National Conveyancing Week: What is the Conveyancing Process?
March 15, 2023

This week (20th-24th March 2023) marks National Conveyancing Week in the UK. NCW aims to improve the profile of conveyancers in the UK, as well as inform, educate, assist, motivate, reassure and recruit, amongst other things.

 With this in mind, we provide below some helpful pointers about what to expect from a simple conveyancing transaction from the point of view of a seller and a buyer.

Otherwise, click here to find out more about National Conveyancing Week.

What is the conveyancing process for selling a property?

  1. When selling a property, the first thing you should do is instruct a trusted conveyancer. Your conveyancer will confirm your instructions by sending a letter inclosing their terms of business and fixed fee costs. You should always ensure that you are aware of the costs at the beginning of the transaction and that you have agreed to this with your conveyancer to avoid any financial surprises in the future.
  2. Your conveyancer is required to carry out proof of identity checks (this will include you providing ID and proof of address – this must be dated within 90 days of the instruction). And at this time, they will send out a fittings and contents form and a property information form to be completed. Leasehold properties require additional information.
  3. As the seller, you will complete the abovementioned forms and return them to your conveyancer. Meanwhile, your conveyancer will obtain the title deeds from the deeds holder or official copies of the title register and any other documents required by the Land Registry. They will also identify the amount on any existing mortgage.
  4. Next, the seller’s conveyancer will prepare a draft contract and any supporting documentation and send it to the buyer’s conveyancer. The buyer’s conveyancer then checks this contract and raises any pre-contract enquiries.
  5. The two conveyancers will then discuss and answer these questions and queries.
  6. Once they have the results of the searches, are happy with the answers to the pre-contract enquiries, and have received a mortgage offer (if necessary), the buyer’s conveyancer will contact the seller’s conveyancer, and they will agree on a completion date.
  7. With a completion date decided, the contracts are formally ‘exchanged’. This means that both parties are now legally bound to the transaction.
  8. The seller’s conveyancer will then obtain a settlement figure to repay the outstanding mortgage (if so applies), and the buyer’s conveyancer will draft a transfer deed.
  9. The seller’s conveyancer then checks the transfer deed and sends it to the seller to be signed for completion.
  10. On the day of completion, the seller must vacate the property by the pre-agreed time and arrangements are made to hand over the keys. This is typically done through the estate agent.
  11. On this day, the buyer’s conveyancer sends the title deeds and transfer deed to the buyer’s conveyancer. If an estate agent has been used, the seller’s conveyancer pays them and repays the amount owing to the existing mortgage lender.
  12. Once all payments have been made, the remaining money will be transferred to the seller.

What is the conveyancing process for buying a property?

  1. Once the property seller has accepted the buyer’s offer, the buyer’s conveyancer is instructed, and they arrange a survey of the property. If necessary, they will also make a mortgage application.
  2. As the buyer, your conveyancer will confirm their instructions by letter, including the terms of business and fixed fee costs.
  3. Following this, the buyer’s conveyancer will contact the seller’s conveyancer to obtain the contract pack, raise pre-contract enquiries, and conduct necessary searches. They will also obtain a copy of the mortgage offer.
  4. Once the seller’s conveyancer has answered the pre-contract enquiries, the buyer’s conveyancer will review the contents of the contract pack, pre-contract enquiries, search results and mortgage offer and discuss with the buyer. As the buyer, you should raise any concerns or questions in case you need clarification to ensure that your conveyancer takes the time to explain it to you. Only when you are ready to proceed will the deposit be paid in readiness for exchange.
  5. A completion date will now be agreed upon, and contracts will formally be ‘exchanged’.
  6. At this point, the buyer’s conveyancer will prepare a draft transfer deed and completion information form and send it to the seller’s conveyancer in preparation for completion.
  7. Next, your conveyancer will prepare a completion statement, conduct pre-completion searches and apply to your mortgage lender for the loan.
  8. On the day of completion, your conveyancer sends the sale proceeds to the seller’s conveyancer.
  9. If an estate agent was used, the seller’s conveyancer releases the keys and sends the title deeds and transfer deed to the buyer’s conveyancer together with an undertaking to repay the existing mortgage.
  10. Your conveyancer will then send the stamp duty payable to HMRC, and receive the title deeds, transfer deed and proof that the seller has paid the outstanding mortgage on the property.  
  11. Finally, your conveyancer will register the property in your name at The Land Registry. You will then receive a copy of the registered title.

Conveyancing Solicitor Marylebone

As with any legal transaction, the conveyancing process can be subject to setbacks and external factors that might affect the process. However, working with Muscatt Black Graf will ensure you have the best chance at a smooth process when buying or selling your property.

For more information, please get in touch with our friendly solicitors on 0207 586 1141.

This blog was prepared on 15 March 2023. It is not intended to be advice and should not be relied upon as such.

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