Most sales and purchases of residential property follow a similar process; although each transaction will be different and can vary in its complexity.

At Gallant Richardson, we believe that choosing a good, proactive conveyancer can make a lot of difference with both selling or buying and can even be the difference between a successful sale or purchase and one that fails. We are fortunate enough to have secured links with, whom we believe, to be some of the best local firms of solicitors who offer conveyancing services and we are happy to refer any of our clients to these firms. Because we work with these solicitors on a regular basis we are able to keep open good lines of communication allowing us to actively progress sales and keep everyone up to date with developments.

The Conveyancing Process

The basic process is:

1). Once a buyer has had an offer accepted on a property, both buyer and seller each instruct a conveyancer. The estate agent acting for the seller will write to both conveyancers with full details of the sale.

2). Both conveyancers will ask their clients to formally instruct them and provide them with proof of ID, purchasers will be asked for evidence of where their deposit is coming from and money on account for searches, sellers will be asked to complete a variety of property information forms.

3). The sellers’ solicitor will obtain information on the property from Land Registry and based on this will provide the buyers conveyancer with a draft contract and other relevant papers, including the property questionnaires.

4). The buyers’ conveyancer will check the draft contracts and other paperwork and will probably raise questions or “enquiries” as they are known with the sellers’ conveyancers. Also, at this stage, the buyers’ solicitor will apply for a variety of searches, the main one being with the local authority.

5). Once the buyers’ conveyancer receives the answers to their initial enquiries and the searches they will normally need to raise additional enquiries with the sellers’ side. The buyers’ conveyancer will also receive a copy of the buyers’ mortgage offer (if applicable) from the lender as they will, generally, be asked by the lender to act for them also and need to report to the lender to ensure the property and purchase comply with their requirements.

6). Once the buyers’ solicitors have received the searches, satisfactory answers to all of their enquiries and the mortgage offer they will report to their client with a mortgage deed (if applicable) and contract to sign – they will ask for these to be returned undated.

7). The sellers conveyancer will similarly ask the sellers to sign an identical contract which they will hold in readiness.

8). Once ready the buyers conveyancer will request the funds for the deposit from the buyer – this is usually 10% of the purchase price, although can vary. If the buyer is also selling a property at the same time, at least some of the deposit may be coming from their buyers’ conveyancer. If there is a mortgage on the property the sellers’ conveyancer will need to obtain a redemption figure, from the lender, accurate for the completion date.

9). The completion date is now agreed between both parties and contracts can now be exchanged. If there is a chain of connected sales then contracts for all transactions must happen on the same day with the same agreed completion date. It is only at this stage that the buyer and seller are legally committed, prior to this either may withdraw without penalty.

10). On exchange of contracts, if there is a mortgage involved, the buyers’ conveyancer notifies the lender and orders the mortgage money to be paid across on the day of completion plus they request any other funds coming from the buyer to be paid into their clients’ account in readiness.

11). On the day of completion, the buyers’ conveyancer instructs their bank to pay across the purchase monies to the sellers’ conveyancers. If there is a chain of transactions then it works on a domino basis, with the buyers’ conveyancer at the bottom of the chain paying the money across first and then the other conveyancers above doing the same once they receive the funds from below – with a long chain this can take several hours. Once the sellers’ conveyancer has received the funds the sale has completed and the buyer can collect the keys.

12). After completion, the buyers conveyancer arranges to pay any relevant Stamp Duty Land Tax to HMRC and also notifies Land Registry of the new ownership.

We have to make you aware that we receive a fee from the solicitors’ firms if a transaction completes following our referral.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can help with this.