Whether you are new to the Conveyancing process, or you’ve been through it all before, it’s likely that you will have a number of questions you would like to ask your Conveyancer. This is perfectly understandable. After all, buying or selling a property is a significant transaction and you will want to be prepared.
So to help you find the answers you are looking for, we’ve explained some of the most common questions people ask their Conveyancer.
1. At what point should I instruct a Conveyancer?
At the very latest you should instruct a Conveyancer when you have an offer accepted on a property (if you are the buyer), or when you accept an offer on your property (if you are the seller).
This is the moment the Conveyancing process begins, so you will need to have your Conveyancer lined up and ready to act. That’s why it’s best to instruct a Conveyancer before it gets to the point of offers being accepted. If you are the seller, you could instruct a Conveyancer when you put your property on the market, or if you are the buyer, you could instruct a Conveyancer at the moment you begin your property hunt. This can sometimes help buyers to find properties that are not yet on the market, and shows the sellers that you are really serious about buying.
2. Do I need to choose a local Conveyancer?
No, you do not need to choose a Conveyancer who is local to where you currently live, or who is local to the property you are buying.
These days there’s actually no need for you to visit your Conveyancer’s office at all. Everything can be done by post, email and phone. So you can choose a Conveyancer who is located anywhere in England and Wales, regardless of which part of the country you live in. This gives you the opportunity to shop around for the best price and to select the Conveyancer that is right for you.
3. What do I need to do?
Your Conveyancer will do the majority of the work, but there are some things that you will need to do. Your Conveyancer will advise you on exactly what is required of you, as and when the time arises.
For example, at the start of the Conveyancing process you will need to provide proof of ID and address. If you are buying a property then you’ll also need to:
- Arrange the mortgage
- Provide proof of funds for the money you are using
- Put buildings insurance in place before the exchange of contracts
- Check the terms of the contract
- Review the results of the survey and property searches, and raise any queries
- Sign any paperwork, including the contract
4. How long does the Conveyancing process take?
This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on so many factors, but once you have reached the point of exchanging contracts, it will usually be between one and four weeks before the transaction is finalised.
But as for the length of time it will take from start to finish, it is impossible to say. Of course this is very frustrating for those involved, which is why buying and selling a home requires a significant amount of flexibility and patience.
A major factor that can impact on the amount of time it takes is the length of the chain. If there is no chain, and no other issues to contend with, the Conveyancing process can be completed within a couple of months. But if you are stuck in a chain, you will be at the mercy of everyone else finding a buyer/having an offer accepted. Even then offers can be withdrawn, causing the chain to break down. If you want to avoid this, it’s best to look for buyers/sellers with no chain.
The results of property searches and surveys can also halt the progression of a property transaction. If they shed light on a potential problem, the buyer will usually not want to proceed (or will not be able to, if they have a mortgage) until further investigations have been carried out.
These are just two examples of why the Conveyancing process might not go as quickly as you want it to. There may be other issues at play, all of which can affect how long the Conveyancing process takes.
Read more about Potential Delays in Conveyancing.
It is only once you get to the exchange of contracts that you will have more of a definite time frame, because when you exchange, you will set a date for completion. This means you will know the exact day you will hand over or receive the keys. Typically this will happen between one and four weeks after the exchange of contracts, but this is only a guideline – it can be more, or it can be less.
5. How much does Conveyancing cost?
There is not a set price for Conveyancing costs. Every Conveyancer will set their own Conveyancing fees. Some may charge an hourly rate, while some may calculate their fees according to the value of the property you are buying/selling. So it’s always best to contact a number of different Conveyancers and ask about their fees, and what the fees include, so you can compare like-for-like quotes.
Co-op Legal Services can provide some of the lowest Conveyancing fees available. We will provide you with a written fixed fee quote, detailing what is included, and all quotes include a No Sale No Fee Guarantee. Once a written quote has been provided, that price will not change.