our conveyancing solicitors are dedicated to providing a seamless and stress-free experience. Here’s what sets us apart:

Clear Communication

We understand legal jargon can be confusing. We’ll keep you informed every step of the way, explaining complex matters in clear and concise language.

Easy to Reach

We’re always at the other end of the phone or email to answer any queries or concerns.

Proactive Approach

We anticipate potential hurdles and proactively address them, minimising delays and ensuring a smooth transaction.

Experienced Team

Our team boasts extensive experience in all aspects of residential conveyancing, ensuring your transaction is handled efficiently and expertly.

Competitive Fees

We offer transparent and competitive fees, so you know exactly what to expect upfront.

 

Moving Forward with Confidence

Whether you’re a seasoned property investor or a first-time buyer, Clarity Legal Services is here to guide you through the conveyancing process with confidence. We understand the importance of clear communication, meticulous attention to detail, and a proactive approach to ensure a successful outcome.

 

Ready to get started on your property journey?

Contact Clarity Legal Services today! Call us on 01604 343 343 or send us a message on our contact page for a free, no-obligation chat about your conveyancing needs.

Don’t let the legalities of buying or selling a property hold you back. Let Clarity Legal Services take care of the conveyancing process, so you can focus on the excitement of your move!

Looking for some legal advice?

If you’re planning to sell your home, our experienced and friendly team at Clarity would be delighted to help take the stress out of your move. We have offices in Northampton and Milton Keynes and serve the surrounding areas.