What Is Conveyancing?

What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal process behind the transfer of a property’s ownership from one party to another. This can entail the preparation of documents for a property sale, purchase lease, or re-mortgage.

In order to carry out the process, both parties will need a conveyancing solicitor to make sure that the legal ownership of the house and land passes from the seller to the buyer. Not only that, but the solicitor will also handle other important matters, including drawing up contracts, dealing with the Land Register, and transferring the sum of money.

If you are looking to purchase a home or sell your property, you are likely to have some questions about the process. Hence, feel free to read through this handy guide to learn more about the basics of conveyancing.

What are searches in conveyancing?

Conveyancing searches can refer to any enquiries made by a solicitor to discover more information about the house their client plans to buy. This is to check the home for sale and to make sure it doesn’t conceal any serious problems.

Bear in mind, though, that conveyancing searches are not surveys, and do not evaluate the condition or structure of the property. Instead, they investigate aspects such as the quality of the ground upon which the house is built and whether planning permission may be granted for future development.

In Scotland, it is the seller’s duty to provide evidence that they are entitled to sell the property. As conveyancing solicitors, we will make sure that, for instance, the house complies with local regulations and that there are no outstanding communal repairs or notices on the building.

How long does conveyancing take?

The reality is that there is no set answer to this question. On average, it might take between six to eight weeks, starting from the moment you begin the sale to the actual Date of Entry.

However, there are many delaying factors that may affect how long it takes to conclude the conveyancing process. Here are a few:

• Disagreements over the contract
• Unexpected issues with the selling property that arise from the conveyancing searches
• Need for additional paperwork explaining alterations or repairs that have been performed in the past
• The seller does not own the full extent of the property or is, for some reason, legally prevented from selling the house
• The time it takes for the mortgage to be approved and loan papers issued.

How much does conveyancing cost?

Conveyancing fees vary significantly based on the value and size of the property for sale. Tendentially, you can expect to pay about £1,040 if you are buying a house. For those who are selling their home, fees usually amount to about £1,000.

What’s more, you will also have to cover the costs of conveyancing disbursements. These are fees that your solicitor will pay on your behalf during the process, which you will then have to reimburse them for. These include, for example, conveyancing searches that are generally estimated between £100 and £200. However, there are no set transactions, and each process will come with its own different expenses.

What is the process of conveyancing?

During the conveyancing process, there are a number of stages.

Once the offer has been accepted, both the buyer and seller’s solicitors will start negotiating certain aspects of the contract by exchanging ‘missives’. In short, missives are letters within which both parties agree on various terms and conditions. These will include things such as the Date of Entry and any items that will be left inside the property.

In the meantime, the seller’s lawyer will send the buyer’s solicitor all the required documents and title deeds to show that the purchase can legally go ahead. When that is completed, the buyer will be asked to send the agreed sum to their solicitor. On the Date of Entry, the purchase price will then be paid to the seller’s lawyer, who in turn will give the other party the paperwork needed to facilitate the transfer of ownership.

All being well, the buyer can finally collect the keys and begin the process of moving into their new home. Finally, it is the responsibility of the buyer’s solicitor to inform the Land Register that the property has a new owner.

If you have any queries on the conveyancing process, or are looking to get a free property valuation in Edinburgh, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Watermans has a team of experienced lawyers that are always ready to help. We’ll be happy to offer you straightforward advice every step of the way.

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Our property expert

“My clients would describe me as being approachable, down to earth and easy to get on with. This allows me to build relationships with my clients and provide straightforward legal advice without all the jargon.”

Shawn Wood, Head of Conveyancing