Buying A House - Conveyancer Tips
The Seven Important Steps to Buying a House
Step 1: Instruct a conveyancer
Your conveyancer (solicitor) plays a very important part in your buying process. It can be a stressful and exciting time, but your solicitor will be able to answer all your questions and guide you through the process.
Step 2: Confirm instructions to your conveyancer and pay search fees
Having instructed your conveyancer, you will need to provide full details and pay search fees. Searches are the enquiries made to find out information about the property you are buying. Searches will include: local authority, water and property and environmental. It can take a couple of weeks for the searches to be completed.
Step 3: Have your funding in place, i.e. your mortgage, if one is required
Make sure you have your finances in place. Eg have a mortgage offer in place, have investigated Help to Buy, First Homes or any other type of loan you may be using. Having the finance in place and ready to go will speed up the whole process.
Start to make enquiries if you are using a removals company and compare quotations.
Step 4: Your conveyancer / solicitor will report all the findings back to you.
A good conveyancer will stay in constant communication with you, to report their findings once they have completed the necessary steps, such as;
- Received and reviewed your contract
- Reviewed/completed the searches
Once you are happy with all the findings and any discrepancies/issues have been discussed you will be asked to sign your sales contracts and mortgage if applicable.
Step 5: Agree a date for completion with your conveyancer
Once your documents have been signed and your deposit is paid to your solicitor / conveyancer, you will be asked to confirm a date for completion. Your completion date is essentially your moving day and this must be agreed on by all parties involved in the process.
Step 6: Contracts can now be exchanged
Once contracts are exchanged, it is vital that you understand that you are now committed to buying the property. Once contracts have been exchanged with your seller, the property is yours and if you fail to pay, the seller can take legal action and it can be a very costly situation.
Please take time to run through your paperwork one more time before contracts are exchanged.
Step 7: Completion Day!
The buying process is now complete and the property is yours. This is the day you can officially take ownership of your keys and begin the process of moving into your new home.
How long can it take to buy a house?
The buying process from instruction of a solicitor (conveyancer) to completion takes on average 8-12 weeks. This can be dependent on your circumstances – ie if you are a first time buyer or if you have a property to sell, how long the buying chain is etc.
How to choose a solicitor/conveyancer
Do your research, ask for recommendations, talk to your estate agent and find someone you trust. Some estate agents may have an established relationship with a particular solicitor/conveyancer – but you are under no obligation to go with this firm.
Get quotes and compare costs. Compare conveyancing fees with a couple of companies to ensure you are paying a fair rate
You can only instruct a conveyancer once you have agreed the sale of your home / purchase of your new home but do the research and make your decision so that this does not hold up the process.