This is the second entry in our four-part conveyancing advice blog series, where we hope to shed some light on the complex transaction that is the sale of a house. Last time, we discussed the buyer’s responsibility to provide proof of funds. This time, we’re taking a look at the conveyancer’s side and answering the important question; what does a conveyancer do?
This series aims to fill in prospective house buyers and sellers on the various roles and responsibilities of the parties involved in a sale. It is important to understand that this is not a comprehensive guide; we highly recommend that you consult with our solicitors when dealing with any legal matters in conveyancing.
Part 1: Providing proof of funds
Part 2: What does a conveyancer do?
Part 3: Setting a timescale for completion
Part 4: Exchange of contracts between buyers and sellers
Once you have made an offer on your new home and it has been accepted, you will need to instruct a Conveyancer to act for you to deal with the legal requirements of your house purchase. They will also liaise with your lender, agents and other parties during the transaction.
It is advisable at this stage to obtain a quote; this way, you know approximately what fees you are likely to pay on completion. This will include legal fees and any disbursements that you must pay to third parties, such as Stamp Duty, Land Registry Fee and Searches.
You will then be sent client care documents to complete and return. This is your instruction for the Conveyancer to act on your behalf.
The agents will send a Memorandum of Sale to each Conveyancer with a summary of the transaction details, including purchase price, Sellers and Buyers details, who is representing each party and any special conditions that you have agreed on the sale.
On receipt of your client care documentation, the Conveyancer can request contract documentation from the Seller’s Conveyancer. This will include the title documents to the property, property information form, what they are leaving at the property and any other relevant documents, for example FENSA certificate or Gas service record.
These documents will then be reviewed within 5 days of receipt and initial enquiries will be raised by your conveyancer. At the same time, they will submit a request for Searches; these include a standard Local Authority Search, Water and Drainage Search and Environmental Search.
Depending on the area, further searches may be required such as a coal mining report or flood report. Searches can take up to 3-4 weeks to be returned, so it is essential these are requested as early in the transaction as possible.
You may also require a more in-depth report to be carried out at the property such as a Home Buyers Report. Whilst we are not surveyors, we can raise any concerns of a legal nature that the report may raise.
If you are buying with the assistance of a mortgage, whilst awaiting your search results your lender will forward a copy of your mortgage offer to the conveyancer, very often instructing them to act on their behalf. The conveyancer will review the offer, noting the mortgage amount, checking for any special conditions and what their requirements are; they will then report to you.
At this point, the conveyancer will send to you a completion statement and invoice, requesting you to provide evidence of your proof of funds for the contribution you are making. They will also prepare your Stamp Duty Land Tax form for submission to the HMRC on completion.
On receipt of your Searches, they will be reviewed and further enquires will be raised if necessary. Once all replies are received, the conveyancer will report out to you on the title, enclosing our enquiries and replies together with all paperwork about the property you are buying. You will then be invited to discuss the paperwork and to sign the contract paperwork.
Once all enquiries are satisfied, you have provided your proof of funds, signed all the documents and you are happy to proceed, we can then discuss completion dates.
This brief summary of a conveyancer’s responsibilities should give you some idea of how deeply involved we are in a house sale. Our team of specialists go beyond to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible for our clients, and we even offer a fixed-price conveyancing quote to offer extra peace of mind.
Contact our Conveyancing team to learn more about our services and book an appointment.
Astle Paterson, Clay House,
5 Horninglow Street, Burton upon Trent
Staffordshire DE14 1NG
Tel . 01283 531366
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