Conveyancing Explained - The Legal Steps to Buying and Selling

publication date: Jul 14, 2010
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Conveyancing Explained - The Legal Steps to Buying and Selling

Key Legal Steps to Buying a Property

  1. Provide your identity details (passport, utility bill driving licence etc).
  2. Searches requested by the legal company (ask for an environmental check).
  3. Mortgage offer applied for, legal company checks offer details and clauses.
  4. Look at Property Information and Fixtures and Fittings Forms from Sellers. Especially check what is being left in the property and for planning permission, building regulations sign-off etc.
  5. Let the legal company know any questions you want answering eg. is the driveway or garden shared?
  6. Go through the contract:-

    • Check the price quoted is accurate.
    • The title deeds/land registry plan match.
    • What you believe you are buying (e.g. does it include the shed, parking space etc.)
  7. Agree on the deposit level (5 or 10% of the purchase price) and provide funds to the legal company five days before exchange of contracts.
  8. Legal company draws down mortgage monies and co-ordinates all funds for purchase
  9. Contracts are completed.
  10. Seller’s legal company confirms to the estate agent/vendor that you can have the keys.

Once you’ve got the keys, check with your legal company that either you or they complete the Stamp Duty Land Tax Form which confirms your property ownership.  It is your legal responsibility to make sure it’s filed.

Key Legal Steps to Selling

  1. Provide your identity details (passport, utility bill, driving licence etc).
  2. Apply to draw down Title Deeds (from lender or yourself).
  3. Gather all paperwork such as planning permissions, building certificates, guarantees and answer buyer’s questions.
  4. Check and sign contracts of sale:-

    • Check price quoted is accurate
    • The inclusions of property sale (eg. light fittings, carpets, curtains) are correct.
  5. The legal company secures the deposit and exchanges contracts.
  6. The legal company manages the mortgage redemption and sale.
  7. Complete contracts.


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