You’ve finished the viewings, accepted an offer and you’re ready to move. The final step is the conveyancing process. But it’s no mere formality; this is the business end of your property deal, and it takes time and money. Fortunately, by planning ahead, you can cut costs, save time and reduce stress.
1. Learn the jargon
Before the conveyancing process starts, take a little time to familiarise yourself with the conveyancing jargon. It’ll make it easier to prepare for your side of the transaction and to ask the right questions that could clarify or speed up matters.
2. Prepare the paperwork
If you’re hoping for a quick house sale, you can speed up the conveyancing process by getting your paperwork in order. As well as identification documents like passports, utility bills and other proofs of address, you’ll need your mortgage documents. You’ll also have to acquire access to title deeds, your EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) and proof of planning permission for any major alterations you made to the property.
3. Know the timeline
On average, solicitors say the conveyancing process can take six to 12 weeks, but it depends on a lot of factors. If you follow the procedures closely, you can avoid causing delays. However, you can often end up waiting for others in the property chain to finalise documents and fill in forms.
4. Plan your budget
Conveyancing fees range widely but tend to be somewhere between £850 and £1,500. The final price is affected by whether your solicitor charges a flat fee, hourly rate or percentage. There is also the cost of ‘disbursements’ like the ‘searches’ for potential problems such as flooding risk or mining activity, which vary by region. Set a sum aside to cover unexpected costs too, since some solicitors expect fees up front and delayed payment could slow the conveyancing process.
5. Trust your solicitor
Conveyancing can only be done by a licensed conveyancer, usually a solicitor. However, remember they’re not the boss – they work for you. When you hire someone, make sure you get a competitive quote and take the time to talk through the process with them. If you’re involved in a complicated deal, perhaps involving clauses about essential repairs or including items in the sale, it might be worth paying more for a solicitor who you trust will work hard to get it right.