You cannot buy property without undertaking conveyancing, but what is it and what do you need to know about the process? Here are the answers to six of the most frequently asked questions about conveyancing.
What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the administrative and legal work undertaken during the process of transferring property ownership. It starts when an offer is accepted and ends when the purchase is completed. It can be carried out by yourself, a solicitor, or a conveyancer, but it is important to pick the right options to prevent future issues.
Who can do your conveyancing and what will they do?
Conveyancing can be handled by solicitors, licensed conveyancers, online conveyancers such as those found at Sam Conveyancing, and property lawyers. It is worth remembering that any solicitor can undertake conveyancing but not all will have the experience that you really need. You may find that your mortgage company gives you a list of proposed conveyancers, but you can go elsewhere.
Your conveyancer will undertake a variety of tasks for you, including conducting searches, telling you about incurred costs like stamp duty, checking contracts, liaising with your lender, paying fees for you, and registering you with the Land Registry. You can find out more about the latter on the government website.
How much will conveyancing cost?
How much you will pay for conveyancing will depend on how much the property is worth, even though there is not necessarily more work involved. The typical cost for an average property is normally around £850 to cover the conveyancer’s fees, together with the cost of searches and Land Registry registration.
Online conveyancers can offer a cheaper option and there is also the choice to choose a no-free if no-completion service if you have concerns about one party pulling out. This may cost you more, however.
It is worth getting a few conveyancing quotes and you might also want to consider asking to agree a fee upfront to prevent nasty surprises. You may still incur additional costs if things get complicated, however.
Can you do your own conveyancing?
You can do your own conveyancing but it is a time-consuming and complicated process and there are potential pitfalls that could cost you a great deal of money in the long-run, such as failing to spot boundary disputes. Most lenders will also insist on you employing a conveyancer or solicitor to ensure their interests are properly protected.
How long does the conveyancing process take?
This is difficult to answer as there is no set time limit. The time will vary but the average is around six to eight weeks if everything goes to plan. Delays may be caused by chain activity, for example.
Do you need conveyancing when remortgaging?
This depends on individual circumstances but you may not need it if you’re remortgaging with the same lender. Many people do choose to seek legal advice, however.
It can be wise to get professional advice to prevent future issues, especially with more complex scenarios. You may also need legal advice when changing your mortgage lender. Some mortgage providers will offer you free legal advice as part of the package they are offering but make sure that you check out the terms and conditions and find out what is covered.