In this brief guide, we are going to discuss the conveyancing process when buying and selling a house. This will allow you to plan your purchase timeline.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the process undertaken by a legal expert when selling a house to ensure that the legal aspects of the home are fine and there aren’t any restrictive covenants or important legal matters that may damage your home in the future or reduce the value of your home in the future. The cost of the conveyancing process when selling is slightly cheaper than when buying but will range from £250 to £1000 (it can be more) based on the value of the property.

The conveyance process:  Buying 

In this section of the guide, we are going to talk about the conveyance process when buying a house.

You may be able to do the conveyancing process when buying a house but it may be better to avoid doing this as it may leave you liable for any errors. In most cases, the mortgage lender will insist you use a licensed conveyancer when buying a home if you are buying with a mortgage and hence the decision is out of your hands. You can choose to use a no move no fee conveyancer when buying a home if you are concerned about the cost and losing money if the sale doesn’t come to fruition.

Before we elaborate on the conveyancing process when selling we should answer some of the most frequently asked questions around the conveyancing process when buying.

What documents are needed for conveyancing?

When buying a house there are various documents which your conveyancer may need or may request from you or the seller. Some of these documents include:

The Title Deeds of the property

Any Indemnity insurance

Copy of the lease

Management pack.

Report on the title for any relevant searches

Property information form detailing what is in the property and what is being left as part of the sale document

Fittings and contents form.

Warranty document

Stamp duty receipt.

Energy performance certificate

How long is the conveyancing process?

The conveyancing process can be as long as 3 months but this really depends on how fast the third parties involved move to ensure that the produce whatever reports are needed etc

In some cases, the conveyancing process can take as little as 3 weeks to complete.

What does a conveyancer do when buying a house?

When buying a house the conveyancer will carry out searches on the house to ensure there are no restrictive covenants or any other issues which may be of concern to you in the future. The conveyancer will also manage the transfer of funds to the seller, manage the contract signing phase etc

The Conveyancing process when buying

The conveyancing process when buying goes like this:

  1. Instruct the conveyancer
  2. Conveyancer receives draft contracts from the seller
  3. The conveyancer will carry out the searches
  4. Conveyancer receives mortgage offer from the lender
  5. Contracts are exchanged
  6. Completion

Instruct the conveyancer

The first thing you will have to do is instruct a conveyancer who will help you as you are buying a house. The conveyancer will provide you with their terms of business which you will be required to sign and send back to the conveyancer.

You will then need to provide your conveyancer with a client information form

You will also have to provide your identification documents such as your passport or driving license.

Finally, you will need to pay your conveyancer so they can start work.

Conveyancer receives draft contracts from the seller

Your conveyancer will then receive the draft sale contracts from the seller, review them and provide any feedback to you and the seller or the seller’s conveyancers. Your conveyancer will raise any queries with the seller’s conveyancer, get revisions of the contact drafted up and then get a final version of the contract ready for you to sign. Once you sign the contract it will then be given to the sellers conveyancer so they can sign and return the contract.

The conveyancer will carry out the searches

Your conveyancer will then request searches to be carried out on the property depending on where it is situated and its particular circumstances.

Your conveyancer will receive responses from the searches and notify you of their findings as well as any relevant advice.

Conveyancer receives a mortgage offer from the lender

Your conveyancer will then receive a mortgage offer from the mortgage lender.

Your conveyancer will send you a mortgage pack including a mortgage deed to sign and return to them.

Your conveyancer will then receive the signed mortgage deed from you.

Contracts are exchanged

Your conveyancer will prepare a full detailed report on the property with all their findings and provide you with any relevant advice.

Your conveyancer will request and request the deposit money from you to fund the purchase of the property.

Your conveyancer will exchange a completion date with the seller’s solicitor after which contracts are exchanged.

Your conveyancer will provide a draft transfer document for approval by the seller’s conveyancer.

Your conveyancer will apply for the mortgage funds from the bank and then receive these mortgage funds.

Your conveyancer will also apply for pre-competition searches and receive the all-clear on all pre-completion searches.

Your conveyancer will receive from you the balance of any purchase funds.

Completion

Your conveyancer will complete and send on your behalf the land transaction form to the inland revenue.

Your conveyancer will then receive your stamp duty certificate from the inland revenue.

Your conveyancer will apply to the and registry for you to be named as the registered property owner on the land registry.

Your conveyancer will receive confirmation of this registration by the land registry.

Your conveyancer will confirm this registration by the land registry to you and the mortgage lender.

You are now the legal owner of the property and this ends the conveyancing process for buying.

The conveyance process:  Selling

In this section of the guide, we are going to talk about the conveyance process when selling a house.

You may be able to do the conveyancing process when selling yourself but it may be better to avoid doing this as it may leave you liable for any errors. You can choose to use a no move no fee conveyancer when selling your home if you are concerned about the cost and losing money if the sale doesn’t come to fruition.

What is conveyancing when selling a house?

When selling a house the conveyancing process really involves you being able to manage the buying process, the process of receiving the funds from your house sale( the buyer’s conveyancer will send these funds) and the legal work involved with transferring ownership over to the property buyer.

Before we elaborate on the conveyancing process when selling we should answer some of the most frequently asked questions around the conveyancing process when selling.

