What conveyancing solicitors do
When you instruct a conveyancing solicitor they will endeavour to meet any requirements you have. Once instructed, your conveyancing solicitor ensures the seller has the legal right to sell the property. They ensure that the land itself is free from issues and that all financing is in order.
They will ask the seller’s solicitor a number of questions (known as enquiries) about the property’s use and history and carry out important property searches.
Your solicitor must also check the mortgage arrangements, as well as looking after the lender’s interest where a mortgage is being taken out.
There is more work and risk involved when representing a buyer because of the legal principle known as caveat emptor or “buyer beware”‘. This means it is the responsibility of the buyer’s solicitors to raise all pertinent questions about the property. Buyers must be aware there is no obligation on the seller to disclose anything unless asked directly.
Conveyancing process when buying
The following are the key stages of the purchase conveyancing process. Once an offer has been accepted:
- ID documents and instruction forms are completed by the client
- The purchaser’s conveyancing solicitor receives contracts from the seller’s solicitor for review
- The solicitor raises enquiries of the seller’s solicitor
- Searches are ordered from local authorities, the Environment Agency etc.
- Terms are agreed and a date is set for completion
- Exchange contracts
- Completion – the day you move in!
- Post-completion formalities – this is the finalising of the stamp duty payment to HMRC, registering of the title at the Land Registry and dealing with the final documents to the client.