Conveyancing is a term used to describe the work that a solicitor undertakes in a sale or purchase of property for a particular client.
For clients, the conveyancing process can at times seem like a bit of a mystery and it is difficult for a client to understand the process.
Clients often encounter issues when they are buying and selling their properties and this article gives you some tips on making your sale or purchase go smoothly.
Instruct your Estate Agent to value your property, prepare a marketing brochure and place the property on the market for sale.
Instruct your Solicitor at the same time (or even before) you instruct your Agent – don’t leave it until you are “sale agreed”.
Where are your deeds? If your property is subject to a mortgage, your solicitor will have to obtain your title deeds from your lender as in Northern Ireland, we do not have a full system of electronic registration at present. It can take some weeks for lenders to send your solicitor the title deeds and therefore, the sooner that you instruct your solicitor, the sooner they can get the deeds and check everything is in order for when you are sale agreed. If you have your deeds at home, arrange for those to be sent or delivered to your solicitor.
Work to the property within the last ten years that would have required planning permission or building control approval - it is important that you have the necessary planning permission and building control completion certificates to hand as your solicitor will require those.
Work carried out without necessary building control approvals? Don’t panic - it is important that you make an application to your local council for a Building Control Regularisation Certificate. This is a simple application that can be done online and often requires a Building Control Officer to come out and formally inspect your works before issuing the certificate.Work carried out can include extensions, alterations internally to the layout of a property; cavity wall installation; roof space installation; installation of patio doors or changing your heating system to gas.
Instruct your solicitor at an early opportunity so as they are ready to move matters forward as soon as the sales advice notes are issued.
How long does the conveyancing process take?
A sale or purchase of a property can usually complete within a six to eight week period, but this very much depends on your solicitor being in receipt of title deeds, all property certificates and searches having been obtained, you completing replies to enquiries and the fixtures and fittings list and providing any other documentation that your solicitor requires.
A word about chains
It is vital that communication is maintained particularly where there is a chain of two or more sales or purchases as there are a lot of parties for the agents and solicitors to juggle and manage. If you are the bottom of this chain, there is often little you can do until the parties in the chain upwards are ready to agree a completion date and get contracts signed.
All in all, the key to a smooth conveyancing process is preparation and communication with your solicitor and agent throughout. This will mean that you will have the keys to your new property within your desired time frame.