The Residential Conveyancing Process
Selling a Property
Once an offer has been accepted by you the legal process begins. We will help you complete a ‘Property Information Form’ and a ‘Fixtures, Fittings and Contents’ Form. If the property is leasehold there will be an additional form to be completed. At this stage we will need to obtain from you any guarantees for works carried out on your property. If structural works have been carried out to your property, then the buyers solicitor will want to see a building regulations completion certificate and also a copy of the planning permission if this was required. If you do not have these documents, then copies can be obtained from the local authority.
If you are selling a leasehold property, then it will also be necessary to obtain information from your freeholder or their managing agents, including confirmation that all ground rent and service charges have been paid up to date and the likely level of future charges.
The draft contract will then be prepared and sent to your buyer’s solicitors, together with the necessary proof of your title (usually up to date Land Registry Office Copy Entries). We will then, liaising with you where necessary, deal with any subsequent enquiries raised by the buyer’s solicitors. A Contract will then be sent or emailed to you for signature.
Once a completion date has been agreed and the Contract is signed, we will then be ready to exchange contracts. At this stage, you will be committed to the transaction on the completion date, as will the buyer, and your buyer’s Solicitor will send a deposit to us. We will approve the transfer deed and send this to you for signature. If your property is leasehold, we will calculate any apportionment of ground rent or service charge which needs to be paid to you on completion.
On completion of the sale, we will receive the balance of the sale price; we will forward the title deeds if appropriate and transfer to your buyer’s solicitors. We will discharge any outstanding mortgage from the proceeds of sale and usually the estate agents fees as well, once you have approved these. The balance of monies will be forwarded to you (usually by same day telegraphic transfer) unless you need us to hold on to it for a proposed property purchase.
Buying a Property
Once you have found a property and the price has been agreed, subject to Contract, a member of our conveyancing team will discuss with you your goals and objectives. They will also talk you through the necessary procedures to ensure a successful transaction, including the co-ordination of your sale and purchase, if appropriate. We will confirm our instructions to the seller’s solicitors and obtain from them the contract documents, including proof of the sellers title to the property. We will then submit searches, including the local authority search.
We will raise queries where appropriate and follow up on any matters revealed by the search results. Once we have the results of our searches and additional enquiries, we will report to you with the Contract and mortgage deed for signature. At this stage, you will also provide a deposit, usually 10% of the purchase price, although sometimes less if the Sellers agree. If you are also selling a property, the deposit on your sale can be used as part or all of the deposit on your purchase. Sellers will often accept the deposit being paid on your sale as their deposit, even if this is less than 10% of the purchase price. Once completion dates have been agreed and Contracts exchanged, then both parties are legally committed to the transaction.
We will then carry out final searches at the Land Registry and obtain the mortgage advance from your lender. We will prepare a financial statement showing the balance of money required from you at completion. We will need to be in possession of the funds required to complete the purchase (including Stamp Duty and Land Registry fees) by the completion date.
Following completion, we will deal with the payment of the Stamp Duty where appropriate and the registration of you as the owner of the property at the Land Registry. All property transactions are now registerable at the Land Registry and following completion, you will not receive title deeds but will receive an official copy of the Land Registry Entries which is your proof of ownership.
On your instructions we will obtain up to date Land Registry Entries and any title deeds held by your existing mortgage provider. We will carry out any necessary searches to ensure that we can give a good certificate of title to your new mortgage provider. Once you have confirmed your preferred completion date, we will request a redemption statement from your existing mortgage provider and request funds from your new mortgage provider and forward to you the mortgage deed for signature. The balance of monies due to you after the repayment of the existing mortgage and costs and disbursements, will then be remitted to you usually by same day Bank telegraphic transfer.
We will then deal with the registration of the new mortgage at the Land Registry and the discharge of the previous mortgage, forwarding up to date Land Registry Entries to both you and your new mortgage provider once this process has been completed.