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The Conveyancing Process & the Role of Your Solicitor/Conveyancer

The following table explains the role of your solicitor at each stage of buying or selling your home. We hope this helps you to understand the process, and how our expert lawyers can support you at every step of the way. The table is only an outline. In practice, the sequence may vary, and some stages may overlap, depending on the individual circumstances. Our expert lawyers will always consider your individual needs and requirements, and give your transaction their close personal attention.

Pre Contract
As a buyer you will Buyers solicitor will Sellers solicitor will As a seller you will
Make an offer on your chosen house or property. Accept the offer on your house or property.
Instruct solicitors to handle the legal work. Give an estimate for legal fees, costs and disbursements. Give an estimate for legal fees, costs and disbursements. Instruct solicitors to handle the legal work.
Provide proof of your identity. Verify your identity and check compliance with regulatory requirements, including money laundering. Verify your identity and check compliance with regulatory requirements, including money laundering. Provide proof of your identity.
Receive a memorandum of sale from estate agent. Receive a memorandum of sale from estate agent.
Discuss whether you also have a property to sell. Check requirements relating to any linked transaction. Check requirements relating to any linked transaction. Discuss whether you have a related purchase.
Check financial arrangements. Check whether buyer needs a mortgage and current status. Check whether seller needs mortgage on any related purchase. Check financial arrangements for any related purchase.
Take instructions from lender (if any) or confirm who will be acting for lender. Confirm authority to deal with release of any existing mortgage.
If buying jointly, advise on co-ownership.
Negotiate terms and details of purchase. Negotiate terms and details of sale.
Discuss the contract package and any queries with your solicitor. Receive the draft contract package for approval. Obtain title deeds or official copy of the register of title for the property and official copies of registered documents and prepare the draft contract package. Send the contract and documentations to the buyer’s solicitor. Discuss the contract package and any queries with your solicitor.
Advise on how to deal with any defects in title.
Discuss any issues and replies to pre-contract enquires with your solicitor. Raise any pre-contract enquires with seller’s solicitor. Rely to pre-contract enquires raised by buyer’s solicitor. Discuss pre-contract enquires with your solicitor.
Commission a survey of the property. Conduct searches by investigating title and request Local Authority search. Issue a property questionnaire and fixtures and fittings list. Complete a property questionnaire and fixtures and fittings list.
Receive the completed property questionnaire and fixtures and fittings list to check.
Ensure your finances are in place and that you have received an approved mortgage offer. Report on any issues arising. Liaise with seller’s solicitor to finalise contracts. Renegotiate terms and details of purchase if necessary, for example as a result of survey or title issues. Liaise with buyer’s solicitor to finalise contracts. Renegotiate terms and details of purchase if necessary for example as a result of survey or title issues.
Send the required deposit amount to your solicitor. Retain the deposit on behalf of the buyer.
Sign the contracts and paperwork and return to your solicitor. Collect the contract. Collect the contract. Sign the contracts and paperwork and return to your solicitor.
Exchange of Contracts
As a buyer you will Buyers solicitor will Sellers solicitor will As a seller you will
Agree on a suitable completion date. Negotiate completion of sale date and check the chain is ready to exchange. Negotiate completion of sale date and check the chain is ready to exchange. Agree on a suitable competition date.
Exchange the contracts and send the deposit to the seller’s solicitors: the sale is made legally binding. Exchange the contracts: the sale is made legally binding. Holds the deposit for the property.
Pre-Completion
As a buyer you will Buyers solicitor will Sellers solicitor will As a seller you will
Draw transfer deed up if not already done so. Approve transfer deed if not already done so.
Request an advance on mortgage from lender. Amount required to pay off mortgage requested.
Sign and witness the transfer deed and return to your solicitor. Issue the transfer deed. Hold the transfer deed pending completion. Sign and witness the transfer deed and return to your solicitor.
Receive financial statement. Issue financial statement for total outstanding fees. Issue financial statement for total outstanding fees. Receive financial statement.
Receive the advance on the mortgage and send the monies. Receive the sales monies and pay off mortgage.
Final Land Registry and bankruptcy searches made.
Completion
As a buyer you will Buyers solicitor will Sellers solicitor will As a seller you will
Receive keys and move in. Confirm completion. Confirm completion. Vacate property and hand over key.
Pay stamp duty land tax and register purchase and mortgage with Land Registry.
Payment of fees due to Holdens and estate agents. Payment of fees due to Holdens and estate agents.
Receive title deeds. Complete all the paperwork and forward the title deeds to buyer or mortgage lender.

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.

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