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W J Meade Conveyancing Services

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Conveyancing – the legal side of moving home

Conveyancing involves legally transferring homeownership from the seller to the buyer. The process begins when your offer on a house is accepted and it finishes when you receive the keys.

So what is it?
A typical conveyancing transaction has two major phases; the exchange of contracts and completion. It is a legal requirement in all jurisdictions that contracts for the sale of land be in writing. An exchange of contracts involves two copies of a contract of sale being signed, one copy of which is retained by each party. Both copies of the contract of sale become binding only after each party is in possession of a copy of the contract signed by the other party – this means the exchange is said to be “complete”.

Who does the conveyancing?
A solicitor or conveyancer usually conducts the conveyancing process, but it is possible to do it yourself as long as you are not taking out a mortgage. We recommend using a third party to complete this process as it can be very complicated. W J Meade has collaborated with Premier Property Lawyers to create W J Meade Conveyancing, so if you are stuck on who to use, read our PDF below.

How does it work?
Your solicitor will examine the draft contract and raise enquiries with the seller’s solicitor. Although the solicitor does the majority of the work, you will be expected to go through the forms the seller has completed and let the solicitor know if you have any concerns. It is always recommended that you do your own research into the property’s history. Your solicitor will do their legal searches, but you should check a variety of public platforms such as; land registry, local authority, water authority to name a few. Before this process can start, you will need to be able to provide proof of funds, for the most cases, you will need a mortgage in place (unless you are a cash buyer). Check out our mortgage advice here.

Before signing the contract, get your solicitor to make sure that all enquiries have been returned and are satisfactory, the fixtures and fittings included in the purchase are what you expected, a completion date has been agreed between both parties, and that you have made arrangements to transfer the deposit into your solicitors account so it is cleared in time for exchange.

Once you have exchanged contracts, you will be in a legally binding contract to buy the property with a date arranged for moving. This peace of mind means that the seller can no longer accept another offer, however if you do not complete on the purchase, you will lose your deposit, so make sure you are certain on this decision.

On the day of completion, once all the money has been received by the seller’s solicitor, the seller should drop the keys at the estate agents for your collection so you can move in. Once completion has taken place, you will need to pay Stamp Duty and send a copy of the title deeds to your mortgage lender (once you yourself have received them from the seller’s solicitor)

Download our conveyancing service PDF

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