What is conveyancing

Conveyancing is the management of the legal conditions and obligations associated with a new mortgage be it the purchase, sale or remortgaging of a property.

Your conveyancer, usually part of a solicitors firm will act on your behalf and that of your current mortgage lender if you have one. Conveyancing is an important part of the mortgage process and without the completion of this process a mortgage cannot be extended by one lender or settled with another, nor can a new home be bought or an old one sold.

The conveyancing process

The conveyancing process will usually involve your solicitor performing the following tasks

  • Arranging a purchase contract from the seller’s solicitor including property and ownership details
  • Obtaining a list of fixtures and fittings that will be left by the seller at the property
  • Management and signing of the mortgage offer and payment of the deposit
  • Management of completion dates and the exchange of contracts
  • Transfer and updating of property deeds

Once this has been done the conveyancer may call down the mortgage from the lender and complete the process. On the completion date the purchase price is paid to the sellers solicitors in exchange for the title deeds to the property.

The conveyancer will now register your name and mortgage at H.M. Land Registry and send the deeds to your lender for them to hold as security for their mortgage advance.

If you are remortgaging there won’t be a seller or buyer involved obviously, instead it’ll be about checking property details and exchanging one lenders guarantee on the property to another via the property deeds.

Remortgage conveyancing is usually less complicated and so cheaper.

Fees and Charges

You will pay your solicitor or licensed conveyancer a fee for this service. There are two basic costs, a charge for the solicitor’s time and disbursements.

Solicitor Fees

The amount the solicitor charges will vary from one to another. You can always obtain a quote before committing to the service and it certainly pays to shop around for the best deal.

Disbursements

These are costs associated with the transfer of the property or alterations to charges on the property’s deeds including:

  • Local searches
  • Home Information Packs (HIP)
  • Land registry fees
  • Stamp duty if applicable

Your solicitor can itemise these charges for you. They won’t always be applicable, a HIP and stamp duty aren’t necessary for a remortgage for example. Some solicitors may put a margin on these fees, some will pass them on at cost; you should ask them to clarify this.

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