Demystifying the Conveyancing Process in Selling Your Home: A Timeline

by Bhavi Bhudia
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Selling a home involves various legal processes to ensure a smooth and legally binding transaction. One crucial aspect of this process is conveyancing.

Conveyancing is the legal transfer of property ownership from the seller to the buyer, and it involves several steps to complete. Let's break down the conveyancing process in selling your home, providing insights into what to expect and how long each step typically takes.

Understanding Conveyancing:

Conveyancing begins once you've accepted an offer on your property and lasts until the completion of the sale. It typically involves the following steps:

1. Instruction of a Solicitor or Conveyancer (1-2 Days):

The first step in the conveyancing process is to instruct a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of the sale. This usually happens shortly after accepting an offer. Your solicitor will begin by gathering information about the property and initiating the necessary legal procedures.

2. Drafting Contracts (1-2 Weeks):

Your solicitor will prepare a draft contract of sale, which includes details about the property, the sale price, and any additional terms or conditions. This contract will be sent to the buyer's solicitor for review and negotiation. The time taken for this step can vary depending on the complexity of the transaction and any negotiations involved.

3. Property Information Forms (1-2 Weeks):

You'll need to complete property information forms, which provide details about the property's boundaries, fixtures and fittings, utilities, and any ongoing disputes or issues. These forms help inform the buyer about the property they are purchasing. Your solicitor will assist you in completing these forms accurately and promptly.

4. Responding to Enquiries (1-2 Weeks):

The buyer's solicitor may raise enquiries about the property based on the information provided in the contract and property forms. Your solicitor will work with you to respond to these enquiries accurately and promptly. The time taken for this step depends on the number and complexity of the enquiries raised.

5. Searches and Checks (2-4 Weeks):

Your solicitor will conduct various searches to ensure there are no outstanding issues or concerns that could affect the sale. These searches may include local authority searches, environmental searches, and land registry checks. The time taken for searches can vary depending on the availability of information and the efficiency of local authorities.

6. Exchange of Contracts (1-2 Days):

Once all enquiries have been resolved, and both parties are satisfied with the terms of the contract, you'll exchange contracts with the buyer. At this stage, the sale becomes legally binding, and a completion date is set. Exchange of contracts typically happens a few weeks to a couple of months after accepting an offer.

7. Completion (1 Day):

On the completion day, the remaining balance of the purchase price is transferred to your solicitor's account. Once the funds have cleared, keys are handed over to the buyer, and ownership of the property is officially transferred. Completion usually takes place a few days to a couple of weeks after the exchange of contracts, depending on the agreed-upon timeline.

The conveyancing process is a vital part of selling your home, ensuring a legally binding and smooth transfer of ownership to the buyer. By understanding the steps involved and the typical timeline for each stage, you can better prepare yourself for the sale process and manage your expectations accordingly. 

Overall, the conveyancing process in selling a home usually takes between 8 to 12 weeks from the instruction of a solicitor or conveyancer to completion, though this timeframe can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the transaction, the responsiveness of parties involved, and local regulations. If you're considering selling your home, don't hesitate to seek professional legal advice to guide you through the conveyancing process.