Here is a summary of the Conveyancing process for buying a Freehold Property:
- Instruction: The buyer instructs a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of the transaction. The seller's solicitor is also involved.
- Draft Contract: The seller's solicitor prepares a draft contract and gathers necessary property information.
- Property Information Form: The seller completes a property information form detailing information about the property, including boundaries, alterations, guarantees, amongst other things. The seller will also complete a fixtures and fittings form, confirming what items will be included in the sale of property e.g. appliances, curtains, light fittings and furniture.
- Title Deeds and Documents: The seller's solicitor gathers the property's title deeds and other relevant documents.
Pre-Contract Enquiries and Searches:
- Local Authority Search: Various searches are conducted, including local authority, environmental, and drainage searches, to uncover any potential issues affecting the property.
- Review and Negotiation: The buyer's solicitor reviews the property information, search results, and responses to enquiries.
- Enquiries: The buyer's solicitor sends enquiries to the seller's solicitor to clarify any outstanding issues. Any issues are addressed and negotiated between the parties.
- Mortgage and Financing: If the buyer requires a mortgage, they arrange it with a lender and provide the necessary documentation.
Exchange of Contracts:
- Once both parties are satisfied with the terms and conditions, contracts are formally exchanged.
- The buyer pays a deposit, usually 10% of the property price, however it may be sometimes possible to negotiate a 5% deposit.
- At this stage, the transaction becomes legally binding, and both parties are committed to the sale/purchase.
- The buyer's solicitor prepares a transfer deed and requests the mortgage funds from the lender.
- The seller's solicitor obtains a redemption statement from the seller's lender (if applicable) and prepares for completion.
- On the agreed completion date, the buyer's solicitor transfers the remaining purchase price to the seller's solicitor.
- The seller's solicitor confirms receipt of funds and authorizes the release of keys to the buyer.
- The buyer's solicitor pays any Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) due on the property.
- The buyer's solicitor registers the property's change of ownership with the Land Registry.
- The buyer receives the registered title deeds and a copy of the title information document.
The conveyancing process concludes, and the property officially belongs to the buyer.