A Guide to Purchasing Residential Property
Buying your property can be a confusing time which is why we have devised this step by step guide to explain the stages of your transaction.
Stage 1 - Purchase Agreed
1. After you have instructed us we will send an introduction email and/or fax to the other side's property lawyer confirming the name of the conveyancer dealing with your case and the basic details of the individual transaction. We then wait to receive the pre-contract package from the other side. Once this has been received, we can apply for the searches. The search process usually takes up to two weeks but can be as long as four weeks.
2. At this point we raise enquiries on the pre-contract package and on the initial search results. Once we have satisfactory replies to all enquiries, search results and your mortgage offer we will report to you on all the documentation and interpret the legalities. At this point we may also be dealing with any conditions of your mortgage offer (if applicable).
Stage 2 - Exchange of Contracts
3. We then thoroughly recheck all of the documentation and provide you with any additional information we have received.
4. Once you have read the report and sent back all the original documentation sent to you signed, dated and witnessed (if applicable) we will request that your deposit is sent to our client account together with proof of the source of deposit. We then obtain final confirmation from you as to whether to proceed to exchange and the agreed completion date..
5. We then exchange contracts with the seller's property lawyer. Upon exchange the sale is now legally binding.
6. When the exchange has occurred we prepare the final accounts, this includes ensuring we obtain full completion monies from you and report to the lender as to what date we require the mortgage monies.
7. Two days prior to completion we obtain a financial statement from the seller's solicitors apportioning any ground rent, service charges, insurance, etc if the property is leasehold. We also obtain a bankruptcy search against your name to instruct the lender that you are solvent, if an entry is found against you we request a declaration is signed as to whether you are the person named in the entry and that they are not against you personally. Finally we obtain a priority search which secures a period of time post completion for us to register the lender's charge and your name on the title without any other adverse entries being made without your consent.
Stage 3 - Completion
So that we are not late for completion, which could render penalties against you, we obtain your mortgage funds a day before completion however; interest does not accrue until the day of completion.
8. On day of completion we transfer the balance of the funds to the other side and await their confirmation of receipt and releasing of the keys. At this point you can collect your keys from the estate agent, unless agreed otherwise. You are now the new owner of your purchased property.
9. On this day the seller's solicitors send us the title deeds and transfer signed by the seller to register your name. They would also have redeemed the seller's mortgage and any other financial restrictions against the property.
10. We then pay your stamp duty (if applicable) and register the transfer with the Land Registry. When the title is registered we supply you with the original document or if you have a mortgage on the property we supply you with a copy and the lender with the original.
The national average timescale for conveyancing is between 9-10 weeks. Conveyancing for simple purchase transactions can take just 4-6 weeks but a more complicated transaction can take longer to complete. Here’s a guide to the national average conveyancing timescales
Type Average Timescale
Purchase 8-10 weeks
Sale 8-10 weeks
Purchase leasehold 10-12 weeks
Sale leasehold 10-12 weeks