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What is Conveyancing?

“I am considering selling my property in the UK, but I am currently residing in Spain and will not be able to return to the UK to carry out this process. Exactly what is involved in the Conveyancing process and how can I successfully manage it from abroad?”

What is Conveyancing?

The conveyancing process officially starts when an offer placed on your property has been accepted and completes on the day that the buyer collects the keys. It is defined as the legal transfer of home ownership from the seller to the buyer

Who does the Conveyancing?

The first thing to consider is to decide who will do your conveyancing (you can technically try to do this yourself, but this is never recommended without experience, especially in the case of being overseas).

Either a licensed conveyancer or solicitor can carry this process out for you. It is also important to be aware that licensed conveyancers are not regulated by the SRA and have different complaints procedures and insurance requirements.

Your chosen conveyancer can then provide you with a draft contract, outlining their terms, charges and any deposits that are required.

When choosing either of these for your conveyancing process, always try to be as upfront and clear about your communication expectations from them. Discuss exactly how you plan to stay involved regularly and what lines of communication work for you.

This process when dealt with between two people within the UK would typically involve plenty of telephone calls and postal deliveries of crucial documents, which is not feasible when handing overseas, so coming up with a consistent and clear online method involving emails and practical scanning facilities is essential to a successful conveyancing process.

What is involved in the sale process?

When you are not buying a property, but only selling one within the UK, the three main steps for you within the process are the initial sale agreement, the exchange of contracts and the completion of sale. The majority of work involved for you as the selling party mainly involves a hefty amount of paperwork.

Your appointed conveyancer will have you fill in a series of detailed forms that focus on the details of the property being sold. This usually involves documentation such as:

  • Property Information Form (details of boundaries, parking, ground rents, access rights, drains, environmental issues etc)
  • Leasehold Information Form (details of what kind of lease if applicable, if its an apartment or flat etc)
  • Fixtures and Fittings Form (specific details of exactly what is included with the sale of your property, such as light switches/kitchen appliances, carpets etc)
  • LPE1 form  - completed by freeholder’s managing agent and important to get this instructed quickly as they can be delays in getting this back etc

When your conveyancer has this information back from you, it can then be sent to the solicitor of the buyer, allowing them to approach you with any concerns or queries regarding the information provided as well as any specific questions on the property itself that were not answered in the forms.

What issues can I expect to run in to?

There are several things that have the power to slow down your sale, most of which will always be out of your control and require nothing but patience. Some examples are:

  • Slow searches (several searches will be ordered by your buyers’ solicitor which can sometimes take several weeks to return)
  • Any missing documentation (if you failed to provide every necessary piece of paperwork for your buyer’s conveyancer, this can delay the sale due to them wanting to wait until all the information can be examined)
  • Your buyers mortgage offer (mortgage offer that the buyer received has expired in the time since they received it)
  • Your buyer’s conveyancer (if your buyers conveyancer is out-of-office/ less than pro-active, effectively stalling your sale)
  • Problems with funds (missing or delayed funds stalling the entire selling process)

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Last updated: 4 December 2020