Congratulations-you've either agreed a sale on your property or you've agreed to purchase one. Whether you're a first time buyer or an experienced investor, you will need a conveyancer (commonly known as a solicitor) to act on your behalf. The conveyancer's role is to ensure your transaction is properly dealt with in accordance with the law, to ensure you know what you're buying and to ensure the money arrives to you as expected after the sale.
Below, we've broken down the steps to conveyancing as a brief guide and the timescales expected to get past each stage.
The vendor's process
1) Instruct a conveyancer to act on your behalf in writing (48 hours).
2) Receive and return seller's information pack, which may include a fixtures and contents form and property information form (within 7 days). Whilst each question is important, the speed of this being returned is crucial for the buyers conveyancer to carry out any work.
3) Once the seller's pack has been received, the vendor's solicitors will send out a draft contract to the buyers solicitor. This allows the buyer to begin their purchase and in real terms where the sale begins.
4) The buyers have raised some questions (known as enquiries), so the vendor's conveyancer and vendor will answer these. These could be to do with previous work at the property, obtaining certificates for heating/electrics or questions relating to the land itself.
5) Vendor to receive contract in the post, or organise to go into their conveyancer's to sign.
6) The buyer is now ready to exchange, a date is agreed for completion and the deal now 'exchanges'. This means you are both legally tied in and neither party can withdraw without a severe penalty.
7) On completion, the monies are received by the vendor's conveyancer and keys are handed out to the buyer, normally around lunchtime. The monies will either be used directly towards another purchase, the mortgage may be paid off and remaining money may be sent to the vendor from their conveyancer.
The buyer's process
1) Instruct a conveyancer to act on your behalf in writing and pay any initial money for search fees (48 hours).
2) If a mortgage is required, submit your formal application and pay for your survey. If no mortgage is required, organise your survey with your chosen surveying company (7 days).
3) Once the buyer's conveyancer has received draft contracts, the buyer's conveyancer should now submit searches and may raise initial enquiries. The survey to be carried out (14-21 days).
4) The enquiries have now been answered and the searches have come back. The buyers mortgage offer should now be with the conveyancer (21-28 days).
5) Buyer to receive contract in the post, or organise to go into their conveyancer's to sign. Organise for the deposit money to be paid to your conveyancer, which is normally 10% of the purchase price.
6) The buyer is now ready to exchange, a date is agreed for completion and the deal now 'exchanges'. This means you are both legally tied in and neither party can withdraw without a severe penalty. The buyer must legally insure the property from exchange of contracts and ensure the remaining purchase money is with their conveyancer, although the rest may be via a mortgage which the conveyancer will do on your behalf.
7) On completion, the rest of monies are received by the vendor's conveyancer and keys are handed out to the buyer, normally around lunchtime.