What is a conveyancing solicitor and when might you need one?


Instructing your conveyancing solicitor at the right time

If you’re ready to buy or sell residential or commercial property in England and Wales, then a conveyancing solicitor will prepare the necessary legal documents to transfer ownership from one party to another. The conveyancer will also liaise with mortgage providers to ensure the cash from a sale or purchase is moved from buyer to seller. So, when is the right time to instruct a conveyancer?

Getting organised

It’s never too early to do your research into conveyancing solicitors Essex teams and choose professionals to act on your behalf in your sale or purchase. If you already have someone lined up when you make or accept an offer on a property, then this can shorten the time it takes to get to the exchange of contracts. Your buyer or vendor will have their own conveyancer who your solicitor will liaise with throughout the process, along with estate agents too.

After an offer has been accepted

If you are buying a property, then your conveyancer will begin by writing to the seller’s solicitor to request the draft contract details. They will also conduct various searches which can uncover issues with the property or the land around it. Once you have completed on a sale, this is binding, so it’s vital that you have all the possible information about a property before you proceed. Typical searches can include:

  • Local authority search to reveal environmental issues, development plans or proximity to railway lines
  • Land Registry search to check title ownership and legal ownership
  • Drainage search to ensure that the property is connected to mains drainage systems and water supplies
  • Environmental search to check for flood risks, ground stability and any landfill sites near to your property
  • Chancel repair liability – this historic regulation determines whether you will need to contribute towards any church repair costs in your local area.

Property sellers will be asked to fill out a seller’s questionnaire which provides details about the fixtures and fittings of the property, its boundaries, parking availability and information about the lease as applicable. This questionnaire will be used by the conveyancer to identify any potential issues that the buyer should know about and forms the basis of enquiries to the vendors solicitor.

Exchange and completion

Once all enquiries have been satisfied, the next stage is to exchange contracts, which you will need to sign in the presence of a witness before returning to your solicitor. You will also negotiate a date for the exchange and the completion of your sale or purchase. This requires plenty of communication with all parties and their solicitors throughout the entire property chain as typically everyone will move on the same day. Your deposit will be required at this point and the sale and purchase are legally binding.

On completion day, your conveyancer will stay in touch with all third parties along the property chain, including the banks and estate agents. Once funds have transferred and been cleared, then the keys to a property will be released to the new owner.

Following completion, your conveyancer will contact the Land Registry to let them know the new property owners, provide copies of the deeds to the mortgage lender and pay stamp duty as required.

Contact Hook & Partners Today

If you’re in the process of buying or selling property, Hook & Partners offer an experienced team to support you with the legalities. Get in touch on 01268 692 255 or by email at info@hookandpartners.com.