Finding a suitable conveyancing solicitor for your conveyancing needs is harder than you think. Some estate agents and mortgage advisors only promote property solicitors that they think we reap them the biggest referral fee and are no way concerned whether your receive a poor or good service.

Conveyancing

Some agents don’t like recommending anyone as a poor service from a conveyancing firm may reflect badly on themselves or their company. With this in mind, where do you search next and does price reflect quality of service received? Yes everyone would like a proactive solicitor that is experienced and efficient for their transaction but are the clients willing to pay the increased fees? Unfortunately no one anticipate poor communication and neglectful service from any professional regardless of the occupation, and the same applies to conveyancing solicitors. Usually solicitors these days don’t talk in plain English and don’t feel the need to explain anything to their clients so they understand what is actually going on in the conveyancing process Conveyancing: transferring the ownership of property

There are five main stages of conveyancing for a buyer:

  1. Pre-contractual stage
  2. Exchange of contracts
  3. Between exchange and completion
  4. Completion
  5. After completion

Buying a home typically takes around two to three months. Making payments through your conveyancer You’ll need to make payments to the seller during the conveyancing process. Your solicitor or licensed conveyancer may ask you for the money in advance so payments can be made without delay.   1. Pre-contractual stageOnce you’ve made an offer, legal documents are prepared to transfer ownership from the seller to you. The seller draws up a contract – you can negotiate its terms if necessary. If you’ve instructed a solicitor or licensed conveyancer, they will carry out this work and advise you on the contract. The contract details include:

  • the selling price
  • the property’s boundaries
  • what fixtures and fittings, like carpets, are included
  • legal restrictions or rights on the property
  • planning restrictions
  • a description of the services to the property, for example drainage and gas
  • the date for completing the purchase (called ‘completion’)

Researching the propertyBefore you sign and exchange the contract, you and your solicitor or conveyancer should find out as much as possible about the property. The seller doesn’t have to voluntarily tell you about problems with the property or neighbourhood. The seller should, however, reply truthfully to enquiries. Your solicitor or licensed conveyancer will do a number of searches and checks including:

  • checking the ‘title’ – the legal document that proves the seller’s ownership
  • asking the local authority about planned works, like roadworks or new developments, that might affect the property
  • enquiries to the seller’s solicitor or licensed conveyancer about the contract details

There may be other searches depending on the type of property. For example, if your property is in an area where there have been mines, your solicitor or licensed conveyancer will need to do a mining check.

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