Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring ownership of a property, and you will likely have experienced the other end of the process when you first bought your home. When selling, your conveyancer will deal on your behalf with the buyer’s own conveyancer, as well as with other third parties such as your mortgage lender. Here we present an overview of the conveyancing process from the point of view of the seller.
The initial stages
The ball starts rolling once you have agreed a purchase price and accepted the buyer’s offer. Remember that accepting an offer isn’t in itself legally binding – on either party – until contracts are exchanged, and that overall the conveyancing process often takes between eight and twelve weeks.
Once you have found and instructed a conveyancer, they will request the property’s title deeds. If you own your property outright, you may hold these yourself or have them lodged with a solicitor. If you have a mortgage on the property, then the deeds will be held by the lender and your conveyancer will request them from the lender directly.
Your conveyancer will also ask you to check and approve the property information form which outlines everything that will be included in the draft contract. The conveyancer will also liaise between the buyer’s solicitor and yourself with regard to any queries or concerns from the buyer’s end about the property, its utilities, any items to be included in the sale, and so on.
From drafting contracts to completion
The exchange of contracts between your conveyancer and the buyer’s representative makes the sale legally binding on both parties; however, there are a number of stages to this process. Your conveyancer will first provide a draft contract for you to agree and sign, which will outline the Particulars of Sale, Conditions of Sale and the agreed date of completion. The completed draft contract is then sent to the buyer’s conveyancer. Once this has been approved by all parties the standard contract will be drawn up for you to sign.
Once the final contracts have been approved and signed the conveyancers will exchange contracts. This is also the stage at which the buyer’s deposit will be transferred to your conveyancer. In the final stages before completion your conveyancer will also send the property title deeds to the buyer’s conveyancer, and will liaise with your lender to obtain a redemption figure for paying off your mortgage, valid to the agreed completion date.
On the date of completion – which is when the property is legally transferred to the new owner – the buyer’s conveyancer will arrange to transfer the balance of the purchase price to your solicitor. By this date you must have removed the last of your belongings and passed the house keys to the estate agent for release to the property’s new owners.
Use our online comparison tool to receive instant quotes
from conveyancing solicitors or licensed conveyancers in your area.
Last reviewed March 2016.