What is conveyancing?
The term conveyancing refers to the legal and administrative work involved in the buying, selling and transfer of ownership, along with an associated mortgage, of land and property. To ensure that the work is undertaken correctly it is best to use an experienced residential property lawyer.
How Long Does Conveyancing Take?
There is no set timeframe as the conveyancing process varies from transaction to transaction. We usually find it takes 8-10 weeks for most but again, this can vary. During the conveyancing transaction we look to provide a high level of service by keeping a constant line of communication with clients. If delays do occur we will ensure you are aware with the reason for the delay.
When Should You Appoint a Conveyancer?
With a purchase we would recommend instructing your conveyancer when you have found a property and after the offer has been accepted. With a sale it’s beneficial to instruct your solicitor as soon as possible so there are no delays.
There is no harm getting a quote beforehand to help speed up the process.
The Conveyancing Process Stages (Buying)
We have simplified and condensed the conveyancing process into key stages:
- Pre Contract – The draft contract pack has been received, your conveyancer will examine the contract, title deed and any forms completed by the seller, raising any enquires if needed.
- Searches – The searches will now be carried out, giving essential information about the property. You can find more information on searches here.
- Exchange – All parties will need to agree a completion date. The contracts will now be exchanged, the buyer and the seller are now legally bound to complete the transaction.
- Completion – Your conveyancer would have drawn up the transfer deed ready. Once the seller receives the balance of the money that is due, the transaction can be completed. The keys are released and the buyer can move into the property.
- Post Completion – The solicitor dealing with the transaction will pay any Land Transaction Tax or Stamp Duty due and register the new ownership with the land registry.
The Conveyancing Process (Selling)
- Title Deeds – The conveyancer obtains the title deeds and any other documents required by the Land Registry, plus details of anything outstanding on any existing mortgage.
- Contract – The draft contract is sent to the buyer’s conveyancer and any pre-contract enquiries are raised with the seller’s conveyancer.
- Exchange – The buyer’s conveyancer is happy with the results of the searches and the answers to the pre-contract enquiries, the contracts can now be exchanged. The buyer and the seller are now legally bound to complete the transaction.
- Completion – Both parties set a competition date, the seller vacates the property and makes arrangements to hand over the keys. The seller’s conveyancer sends the title deed and transfer deed to the buyer’s conveyancer.
Note: These points have been simplified, we’ve only include the basics to inform readers. Every transaction can vary so the processes mentioned will be different for most.
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)
You must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax if you buy a property or land over a certain price in England and Northern Ireland.
The current SDLT threshold is £125,000 for residential properties.
You can use HM Revenue and Customs’ Stamp Duty Land Tax calculator to work out how much tax you’ll pay.
Land Transaction Tax (LTT)
Land Transaction Tax replaced Stamp Duty Land Tax in Wales from April 2018. You must pay LTT if you buy a property or land over a certain price in Wales.
The current LTT threshold is £180,000 for residential properties.
You can use the Welsh Government’s Land Transaction Tax calculator to work out how much tax you’ll pay.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with the residential conveyancing team.
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone – 02920 224433