What is conveyancing?

1. What does the conveyancing process entail? 
2. What is a freehold property? 
3. What is a leasehold property? 
4. What is transfer of equity? 
5. What is a re-mortgage? 
6. The process of remortgaging 

The conveyancing process is a crucial part of transferring property ownership from one party to another, typically when buying or selling a property. It involves various legal and administrative steps to ensure a smooth and lawful transfer of the property title. The process may vary slightly depending on the country or region, but here is a general overview of what it typically entails:

1. What does the conveyancing process entail? 

Instruction: The process begins when a buyer agrees to purchase a property or a seller decides to sell it. They then instruct a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of the transaction.

Duration: 1 to 2 days. 

Title Check: The solicitor or conveyancer obtains the title deeds or Land Registry documents and examines them to ensure the seller has the legal right to sell the property and that there are no legal issues or disputes with the title.  

Property Information and Enquiries: The seller fills out a Property Information Form, providing details about the property, fixtures, boundaries, and any known issues. The buyer may also raise enquiries about the property, which the seller must answer truthfully.

Duration: 1 to 2 weeks. 

Searches: Various searches are conducted to gather information about the property and its surroundings. These may include local authority searches, environmental searches, water and drainage searches, and more.

Duration: 1 to 3 weeks, depending on the local authority and search provider’s turnaround times. 

Mortgage and Financing: If the buyer is obtaining a mortgage, the solicitor or conveyancer will work with the lender to ensure the financing is in place and the funds are ready for completion. Duration: 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the lender’s processing time and the complexity of the mortgage application. 

Draft Contract: Based on the information gathered, the solicitor prepares a draft contract, which includes details about the property, the parties involved, the price, and any special conditions.

Duration: 1 to 2 weeks. 

Pre-Exchange: Before the exchange of contracts, the solicitors or conveyancers of both parties review and finalise the contract. The buyer pays a deposit (usually a percentage of the purchase price) to the seller’s solicitor.

Duration: 1 to 2 weeks. 

Exchange of Contracts: Once both parties are satisfied with the terms and conditions, the signed contracts are exchanged. At this point, the sale becomes legally binding, and neither party can withdraw without incurring penalties.

Duration: 1 Day 

Pre-Completion: The period between exchange and completion allows time for the buyer’s solicitor to arrange for the transfer of funds and the finalisation of all necessary paperwork.

Duration: This is agreed by the seller and the buyer upon exchange of contracts. 

Completion: On the agreed-upon completion date, the balance of the purchase price is transferred to the seller’s solicitor. The buyer receives the keys, and the property officially changes ownership.

Duration: 1 Day 

Post-Completion: After completion, the solicitor or conveyancer handles post-completion tasks, such as paying stamp duty (if applicable), registering the property with the Land Registry in the buyer’s name, and ensuring any outstanding mortgages on the property are discharged.

Duration: 1 week. 

The conveyancing process aims to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller while ensuring that the transfer of ownership is legally valid and binding. It is essential to engage a qualified and experienced solicitor or conveyancer to navigate the process smoothly and efficiently. We have a team of experts specialising in both residential and commercial conveyancing. We pride ourselves in the customer service and legal knowledge we provide to our clients. 

We understand the process of selling and buying a house might be stressful and confusing however, we will be with you every step of the way and are more than happy to answer any questions you might have. By pressing the instruct us button below, a member of our team will contact you to start the process. You are not by any way bound to proceed with us by clicking the below. 

2. What is a freehold property? 

Freehold is the ownership of the property and the land it sits upon. If you are buying a house, it is most likely that it is a freehold, meaning that you are responsible for the drive and the garden. If you own a freehold property, it is yours until you sell it, there is no one else involved in your ownership, and few limitations on what you do with your land. 

