The process of transferring property ownership from one person to another is called conveyancing. You can choose between a solicitor or a, licensed conveyancer to do this for you.
If using a solicitor, make sure that they are experienced in the field of conveyancing as not all solicitors do this work.
If using a licensed conveyancer make sure they are licensed by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers (in England and Wales only.)
Before you make your decision, it is advisable to find out the likely costs of the conveyancing. Contact more than one solicitor or licensed conveyancer, as the fees will vary. Check if the fee is fixed or if it depends on the amount of work involved. Does the figure include stamp duty, search fees, land registration fees, other expenses and VAT? Get a breakdown of these costs. Also, find out what charges will be sought if the sale doesn't progress to the contracts being exchanged.
Conveyancing guide for buying
Purchase Agreed Instruct a solicitor or licensed conveyancer and wait for the pre-contract package from the seller's solicitor. Having received this, they apply for local authority searches, and any other searches. (This can take four weeks). Any additional enquiries will be raised and wait for replies. Also, wait for search results, the mortgage offer, and follow any instructions from the lender.
Exchange of Contracts
Once everything is OK a property report is prepared and sent to you.
The contract and mortgage deed will have to be signed, and the deposit paid. (Agree completion dates at this stage). Exchange contracts with the seller's solicitor. The sale is now legally binding.
After exchange, the final accounts are prepared.
Final searches are made against you and the property.
On the completion date the balance is paid. In return, title deeds are sent by the seller's solicitors.
If applicable, stamp duty is paid, and the transfer is registered at the Land Registry. After registration, a copy is sent to you and the original goes to your lender.
Conveyancing Guide for Selling
Conveyancing: sale agreed
Your solicitor will obtain your title deeds and Land Registry copies. You will be asked to complete a Property Information Form and a Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form. For leasehold properties, there will be an additional form.
Supply any guarantees or other documents not held with your title deeds e.g. damp and timber reports, planning permission for extensions etc.
The draft contract will be prepared and sent to the buyer's solicitors, who carry out various searches (this can take four weeks). Any queries must be answered with your help. Once they have been answered, you will be asked to sign the contract.
Exchange of Contracts
Once everything is agreed (including completion date) and the contract is signed, next step is the exchange of contracts. The sale is now legally binding. The Buyer's solicitors will send the deposit.
The transfer deed is approved and you sign it. Any mortgage redemption figures are applied for and the final accounts are prepared.
On completion, the balance of the sale price is received, the title deeds are given to the buyer's solicitors. Your solicitor will pay off any mortgage from the sale proceeds. Legal fees and disbursements are paid and any money left over will be paid to you, unless you are using it for a related purchase.