The conveyancing process - A six step guide

Finding the home of your dreams in Enfield is exciting and your next step is to secure that property as soon as possible. But buying property can be a complex process, particularly when it comes to understanding the conveyancing procedure.

We want to help ensure that the purchase of your new home (and maybe the sale of your old one) runs smoothly, with no surprises along the way. So, with this in mind, we have created a jargon-free guide to the conveyancing process to help you.

But, first things first.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal term for the transfer of home ownership between a seller and buyer. The process begins once your offer is accepted and completes when you have the keys to your new home in your hand on moving day! The conveyancing process is designed to make sure that all the legalities of your sale or purchase are covered, and to make certain the transfer of ownership happens with as little stress as possible (but we know it doesn’t always feel like that!)

Who does the conveyancing?

Now it is possible to do it all yourself, but unless you really know what you’re doing we’d always recommend that the conveyancing process is undertaken by a professional solicitor or conveyancer.

You’ll need to instruct a legal professional as soon as your offer on a property is accepted, so it’s a good idea to already have in mind the person or firm you want to use. That way the process can start without delay. Ask friends and family who they used when they moved and whether they felt were good or just OK. A personal recommendation is invaluable. Once you have chosen and appointed a conveyancer or solicitor, they will draw up a draft contract and let you know their charges.

The 6-step Conveyancing Process

Step 1: Initial contact is made between legal representatives

The first thing your solicitor or conveyancer will do is to contact your seller’s legal representative to request a copy of the draft contract, the property’s title and other standard forms. He will thoroughly examine these documents and raise any initial queries. He will also action a number of ‘searches’ to make sure there are no issues you need to be aware of that are not in plain sight, like planning permission for a tower block to be built at the end of the garden! The most common searches are local authority searches, environmental searches and drainage and water searches.

Step 2: Mortgage and survey requirements are confirmed

If you need a mortgage then this is the point at which you need to make sure it’s in place and give a copy of your mortgage offer to your solicitor.

You will also be required to get a mortgage valuation. This is carried out on behalf of your mortgage lender and is to satisfy the lender that the property is secure against the amount of money they are loaning you.

A survey may also be required at this stage. Whilst not a legal requirement, whether you decide to instruct a survey on the property or not will depend on both the property and your specific circumstances.

Step 3: Contracts are signed

Once all the searches have completed, queries have been answered, you have provided your mortgage offer and are satisfied with the results of the survey, your solicitor will agree details about the transfer of your deposit funds along with a completion date. You will then be ready to sign the contract in preparation for exchange and completion.

Step 4: Contracts are exchanged

Next comes the exciting part! Exchange of contracts between you and the seller. Your deposit will be paid on exchange and you will be in a legally binding contract. The good news is that so is the seller who can no longer accept another offer and must sell to you. It’s important to note, that if you back out of the purchase at this stage, you will lose your deposit. There is usually a deliberate delay between exchange and completion to allow the deeds to the property to be transferred into your name.

Step 5: Finally, it’s completion day!

Yay!! Completion is usually set for 12 noon or 2pm on the agreed date, however, in reality it can happen as soon as the sellers’ solicitor confirms that all monies have been received. You can then collect the keys to your new home from us – a happy moment that we love to share!

Step 6: The final legal work is completed

While you move into your new property, your solicitor or conveyancer will tie up all the loose ends from a legal perspective. They will ensure stamp duty is paid on your behalf, send your title deeds to your mortgage lender and make sure you receive copies of your legal documents.

They will also send you your final bill for all the legal work undertaken.

Now all that is left for you to do is to unpack, settle into your dream home in Enfield and enjoy your perfect surroundings.

If you need independent advice, help and assistance regarding the conveyancing process, then we’re happy to help. Contact us on 020 8364 5418 or email