Residential Conveyancing

WHAT IS CONVEYANCING?

"Conveyancing" is the legal process used when buying or selling a flat or house, transferring your property (usually on divorce, separation or death) and changing or arranging a new mortgage.

WHAT DOES THE CONVEYANCING PROCESS INVOLVE?

When you BUY a house or a flat (or arrange a new mortgage) your solicitor will:

  • Check, advise you on and approve documentation drawn up by your seller’s lawyer;
  • Carry out searches on your behalf;
  • Raise a number of enquiries of your seller’s lawyer about legal and practical issues;
  • Advise you on your mortgage (if any) and arrange for you to sign the legal documents;
  • Advise you on your rights and obligations as the property owner and arrange for you to sign the legal documents;
  • Exchange contracts so that you and your seller are legally obligated to each other as quickly as possible;
  • Complete your purchase so that you can move in on a date that you want;
  • Register your purchase at the Land Registry to show that you are the legal owner. 
When you SELL a house or flat your solicitor will:
  • Draw up the relevant contract paperwork for your sale;
  • Answer any questions raised by your buyer’s lawyer ensuring that you do not become responsible for any breach of contract at a later date;
  • Arrange for you to sign the legal documents;
  • Exchange contracts so that you and your buyer are legally obligated to each other as quickly as possible;
  • Complete your purchase, pay off your mortgage, pay your estate agent and send you any sale proceeds.

STAMP DUTY LAND TAX

Stamp Duty Land Tax is payable when you purchase a property only and is calculated based on the purchase price. Due to a reform, the amount of Stamp Duty Land Tax payable changed on 4 December 2014, forecasting a saving for 98% of people who would have had to pay it.
 
Before 4 December, SDLT was calculated at a flat rate on the whole of the purchase price (for example a purchase price of £270,000.00 would attract a tax of £8,100.00). Now you will only pay the rate of tax on the part of the property price within each tax band – like income tax. So, for a purchase price of £270,000.00 you would pay tax of £3,500.00. Good news for most but you are likely to pay MORE SDLT if you are buying for over £937,500.00. The new rates are:
 
Up to £125,000.00 = 0%
£125,000.00 - £250,000.00 = 2%
£250,000.00 - £925,000.00 = 5%
£925,000.00 - £1,500,000.00 = 10%
£1,500,000.00 or more = 12%
 
If you have exchanged contracts before 4 December 2014 and are due to complete after 4 December 2014 you can elect to pay under the new rules or the old rules (great if you are purchasing for over £937,500.00). If you have not exchanged contracts before 4 December, you will be required to pay the new tax. 

HOW LONG DOES THE PROCESS TAKE?

The conveyancing process can take days, weeks or months. Timescales are dependent upon your requirements, the requirements of the other party, the solicitors, mortgage company and estate agents involved. 
 
We aim to exchange contracts ASAP as until that time either party can withdraw and usually achieve this within 2 – 4 weeks. 

WHY INSTRUCT US TO DO YOUR CONVEYANCING?

  • We provide a SAME DAY SERVICE GUARANTEE - all correspondence which arrives in our office will be dealt with on the same day. This prevents delays and reduces the number of transactions where parties withdraw.
  • We provide a 4 HOUR CALL BACK GUARANTEE - if we are not available when you, the estate agents or other solicitors call us we will call back within 4 working hours.
  • We are EASY TO GET HOLD OF.
  • We provide a FREE HOME CONSULTATION - if you live locally we will be happy to visit you at home to take your instructions, help you to complete the Law Society required forms and verify your identity. This helps us to understand more about the property and our clients, making the transaction far smoother, simpler and stress free.
  • We work OUTSIDE OF OFFICE HOURS - not only are we available during office hours but we are available during the evenings and weekends too. If you have young children, run a business or work, this is extremely helpful.
  • We COLLECT and DELIVER documents where possible.
  • We provide legal and PRACTICAL ADVICE.
  • We work as a TEAM - we work closely to ensure that if one person is away from the office or in a meeting, someone else will be available to help if you call and progress your transaction. 
  • We have many years EXPERIENCE in dealing with property transactions throughout England and Wales and come across a variety of land issues every day - all of which we are able to resolve as a team.
  • We hold the Law Society CONVEYANCING QUALITY STANDARD ACCREDITATION.
  • Our pricing is COMPETITIVE.
  • We deal with all correspondence (where possible) ELECTRONICALLY - this speeds up the process considerably.  
  • We have EFFICIENT SYSTEMS in place to ensure your property transaction is dealt with in a speedy and proactive fashion. 
  • We spend time CHAIN CHASING - if someone in your chain is moving slowly or there is little information available, we will contact everyone involved to try to resolve any issues. 
  • We work COLLABORATIVELY - we work with other solicitors and the estate agents to ensure transactions are progressed swiftly and all information is communicated in a timely fashion.
  • We are fun, friendly and APPROACHABLE.

