If you are considering getting on the property ladder and buying a house or flat, for example, then you will no doubt be aware that you have to use the services of a conveyancer. But what exactly is a conveyancer, and what is it they do for the money that you have to pay them for their services? Here is a handy homebuyer’s guide to the world of conveyancing.
What is a Conveyancer?
Perhaps the most obvious question you will want answering is “what is a conveyancer”. In a nutshell, conveyancers are people that deal with the legal processes involved with the transfer of property ownership titles from a seller to a buyer.
These legal professionals are required by law to undertake these processes, and normally both the buyer and the seller will appoint conveyancers to act on their behalf.
Conveyancing work can be done by a solicitor, as all solicitors are qualified to undertake such work, or it can be done by a licenced conveyancer. The best conveyancers in the industry are eligible to display a logo on their paperwork that shows they are part of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme.
What does a Conveyancer do?
Conveyancers normally perform the following tasks for buyers:
- Searches – they will conduct searches with local councils, gas, electric and water suppliers, as well as other relevant organisations to check that there are no financial liabilities connected with the property you want to buy. They will also be able to confirm whether certain things are liable for repair and maintenance by you or third parties;
- Costs – they will inform you whether you are required to pay for any extra costs like stamp duty, and other costs that may indirectly be connected with your new home;
- Contracts – as legal professionals, part of their job is to check contracts of sale and, if necessary, draft any new ones up. When you hear people in the property world talking about “exchanging contracts”, these are the contracts they are referring to;
- Liaising with mortgage companies – most people get a mortgage to fund the purchase of a home, so if you are one of those people, then the conveyancer will communicate with your mortgage company to ensure that they have all of the necessary information they need on the property, along with information from the seller;
- Payments – on your behalf, a conveyancer will pay any fees relating to the purchase of your new home, such as stamp duty fees and estate agent fees;
- Land Registry – finally, they will register with the Land Registry that you are the proud owner of your new home!
How to choose the best Conveyancer?
As you can imagine, there is a plethora of solicitors and conveyancing firms in the United Kingdom.
Sometimes a mortgage lender may require you to use a conveyancer from an approved list of firms offering residential conveyancing services in Manchester, for example, whilst estate agents may recommend you use their conveyancing firm to speed up the purchasing process.
Whoever you choose, make sure that they are reputable and are able to fully represent your interests in a speedy and professional manner.