Conveyancing Process Step By Step

East Yorkshire and York area Conveyancing Solicitors

The legal home moving procedure can seem daunting, with many stages to go through before completion. We break it down and look at the conveyancing process step by step for both sales and purchases.

At Lockings Solicitors, we have many years of experience in representing clients during home moves. We know that it is a stressful time and we always do all we can to make the process as easy as possible. We work to move transactions forward promptly and meet deadlines wherever possible.

We offer a high level of personal service and many of our clients come to us via recommendations from friends and family.

We offer a FREE initial chat so that you can ask us any questions you may have. Call us on 01482 300 200, email us at welcome@lockings.co.uk or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and deal with conveyancing in East Yorkshire, the York area and beyond.

The conveyancing process

If you are buying and selling at the same time, we will make sure that the two transactions are tied in together.

The house purchase process

The main stages in the house purchase process are:

  • Arrange mortgage finance
  • Instruct your solicitor
  • Offer accepted
  • Your solicitor receives the contract papers, applies for searches and raises enquiries
  • Survey
  • Your solicitor reports on the property to you
  • Contract and deposit ready for exchange
  • Agree on a completion date
  • Exchange of contracts
  • Finance ready for completion
  • Completion day

Arrange mortgage finance

It is usually advisable to arrange finance in advance of finding somewhere to buy. This will mean that you are ready to go ahead as soon as an offer is accepted and it will also signal to sellers that you are a serious buyer.

You can ask your chosen lender to provide a mortgage offer in principle. They will then be able to carry out much of the preliminary work at this stage, approving you and verifying your identity. Once you have somewhere to buy, there will then be less administration to be done and your mortgage offer should be issued more quickly.

Instruct your solicitor

We strongly advise instructing a solicitor early on to help avoid delays and get a transaction under way promptly. This can be particularly important if you are tying in a sale. If you ask us to represent you, we will carry out the preliminary work at this stage, including the money-laundering checks that we are required to do by law, opening a file and letting you have the initial ‘paperwork’ to be filled in (most of our clients prefer the speed and ease of doing this on our secure online portal at no extra cost).

Offer accepted

As soon as your offer on a property is accepted, you will then be able to give our details to the seller’s estate agent. They will pass these on to the seller’s solicitor who will be able to contact us with the documents to enable us to start work.

Receiving the contract papers

The seller’s solicitor will send us the contract package. This will include a copy of the legal title to the property, a plan of the property, replies to standard enquiries and property information and fixtures and fittings forms.

We will apply for the necessary searches and raise enquiries with the seller’s solicitor.

Survey

You are advised to have a survey carried out and this will be done at this stage. The level of detail in your survey will depend on how old the property is, what condition it is in and whether you intend to carry out any major works. You should not just rely on the mortgage valuation report, as this will be a very basic assessment of whether the property is good security for the loan and not a detailed look at its condition.

Your solicitor reports on the property to you

Once we have the search results and replies to the enquiries that we sent to the seller’s solicitor, we will be able to report on the property to you and let you know if there are any areas of concern and, if so, how these can be dealt with.

Contract and deposit ready for exchange

If you are happy to go ahead, you will need to provide a deposit, usually of 10%. If you have a related sale, it is usually possible to use the deposit from this. You can also sign the contract. Unlike other types of contract, it will not be legally binding until we have exchanged it with the seller’s solicitor.

Agree on a completion date

You will need to agree on a completion date with the seller as well as any other parties in the chain. You should check that there is a removals firm available on your preferred date.

Exchange of contracts

Once a date has been decided upon and we have your cleared deposit, we can exchange contracts on your behalf. This is the point at which the transaction becomes legally binding and the date for completion is set.

Finance ready for completion

Following the exchange of contracts, we will make sure that your finance is in place ready for the day of completion. We will let you have a statement showing the amount needed from you and we will also order your mortgage advance from your lender. There are a couple of final official searches to be carried out at this point, including a bankruptcy search for your lender and a check to make sure the legal title has not changed in any way.

Completion day

On the day of completion, we will have received your mortgage advance and we will send the balance of the purchase money to the seller’s solicitor. Once their bank confirms that this has been received, they will advise the estate agent that the keys can be released to you and you will be able to move in.

In the days following completion, we will arrange for registration of the property into your name and registration of the lender’s charge over it.

The house sale process

The main stages in the house sale process are:

  • Market your property
  • Instruct a solicitor
  • Accept an offer
  • Sending the contract package to the buyer’s solicitors
  • Replying to enquiries
  • Exchanging contracts
  • Completion

Market your property

You will need to check that you have an Energy Performance Certificate available and, if not, have an assessment carried out by an accredited assessor. Your estate agent will be able to market the property in the meantime, but they will need the certificate within a few days of doing so.

Instruct a solicitor

You are advised to instruct a solicitor as early as possible in the transaction. If you ask us to act on your behalf, we will go ahead and start work, opening a file, verifying your identity and letting you have the initial ‘paperwork’ for completion (most of our clients prefer the speed and ease of doing this on our secure online portal at no extra cost) including a property information form and a fixtures and fittings form. This will mean we are able to provide the contract papers to the buyer’s solicitor straightaway, once you accept an offer.

Accept an offer

When you accept an offer, the estate agent will send our details to your buyer’s solicitor and the main part of the conveyancing process can start.

Sending the contract package to the buyer’s solicitors

We will send a comprehensive package of papers to your buyer’s solicitor, including:

  • A draft contract
  • A copy of the legal title and plan
  • A copy of any documents referred to in the legal title
  • Seller’s property information form and fixtures and fittings form
  • Other relevant documents, such as planning consents, building regulations approvals and guarantees

Replying to enquiries

When the buyer’s solicitor receives the papers, they will apply for searches and then send us any enquiries they may have for us and you to respond to. Once these have been dealt with, we will let you have the contract for signature.

Exchanging contracts

We will liaise with your buyer’s solicitor to agree on a date for completion. You will need to check that removals are available for your preferred date. Once you are happy to go ahead, we will exchange contracts over the telephone with the buyer’s solicitor. If you have a related purchase, contracts will also be exchanged on that at the same time. A deposit, usually of 10%, will be paid to us on exchange.

Once contracts have been exchanged, the transaction will be legally binding. We will obtain a redemption statement from your mortgage lender so that we can discharge your mortgage on completion.

Completion

On the day of completion, you can drop the keys at the estate agent once you have finished clearing the property. As soon as we receive the balance of the purchase money from the buyer’s solicitor, we will let the agent know that the keys can be released to the buyer.

We will arrange for your mortgage to be redeemed and account to you for the balance of sale funds.

Contact our East Yorkshire and York area conveyancing solicitors

If you are planning to move house and you would like to instruct us to represent you or you have any questions you would like to ask, we would be happy to help.

You can ring us for a FREE initial chat on 01482 300 200, email us at welcome@lockings.co.uk or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and deal with conveyancing in East Yorkshire, the York area and beyond.

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