3. What is a leasehold property? 

When you purchase a leasehold property, you are acquiring the privilege to reside on a piece of land for a designated period, rather than obtaining ownership of the land itself (known as freehold). Acquiring a leasehold property entails that once the lease term ends, you must either seek renewal of the lease or the ownership reverts back to the freeholder. 

When purchasing a leasehold property, it is crucial to review the fees, ground rent, or any additional payments you might be required to make to the freeholder for maintaining the building or grounds. 

4. What is transfer of equity? 

Transfer of Equity refers to the process of changing the ownership structure of a property. It involves transferring the ownership interest or shares in a property from one person or entity to another. This transfer can occur due to various reasons, such as: 

  1. Marriage or Divorce: In cases of marriage or divorce, one spouse might transfer their share of the property to the other spouse, or the property might be divided between them. 
  1. Gift: Someone might decide to gift their ownership share in a property to another person, such as a family member or friend. 
  1. Adding or Removing a Co-owner: If a property is jointly owned, one of the owners might decide to transfer their share to a new co-owner or remove an existing co-owner. 
  1. Financial Arrangements: In situations involving financial arrangements, a party might transfer their share of the property to another party as part of a settlement or agreement. 
  1. Estate Planning: As part of estate planning, an individual might transfer the ownership of their property to family members or beneficiaries. 
  1. Change in Business Structure: In cases involving property owned by a business entity, there might be a need to transfer ownership due to changes in the business structure or ownership. 

The transfer of equity process typically involves legal and administrative steps, including updating the property title deed, notifying mortgage lenders (if applicable), and potentially involving solicitors or conveyancers to ensure the proper legal documentation and processes are followed. It’s important to note that this process can vary based on local laws and regulations, so it’s recommended to seek legal advice when considering a transfer of equity. 

5. What is a re-mortgage? 

A remortgage, also known as refinancing, is the process of paying off an existing mortgage on a property by taking out a new mortgage with either the same or a different lender. The primary reasons people choose to remortgage include: 

  1. Interest Rate Reduction: One of the most common reasons for remortgaging is to secure a lower interest rate. This can help homeowners reduce their monthly mortgage payments and potentially save money over the life of the loan. 
  1. Equity Release: Homeowners may choose to remortgage to release some of the equity they have built up in their property. This could be used for various purposes, such as home improvements, debt consolidation, or other financial needs. 
  1. Changing Mortgage Type: Homeowners might opt to switch from a variable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage, or vice versa, based on their preference for stable payments or potential interest rate changes. 
  1. Consolidating Debts: Some people choose to remortgage in order to consolidate other high-interest debts, like credit card debt or personal loans, into their mortgage. This can simplify payments and potentially lower overall interest costs. 
  1. Home Improvements: Remortgaging can provide the funds needed for significant home renovations or upgrades, potentially increasing the property’s value. 
  1. Avoiding the End of a Fixed Term: When a fixed-term mortgage ends, borrowers might remortgage to avoid being automatically switched to a higher variable rate. 

6. The process of remortgaging 

  1. Assessment: Assessing your current mortgage terms, the value of your property, and your financial situation to determine if remortgaging is beneficial. 
  1. Comparing Offers: Shopping around and comparing offers from different lenders to find the best terms, interest rates, and repayment options. 
  1. Application: Applying for the new mortgage with the chosen lender, which involves providing financial information and supporting documents. 
  1. Valuation and Legal Work: The lender will typically require a property valuation, and legal work will be conducted to transfer the mortgage from the old lender to the new one. 
  1. Approval and Closing: Once approved, the new mortgage terms are finalized, and the funds from the new mortgage are used to pay off the old mortgage. 

It’s important to carefully consider the costs, benefits, and potential savings associated with remortgaging. Additionally, there may be fees involved in the remortgage process, such as arrangement fees, valuation fees, and legal fees. Seeking advice from financial professionals can help you make an informed decision based on your individual circumstances. 

*This article is not legal advice but provides a general overview. The specific details of your case will determine the best course of action.