What does my conveyancer do when selling my house?

What does a conveyancer do?

If you’re buying or selling property then you’ll need a conveyancer – or conveyancing solicitor – to help you. Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring home ownership from one individual or company, to another.

It’s technically possible to conduct the conveyancing process yourself as long as you’re not taking out a mortgage (as the lender will require a professional legal firm to be involved). However, unless you’ve received all of the appropriate legal training, we would seriously recommend you hire a professional!

The vast majority of people prefer to find the right solicitor or conveyancer and “instruct them” to oversee the conveyancing process.

How to find a conveyancer

Most people will use a local firm that they've recommended to them. There is also a growing number of online platforms that can find you an online conveyancer for a fraction of the normal cost of a more traditional solicitor.

What your conveyancing solicitor will do first

One you’ve chosen your conveyancer, they will open your file and send you a schedule of fees and ask you to sign a formal instruction.

You’ll also need to give information about the estate agent, whether you have a mortgage and if so, details of the lender. They’ll also ask to see photo ID, for example your passport.

Your conveyancer will have been sent a memorandum of sale by the estate agents which will have the solicitor details for the buyer. You’ll need to complete some legal questionnaires about your property and what you intend to include in the sale.

Next, your solicitor will contact your buyers solicitor to inform them they have been instructed to act for you with your purchase and/or sale, prepare a contract and send it to the buyer's solicitors.

What about my mortgage?

If you have a mortgage on the property you’re selling, your conveyancer will need to contact the lender and get a redemption figure. This is the final amount owed by you to the lender once the property is sold. It will consist of the amount left outstanding on the loan and any early repayment charges you may have.

Most mortgages are portable, meaning that you can transfer them from the home you are selling to the home to which you want to move, if you’re buying on.

Deeds and tenure

Your conveyancer will send the draft contract and a copy of the Title – often referred to as the ‘Deeds’ – for the property to the buyer’s conveyancer.

Answering enquiries

It’s your conveyancer’s job to answer any queries the buyer’s solicitor raises in relation to your property.

For example, the buyers could discover an issue with a boundary between your property and a neighbour or that the house you’re selling is at risk of flooding.

Signing on the dotted line

Once all the queries have been satisfied, your conveyancer will send you the checked documents to sign and return.

Agreeing exchange and completion dates

Phew, nearly there! Your conveyancer’s next job is to negotiate the date of exchange when you legally sell your home. They will then arrange the date of completion – this is the day you’ll hand over the keys to your new home.

It can involve some compromise to find a date suitable for everyone, particularly if it’s a long chain.

After completion, your conveyancer will pay your mortgage off, with any extra fees due to the lender, pay the estate agent if applicable, pay themselves and then send the remaining monies to you.

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