Do I need a conveyancer when selling?

Yes, you may need a conveyancer when selling your home as there are many aspects of the home selling process which may benefit or need a conveyancer. 

How long does conveyancing take no chain?

If there is no chain then conveyancing can take anywhere from 1 week to up to 4 weeks. The delays in conveyancing are primarily due to the number of third parties where information has to be sourced from. When there is a chain involved then conveyancing can take up to the standard 12 weeks and even more.

When selling a house when do you get paid?

When selling a house you will get paid after the completion period when the home has been sold

How long does the conveyancing process take?

The conveyancing process can take from between eight and 12 weeks but this can be significantly reduced and the conveyancing process may take less based on the speed of third parties such as the Land registry.

What happens after I sell my house?

After you sell your house the conveyancer will record the sale with the land registry and you will receive the proceeds from the sale from your conveyancer if you don’t have any mortgage balance owed on the property.

If you have a mortgage balance then your conveyancer will have requested a mortgage redemption statement from your mortgage provider and then paid them what is owed before sending you whatever is leftover.

The conveyancing process when selling

The conveyancing process when selling goes like this:

  1. Instruct the conveyancer
  2. Conveyancer sends draft contracts to buyer
  3. Conveyancer will provide replies to buyer
  4. Conveyancer will send you contracts for signing
  5. Contracts are exchanged
  6. Completion

We will now go into more detail on each point on the conveyancing process when selling.

Instruct the Conveyancer

Your first step in the conveyance selling process is to instruct a conveyancer to work for you when selling your home. 

Your conveyancer will provide you with their terms of business and request from you to send the below details before the conveyance selling process can begin.  The things requested will include:

Your identification documents such as your driving license or passport.

A signed form or letter instructing your conveyancer. The conveyancing process cannot start without this signed letter.

A completed fixture and fittings form

A completed client information form- this is similar to a mortgage fact find but for conveyancing.

A list of property questionnaires.

Some of the property questionnaires which you may need to answer include:

“The (TA 6) is a general questionnaire and includes information on boundaries, disputes and complaints (like reported noisy neighbour complaints or boundary disputes), known proposed developments (like motorways or railways), building works, council tax, utilities, sewerage, contact details.

If you do not own the freehold you should give more information on either the leasehold (TA 7) or the commonhold (TA9)

The (TA 10) provides details of which fittings and fixtures you would like to include with the property

The (TA 13) is more technical, but also includes finalisation details including arrangements to hand over the keys, how and where you will complete, and ensuring that the house is free of all mortgages and liability claims”

Completing this form as soon as possible will make the conveyancing process when selling move faster.

You should also send your conveyancer copies of any documents which are mentioned on any of the TA forms.

Conveyancer sends draft contracts to the buyer

After onboarding you as part of the conveyancing selling process, your conveyancer will then apply to the land registry for office copies entry. 

Your conveyancer will then prepare a draft contract on your behalf and then send this to you to review. Your conveyancer will then send this to the seller’s conveyancer to be reviewed. 

 Before drafting the contracts your conveyancer will likely have discussed with you to find out if there is any information you think may be useful outside of the information you have provided during the onboarding stage of the conveyancing process when selling a home.

Conveyancer will provide replies to the buyer

Once this has been done the buyer’s conveyancer will have some questions which they will send to you through your conveyancer. This is a routine part of the conveyancing process when selling and you will simply need to provide responses to these questions and give them to your conveyancer who will review them and send them to the buyer’s conveyancer.  

In some cases, your conveyancer may be more fit to answer the question and will do this and provide their answers for you to review before sending these answers to the buyers conveyancer as part of the conveyancing process when selling.

Conveyancer will send you contracts for signing

Once this stage of the conveyancing process when selling has been completed your conveyancer will send you the contracts which need to be signed after they have been reviewed and confirmed as satisfactory by the buyer’s conveyancer.

If you are happy with the contract you should sign them and return them to your conveyancer. If you are not happy with the contract then send your comments to your conveyancer and they will look to address them.

Contracts are exchanged

Your conveyancer will receive the signed contracts from the seller’s conveyancer and will then receive and agree on a completion date with the buyer’s conveyancer.

As part of the exchange of contracts process, your conveyancer will receive the draft transfer from the buyer’s conveyancer. Your conveyancer will approve this on your behalf and send you the final transfer for you to sign.

Completion

At this point, you have now sold your home.  Your conveyancer will pay any estate agent fees due from the sale and give you an account of all the monies received from the sale and send you the money due to you. At this point then conveyancing process when selling a home is finished.

On the completion date, you must leave the property at a time agreed with the buyer and make all the arrangements for when and where to hand over the keys to the property as well as an inventory list(if required). 

This arrangement will usually be made through the estate agent who is managing some parts of the sale process for you. 

The buyer’s conveyancer will have sent over the proceeds from the sale to your conveyancer already. 

You will also have been required to use sign an undertaking that you will use the proceeds of the sale to discharge any mortgage which you currently have on the property. 

In most cases, the seller’s conveyancer may pay the mortgage balance on the property before sending you any balance which is left.

As you can see from this guide there is an enormous benefit in having a conveyancer when selling your home. 

If you have any questions or comments about the conveyancing process please let us know.

John Bate

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.