Conveyancing is the first contractual step once an offer has been made or accepted on a property. We believe that it’s important for clients to know the conveyancing process, despite the unlikelihood that they will be undertaking it themselves.
Here are some facts:
- Conveyancing is the legal process that involves the transferring of property from one person or party to another.
- Conveyancing is carried out by solicitors or licenced conveyancers.
- It is a crucial step in both the buying and selling of property and will have to be done by both the buying and selling parties.
- Whilst the buyer/seller can carry out their own conveyancing, if a mortgage is involved, the lender will insist that a professional is used.
- On average, conveyancing can take between eight and twelve weeks, but can fall either side depending on the complexity or size of the purchase.
Dealing with the legalities of the purchasing or selling of property can be a difficult step for those who have little experience with it. Property lawyers or conveyancing solicitors and licensed conveyors specialise in the process and draw from their knowledge and experience to identify issues with the property before they arise and can go on to find potential solutions.
For both the buying and selling parties, issues that can arise are, but are not limited to, unregistered paperwork, problematic clauses in contracts, problems relating to land boundaries, and potentially fraudulent transactions. If any of these issues would occur, it would mean that a professional would need to be instructed in order to help their client navigate through. It is important to note that buyers and sellers can carry out their own conveyancing, but if mortgages are involved, the lender would insist that a professional is used in order to speed up the process and keep it unproblematic.
How to Decide on who Instruct
When a professional is employed to carry out the conveyancing, they are being ‘instructed’ by their client in order to help them complete the transferring of property. Deciding who to instruct can be a stressful process, and it may seem that the professionals and their firms are one of the same. In order to find the professional best suited to you, there are several things to look for:
- Indemnity Insurance
Licensed conveyancers and conveyance solicitors are required by law to hold valid indemnity insurance. Indemnity insurance protects you from significant financial losses that may occur relating to bureaucracy issues, planning permission, problems with current leases, and so on. Residential conveyancing can involve numerous parties that don’t always agree with each other, and it is important that a professional with valid insurance is in place in order to argue your case and put you in a favourable position.
Conveyancers are governed by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers and solicitors are governed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Making sure that the professional that is representing you is a member of either board is important, particularly if there are any significant issues that have to be passed on. Both boards ensure that a legal recourse of action is available and that if problems do occur, your case can be assessed by a higher authority.
It is important to not decide who to instruct solely based on the price of their service. Whilst prices on the lower end of the spectrum may seem preferable, it may indicate a lack of previous success or experience, meaning that they may not be the best professional for your case. Rather than fees, it is important to look at the professional’s (and their firm’s) track record, more specifically their successes with cases similar to yours and the time it takes them to carry out the task.
Lillicrap Chilcott are more than happy to refer clients to one of our recommended professionals. If this seems preferable, please don’t hesitate in contacting us.