What is conveyancing? Understanding the process when selling a house
Conveyancing is a crucial aspect of the transaction that ensures the legal transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer.
We will help you understand what conveyancing entails when selling a house and why it is a fundamental step in the property selling process.
What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring the ownership of a property from one party (the seller) to another (the buyer). It involves a series of legal and administrative tasks that must be completed to ensure a smooth and lawful property sale. The conveyancing process starts after the buyer and seller have agreed on the terms of the sale and have signed the contract.
Key steps in the conveyencing process
1. Engaging a solicitor
The first step in conveyancing when selling a house is to engage a solicitor who specializes in property transactions. Your estate agent may recommend a solicitor for you, however, you are free to choose a solicitor of your choice.
The seller's solicitor will act as a legal representative throughout the process, handling all necessary legal paperwork and ensuring that all legal requirements are met. A buyer may choose to have their solicitor look over things, but they are equally welcome to represent themselves.
2. Drafting contracts
The seller's solicitor is responsible for preparing the initial draft of the sales contract. This contract will include details such as the agreed-upon sale price, any additional terms and conditions, and relevant property information. The solicitor will send this draft to the buyer's solicitor for review.
3. Title searches
Title searches are essential in conveyancing as they verify the seller's legal right to sell the property. The seller's solicitor will conduct searches at the Land Registry and other relevant authorities to check for any issues or encumbrances that could affect the sale.
4. Property information and fixtures
As part of the conveyancing process, the seller is required to provide relevant property information, including any fixtures and fittings that will be included in the sale. This information helps ensure transparency and prevents disputes between the parties.
5. Pre-contract enquiries
The buyer's solicitor may raise pre-contract enquiries based on the information provided by the seller. These enquiries seek clarification on specific aspects of the property and its legal status.
6. Exchange of contracts
Once all pre-contract enquiries have been resolved satisfactorily, and both parties are ready to proceed, the contracts are exchanged. At this point, the sale becomes legally binding, and a completion date is agreed upon.
On the agreed-upon completion date, the legal transfer of ownership is finalized, and the seller's solicitor receives the purchase funds from the buyer's solicitor. The seller hands over the keys to the property, and the buyer officially becomes the new owner.
After completion, the seller's solicitor will settle any outstanding mortgage on the property and handle any other relevant financial matters. They will also provide a statement of account detailing the transaction for the seller's records.
Why is conveyancing important?
Conveyancing is a vital step in selling a house because it ensures that the sale is legally valid and protects both the seller and the buyer's interests. The process involves verifying ownership, resolving any legal issues, and providing transparency regarding the property's condition and status.
By engaging a qualified solicitor to handle the conveyancing process, sellers can navigate the complexities of property law confidently and facilitate a successful and secure property sale.
With a good understanding of the significance of conveyancing, sellers can approach the sale of their house with confidence, knowing that their interests are protected throughout the process.