With the UK property market vibrant, many first-time buyers have been encouraged to take a step onto the property ladder by the government’s temporary stamp duty rules and deposit guarantees. They will inevitably be curious about conveyancing rules and costs and indeed the whole process, which may be new to them.

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This process involves the legal transfer of the property from the owner to another party and starts once an offer has been accepted.

Buying or selling a property

If you are new to buying or selling property, a reputable conveyancer such as Sam Conveyancing will guide you through the process. Whether buying or selling, you will need a conveyancer to deal with many issues related to the transaction, including dealing with HM Land Registry, preparing contracts, transferring monies, and ensuring the legal ownership passes from one party to the other.

Your conveyancer will not only help you through the process, which can be quite stressful, but also deal with the administrative and legal steps that are required.

Legal searches

Conveyancing covers many issues that, as a layman, you may not be familiar with. These include searches of the land and buildings, registering ownership at HM Land Registry, transferring funds, dealing with any taxation issues, and providing key information when queries are raised.

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There are many legal issues that may appear innocuous to the non-professional but could cause problems once the purchase has been completed; for example, there may be a covenant that could restrict alterations to the property in the future.

The legal right for others to access the land, known as easements, may also be something you need to know about before completing the purchase. These can include rights of way or access to parking.

Your conveyancer will also carry out a series of searches that may reveal other matters that affect the property. These will include local authority searches, looking at planning issues, and checking public sewer provision and mains drainage.

An environmental check will provide information on contamination of the land or flooding problems. You may be purchasing in an area that once saw local mining or has the prospect of mining in the future.

Finally, the obscure chancel repair liability will be checked, under which you may be responsible for the maintenance of your local church.

There are no hard and fast rules as to how long the conveyancing process will take. Each purchase or sale can be different, depending on where the property is located and how many issues are raised in the initial enquiries.

Consequently, it is important to get your conveyancer on board as quickly as possible once you have begun the process of buying or selling.