In the UK, conveyancing when buying a property is a mandatory process. This is to ensure that the ownership is legally transferred from one party to another. If not properly, the seller and/or the buyer could be in for a lot of trouble, financially and legally.
Conveyancing is basically defined as the legal process of transferring the property ownership from the current owner to the buyer as the transaction gets completed. At present, the conveyancing process is regulated by the Law Society's Conveyancing Quality Scheme to make sure that the highest standards of quality and legal compliance is followed throughout the tasks involved in it.
For first time homebuyers, their most common question would be what conveyancers really do to help them.
Generally, a conveyancer will help you through the following processes:
Arranging the settlement of the property's pending financial and legal obligations;
Provide proper advice on buying costs and other expenses;
Create, edit and finalise sale-purchase contracts to be signed and exchanged later on;
Represent buyers and/or sellers throughout the tasks involved in conveyancing, and;
Help register the property at the Land Registry and settle the fees involved
When Should You Hire a Conveyancer?
You should ideally start looking for one at the same time you're checking property listings and looking for a good mortgage deal. It comes with the "shopping around" part just to be sure you've got all the help you need in place when you start viewing properties and making an offer. Having a conveyancer working with you even at an early stage can be beneficial, as they can give you sound advice regarding the whole transaction. It also puts you ahead of time when it comes to paperwork getting sorted.
Choosing a conveyancer who is in the approved list of mortgage lenders is also very helpful as they can work with each other for a more seamless process. There are tasks that a mortgage lender can only trust a conveyancer in their panel, so you may want to consult your choices with your mortgage lender.
If your friends or relatives recently bought a property, ask them if they could recommend the conveyancer that they instructed. You can also check the Law Society website to look for one or a couple of their accredited members. More so, you can browse the Internet and ask for obligation-free quotes from various conveyancing firms.
How Much Should You Prepare to Cover the Fees?
Your best bet to give you an idea how much you're likely to pay are the quotes you'll receive. Conveyancing fees differ from one firm to another and are generally divided into two parts: the basic fees - intended for their time and expertise; and the disbursements - the one they will pay to authorities on your behalf and send you an invoice for in the end.
Because conveyancing has become competitive as people are becoming more inclined to buying properties at present, you are also likely to encounter fixed-price and no-exchange-no-fee offers from conveyancing firms.