What to expect from your conveyancer, whether you’re selling or purchasing
With house prices increasing at a rapid rate in some areas of the country, the pressure is on to find a home and secure it. That said, it’s important not to panic buy. This article considers the steps you should take to protect your investment from risk and the service you can expect from a conveyancing professional when expediting a purchase.
The process of buying or selling a house can be a turbulent time in people’s lives. In fact, according to a 2018 survey by the Evening Standard, two in three homeowners found the process stressful. The property market has changed a lot since then, with recent trends likely increasing, rather than decreasing homeowners’ anxiety. But the best way to deal with any challenge is to prepare for it.
Assessing the risks
For both buyers and sellers, it is important to have protections in place to limit damage should things go wrong. A good conveyancer will be aware of the pitfalls to steer clear of, but common red flags when considering a purchase include any alterations made to a property without building regulation approval, as well as any extensions built without planning permission.
Again, your conveyancer will be able to help you find out whether the work undertaken falls under permitted development rights (i.e., it wouldn’t have required planning permission). But, if not, mortgage lenders are likely to withhold funds without the necessary paperwork. In this situation, your conveyancer may recommend indemnity insurance, with which a mortgage lender will feel more comfortable.
There are also a number of insurance providers offering insurance to protect against the costs of a failed transaction. This is different to the indemnity insurance that may be taken out for works on a property. Although the cost of losing your 10% deposit isn’t covered in any of the insurance policies, you can get insurance that covers your legal, mortgage valuation and conveyancing search costs. Insurance policies should be checked to see if you any costs already incurred can be reclaimed at the point of taking out the insurance.
Working with a conveyancing professional
Whether you are selling or buying a property, it’s important to choose the right conveyancing professional and appoint them as soon as possible. They are responsible for drawing up the relevant contracts to complete the process and ensure the transaction is registered correctly with the Land Registry. Your conveyancer is also responsible for ensuring they comply with money laundering regulations as well as ensuring the legal ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.
Even during an expedited sale, some searches are mandatory. Waiting for the results of these searches can feel frustrating and can take a few weeks to be received; however, they are an important part of the conveyancing process, revealing any issues that could impact the value of the property and whether the mortgage lender will agree to the transaction.
A good conveyancer is likely to advise you to carry out searches, for example, if you are a cash buyer and therefore not required to take out local searches – to make sure your investment is protected from risk.
Proceeding at pace
Making sure your property purchase proceeds at a pace you’re happy with is, in part, down to your choice of conveyancing solicitor. An efficient conveyancer will have good communication skills and will take you through your obligations thoroughly and clearly, so you can get a head start on any forms you need to fill out or paperwork you should prepare.
Ultimately, you will want to build a good working relationship with your conveyancing solicitor. They will be working with you during what can be a very stressful time, so seek someone who is understanding of this and who will make it their mission to make the process as pain-free as possible.
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