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What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal work that takes place when you buy or sell a house or other building. Conveyancing starts when you agree to take ownership or to sell a house and ends when all paperwork has been completed and the title of the property is transferred to the new owner.

  • Buying or selling a home – There’s usually between two and three months of legalities and paperwork to wade through before finally buying or selling a residential property. We can help and even offer online conveyancing.
  • Help to Buy buying or selling – Our experts know all the ins and outs when it comes to buying a property using part of the government’s Help to Buy scheme, or selling a house that was bought through the system.

First4Lawyers works with top conveyancing solicitors to provide you with the perfect service for you. Simply get in touch and get moving!

What does a conveyancer do?

There’s all kinds of official paperwork that needs to be done when buying a house. A conveyancer, whether that’s a solicitor or licensed conveyancer, will carry out these complicated processes for you.
They’ll also check the things you might not know how to do – such as putting searches into the local authorities – to ensure every part of your purchase goes smoothly and you don’t stumble into unexpected issues during or after the process.

What are the stages involved?

The first step for the conveyancer will be to draw up the terms of engagement, which outlines the service they’ll provide, along with the fees. If you’re buying, they’ll then contact the seller’s solicitor to get the building's titles and other official documents. For a house sale, they’ll speak to the buyer’s legal representative.

Property searches will take up a part of your conveyancer’s time, as they perform local authority searches, the Land Registry, flood risk, water authority, chancel repair, environmental search, and any local-specific checks – like mining searches.

If buying, your conveyancer will also contact your mortgage provider, to see you have the funds available in line with the offer you made. They will write up relevant contracts and arrange for you and the seller to sign them. They will then exchange contracts, and register property ownership with Land Registry. When this is completed, they’ll help with the overall completion and tie up any lose ends, such as paying Stamp Duty Land Tax.

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What would you like to know about conveyancing?

When selling, do you need to tell prospective buyers about bad neighbours?

If you don’t disclose certain information to your prospective buyer, such as disputes or issues with your neighbours, you could become vulnerable to that buyer making a claim against you. You need to fill out the TA6 form. It includes sections about reporting any ‘disputes or complaints’ about your neighbours, such as excessive noise and any serious conflicts you might have had.

Do first-time buyers have to pay stamp duty?

Stamp duty, which is a tax paid on any house over the value of £125,000, must be paid by all buyers, including first-time buyers. Previous laws meant first-time buyers didn’t have to pay stamp duty on homes up £250,000, but it’s not the case anymore.

What are the different types of property ownership?

The central types of home ownership are sole ownership – where you solely own the property – and joint ownership, where you own the property with another person, such as a partner, spouse, or friend. Joint ownership is split into joint tenancy and tenants in common.

Can I use conveyancing services when using the Help to Buy scheme?

Anyone buying a house using the Help to Buy scheme will still need a conveyancer. However, the conveyancer must be qualified to do this role specifically with the Help to Buy scheme. It’s the responsibility of the conveyancer to be qualified for this work. First4Lawyers can provide you with a fully qualified conveyancing solicitor.

Do conveyancing laws differ in Scotland?

The general work is very similar, but there are key differences. One of the biggest is the point at which the contract becomes legally binding; in England and Wales, this is quite late in the process, but in Scotland, it’s earlier. If you’re buying or selling a property in Scotland, contact First4Lawyers for advice and guidance.

The facts about conveyancing

The average cost to move house in 2017 was £12,000

The cost of moving home is almost £12,000, an increase of 6% between 2016 and 2017

(Source: The Telegraph)

Over 1 million house sales took place in 2016

There were over 1 million residential property sales in the UK in 2016. House sales are highest during the summer months.

(Source: gov.uk)

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How to guides

Learn more about this area of law and what you need to know:

Guide to buying a home

A guide to the costs associated with purchasing a property

Read more

A guide to property searches

What you need to know about conveyancing searches when buying a new home

Read more

A guide to stamp duty

Stamp Duty Land Tax is a charge that's part of the property buying process.

Reducing delays in conveyancing

Tips for minimising delays in the conveyancing process

Read more

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