Conveyancing Explained - the Ultimate Guide For Home Movers

Conveyancers; gazumping; disbursements. Don’t worry if these words went ‘over your head’. No matter how well-read and knowledgeable we consider ourselves to be, we can never fully know all there is to know. But the beauty of learning is that it’s a continuous and infinite process that is open to anyone willing to receive it.

Unless you have been a home owner who has undergone the complex buying/selling process, you are unlikely to know the above terms in their context.

There is lots of jargon that is hard to understand in the property market and it’s imperative that one knows and understands the fundamentals of the property market. Considering the legal and financial elements associated with property, the consequences of ignorance will be grave.

Breaking down CONVEYANCING

To “convey” in English simply means transporting, moving or transferring something from one point to the next. In layman terms, property conveyancing is the entire legal process of transferring property from one person to the other.

Those in manufacturing will know the quality management concept of “right first time”. I personally believe this is a concept that is central not only in life but in conveyancing too. The art of doing and getting things “right first time” minimizes future problems like lost time, increased costs or loss in income.

A conveyancer is the person responsible for carrying out the conveyancing process legally. With all the legalities involved, this mammoth task cannot be performed by just “any average Joe”.

A glossary of common terms is helpful and make for mutual understanding when involved in dealings outside your area of expertise. Be sure to familiarize yourself with different words commonly used in the property market, i.e. easements, freehold, etc.

Conveyancers and solicitors both perform the conveyancing process but have minor differences in their professions. There are pros and cons associated with each and it’s important to select the right person for your needs.

Solicitors are qualified lawyers broadly trained in different aspects of law without specializing in any one area. Conveyancers on the other hand are licenced professionals with lesser training than their solicitor counterparts, but are dedicated specialists in property law. Both form part of governing bodies, i.e. Law Society for Solicitors and the Council for Licenced Conveyancers (CLC) for conveyancers.

Not an Overnight Process

Once an offer has been accepted by the seller, the conveyancers of both buyer and seller draft and negotiate the contract reflecting all agreed conditions like deposit details, property services, etc. This is a time consuming process and you need to keep your finger on the pulse and work closely with your conveyancer to ensure all details are according to your expectations.

Before concluding, conveyancers will also look for all details on the property and conduct searches, checks and queries. The searches vary and will be done depending on specific requirements. These range from bankruptcy searches to Local Authority Searches that inform whether municipal structures such as roads or dams are planned to be built near the property. All this may take as long as 3 months to conclude so again, remember the “right first time” principle and avoid unwanted delays.

Upon conclusion, both buyer and seller and their conveyancers agree on a completion date for all terms and a mortgage deed is then signed. The lender may sometimes even conduct its own mortgage valuations and require the buyer to get compulsory property insurance.

Different options

Below are some tips on who to choose

When it comes to choosing between different conveyancers for legal representation, explore all options before committing. Businesses are bound to compete with each other, so where possible, try negotiating decreased fees on miscellaneous services that fall out of the final service costs. These could be internet charges, telephone bills, letters, etc.

Sites such as act as “one stop shops” for conveyancer comparisons and source the best and cheapest quotes for you. With their partners contracted-in, these services may save you money.

You won’t always have the luxury of selecting your own conveyancer though. Some lenders will have dedicated professionals under their network and assign one of these to you.

The final process of exchanging contracts officiates the “sale” making it legally binding. Having now “signed your life away” any violation to the terms will result in hefty lawsuits. Keys are issued once all monies have been transferred and your conveyancer’s final task is to deliver the Land Registry documents to you within the weeks that follow.

Ignorance is certainly not bliss in this industry. You now have no excuse to say the conveyancing process has “gone over your head” again.


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When I first decided to buy a property, I did not know much about valuation. I was about to make a fool of myself, when a friend advised me about More Urban Properties, and boy was I lucky, they just saved me from making a lousy investment. They are a wonderful team to have working on your behalf.

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