What does a conveyancing solicitor do?
As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, every penny counts. Causing everyone to scrutinise spending and make cutbacks.
If you’re looking to buy a new home, the expenses will be stacking up. Estate agent fees, removal costs, potential mortgage exit or early repayment charges, conveyancing fees, the list goes on.
You could pack your own boxes and hire a van for the day to reduce removal costs, which might leave you wondering what other expenses could be avoided. After all, exactly what it is that a conveyancing solicitor does, and do you really need one?
Here we take a closer look.
What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the term used to describe the legal and administrative work carried out to transfer ownership of a property from one individual to another.
It’s a complex business and typically takes up to 8 weeks to complete – often longer!
Why is it important?
Buying a house is likely to be the biggest expense you ever commit to. You won’t be doing it lightly, so getting it right – and making sure everything is legal – is essential.
The last thing you want is to sign on the dotted line only to discover your dream home is built on leased land that’s due to expire, or worse!
So, what does a conveyancing solicitor actually do?
The conveyancing process is often long, arduous, and fraught with complications. Trying to navigate the legalities, dodge pitfalls and keep your sale on track is a challenge, but that’s what a conveyancing solicitor is there to do. Taking on the headache and hassle, so you don’t have to and keeping your sale moving in a positive direction.
Key things a conveyancing solicitor will look after for you, include:
– Property searches
When it comes to property, what you see isn’t always what you get. So an important part of the conveyancing process is to carry out searches. These help uncover any hidden issues with the property before it’s too late, such as access rights, potential flood risks, ground contamination, mines, or problems with damp.
Some searches may be requested by your mortgage provider, while others are just highly recommended.
A property conveyancer will make sure that the right searches are carried out and recommend appropriate action based on the results.
– Important documentation
When it comes to buying and selling property there’s one thing you can’t avoid – paperwork!
Everything from a TA10 – used to painstakingly list every fixture and fitting included in the sale – to a TA6, which pulls together important information about your property (building work carried out, existing planning permissions, current utility suppliers etc), will need to be completed.
A property solicitor will guide you through all the necessary forms, ensuring nothing is missed and everything is completed in a timely fashion.
– Exchange of contracts and completion
Perhaps the most crucial documentation when it comes to a house sale is the contract.
Once all forms and surveys have been taken care of, your conveyancer will finalise details and agree a date to ‘exchange contracts’. At this point, the agreement becomes legally binding. You can still back out but not without severe financial implications – such as losing your deposit.
Once the exchange has happened your conveyancing solicitor will then look to agree on a ‘completion’ date with all parties involved. This is the day the keys are officially handed over. Finding a date that works for everyone can take time. It’s important to be patient and as flexible as possible – you can let your conveyancer do all the toing and froing.
Completion day is also the date when all outstanding money must be paid. Again, this will be done through your conveyancing solicitor.
– Stamp duty
If you’ve got this far you might think you’re home and dry – but the work isn’t over.
It’s now time to pay Stamp Duty. With a professional conveyancer, you can be confident important steps like this don’t get overlooked. They will transfer money over to cover Stamp Duty and ensure the Land Registry is provided with all the necessary legal documents to confirm you as the rightful owner.
Do you have to use a conveyancing solicitor?
Legally, no. You can look after the conveyancing process yourself – but it’s a risk.
The process is complex, time-consuming, and can very easily go wrong.
So much so, that although any qualified paralegal or solicitor can carry out conveyancing work, it’s highly recommended to seek the help of an experienced property solicitor with specialist knowledge.
Is it worth paying for a property conveyancer?
Get things wrong and not only could you put your sale in jeopardy, but you could also find yourself falling foul of the law.
Even if you do manage to navigate the complicated legalities of the process, you’ve got to ask yourself if the saving is worth it.
With a dedicated conveyancing solicitor, not only are you protected from costly mistakes, but you will also save yourself a substantial amount of time and stress.
Money well spent
The safest and most cost-effective route to a successful house purchase? Invest in competent and competitively priced property conveyancers – like the team at GD Legal.
Specialising in conveyancing, our trusted solicitors can help you to purchase, sell, remortgage, or transfer any property quickly, keeping costs as low as possible.
Coming highly recommend (check out our reviews), we promise a service that is fairly priced, completely transparent and 100% money well spent!