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Conveyancing: Purchasing Property

Buying a new home is the biggest and most exciting purchase you will make in your lifetime. Conveyancing is the process where the ownership of the property is transferred from your seller to yourself. Understanding this process will help you realize what is going to happen throughout this long and sometimes complex procedure.

It is best to have a conveyancer in mind when you start looking for the property you want to buy. Read up on different firms and have a final list that you will approach once you make up your mind. Firstly, you should find the property you want to find. Contact your banker to make sure you can arrange the necessary finances. After this, you should contact your conveyancer and tell them you wish to hire their services. Your chosen conveyancer will then make a draft contract or terms of engagement with you, setting out their charges and deposits required. Make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully before signing it.

After this, your conveyancer will contact the sellers’ conveyancer to discuss the terms and conditions of the contract they created. You will also have to fill a number of forms and ask your conveyancer if you have any queries about the contract or other paperwork. Another important aspect are the searches that are conducted on the property. The conveyancer will do a number of legal searches to make sure there are no other factors you should know. Some searches will be recommended by the solicitor for all purchases and others will be required by the mortgage lender to protect them from any liabilities that the property may have. These searches include flood risks, environmental searches, water authority searches and mining searches.

You must also make arrangements for your mortgage. This will include making sure you have the money or assets available for a mortgage deposit. Your solicitor will receive a copy of the offer and check the conditions. Before exchange of contracts can take place your lender will require you to get Buildings Insurance for your new home. You are responsible for the property as soon as contracts have been exchanged so this is a good precaution you should take.

After these steps have been taken, it will be time to sign the contracts. Make sure you understand and are satisfied with all the terms and conditions in the contract. At this time, a date for completion is agreed upon between the parties. This is set 4 to 12 weeks after the contracts are signed. You will then have to send a deposit to the seller’s account, which is usually 10% of the total sum. You will need to let your lawyer know which bank and their contact details along with any other information about your loans that might be important. Work with your bank to ensure that you return all of your mortgage documents directly to them as quickly as possible to avoid delays. If you are contributing funds in addition to your loan, either arrange to deposit the funds to the trust account so your conveyancer can draw cheques on the day of settlement or confirm that your financier will allow them to draw from these funds at the same time as they request loan funds from them.

Before completion, the seller will move out and you should make arrangements to move in. The solicitor will send you a statement showing the final figure to pay, which will need to be cleared into your solicitor's bank account at least one day before completion. Completion takes place when the seller’s confirm that they have received all the money. After this happens the seller should drop the keys at the estate agents for your collection. You can then move in.

As you can see, the process is actually quite simple. Once you know what is going on, the entire transaction becomes simple and stress free for you.

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