Conveyancing...what exactly is it?
An integral part of the home buying/re-mortgaging process is Conveyancing.
I am often asked by clients what this process involves, so I thought that now would be a good opportunity to explain things.
Firstly, what exactly is Conveyancing?
Well it is the legal process of transferring ownership (title) from one person to another. This process is carried out by either a Solicitor or a Licensed Conveyancer. Let’s take a look at what happens with a normal Sale & Purchase transaction.
Your Estate Agent will send the nominated legal practice the Sales Memorandum if there is a sale and purchase involved. (If it is a re-mortgage either you or your broker will instruct the nominated practice of the pending case).
Your Solicitor will contact the Sellers Solicitor, requesting initial information about the title of the property.
Abode Mortgages Limited will liaise with you, our client, to process your mortgage application through to a formal Offer to lend from your lender and will then check the detail of the Offer Letter to ensure your requests have been accurately met by the lender.
Your Solicitor will issue you with a Welcome Pack that will require you to complete some detail about your property and your circumstances that needs to be returned to the Solicitor PROMPTLY! This Welcome Pack will usually have a request for photographic ID and proof of address. At Abode Mortgages Limited we are more than happy to certify these documents and forward them to your Solicitor for you.
The Solicitor will also receive an ‘Information Pack’ from the Sellers Solicitor about your prospective purchase.
Your Solicitor will now instruct various local searches. These searches are carried out to ensure that the property you are buying has clear title and that there are no restrictions or covenants that could be detrimental to you.
Once the searches are complete your Solicitor will then report to you with the following information:
The results of the searches
A mortgage Offer from your lender
Responses to any enquiries they have raised with the vendors Solicitor
An acceptable format for the Contract with the vendors Solicitor
Once you have had the opportunity of reading through all the documentation and maybe speaking with your Solicitor to clarify any matters, you would then return:
The signed Contract
The signed Mortgage Deed (DO NOT DATE THIS!)
Your deposit, usually representing 10% of the purchase price which is needed in anticipation of exchange of contracts. If you are moving home, this 10% is usually considered as held in the equity of your present home!
You will tell your Solicitor what your preferred completion date would be.
As soon as both Buyer and Seller are at this stage a provisional Completion date is agreed between all parties in the chain.
Contracts are at this point exchanged and the Sale and Purchase are now legally binding. You MUST have Buildings insurance in place at this stage with your lenders interest noted on the policy.
Once a completion date has been set, your Solicitor will request funds from your lender to allow the sale to complete. They will also request any balance money to be made available to allow the transaction to complete.
A transfer deed is then signed to put the property into your ownership ready for Completion.
On Completion day, your Solicitor will receive your mortgage monies and will pay the balance of the purchase price to the sellers Solicitor.
Once the sellers Solicitor has received the money, they will notify your Estate Agent who will then release the keys to you and you can move into your new home!
…and that is all there is to it! We strongly recommend that anything you post to your solicitor is sent as signed for delivery. That way you ensure you will always have a paper trail of where documents are at any given moment in time.
DEPOSIT RE-DIRECTION FRAUD
An area that you need to be aware of is an increasingly more common type of fraud and that is Deposit Re-direction Fraud. This is where a scammer having hacked a Solicitors or Estate Agents e-mail will put a cloned account in place and e-mail you from this seemingly genuine account often giving new bank account instructions or varying already agreed financial arrangements.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT BECOMING A VICTIM?
Both Homebuyers and Professionals need to be vigilant with emails which request payment of funds. Requests to pay your deposit funds to a bank account should only come from your Solicitor.
Most Solicitors will not send you bank account information by email, nor will they change their bank details from those initially provided. Solicitors will generally provide you with their bank account information in writing at the start of your purchase.
If you are unsure about anything, or receive an email (or letter) changing bank information and requesting payment of your deposit, please talk to your Conveyancer. Face-to-face contact is the most secure way, but if you need to contact them by telephone, always call them using a number you have spoken to them on previously.
You need to be vigilant and treat email communication with suspicion whenever it involves requests for the transfer of monies.
You can never be too careful in these circumstances - it is your deposit money that is at risk.