The conveyancing process can be a bit of a minefield, especially if you are a first time buyer. Our frequently asked questions will help you understand the commonly used terms as you navigate the property buying and selling process.
Q. What is Conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the name of the legal process involved in the transfer of property ownership.
Q. How long does the Conveyancing take for a normal sale or purchase?
Usually the conveyancing process for a property sale or purchase takes around 8 – 12 weeks.
Q. Will I have to provide Identification?
We will need your identification documents in order to complete either a sale or a purchase. This is to comply with Money Laundering Regulations, which stipulate that we must obtain evidence of a client’s identity. We will perform an electronic Thirdfort ID verification for each property owner.
Q. Can a firm act for the buyer and the seller of a property?
Yes, one firm can act for both the buyer and seller if they are established clients of the firm, blood relatives or represented by separate branches. Both the buyer and seller have to agree to the same firm acting. Sometimes a buyer’s mortgage lender will insist on separate representation. However, the same firm cannot act for both parties in any circumstances where there is a conflict of interest.
Q. Are there any hidden costs?
There are no hidden costs associated with our conveyancing service. We will provide you with a fixed legal fee to cover the work. We will only ever increase our fee, if, during the transaction, something comes to light which was unforeseen. If this did happen, we would discuss this with you before incurring extra charges.
Q. What is the difference between a Leasehold and Freehold Property?
With a Freehold property you own the property and the land on which it is situated. With a Leasehold property you own the property for a fixed term, but you do not own the land. You would usually pay an annual ground rent to the Freeholder, and at the end of the term, the land reverts back to the Freeholder.
Q. What is the difference between an exchange of contracts and completion?
An exchange of contracts is when the buyer and seller enter into a legally binding agreement to buy and sell on a set date. Once the exchange has taken place, both parties are committed to the sale/purchase, and cannot pull out of the transaction without legal penalties. The Exchange of contracts is also when the buyer must pay a deposit, usually 10%. The Completion refers to the day on which all payments have been made/received, that the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer; the day that you can move into your new home.
Q. At what point will I get the keys to my new property?
You will be able to collect your keys from the Estate Agents on the day of completion. This is usually around 1 pm.
Q. What happens to deeds when purchasing a house?
Most properties are now registered at the Land Registry and the legal documents are held electronically by them. We will send you copies of the documents, and any other supporting documents once the application for registration is complete. Any old deeds that are no longer needed to prove title to the property, would normally be sent to you.