We've put together a basic step-by-step guide to the conveyancing process relating to the purchase of Freehold and Leasehold properties. Read on to find out how the conveyancing process works and what's typically involved at each stage.
Stage 1 | Offer accepted
An offer is accepted via estate agents (or privately) from Buyer for sale of the property and then all parties instruct solicitors.
The estate agents (or if private the parties themselves) send out the Memorandum of Sale to all parties concerned confirming the agreed price and details of the Buyer, Seller and their respective solicitors. Both solicitors write to each other to confirm their instructions.
The seller’s solicitor applies for a copy of the properties Title documents, including the lease if the property is leasehold, from the Land Registry they will also send to the Seller various forms/questionnaires to complete such as a Fixtures Fittings and Contents form for the Buyer
Stage 2 | Contract pack sent
Once the seller’s solicitor has received the copy title documents from the Land Registry and completed forms/questionnaires from the Seller, they send to the Buyer’s solicitors the Contract pack.
Stage 3 | Contract reviewed
The buyer’s solicitor reviews the Contract pack then submits a request for a local search and will also submit any other required searches e.g. coal mining search, environmental search.
The buyer’s solicitor may request additional information about the property, the legal title or the surrounding area from the Seller’s solicitors. If the property is leasehold, additional leasehold enquiries will also be sent to the seller’s solicitor to be answered by the Landlord or their Agents. Such enquiries are to ensure that any rent/service charge arrears are paid by the seller on or before completion, and that any current disputes that the seller may have with the Landlord are resolved before your purchase completes.
The seller’s solicitor will deal with any legal enquiries they are able to answer but may need to forward some enquiries to the Seller to answer.
The buyer’s solicitor will send a report to the Buyer on the property which includes a plan of the property and a form indicating items to be included in the sale.
Stage 4 | Report terms of mortgage offer
The buyer’s solicitor receives the buyer’s mortgage offer and reports to the Buyer on the terms of the offer.
Stage 5 | Report search results
The buyer’s solicitor receives the search results and reports to the Buyer on any adverse entries. They may need to request further information from the seller’s solicitor regarding any entries revealed in the searches, which could in the future have an adverse effect on the property.
Stage Six | Request to sign contract
If the Buyer’s solicitor is satisfied with the replies to the enquiries they have raised then they will arrange for the Buyer to sign the Contract documents and request a deposit (if applicable) from the Buyer.
Stage 7 | Read to exchange contracts
Once the Buyer’s solicitor has received satisfactory replies to enquires, satisfactory search results, mortgage offer (if required), signed Contract documentation and a clear deposit (if any) the Buyer’s solicitor is then ready to exchange contracts.
Stage 8 | Exchange of contracts
The Buyer’s solicitor contacts the Seller’s solicitor to advise they are ready to Exchange contracts and to suggest a Completion date.
The Seller’s solicitor then contacts the Seller to check if the proposed Completion date is agreed. If not agreed the Seller’s solicitor will negotiate with the Buyer’s solicitors (or via the estate agents) for a Completion date acceptable to all parties.
Once a Completion date is agreed the Buyer’s solicitor and Seller’s solicitor exchange contracts.
At this stage, both parties are now legally bound to buy and sell the property for the agreed price on the agreed completion date.
Stage 9 | Purchase completes
On the Completion date the Buyer’s solicitor will send by same-day money transfer to the Seller’s solicitor the monies required to purchase the Property.
Once the money is received the Seller’s solicitor will authorise the release of the keys to the Buyer either via the estate agents or via the Seller direct. The purchase is now complete!