Date Published 09 April 2020
The buying process can be a confusing and stressful time for people, you only tend to do this a handful of times in your life so it's a process most people are not over familiar with.
Don't worry we are here every step of the way to make sure your transaction goes smoothly. Below we have made a handy guide to make sure you know what to expect every step of the way, so you can ensure your sale completes quickly.
To begin the conveyancing process, the Solicitor will need to receive your initial instructions. They will then ask you to complete some initial paperwork and provide them with your forms of identity. At this point they may ask for funds from you to cover the cost of searches.
The details of both the buyer's and seller's solicitors are exchanged through the Estate Agent so that they can produce a memorandum of Sale.
If you are taking out a Mortgage, you must have the financing available for a mortgage deposit.
You will need to get a Mortgage Valuation. This is carried out on behalf of the mortgage company, so they know that the property you're buying provides sufficient security for the loan.
Once completed your solicitor will receive a copy of the mortgage offer and go through the conditions.
Receive Draft Contract
Your solicitor will write to the seller's solicitor to confirm that they are instructed and will request the Draft Contract. This should arrive with a pack that includes the Property Information Form, Fittings and Contents Form and information on the property's Title. If the property is Leasehold a copy of the lease will also be included.
Your solicitor will check Land Registry for Title Register and Title Plan. These are the legal documents proving the seller's ownership. Both checks are legally required in order to sell.
Your solicitor will check the draft contract documents and raise any necessary enquiries with the seller's solicitor. You will be required to check through the standard forms that the seller has completed and let the solicitor know if everything is as you expected. This process can take some time depending on the number of enquiries raised.
As part of the conveyancing process, your solicitor will request a set of legal searches to ensure there are no other factors you should be aware of. Some searches will be recommended by the solicitor for all purchases and others will be required by the mortgage lender.
Local Authority Searches - This will provide you with detailed information about your property and the surrounding areas. This may include prospective planning permission or restrictions, whether the property is a listed building or located in a conservation area. They will also show who is responsible for maintaining roads and paths adjoining the property and the proximity of railways.
Water Authority Searches – This tells you whether the property is connected to the mains water supply and the location of the water mains. It will also tell you whether there are any public drains or sewers running through the property, as well as how the property drainage system works, and who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of it.
Environmental Search – The report will give information about contaminated land at or around the property, gas hazards, landfill sites, former and current industry, flooding issues, subsidence issues and possibly some other related information.
Mining searches - Depending on the area where you are buying this search should be carried out where the property is situated in an ‘affected' area. The search results will reveal whether there is anticipated coal mining activity or whether there was activity in the past, the existence of underground coal workings and mine entries which may cause problems with subsidence. It will also reveal whether any claims for compensation due to subsidence have been made.
Once your solicitor has received replies to all enquiries and the results of the searches, they will write up a report and sent it to you along with your mortgage offer.
When you are happy with all the paperwork, That all enquiries have been returned and are satisfactory, That fixtures and fittings included in the purchase are what you expected we can then arrange for you to sign and a completion date is then decided amongst all parties involved in the transaction.
At this stage your solicitor will ask you to transfer the deposit to them which enables them to be ready to exchange the contracts. Before exchange of contracts can take place your lender (if you have one) will require you to have a Buildings Insurance policy in place.
Exchange of Contracts
Your solicitor will send you some legal documents. This will include identical contracts which you and seller will be required to sign for the sale to become legally binding.
The solicitors will confirm with each other (usually over the telephone) they hold all the legal documents required for the transaction to complete. They will ‘exchange' contracts and the transaction is now legally binding.
Your solicitor will now ensure that the mortgage company is on track to transfer monies on completion and they will draw up a final completion statement.
Congratulations its Completion Day.
The full purchase price is transferred to the Seller's solicitor. Once the seller's solicitor has received the funds the keys can be released to you. 😊