The conveyancing process explained

Buying your first home is exciting and once you’ve found your dream property and put in an offer, you probably can’t wait to get the keys! However, buying a property involves multiple stages and the process can often feel long-winded and overwhelming for many first-time buyers.

After you’ve had your offer accepted, you’ll first need to arrange for a survey of the property. This will check for any problems and also objectively value the property. You will then need to instruct a conveyancer to handle the legalities of buying your new home. But what exactly does a conveyancer do and why do you need one?


What is a conveyancer?

Here in the UK, a conveyancer is also often referred to as a solicitor. A conveyancer is someone who specialises in property law and the legal processes surrounding buying a property. This is vital to ensure that you don’t have any nasty surprises further down the line and so that you’re clear about what exactly it is that you’re buying and what your legal rights and responsibilities will be as its owner.

Conveyancing legally transfers the ownership of a property from the seller to you – the buyer. It is a complex process involving several stages and in total, it can take around eight weeks to complete.


How much does conveyancing cost?

Conveyancing fees vary according to the value of the property you’re purchasing but according to the Home Owners Alliance, the average cost of conveyancing in the UK is between £850 and £1,500 plus the costs of disbursements.

Disbursements refers to things like Stamp Duty or Title Deeds, the cost of which aren’t included in your conveyancing fee. The conveyancing fee covers the legal work your conveyancer (or solicitor) will need to do to ensure that your house purchase is lawful and correct.

Do I need a conveyancer?

You are not required by law to hire a conveyancer to handle the purchase of your new home, however, it is strongly advised that you do!

An experienced conveyancer can advise you about potential issues surrounding your new property, for example, if it’s built in a conservation area, or near a disused mine.  They will be able to find out exactly where your property’s boundaries are and if there are any access issues.

Many first time home buyers are expected to have hired a conveyancing solicitor before they even view potential properties, especially in areas where property is in high demand.

Conveyancing officially seals the handover of property ownership and your conveyancer will ensure that all the necessary paperwork has been properly completed to fully hand over the property to you in law.

Professional conveyancing also projects you in the event of issues such as fraud, and your conveyancer will also hold indemnity insurance, which protects you from financial losses that are the result of leasehold issues or problems with buildings regulations, for example.

In Summary

When you’re saving for your first home, every penny counts and conveyancing fees may seem like an added expense, but without a conveyancer to handle their property purchase, buyers can quickly run into trouble, the ramifications of which can be even more costly.

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