What does your property lawyer do?

Conveyancing is the ‘act of transfer of title to property from one person to another’. In essence it is the legal process of buying and selling property. On average, conveyancing fees for a standard transaction should be around £200-£500.

Who does the conveyancing?

Property conveyancing by law, has to be undertaken by property solicitor or licensed conveyancer. One lawyer is legally unable to act on both sides of the transaction, as this would create a conflict of interest, so both parties must have their own separate representation.

What is the difference between a Licensed Conveyancer and a Solicitor?

Property Solicitors are regulated by the Law Society and normally practice all areas of law, including conveyancing.Licensed Conveyancers are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers and specialise only in conveyancing. Most Licensed Conveyancers are Solicitors who have converted to Licensed Conveyancer status.The entire transaction and consumer protection standards are identical for both type of firms.

What does their job entail?

Basically the conveyancer is acting on behalf of either the buyer or seller and representing their interests in the property purchase or sale. They make sure that all the terms and conditions of the sale contract are reasonable and that the financial information is all as it should be. What they actually do during the process differs depending on which side of the transaction they are on.

What is the process?

The seller’s conveyancer will require a copy of the land registry entry for the property being sold. This is sometimes referred to as the office copies. They will then prepare a contract for sale, incorporating the land registry plan and details before forwarding it to the buyers solicitor.The buyers solicitor will apply for the searches from a variety of bodies including the local authority, and will assess the contract for sale that has been received from the seller’s lawyer. Additionally, if the buyer is borrowing money on a mortgage then the solicitor should receive a copy of the formal mortgage offer and be satisfied that the buyer has sufficient funds available to complete the transaction.If there are items in the contract for sale that the buyers solicitor is not happy with, then they will raise a query with the other seller’s solicitor.

When all queries have been cleared up, the searches have been received, and proof of funds achieved, then both sides will be ready to exchange contracts.Exchange of contracts is the point of no return for both sides and is a legally binding agreement for that Seller to sell and the Buyer to buy the property. At any time up to here, either party can withdraw from the process with no penalty other than any monies they have spent on surveys, mortgage application fees etc.At exchange of contracts a completion date is normally agreed when the transfer will be finalised. On completion day, money is exchanged between the two parties and then, the keys are handed over.

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