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Guide to the conveyancing process

Please note that this guide refers to the England and Wales conveyancing process which differs in Scotland.

Stage 1 : Sale or Purchase Agreed

Letter of instruction

Having decided to buy or sell a property you will need to instruct a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to transfer the legal ownership, by signing a letter of instruction. This gives your appointed representative the authority to start acting on your behalf and to collect the important information needed to buy or sell a property. If you wish to find out how to instruct Your Move Conveyancing Services to act for you please complete the Conveyancing enquiry form.

Searches

A local authority search is carried out at the local council in order to establish if there is any concern registered against the property, such as a compulsory purchase order, a road scheme or enforcement action for breach of planning permission.

In certain areas a mining search will be undertaken to identify any mine working in the location and depending on the geological situation other searches may be necessary.

A thorough examination of the title documents is undertaken to ensure that the title is good and free from defects. 

A draft contract is also submitted and checked at this stage. It will outline the terms and conditions of the proposed purchase and will contain details of the seller and purchaser, full details of the property being sold, the agreed sale price and size of the deposit to be paid on the exchange.

Investigation of title and contract

A thorough examination of the title documents is undertaken to ensure that the title is good and free from defects. A draft contract is also submitted and checked at this stage. It will outline the terms and conditions of the proposed purchase and will contain details of the seller and purchaser, full details of the property being sold, the agreed sale price and size of the deposit to be paid on the exchange.

Stage 2 : Exchange of contracts

Pre-exchange

Prior to the exchange of contracts stage, any points arising from the Investigation of Title will be addressed and any matters that you should be aware of will be reported to you. You will be asked to sign and return the contract so that it is ready to exchange. The contract is not binding at this stage, but once you have returned it and it is exchanged with the other side, then it becomes binding.

Fixtures and fittings, and contents form

A Fixtures and Fittings and Contents Form will also be submitted at this stage, which you will need to check and sign if correct.

Deed of transfer

This document transfers legal ownership of the property on completion, you will be asked to sign it at this stage.

Mortgage deed

The Mortgage Deed is the actual document that, once signed in the presence of a witness by you and any joint purchasers, secures the loan on the property you are buying.

Completion statement

This documentation will show the balance required from you to complete the purchase. It will include any stamp duty that you have to pay.

Exchange

Once the signed contract and the deposit as the balance of the purchase price are received, the contracts will be exchanged. The completion date will also be set by writing the date on the contract; both the seller and buyer will have agreed this date. Once the contracts have been exchanged, you are legally committed to buy/sell the property.

Building insurance

You will need to ensure that you have made the necessary arrangements for building insurance cover. The policy must be valid from the date that the contracts are exchanged and not only on completion. We offer a wide range of insurance products including both Building and Contents Insurance and Accident, Sickness and Unemployment cover. Click here for more information.

Stage 3 : Completion

The completion date is set and the contracts have been exchanged, the mortgage advance from the lender has been received and a final search is completed satisfactorily. The day has arrived to complete the transaction. The money is paid to the seller’s conveyancer and the transfer and title deeds are received. The property is now yours, all that’s left is to collect the keys and move in.

Land Registry

HM Land Registry’s main purpose is to register title to land in England and Wales and to record dealings (for example, sales and mortgages) with registered land. The Registers of Scotland deal with land in Scotland.

Stamp Duty

This is a government tax on house purchases, details of which can be found at www.hmrc.gov.uk/so. Payments will be arranged by your Solicitor/Licensed Conveyancers and is due on completion.

Contact Your Move Conveyancing today for a free, no obligation cost breakdown or call us on 0845 300 8406^.

Calls cost 2 pence per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

Helpful Hints

Be organised

Make sure that you file all letters and documents you receive. This will help you to lay your hands on them quickly if required.

Act promptly

Appoint a conveyancer as soon as you decide to sell - don’t wait until you find a home to buy - this means that most of the paperwork can be sorted in advance.

Insurance

Ensure that you have made the necessary arrangements for insurance on the property. We offer a wide range of insurance products including both Building and Contents Insurance. Click here for more information.

Keys

Once the seller's solicitor has confirmed receipt of funds to confirm the transaction has completed, the estate agent will be able to confirm where and when you may collect the keys. 

Utilities

Inform - Gas, Electricity, Telephone, Council Tax, Water Rates, etc. of your change of address.

Moving House

The secret to a successful move is preparation - click here for Your Move top tips on preparing to move house.

Need a Solicitor?

Need a Solicitor?

We can introduce you to conveyancing experts who deal with the legal transfer of the property.

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