How long does the conveyancing process take?
This is definitely the most Frequently asked Question! We would say between five to eight weeks, as a rough guide.
Give me an idea of the whole conveyancing process
The first stage is an investigation stage. Searches are sent off, mortgages are applied for and the solicitors familiarise themselves with the legal titles.
When mortgages are through and searches are back, everyone tries to agree a completion date. This is the date when everyone moves, or at least is entitled to move. When the date for moving is agreed the solicitors can exchange contracts which means from that point onwards, everyone is legally committed to the agreed completion date. To safeguard your interests we may require an exchange of contracts to take place at least 7 days prior to completion.
How do I know contracts have been exchanged?
We'll tell you! Warning - sometimes expressions are used such as "working towards completion on June 7th." Or, "target date is 5th August." Such a date is liable to change because of unexpected problems. You should only regard a completion date as legally binding if we have informed you clearly that contracts have been exchanged.
From our Terms and Conditions for Conveyancing we use the following expressions. Here's what they mean:
1 Unregistered Land
Most land is registered at the Land Registry. Occasionally we will come across land and properties that are not registered and those rely on the old fashioned Title Deeds.In Leicestershire this is usually because the property was acquired before 1976.
2 Deed of Covenant
This crops up often in leasehold work but sometimes in freehold properties. It means a document where you promise to do certain things, for example to pay a Service Charge.
3 Service Charge (or estate management charge)
A regular charge levied for (usually) maintenance work for example the upkeep of a green belt area.
Where we have to calculate and agree who is going to pay a charge which straddles the agreed completion date. Part may be payable by the seller and one part by the buyer.
Do I need a surveyor?
Legally you cannot rely on the standard mortgage valuation, which is for your lender's protection. You could organise a Home Buyer's Report, which will for a modest cost combine both functions at a reduced price. We can give you the names of a surveyor or two.
When do I book my removals?
You can provisionally book a removal firm on a no commitment basis and then confirm the booking when we tell you that contracts have been exchanged
How do I know what money you will need from me?
We will work out a draft financial statement for you before exchange of contracts. This will help us agree the amount you will have to pay, or will receive on completion. When Contracts have been exchanged we will confirm a figure to you in a formal statement. If funds are due from you they must be here two days before completion and in cleared.
How do we get to your office?
Parking is very easy at the side of our office. Syston is easy to get to from Leicester.
I'm not as young as I was, how can you help me?
We're sure that we can offer you a ground-floor appointment, especially if we know your requirements in advance.
I'm buying a leasehold property; is this any different?
Yes. Leasehold work is particularly complicated. Firstly check and see whether we have quoted you for leasehold. See the first page of your quote. If not ask us to re-quote in writing.
What happens on the big day, the day of completion?
If completion takes place then you will be entitled to move. Indeed if you are selling you must move. The sale and purchase money changes hands through solicitors by way of cleared funds. We will confirm to you in writing that all is completed, but you should phone during the morning to check.
What do I do about keys?
If you are selling through an Estate Agent then it is probably best to leave a spare set of keys with the Agent. We can then authorise the Agent to release the keys to the buyer.
I've sold my house and completed, how quickly can I get hold of my money?
Usually it will be available at about three o'clock on the day, by cheque. We can send it electronically through our bank account, and it should arrive cleared on the same day.