Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to frequently asked questions about personal injury claims, clinical negligence compensation claims and the conveyancing process below, or call Liddy's Solicitors for more information.
What is conveyancing?
Your ‘Conveyancer’ is the person who will make sure that on your sale or purchase the legal paperwork known as ‘Conveyancing’ will be dealt with properly.
Your Conveyancer will ensure that on a sale any Mortgages are paid off and the property is transferred to the Buyer in accordance with current Land Registry practice. On a purchase your Conveyancer will ensure that relevant searches and enquiries are carried out so that you are aware of everything you need to know about the property before you are committed to the purchase.
Your Conveyancer will also deal with the requirements of your Lender in all Mortgage cases and will liaise with your Estate Agents and Surveyors to ensure that everyone works together to complete your house sale or purchase.
What are the basic steps involved in the conveyancing process?
- 1. First make an offer on the property you like. Tell the Estate Agents what you would be prepared to pay subject to contract.
- 2. Once the seller accepts your offer, their Conveyancer will send out a draft contract setting out the terms of the sale.
- 3. The buyers Conveyancer checks the contract, raises enquiries and carries out searches to see what information is available about the property.
- 4. If you require a Mortgage you need to make a mortgage application to your Lender at this stage (or before if the relevant information is available).
- 5. Once your Conveyancer reports to you that all is in order and the money is ready contracts are exchanged. After this, neither you nor the seller can withdraw from the transaction. It is usual on exchange for the buyer to pay a deposit which the seller can keep if the buyer defaults.
- 6. At exchange of Contracts a completion date is fixed.
- 7. Before completion final searches are carried out to make certain no last minute changes have taken place. Your Conveyancer prepares a final statement showing how much money is needed.
- 8. On completion your Conveyancer pays over money to the sellers Conveyancer, the seller moves out and you move in to your new property.
- 9. After completion the Conveyancer will pay any Stamp Duty Land Tax due and will register the property in your name at the Land Registry.
How do we deal with the money in the conveyancing process?
If you are selling, the main items to be paid from the sale proceeds will usually be:
- The amount needed to pay off any mortgage(s)
- Estate Agents commission
- Conveyancing costs
- The balance that is due to you
If you are buying, the main items will be:
- The deposit
- Any balance of the Purchase Price (after deposit)
- Mortgage Valuation and Survey fees
- The Mortgage Advance (to be received from your Lender)
- Stamp Duty Land Tax
- Land Registry fees
- Relevant Search fees
Detailed Completion Statements including all of these matters will be provided to you at the beginning and end of each of your transactions.
What does it all cost?
We will provide you with our Estimate at the outset. This will include our Conveyancing fee (plus the VAT currently 20%) and we will also advise you of any Stamp Duty Land Tax payable, the Land Registry fees and search fee applicable to your property sale or purchase.
What about online conveyancers, they seem very cheap?
A house is probably the most expensive asset you’ll ever purchase. It is important that you ensure that you have expert advice from a specialist solicitor. A telephone conversation can never replicate a face to face meeting.
From your first interview, we will allocate you a qualified and experienced Conveyancing solicitor that will deal with your transaction from start to finish, adding a degree of continuity that you will never get with an online conveyancer. He or She will contact you regularly to update you on progress and keep you informed. If you ever need to contact the office you will know who to ask for and we’ll ensure you’re not left wondering what’s going on.
When do I pay my deposit?
We will ask for your deposit money before Contracts are exchanged. The deposit will have to be cleared before we can exchange Contracts so payment by Building Society cheque, Bank draft or Bank transfer will save time and is the preferred method of payment. We will advise you of the exact amount required and provide you with our Bank details at the appropriate time.
How much will the deposit be?
As a standard term of sale contracts it will be 10% of the purchase price. However, the sellers may agree to a reduced amount.
What is ‘exchange of contracts’?
In a property transaction a draft Contract is prepared by the Sellers Conveyancer and sent to the Buyers Conveyancer for approval. The Contract will include details of the legal title to the property, a list of Fixtures and Fittings which are included in the sale and any special conditions relevant to the property.
The Buyers Conveyancers will then check the legal title and carry out preliminary searches and enquiries. Once they are satisfied that all is in order the Buyer and Seller both individually sign a copy of the Contract and the two parts are then literally exchanged between the two Conveyancers. At that point the Contract becomes legally binding, the completion date is fixed and neither party can withdraw from the transaction.
How long does the conveyancing process take?
In straightforward cases about 4-6 weeks is usual. If there is a ‘chain’ of properties it may well take longer but we will always try to work to your requirements regarding completion dates.
What happens on the completion date?
On the day of completion you will need to aim to move out of the house you are selling by lunchtime and into your new home during the afternoon. If there is a long chain you may find there is a delay whilst the monies are transferred between the Banks. Please be patient and remember that we will do whatever we can to speed the process but we have no control over what time Mortgage funds are released by Lenders. It is for this reason we normally request the mortgage funds one day earlier.
Once the purchase monies are received we will pay off any outstanding Mortgages, pay your Estate Agents commission and pay any balance to you. This can be either be cheque or direct Bank transfer to your account if requested.
What do we do about the keys?
If you are the Seller you should take the keys to the Estate Agent on the day of completion so that they can be released to the Buyer once all of the purchase money has been received from the Buyers Conveyancers. If it is a private sale with no Estate Agents involved you will need to make your own arrangements with the Buyer about handing over the keys. We will advise you and we often can assist in the process if required.
If you are the Purchaser you will be able to obtain the keys from the Estate Agents once your purchase money has been received by the Sellers Conveyancers and the Sellers have vacated the property.
In the majority of transactions completion has been effected and keys released by about 12 noon – 1pm.