Are you buying or selling a property in the Birmingham and West Midlands area?
Our friendly, reliable residential conveyancing solicitors have the local knowledge and years of experience to ensure your move runs as quickly and smoothly as possible. Whether you are a first-time buyer, an experienced home mover or a property investor we will provide you with high quality legal advice throughout the conveyancing process that is great value for money.
At Davisons law firm our clients are at the heart of everything we do - that’s why people come back to our conveyancers again and again.
What is the conveyancing process?
Conveyancing – the legal process of transferring property ownership from one person to another – happens in several stages; which can often be likened to a jigsaw puzzle in that all of the pieces need to be in place to form a whole picture. Once you have made an offer on a property and instructed your conveyancer to act on your behalf, conveyancing can begin. The conveyancing process follows several key stages.
1. Property information/Title
The seller’s conveyancer will have asked the seller to complete various forms giving information about property related matters (the Property Information form and the Fittings and Contents form). Your conveyancing solicitors will receive these forms along with contract papers and title.
Your conveyancer will ask you to read the paperwork and they will check whether you have any questions; as you can appreciate your conveyancer hasn’t physically seen the property and is to some extent relying upon information from you and the seller on the finer property details. If there is anything your conveyancing solicitors needs to know they will ask the seller’s conveyancer. If there is anything your conveyancing solicitors need to know they will ask the seller’s conveyancer.
2. Property searches
Your conveyancing solicitor will arrange the following property searches:
- Local authority searches. These searches reveal whether there plans in place for extensions, housing developments or new roads that will affect the residential property. They also reveal whether there are any tree preservation orders in place or covenants that might affect your house purchase.
- Land Registry checks. These checks prove the seller owns the property and has the right to sell it to you.
- Water authority searches. Searches show whether there any public drains that could affect you now or in future, particularly if you plan to carry out building works.
- Environmental search. This reports flood risks, whether there is any contaminated land or a landfill site nearby, if there are high levels of radon gas in the area and more.
- Location specific searches. If you are buying a residential property in Birmingham, for example, you might need to have a mining search carried out. In some locations you might require searches into common land use, public paths or pipelines.
There are a number of other searches that your conveyancer can undertake for you which are optional.
3. Mortgage conveyancing
Once you’ve found your mortgage through a mortgage broker or other means, your property conveyancing solicitor will check the terms and conditions of your mortgage offer.
At the same time the mortgage lender will arrange for a surveyor to survey or value the property to check that the property value is worth the money you will pay. This survey is not comprehensive so you may wish to organise an additional survey yourself.
4. Signing contracts
Your conveyancer will have received a draft contract from the seller’s conveyancing solicitors. They will talk you through the contract, so you understand it thoroughly before you sign. Your conveyancer will check that all their enquiries have been answered satisfactorily and that all the fixtures and fittings you expect are included in the purchase.
5. Exchanging contracts
Your conveyancing solicitor and the seller’s conveyancer will read the contracts to each other over the telephone to check they are identical. Immediately afterwards they will post the contracts to each other. If you are in a housing chain this happens with every transaction along the chain at the same time.
At this point you pay a (typical) 10% deposit on the property, and you are legally bound to purchase. A moving day (completion day) is fixed.
The completion date is moving day. Your conveyancer will:
Transfer the money for the property to the seller’s conveyancing solicitors. Once money has been transferred you can collect the keys!
7. After completion
Your conveyancing solicitor will:
- Pay any Stamp Duty Land Tax due.
- Receive the title deeds for the property from the sellers conveyancer. They will also receive proof that the seller has paid off the mortgage.
- Register the property in your name with the Land Registry. This can take approximately 3-6 months; we have no control over the Land Registry timescales.
- Send a copy of the property title deeds to your mortgage lender. The lender keeps the deeds until you pay off the loan.
- Send the legal documents to you after the Land Registry has received them.