What is Conveyancing?

It’s easy for first time buyers to be confused and intimidated by the property buying process. First-timers buyers will naturally feel nervous, after all buying property is likely to be the biggest expense and financial commitment of their lives and such decisions should not be taken lightly. Many of the terms used in property buying and selling can appear archaic, with little relevance in normal conversation. First-time buyers should therefore do as much research as possible, giving themselves the confidence to get their foot on the property ladder.

Once the first-time buyer has found a property they like and had an offer accepted by the vendor the next stage in the process is to appoint a solicitor to handle the conveyancing. The conveyancing solicitor acts on behalf of the buyer in dealing with the paperwork required to secure the transfer of the property to their name. Even this first step can confuse some people as they may not have come across the term “conveyancer” before in everyday conversation. In fact an average of 1600 people a month ask this most basic of questions on Google: “What is a conveyancer?”

Or perhaps more importantly we should ask what does a conveyancer do? Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring a property from one person to another. A conveyancing solicitor acts as someone to help guide you through the legal process of buying and selling property. The conveyancing solicitor is responsible for making money laundering checks, researching title deeds, investigating planning permissions and carrying out other local searches. They can also handle remortgage applications, transfers of equity and lease extensions. Most conveyancing solicitors operate on a fixed fee basis for their work, although this may change should the legal work become more complex. Your conveyancing solicitor should keep you up to date with the progress of your transaction, something which is vitally important where long or complicated property chains are involved. They should answer any queries you may have and resolve legal issues promptly with the conveyancer acting for the vendor.

As the purchase progresses your conveyancing solicitor will request the deposit for the property, as well as agreeing the date of exchange with the vendor’s solicitor. The date of exchange is the day when you exchange contracts and the sale becomes legally binding. Once contracts have been signed and exchanged your conveyancing solicitor will arrange the date of completion, when the buyer obtains the keys to their new property and can begin to move in. Finally, the conveyancing solicitor will pay any stamp duty due on your behalf and confirm the transfer of the property to the Land Registry.

The conveyancing process can be very complex, with many potential pitfalls along the way. It is essential to instruct a conveyancing solicitor who is well qualified and experienced, so that your rights are fully protected and the transaction goes through with the minimum of problems.

Bretherton Law have been serving the people of Hertfordshire for over 50 years. Our team of experienced Property Lawyers will ensure that whether you are buying or selling, the conveyancing process will run smoothly and professionally. We offer a same day response promise as well as fixed fee quotes. Bretherton Law are accredited under the Lexcel legal practice and the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Schemes. Contact us on 01727 869293 or use the contact form below.