How long does the conveyancing process take?
There is no specific time set for conveyancing. No two conveyancing sales are the same and so each case will take different times. The average, straightforward case with no complications and issues will take about 8 to 10 weeks. Some of the simplest cases can even be completed in just 6 weeks. However, other cases can take longer and can even stretch for months.
How much will it cost?
Generally, as a rule, sellers have to pay much less when compared to people buying property. Seller’s just have to pay for the estate agent’s fees and legal fees. On the other hand, buyers have additional fees to pay. These include disbursements which are the fees your conveyancer will pay on your behalf like search fees, stamp duty and registry fees. There is also the mortgage, lender’s valuation fees and survey fees. There are also some other fees that you may also have to take into consideration.
Is it necessary to carry out all the surveys?
Surveys are done in the buyer’s best interest because if you miss an item of disrepair for example then you will have to pay to have it repaired. Therefore firms always recommend that you have an independent survey carried out on the property that you are buying. It is best to carry out a full structural survey, just to be thorough. Even if you are buying a leasehold property you will most probably have to bear a part of repairing the structure and even the exterior/interior of the house.
What happens during the exchange of contracts?
Contracts are exchanged when both the buyer and the seller come to an agreement and agree to complete the transaction. After this, both parties are legally bound to make the sale. It is not necessary for either party to be present during the exchange as this is done by the conveyancers only. Before this point, usually either party can walk away without liability. However, after the contracts are exchanged anyone who pulls out will have have to pay as they will be liable for breaching the terms of the contract. So if you are renting your property you should not serve notice terminating your tenancy until the contracts are exchanged.
When do I have to pay the legal fees?
Firms will generally tend to ask the client for a fee that will cover the costs for the searches which generally won’t cost more than 500 pounds in the UK. The rest of the money will be charged from you after exchange of contracts and the firm will require cleared funds from you which is usually charged on the day before completion.
How do I arrange handover of the keys to the property?
If you are selling your home, the keys are left with the estate agents. The estate agents will not release the keys to the property unless told to do so by the conveyancers working for the seller. This authority is only given when the all the fees have been paid to complete the matter. Also, if you are buying, the keys can be taken from the estate agents once the complete sales price has been paid to the seller’s Solicitors. If there is no agent, the seller and buyer have to contact each other directly. This is because conveyancers do not usually deal with keys and moving matters.
Do I have to pay a deposit?
If you are purchasing a property that has no related sale transaction, the contract will allow a 10% deposit to be paid on exchange of contracts. Sometimes a reduced deposit is decided upon, for example, where you are obtaining a 95% mortgage the deposit you have to pay on exchange would be 5% of the price. During a case when you are selling and buying simultaneously, sometimes the deposit being paid by the buyer of your existing property can be used as the deposit to pay for the property you are buying.