A Guide to the UK Conveyancing Process

Back to news

Buying or selling a property in the UK can be an exciting yet complex journey with multiple moving parts. The UK conveyancing process is what you go through when buying or selling a property. To ensure a smooth transition of ownership, it’s helpful to understand the conveyancing process – who’s involved at each stage and what is required from you.

In this three-minute read, we’ll break down the key stages involved in UK conveyancing, to provide you with a comprehensive guide to navigate the property industry with confidence.

Instruction: Setting the Wheels in Motion

Once you’ve decided to buy or sell a property, the first step is to engage a solicitor or licensed conveyancer. These legal professionals will become your trusted guides throughout the conveyancing process. As with most processes there is a required papertrail – specific requirements may vary depending on the solicitor and the jurisdiction in which the property is located. You will typically need to complete the following paperwork as soon as you put your property on the market to help speed up the process:

  1. Property Information Form: This form provides details about the property, including boundaries, utilities, fixtures, and any known defects or disputes.
  2. Fittings and Contents Form: This form lists the items that will be included or excluded from the sale, such as furniture, appliances, or fixtures.
  3. Title Deeds and Documents: The seller should provide the solicitor with all relevant title deeds, land registry documents, and any other legal documents related to the property.
  4. Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): An EPC is required for most properties and provides information on energy efficiency.
  5. Proof of Identity and Address: The seller must provide identification documents, such as a passport or driver’s licence, to verify their identity and address.
  6. Mortgage Details: If there is an outstanding mortgage on the property, the seller should provide the solicitor with details of the lender and the mortgage account.
  7. Guarantees and Certificates: Any warranties, guarantees, or certificates for work done on the property (e.g., roofing, electrical, or gas installation) should be provided.

Preliminary Checks: Laying the Foundation

To ensure a secure transaction, your solicitor will carry out essential checks. They’ll verify the property’s legal title, review the seller’s property information forms, and conduct local authority searches. These checks help identify any potential issues, such as planning restrictions or outstanding charges, that may impact the property.

Draft Contract: Setting the Terms

At this stage, the seller’s solicitor will prepare a draft contract that outlines the terms of the sale. This document includes crucial details like the purchase price, deposit amount, and any special conditions agreed upon by both parties. It serves as the foundation for the final contract.

Enquiries and Negotiations: Seeking Clarity

During this stage, the buyer’s solicitor will raise enquiries with the seller’s solicitor to obtain further information about the property. This could include questions regarding boundaries, fixtures and fittings, or any ongoing disputes. Negotiations may occur to resolve any outstanding concerns or amend the contract as necessary.

Mortgage and Survey: Assessing the Property’s Value

The mortgage application should start as soon as a purchase price has been agreed, meaning when it comes to this point in the process, what happens at this stage is just the mortgage valuation. The lender will conduct a valuation survey to determine the property’s worth and suitability as collateral for the loan. It’s essential to ensure the property meets the lender’s requirements.

Exchange of Contracts: Making it Official

Once all enquiries are resolved, both parties sign the final contract. At this point, a deposit is typically paid by the buyer – the average house deposit for a first time buyer in the UK is around 15%. This milestone marks the moment when the transaction becomes legally binding, and a completion date is set.

Pre-Completion Tasks: Finalising the Details

As completion day approaches, the solicitors will handle several crucial tasks. These include arranging the transfer of funds to complete the purchase, obtaining a redemption statement for any existing mortgages, conducting final searches, and preparing the financial statement.

Completion: The Finish Line

On the agreed completion date, the buyer’s solicitor transfers the remaining balance to the seller’s solicitor. Once the funds are received, the seller’s solicitor confirms completion, and the keys are handed over to the buyer. Congratulations! You’ve made it through one of life’s biggest events and are about to embark on another new and exciting chapter!

Post-Completion Tasks: Wrapping Up Loose Ends

After completion, there are a few remaining tasks to complete. The seller’s solicitor will pay the Stamp Duty Land Tax (if applicable), register the property with the Land Registry in your name, and provide you with a copy of the title deeds for safekeeping.

The UK conveyancing process may seem daunting, but with the right guidance and understanding, it can undoubtedly be a manageable journey towards property ownership. When you engage a skilled solicitor or licensed conveyancer, and familiarise yourself with the stages outlined earlier in this blog post, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the intricacies of the property industry. 

Remember, an estate agent is your ally – they are there to help not hinder the process, communicate with all parties involved and ensure that everything runs smoothly from start to finish.

If you’re thinking about embarking on a new property venture and need further guidance, get in touch with our expert sales team here.

 

Be kept up to date

Leave your details with us, so we can keep you fully up to date with property updates.

What our clients say

HOUSE SALE

The service I had from the staff in Sims Williams Walberton office was exceptional. They guided me through the whole process from preparing the house for marketing to concluding the sale. A very smooth, quick and trouble-free sale. Thank you to everyone involved.
Bill H - Vendor - Sep 14th, 2020

Excellent service

Thanks Sims Williams for providing an excellent service. From start to finish Sims have been efficient, communicative and accommodating. They have been warm and reassuring during a particularly stressful time which really helped the whole process and I would thoroughly recommend them.
Ms B - Vendor - Nov 25th, 2022

ONE OF THE BEST ESTATE AGENTS

Sims William and Emma in particular were always efficient and helpful throughout our purchase... can’t recommend them highly enough and will definitely use them next time we move...
Tricia - Buyer - Dec 16th, 2020

Amazing - 5*

The staff at Sims Williams have been beyond kind and helpful. It’s been a pleasure to deal with them. Thank you.
-

Amazing Service

We are now well and truly settled into our new home and I wanted to thank Sim Williams for all you did to manage a speedy sale of our home. You said it wouldn't take long and with three offers within 36 hours we couldn't have asked for more. Having not been through the buying/selling process for 33 years we were immensely grateful to Mike and Mel for all their support, answering questions and following things through. The regular contacts and updates were extremely welcome and was something we hadn't expected.
Richard & Anne - Vendors - Mar 5th, 2021

Friendly, knowledgeable and available

Deal efficiently with all matters relating to a new letting and provide a fast response to any issues from then on. Highly recommended for their friendly but efficient approach.
Carole - Landlord - Jan 19th, 2022

Lettings

Jo was amazing kept me up to date throughout sorted any problems right away Could not be more efficient all the while up beat and cheerful Absolutely recommended
Mike - Landlord - Jan 25th, 2023

Excellent service

Very happy with their services in selling my flat. The team was always very straightforward and professional. Pauline Jones in particular always kept me updated and was super efficient.
Christine - Vendor - Dec 9th, 2023

Excellent Service

David and the team were very helpful which resulted in a surprisingly painless and stress free experience. Highly recommend Sims Williams
Paul R - Landlord - Feb 14th, 2023

Excellent Service

The whole team and Karen and Calum in particular are very professional and kept me informed throughout a difficult purchase, don’t go anywhere else!
Dave - Buyer - Mar 6th, 2021