WHAT SOME OF OUR CLIENTS HAVE SAID ABOUT US

"We found the service excellent, plain and simple law conveyed by people with personalities! An excellent and efficient service clearly conveyed."

"Your conveyancing service was efficient, concise and friendly, reassuring us that the matter was being dealt with, so that we were confident to let you get on with it, rather than needing to chase for progress. Thank you!"

"All of you have been great and I am very happy with all you have done. Its been stressful for both of us but you kept pushing. Thank you!"

TRANSLATOR

Contract A legally binding document made between a buyer and seller – once exchange of contracts has taken place the buyer is legally bound to buy the property and the seller is legally bound to sell the property to the buyer.
Completion This is usually the moving date but it is the date that the buyer pays for the property and becomes the new owner.
Completion money The difference between the purchase price, less any costs, mortgage advance and any deposit paid by you.
Completion Statement A statement showing the amount of money required from/due to you on completion, taking in to account the costs involved in the transaction.
Covenants Legal obligations which restrict uses of land so that the value and enjoyment of adjoining/surrounding land is preserved, for example an obligation not to carry on trade or business or not to do anything which will be a nuisance or annoyance to neighbours.
Declaration of Trust An agreement made between joint owners of a property as to who owns which share - usually this set out how much was paid by each party when the property was purchased, how much each party will receive when the property is sold and how any equity in the property will be split.
Deeds A set of legal papers required for a property which is not registered at the Land Registry, showing the transfer of the property to the legal owner – this often includes other documents containing rights and obligations. They are usually very old!
Deposit An amount payable by buyer to seller on exchange of contracts to secure the property – usually between 5 and 10% of the purchase price. If the buyer fails to complete the deposit will usually be paid to the seller with interest as a penalty.
Easement A right benefiting land - most properties need rights for access, drainage, supply of water, gas, electricity and communications. Some properties need additional rights.
Enquiries Enquiries raised by the buyer’s solicitor relating to legal or practical issues revealed by the paperwork supplied by the seller’s solicitor.
Exchange of Contracts
This part of the process is where the agreement becomes legally binding and usually involves a telephone conversation between the buyer and seller’s lawyer.
When contracts are exchanged the completion date is agreed and cannot be changed without agreement by both parties. After exchange of contracts neither party can withdraw without penalty.
Freehold Absolute ownership of land and buildings on land.
Ground Rent A regular payment made by a tenant to a landlord for a property held under a lease.
Indemnity Policy A legal insurance policy put in place to cover a defect, for example the absence of planning or building regulations consent for alterations carried out at a property.
Joint Tenants This is one of two ways in which two or more people may own a property - each owner owns the whole of the property - of one owners passes the remaining owners receive the whole of the property. Your interest in a property held as joint tenants cannot be passed to anyone specifically named in your Will.
Landlord The owner of the freehold for a development made up of flats. This can be a private individual, the tenants of the building, a company or a residents association.
Land Registry Central register for land in England and Wales - this is an enormous database which stores information about land ownership, rights which benefit land and rights and obligations affecting land.
Lease An agreement (between landlord and tenant) allowing one person to live in a property for a specified period of time (usually 99 to 999 years) in exchange for a rent.
Leasehold A tenant’s interest in a property held under a lease.
Managing Agents Managing Agents are usually appointed by a Landlord to manage a leasehold development, including arranging insurance, collecting service charges and ground rent and arranging repairs.
Mortgage A loan from (usually) a lending institution, such as Halifax, Nationwide or HSBC, which is secured against the property on completion.
Mortgage Advance The amount your lender sends to the buyer’s solicitor to complete your purchase.
Mortgage Deed A legal agreement made between you and your lender for a Mortgage. It contains your agreement to comply with conditions and repay the loan in accordance with the offer made to you.
Mortgage Redemption The amount required to repay a mortgage when a property is sold.
Mortgage Valuation A valuation carried out for the benefit of your lender for the purposes of ensuring that the property is sufficient security for your mortgage. This is NOT a survey
Occupiers Waiver If you are buying a property with a mortgage you must tell your lender if anyone else over 17 is going to live at the property with you. By living at the property the occupier may, over time, acquire rights over the property which could have priority over the mortgage. By signing an Occupiers Waiver the occupier agrees not to enforce their rights against the lender.
Sale proceeds The amount due to you when you complete your sale of the property, having deducted any mortgage repayment, estate agents and legal fees.
Searches
Searches are enquiries made on a buyer’s behalf with usually:
1. The local authority – to ascertain a number of issues including whether the property is listed, in a conservation area, affected by a Tree Preservation Order, the planning and building regulations history for the property and the road adoption status.
2. The Water authority – to ascertain whether the property is connected to mains drainage and water, the location of the closest public water pipes and drains and whether any public water pipes and drains lie under the property.
3. Environmental Experts – to ascertain whether there are any environmental factors which would have a negative impact on the value of the property.
4. The Highways Authority – to ensure the road and pathways connect directly to the Property.
Service Media Pipes, wires and cables which carry water, gas, electricity and communications to a property or sewerage from a property.
Service Charge Charges payable under a lease to the Landlord to cover the Landlord's cost in carrying out maintenance and repairs to the building in which the property stands, the land, its boundaries, services and insurance.
Stamp Duty Land Tax A tax you pay for the privilege of buying a property! Please see above for more information.
Survey
A detailed inspection of a property with the provision of a comprehensive report detailing the condition of the property, anything which may affect its value, any urgent repairs or works
required and an estimated valuation based on local knowledge and findings.
Tenant The owner of a leasehold property (usually a flat).
Tenants In Common This is the second form of joint ownership - each owner owns a share of the property itself. The share is usually set out in a Declaration of Trust. When one owner dies, their share in the property will pass to the beneficiary named in their Will.

