Conveyancing FAQs

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring the ownership of a property from one party to another. When it comes to moving home however, it has a wider definition. In this case it refers to all the legal work carried out to make a home sale or purchase to be legally valid. This is carried out by solicitors or specialist conveyancing providers.

How soon do I need to pay any money?

You will be asked to pay for ID checks at the start of the transaction. If you are buying a property, your conveyancer will ask you to pay for the full cost of the searches (circa £200-300) at the beginning to cover the fees that will be paid out on your behalf. The balance of the price and the conveyancer’s cost, as well as any additional charges, will be payable shortly before completion of the deal. If you are selling, your conveyancer will ask for a £25 fee for office copies at the start. The costs and agent fees will be paid out from the sale proceeds on completion before any balance is sent to you.

Do I need a survey?

If you are obtaining a mortgage, a surveyor will inspect the property on behalf of the lender. Although his report will indicate if the property is worth the amount you’ve asked to borrow, a more reliable survey can be conducted. For an additional fee, you can arrange for a more detailed ‘Home Buyers Report’ or as a Full Structural survey. This can be trusted on if, at a later date, you discover a problem not mentioned in the report that you wish to take up with the valuer.

What happens with the keys?

The buyer can collect the keys once the money has been transferred to the seller’s bank and they can usually be picked up from the estate agent. Your conveyancer will always try to ensure that everything is finalised as early as possible on the day of completion and usually this is dealt with by midday. There can sometimes be a delay however if, for example, your conveyancer is still waiting for the mortgage monies to arrive or there is a particularly long chain.

When do I need to arrange buildings insurance? 

Unless the building insurance is being arranged by your lender or it is a leasehold property and the insurance is dealt with by the freeholder, you must arrange buildings insurance from exchange of contracts as the property will be at your risk from that time.

What is Stamp Duty?

Stamp Duty, otherwise known as Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax on the purchase price of land and buildings. The new rates of stamp duty shown below will only apply to the amount of the purchase price that falls within the particular threshold. Under the new rules introduced on the 4 December 2014, stamp duty will only apply to the amount of the purchase price that falls within the particular threshold, shown below. If you are buying a new lease then you may also have to pay Stamp Duty on the rent, and your conveyancer will advise you when they receive the contract paperwork.

Purchase price of property

Rate of SDLT (percentage of portion of purchase price)

£0 - £125,000

0%

£125,001 - £250,000

2%

£250,001 - £925,000

5%

£925,001 - £1.5 million

10%

Over £1.5 million

12%

Do I need to meet my conveyancer?

In today’s world the conveyancing process is so efficient, there’s no need the for a time consuming meeting. Each stage of the process can be effectively completed by post, email, telephone and text messages. Therefore it’s not necessary for you to visit your conveyancer.

How do I keep updated with the process?

Your agent and conveyancer will contact you throughout the process and keep you informed. You can monitor the progress of your file online or on your smartphone using Navigator, leaving your conveyancer free to concentrate on the legal work. For more information go to               www.navigator-conveyancing.co.uk or ask your agent.