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 Scheme, 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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Common questions 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 for first-time buyers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is two-tiered. For the first £300,000 of a purchase you don't pay any Stamp Duty. Amounts over £300,000 and up to £500,000 you pay 5% tax.
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
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