7th July 2023

The conveyancing process in the UK refers to the legal and administrative steps involved in transferring the ownership of a property from one person to another. It typically involves several stages and the involvement of various parties. Here’s a simplified explanation of the conveyancing process:

1. Instruction of a conveyancer/solicitor: The buyer or seller engages a conveyancer or solicitor to handle the legal aspects of the property transaction. The conveyancer acts as the intermediary and represents the client’s interests throughout the process.

2. Preliminary checks and searches: The conveyancer initiates searches and checks to gather essential information about the property. This may include local authority searches, environmental searches, flood risk assessments, and other relevant inquiries to ensure there are no hidden issues or restrictions affecting the property.

3. Reviewing the contract and supporting documents: The seller’s conveyancer prepares a draft contract that outlines the terms of the sale, including the agreed price, completion date, and any additional conditions. The buyer’s conveyancer reviews the contract and supporting documents, raising any necessary inquiries or requests for clarification.

4. Pre-contract negotiations: The conveyancers for both parties negotiate and address any issues that arise during the review of the contract. This may involve renegotiating terms, clarifying points, or requesting additional information or documentation.

5. Mortgage arrangements: If the buyer requires a mortgage to finance the purchase, they will work with their mortgage lender to complete the necessary application and approval processes. The conveyancer will coordinate with the lender to ensure the funds are available for the completion of the transaction.

6. Signing the contract: Once all inquiries have been addressed, and both parties are satisfied with the terms, the buyer signs the contract and sends it to the seller’s conveyancer for their client’s signature. At this stage, the buyer usually pays a deposit, typically 5-10% of the property’s purchase price.

7. Exchange of contracts: When both parties have signed identical copies of the contract, the conveyancers formally exchange the contracts. This is when the transaction becomes legally binding, and both parties commit to completing the sale/purchase on the agreed completion date.

8. Completion: On the completion date specified in the contract, the buyer’s conveyancer transfers the remaining funds to the seller’s conveyancer. The seller’s conveyancer confirms receipt of the funds and authorizes the release of the keys to the buyer.

9. Post-completion: The conveyancer proceeds to register the change of ownership with the Land Registry and pays any applicable stamp duty or tax on behalf of the buyer. The buyer’s conveyancer provides a final report and any relevant documentation to the buyer, confirming the completion of the transaction.

10. Registration and post-registration: The Land Registry updates the property records to reflect the change of ownership. The buyer’s conveyancer provides the buyer with a copy of the registered title and other relevant documents for their records.

It’s important to note that this is a simplified overview, and the conveyancing process can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the property transaction. Engaging an experienced conveyancer or solicitor is recommended to ensure a smooth and legally compliant transfer of property ownership.