 

TOP TIPS

  • Try not to agree strict COMPLETION (moving) DATES when you agree your sale/purchase. There are so many factors which influence the meeting of deadlines, including mortgage offers, search results, surveys, paperwork, solicitors, estate agents, holiday bookings, etc., it can be really disappointing if a deadline is not met. This, more often than not, results in one party withdrawing or issuing threats, which is very stressful.
  • We always recommend, when you are buying a property, to arrange a detailed SURVEY, independently of your lender (if you are getting a mortgage). That way you can rest assured the surveyor has local knowledge, will spend a necessary amount of time at the property and will give you value for your money. You will take the property in the condition you find it and your seller is not responsible for advising you of any defects - it is your job to find any problems and ask your seller to address these before you exchange contracts
  • If you agree a SEPARATE PRICE FOR FURNITURE and other items at the property ensure your solicitors are advised – if you are buying we can ensure that you receive the relevant item when you have paid the money – if you are selling, we will ensure you receive the money when you have handed over the item!
  • Try to KEEP ON TOP OF PAPERWORK – if you give prompt instructions and communicate clearly and quickly with your estate agent and solicitor it is likely the process will move a lot faster and without a hitch.
  • Let us know if you have agreed anything directly with your seller – for example that the boiler will be serviced or roof repaired by your seller before completion. This is not legally binding until it is agreed between us and your seller’s solicitor in writing.

WHAT NEXT? 

If you would like a quote or wish to discuss your conveyancing transaction without obligation please contact us:

sarah@morgan-kelly.co.uk 

info@morgan-kelly.co.uk 

01273 407 970

 

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Castle Works
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