Conveyancing covers the whole process of a property sale, including preparing the legal documentation which attaches to the transaction of transferring legal ownership. It also covers any leasehold negotiations if the property is not freehold, including any extension of the term, as well as any re-mortgaging arrangements.
You will need a conveyancer to draft contracts and transfer funds on completion. Your adviser will also ensure legal ownership is properly registered.
Remember that different rules apply in Scotland if you are purchasing there.
The Law Society has a Conveyancing Protocol setting out the steps which your conveyancer will follow when acting on the sale or purchase of a property, although this is not relevant where the property is a new build.
Obviously, conveyancing fees apply and details of these can be found online at sites such as https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/news/conveyancing/no-sale-no-fee-conveyancing-153.
Once you have made an acceptable offer on the property, your conveyancer will carry out searches on the property via the local authority to check planning requirements have been met and request a draft contract of sale from the vendor’s representatives. You will also want to organise a survey of the property, and check building insurance.
You should have your finance in place at this point. If you have an Agreement in Principle from your lender this will smooth the wheels of the process and avoid delays. Once your offer has been accepted the mortgage provider will carry out their own valuation to ensure that the lending is appropriate. Your conveyancer is most likely representing the lender too, and will be able to speed up the process by providing the appropriate documentation. Be prepared for this to take a few weeks.
The question of how long the entire process takes is rather like the query of how long is a piece of string. Any chain involving the sale of your own home or the vendor’s purchase of their new property can also impact upon this.
No two conveyances are alike and so it is impossible to set an exact time on how long your purchase may take. If there are no unforeseen problems or difficulties with the chain the national average of a conveyance is between 14-16 weeks.
You should keep in touch with your own conveyancer if you are concerned that there are unnecessary delays.