What is Conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the ‘act of transfer of title to property from one person to another’. In essence it is the legal process of buying and selling property.
Who does the Conveyancing
Property conveyancing, by law, must be done by a qualified property solicitor or licensed conveyancer. One lawyer cannot act for both parties, as this would cause a conflict of interest so therefore both the buyer and seller will have their own representation.
What is the difference between a Licensed Conveyancer and a Solicitor ?
Solicitors are regulated by the Law Society and normally practice all areas of law, including conveyancing. Licensed Conveyancers are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers and specialise only in conveyancing. Many Licensed Conveyancers are Solicitors who have converted to Licensed Conveyancer status. The processes and consumer protection standards are the same for either type of firm.
What do Licensed Conveyancers do?
Essentially the conveyancer is acting on behalf of either the buyer or seller and representing their interests in the property purchase or sale. Their job is to ensure that the terms and conditions of the contract for sale are fair and reasonable and that all of the financial information is correct. The process for what they actually do differs as to whether they are acting for the buyer or the seller.
What is the Conveyancing Process?
The seller’s conveyancer will first request a copy of the land registry entry for the property being sold. This is sometimes referred to as ‘deducing title’ which involves showing that the seller holds good legal title to the land or property. They will then prepare a contract for sale, incorporating the land registry plan and details, before forwarding it to the buyers solicitor.
The buyers solicitor will apply for the searches from a variety of bodies including the local authority, and will assess the contract for sale that has been received from the seller’s lawyer. Additionally, if the buyer is borrowing money on a mortgage then the solicitor will need to receive a copy of the formal mortgage offer and be satisfied that the buyer has sufficient funds available to complete the transaction.
If queries arise from the contract for sale, the buyer’s solicitor/conveyancer will raise a query with the seller’s conveyancer. Once all of the queries have been resolved, the searches have been received, and proof of funds achieved, then both parties will be in a position to exchange contracts.
Is Exchange of Contracts Binding ?
Exchange of contracts is the point of no return for both parties and is a legally binding agreement for the Seller to sell and the Buyer to buy the property. At any time up until this point, either party can withdraw from the process with no penalty other than any monies they have spent on surveys, mortgage application fees etc.
At exchange of contracts a completion date is normally agreed when the transfer will be finalised. On the day of completion the monies are transferred between the parties and ultimately, the keys are handed over.
If you require further information, please contact Derek R Adkins, Licensed Conveyancer, for a no-obligation consultation in our offices, or in your own home. Use the ‘Contact Us’ section of this website to provide a brief outline of your enquiry and we will contact you at the very latest within 24 hours.