What Are Conveyancing Searches?
It’s an exciting moment to buy or sell a house. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you’ve definitely heard of conveyancing searches but aren’t sure what they entail. This guide will walk you through the conveyancing searches step by step, so you know exactly what to anticipate when you move.
To understand what conveyancing searches are, it is key to understand what conveyancing is. Conveyancing is a term used to describe the process of transferring property from one person to another.
Simply said, conveyancing is the legal transfer of a property’s legal title from one person to another, and it includes all of the legal and administrative steps involved in purchasing or selling a home.
When an offer is accepted, the conveyancing procedure begins and ends with you moving. You can conduct your own conveyancing, but it’s a complicated procedure that can be pricey if something goes wrong, so it’s better to leave it to the professionals — after all, relocating is stressful enough!
To ensure a seamless transaction, it’s critical to hire a respected and competent conveyancer. Having a conveyancer and a set price quote in place, whether you’re buying or selling, is a smart idea so you can direct them as soon as an offer is approved.
You’ll want to move the process along as quickly as possible once you’ve made or received an offer on a home. It normally takes six to eight weeks to complete a conveyancing transaction.
The phases of conveyancing are outlined below to help you understand what’s involved in ensuring the most important transaction you’ll ever make is completed properly.
Contracts and inquiries should be written in a clear and concise manner.
Both parties will contact their conveyancer to ‘instruct’ them after an offer has been accepted. Your conveyancer will contact the conveyancer for the opposing party to review the draft contract and answer any questions about the property (the pre-contract enquiries).
A draft contract will be created, which will include information from the property’s title deeds, as well as the buyer and seller’s contact information and the amount the buyer is paying for the property.
The buyer will schedule a survey and finalize the loan with their lender.
The conveyancer, on behalf of the buyer, will conduct searches. Searches are crucial since they contain information on the property and help to avoid unpleasant surprises.
The following are some examples of conveyancing searches:
- Searching the cadastre. This establishes that the seller is the property’s lawful owner. By law, this is required. For instance, if you are buying property in Dublin, you will need to get a licensed law searcher in Dublin who can perform all the relevant local searches.
- The hunt for a water authority. Provides details on the property’s pipes and drains.
- Local authority search. Examines the property for any planned building.
- Checking the possibility of flooding. If the property is at risk of flooding, this will be determined.
- Environmental search. Contaminated property, landfills, historic industrial sites, and other possible dangers are investigated.
- Chancel repair. You will be legally obligated to contribute to chancel repairs if you purchase a property on land subject to chancel repair (the space in a church around the altar). Your conveyancer will advise you on whether or not to get chancel liability insurance based on the results of this search.
- Additional research. Other searches (such as coal mine searches) and other local authority questions (such as common land, public walkways, and so on) may be conducted depending on the location of the property.
Your conveyancer will ensure that any enquires have been resolved and that the fittings and fixtures of the property are as expected after all searches and surveys have been done (the seller will be requested to fill a form with a list of items that will be left or removed from the property). This list becomes part of the contract after everyone agrees on it.
This is the portion of the procedure that can take a long time to complete, along with waiting for the search results. In order to keep things moving, your conveyancer will collaborate with their counterpart. It’s crucial to do things right, even if it’s frustrating.
Once all of the enquires have been answered, a completion date will be set, and the buyer will send their deposit to their conveyancer, who will then arrange for the mortgage lender to send the monies.
Closing the Deal
The next stage is exchanging contracts, which involves both conveyancers reading the contract out loud over the phone to confirm that it is identical, and then sending it to each other.
A contract is legally binding after it has been exchanged.
On the designated day, completion is normally scheduled for 12 p.m. When the seller’s conveyancer certifies that all money owing have been paid, the seller will hand over the keys to the buyer at the estate agent.
When it’s Finished
To tie up loose ends after the completion, your conveyancer will do the following:
- Notify the Land Registry about the transfer.
- On the buyer’s behalf, pay the stamp duty.
- Send the title deeds to your mortgage lender, who will store them until the loan is paid off.
- If your property is leasehold, let the freeholder know.
- Their service will be billed to you.
See our guide to different types of life insurance as well.