When it comes to buying a property the role of the solicitor is really important, that is of course after you have found the perfect property and are in a position to buy. The procedure is known as conveyancing which in a nutshell is the process of transferring the entitlement of land or property from the seller to the buyer. It applies to both commercial and residential property and is land and contract law put into a seemingly practical context.

So how does this Transaction Actually Work?

There are typically three different stages in the transaction process. They typically work as follows,

1.  The first is the pre-contract stage which is normally the most time consuming part of the legal work. This involves instructing a solicitor to act on your behalf, whether you are selling or buying a property this is an essential element in the conveyancing transaction. If you are selling a property then the pre-contract package will be prepared. A draft contract will be drawn up and evidence collected that will establish the legal right of entitlement of the seller. Other information such as pre-contract searches will also be collated at this juncture.

If you are a buyer and have instructed a solicitor then they will check all of these documents and will question anything that they have queries about. At this point the solicitor will ask the seller to rectify any issues that may come to light and resolve these before the next phase is entered into.

The purchaser’s solicitor will also carry out all of the pre-contract searches, these will normally be related to local authorities, councils and other public bodies. These searches will establish whether or not all of the information given by the seller is correct. Once all of the appropriate checks and amendments have been made a contract will then be negotiated between the two parties which will be signed by both the buyer and the seller. The point when the contracts are exchanges signifies the moment that a binding contract between both parties has been legally entered into.

The person buying the property must then prove that they have the funds or financial means of buying the property. Securing finance must occur at this stage. Once the contracts have been exchanged the buyer will then pay the deposit on the purchase.

2.  The second element is the post contract or pre-completion phase. Once the first phase has been completed all of the enquiries that had been bought up in the first stage will be resolved under contract by the seller. The draft purchase deed will then be sent across to the seller’s solicitor which activates the terms of the contract. They will then confirm that the mortgage company has the exact money to lend to the buyer.

The buyer’s solicitor will arrange all of the financial obligations such as obtaining the loan from the mortgage company and collecting any balances due. Once the money has exchanged hands then the deeds are sent to the buyer.

3. The third stage is post completion. This is relatively simple the sellers solicitor discharges the sellers mortgage and sends a receipt to the buyers solicitor. The purchaser then has to pay stamp duty on the property. Then the buyer’s solicitor will apply for the new title to be registered at the Land Registry.

By Harry Price

Harry Price is a talented young writer from the south coast.  He loves to live life to the full and constantly gives himself new challenges.  His latest love his cave diving.