Conveyancing| Rental Property Terminology | Vesta Glossary

A guide to conveyancing

Buying or selling property can be a confusing process, without throwing a conveyancer into the mix – we’re determined to make conveyancing that bit clearer.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal processes that are involved when a property is transferred from one owner to another. It involves establishing:

  • The legal boundaries of the property
  • The certified ownership of the property
  • Any planned local developments that may affect the property

Although you can do your own conveyancing, the admin involved in transferring property is usually carried out by a conveyancing solicitor or qualified conveyancer. This is because transferring property can be a complicated process, and a conveyancer can help make this process smoother.

How much does conveyancing cost?

Conveyancing fees cover the amount you’ll pay to ensure that the legal side of a property sale or purchase is handled correctly. There are two parts to conveyancing costs: the legal fees and disbursements.

  • Legal Fees - The legal portion of the conveyancing fees vary, but can typically cost between £850-£1500. You may be asked to pay a deposit of up to 10% of the total conveyancing costs beforehand. The rest is normally settled once the sale of the house is completed. Legal fees for leasehold properties may be more expensive, due to additional steps that need to be taken in the conveyancing process.
  • Disbursement Costs - These vary depending on whether you are buying or selling a property. For example, if you are buying a property, you may need to pay for a bankruptcy search, local authority searches and Stamp Duty. If you are selling a property, you may need to pay for added costs such as transferring the ownership of the property.

How long does conveyancing take?

On average, conveyancing takes around 12 weeks but the process may take longer or shorter depending on your unique circumstances. There are various stages to the conveyancing process, we have broken them down into a simplified process below:

  1.  An offer on a property is made and accepted.
  2. A draft contract is then written up outlining the terms and conditions of sale and the final accepted price of the property.
  3. The buyer’s solicitor will check all initial paperwork and the contract, and make initial checks regarding the property and its current owner.
  4. A survey of the property will be organised by the buyer’s solicitor to check the state of the building, the surrounding land and assess external factors such as planned local developments. This stage may include additional costs, such as local authority searches.
  5. The solicitors of both parties will negotiate the terms of the draft contract. In order for the contract to be finalised, the buyer needs to pay a deposit and include a date of completion of the deal in the contract.
  6. Once the survey is complete and the terms of the contract have been agreed, the contract can be made official and each party can sign a copy. After the contracts are exchanged, if either party tries to back out or change the terms of the agreement, there will be financial penalties.
  7. On the completion date, the buyer’s solicitor will send the purchase money to the seller’s solicitor.
  8. When the money has been received, the keys will be given to the buyer.

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