The conveyancing process can be taken down to three main stages all of which will usually be handled by your solicitor, but knowledge of the conveyancing process as a whole is always likely to be beneficial throughout the conveyancing process.
The first stage of the conveyancing process is the pre-exchange of contracts. This part of the conveyancing process is the most time consuming but is almost entirely handled by the solicitor. Once you have viewed a property and made an offer which is accepted by the seller, the conveyancing process is commenced and an initial draft contract is put forward. An important part of the conveyancing process then takes place in the form of the local searches with the council which are performed by your chosen solicitor. This will assess all aspects of the property from the councils perspective such as the boundaries of the land, rights of way and surrounding areas.
The conveyancing process may be quite straight forward for the parties involved but there is often a lot more work involved for the solicitors representing them, particularly in the pre-exchange stage of the conveyancing process. Both solicitors will work together on the preparation of the draft contract and once completed, you should receive a formal mortgage offer from the pre-agreed lender and the solicitor will send you a mortgage deed to sign committing you to the mortgage. This then marks the end of the first stage of the conveyancing process, and also represents a significant step forward with the purchase.
The next stage of the conveyancing process is the exchange of contracts, the point at which the commitment to purchase is confirmed in a legally binding agreement signed by both parties. It can be a somewhat daunting part of the conveyancing process especially for buyers who are new to the conveyancing process and suddenly finding themselves committed to a loan worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. At the part of the conveyancing process where the contracts are exchanged, the buyers will also pay a deposit based on the amount they are paying for the property. Usually around 10% of the purchase price, this deposit is non-refundable so should you withdraw from the deal for whatever reason, you will not get this amount back.
Last but certainly not least, the completion stage. The conveyancing process will hopefully be relatively hassle-free for you but nevertheless, completing on any property purchase is always an enjoyable time. You will visit your solicitors to pay the remainder of the balance on the house (minus the deposit taken at the exchange of contracts) and will then receive the keys to your new house! This isn’t quite the end of the conveyancing process however, your solicitor will then submit then register the transfer of ownership at the land registry and you will be required to pay that dreaded stamp duty. When all of this is taken care of, the conveyancing process is over and you are free to enjoy your new home the way you want with your family.