22 Jul Helpful Hardisty – A Guide to Conveyancing
If you are buying or selling a house, you will need a property ‘lawyer’. Property law is complex and can be very confusing, using words and phrases from the 1800s and early 1900s. But it doesn’t need to be difficult for you when it comes to finding your perfect home. Here at Hardisty’s we want to get you moving so we’re sharing our top tips to find the right conveyancer for you.
What is conveyancing?
The term ‘conveyancing’ refers to all the legal and administrative work associated with transferring the ownership of property and/or land from one person to another. This process begins right away after you have had your offer accepted on a property. It ends once the final contracts have been signed and you transfer your money to your solicitor to complete the purchase – meaning you can then pick up your keys for your estate agent!
Who does my conveyancing?
Solicitors, property lawyers and licensed conveyancers all undertake conveyancing, any solicitor practising must be registered by law in England and Wales with the Law Society and are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
However, not all solicitors are experienced in property law and it could therefore prove sensible to hire a solicitor who specialises in residential property sales or a dedicated property conveyancer – usually who only works on cases of this kind.
When do I need a conveyancer?
Hurray! Your offer has been accepted, what now? Once your offer has been agreed with the seller, it’s time to get the ball rolling. In order for us to mark the property as sold (otherwise known as SSTC, meaning sold subject to contract) you will need to instruct a solicitor to act for you. You will also need to provide us with photo ID, proof of address and proof of funds.
What will my solicitor actually do for me?
Once you have instructed your solicitor, the first thing they will look to do is conduct vital searches with organisations such as local authorities and utility companies to ensure that there’s no major building plans in the pipe line – like an enormous factory next door for example.
These searches will also reveal if there are sewers running close to the property, if there is a flood risk and usually in our area of Yorkshire, coal mine searches are conducted to make sure you don’t have the remains of a coal mine hidden somewhere in your back garden!
They will also advise you about any incurred costs involved with purchasing or selling your home such as stamp duty, they’ll check contracts are drawn up correctly by the seller’s solicitors, check that vital information regarding the boundaries and sale price are set out, will liaise with your mortgage lender and will raise any queries you might have for the vendors (sellers) too.
Once you’re nearing the finish line, he or she will pay all the related fees on your behalf once you transfer your money to the conveyancer’s company account and they will register you as the new owners with the Land Registry.
How much does it cost?
This one is a little trickier to answer as the cost for conveyancing depends on the sales value agreed with the vendor of the property, the type of property and where it is. However according to moneysupermarket.com, for the average property purchase conveyancing generally costs approximately £850.
Most conveyancers will offer you a quote with a break down in their fees which will include the charges for the conveyancer’s time, calls and letters (these are usually part of their basic fee), which disbursement fees are involved and registration with the Land Registry. Disbursements are costs incurred by the solicitor that are passed on to you. They should be a similar price no matter which solicitor you go to as they are fixed prices incurred through the conveyancing process.
“How much!?” That famous Yorkshire phrase…
Short arms, long pockets – often how us Yorkshire folk are dubbed! It is tempting to look for the cheapest conveyancing quotes, if you’re on a budget cheap quotes can be very attractive for cash-strapped homeowners, cheaper is not always better! While it might be possible to get a better price, quotes that fall outside the expected fee spectrum should be regarded with suspicion.
Less reputable conveyancing firms and conveyancing ‘factories’ will try a number of tricks to get you to instruct them and this can often be the case with online firms. They may ‘invent’ disbursements and fees by taking tasks that should be covered in their basic fee, hiding them away until you’ve signed and then upping the price considerably. Because of this, the initial quote will be very low and you may think you are getting a great deal. However, in reality the fees mount up and take you over and above what you expected to pay.
It is really important to get several quotes before you buy, as with any major purchase – if a price seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Our recommended panel of solicitors will provide you with a fully itemised quote showing what disbursement fees are involved with the particular property you are purchasing and will include any term & conditions and small print to read before you sign. We work closely with these local solicitors to ensure that between us, we do our best to minimise fall throughs, provide a friendly and personal service and do our best by you to get you over the finishing line!