Category Archives: Conveyancing Questions

who pays conveyancing fees

Get to know who pays conveyancing fees

Solicitors are an indispensable component of any real estate transaction. They are the custodian of law. They advise parties to a transaction on how to go about the sales. Without them, buyers, sellers, and any other party that is involved in conveyance can make mistakes that might cost them financially or legally.  Given their roles, it is just fair that solicitors be given due compensation. Anyone who hires a solicitor for conveyancing will have to pay solicitor fees. Solicitor fees make up most of the conveyancing fee. You are the one who pays conveyance fees to solicitors and third parties. Most people believe that only buyers and sellers should pay conveyance fees. Other than buyers and sellers, there are many other people that are involved in soliciting. All the people that make part of the conveyance are the once who pays conveyance fees.

Buyers need solicitors in each step of conveyancing.  They have to engage solicitors from the time they identify a property of interest until when the property is sold, and all documents are filed. Buyers’ solicitors usually continue with their work long after actual property transaction. Solicitors help buyers draw conveyance drafts and contracts. They also help in property research. All these services that are offered by solicitors must be paid for by buyers.  Conveyance fees that are charged depend on the amount of work the solicitor will have to do.

Sellers also need solicitors. Solicitors act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers. They communicate sellers’ terms of sales to the buyers. Solicitors also help buyers in settling out their mortgage once they receive money from buyers’ solicitors. Buyers are never present at the settlement or completion of conveyance. They delegate this duty to their solicitors. The solicitor must keep his client up to date with everything that happened during completion. Conveyance fees for sellers’ solicitors are usually different from that of buyers’ solicitors. This is because the nature of work that a buyer’s solicitor does is distinct from that of a seller’s solicitor even when the two are involved in the same transaction. The two parties belong to different sides of the coin

Freeholders also need solicitors in their real estate transactions. A freeholder does not have to be a seller. A good example of a freeholder who is not a seller is a landlord. A landlord is not permanently exchanging his property. Therefore, he cannot be referred to as a seller. Owners must come up with rules that govern tenancy of their properties. These rules must conform to the law. Solicitors know which rules apply to tenanted properties. They are the ones that are best suited to help landlords come with proper tenancy agreements.

Real estate insurance firms must also use the services of solicitors.  Solicitors help insurance companies to come up with real estate insurance policies. This is because the solicitors know more about trends in real estate and how insurance companies can take advantage of changes in real estate ownership. Insurance firms also need solicitors to mediate between them and homeowners in case of disputes.  A new home buyer must work with a solicitor for an insurance firm if he wants to get his property covered. The buyer may have to pay solicitor fees for the insurance firm’s conveyance. Otherwise, it is the duty of the insurance firms to pay their own solicitors.

conveyancing quality scheme

What you need to know about conveyance quality scheme?

Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) is a special program that residential conveyancers who are registered by the Solicitor Regulation Authority are invited to join. Membership of the conveyance quality scheme means that a solicitor is committed to the best conveyancing practices possible. It is like an additional certificate that guarantees a solicitor a successful career in conveyance. CQS has his own standards and protocols. A firm that is joining CQS must be ready to change its standards of practice to match those of the program.  CQS is beneficial to both solicitors and their clients.

One of the things a client will look for in a solicitor is the qualifications that he has for the job. Clients are just solicitor’s bosses. They want the best out of their workers. One way of getting the best out of an employee is by ensuring that he is respected in his field.  CQS membership shows that a solicitor is properly qualified to offer conveyance services.

Conveyancing Quality Scheme Incentives

CQS offers solicitors various incentives for improving their performance.  CQS has a set of standards that solicitors may use in their day to work. These standards are derived from previous experience in conveyancing. They help conveyancers avoid inadvertent mistakes that they could make if they did not know how to go about certain situations. The standards are similar to the codes of ethics of the Solicitor Regulation Authority. They reinforce rather than negate the importance of codes of conduct of the SRA.

Members of CQS are the best in their business. CQS accept only those solicitors who have been approved by the SRA. These solicitors are further trained on the best conveyancing practices. Training seminars are organized regularly.  CQS brings together many solicitors. A solicitor, especially the young ones, gets an opportunity to learn from his colleagues.

CQS Best Practices

The CQS also ensures that a law firm is well connected. In their day to day work, solicitors need insurance firms, mortgage lenders, insurance  firms and solicitor regulators.  Buyers  expect solicitor to  is well connected to a mortgage lender. A solicitor who knows a mortgage lender will easily help his client get a loan. Mortgage lenders trust solicitors who are CQS members. This is because CQS stresses on best practices and ethical behavior. A solicitor with CQS membership will also easily help his client get insurance covers. Mortgage lenders and insurance firms have solicitors that they prefer working with. A borrower who hires a solicitor that is not on a mortgage lender’s list may have to pay fees for the mortgage lender’s solicitor or be denied a loan.

Solicitors who have CQS membership are relatively safe from the wrath of solicitor regulatory authorities. Every solicitor is bound to make a mistake. Some clients take even the smallest mistakes too seriously. A client can complain to a regulatory authority about a mistake and have a solicitor’s certificate suspended. CQS can intervene on behalf of its members. It can advise clients on how to solve the problem in a more simple manner rather than appeal to the Solicitor Regulation Authority.

disbursement definition

The basics of disbursement definition

Buyers are expected to pay disbursement fees during conveyance.  Disbursement fees are costs associated with buying a property. The disbursement definition given above does not include fees charged by solicitors or the actual costs of conveyance. These are different charges that are paid for by the buyer or seller through solicitors. The charges cover the cost of acquiring documents that are necessary for conveyance. These disbursement costs are usually fixed and are much lower than solicitors’ fees and cost of property.

Some disbursements are paid during conveyance while others after completion of sales. Those paid after completion of sales are for facilitation of property registration. The fees during conveyance are mostly for research purposes. Some solicitors include disbursement fees in their quotes. It is important for a buyer to verify whether disbursements are a part of the solicitor’s fees. Other solicitors may ask you to pay a fee just before each research is undertaking. You may also be spared the burden of paying disbursement fees until a conveyance is successfully completed.

Most important disbursement fees

Local Searches

One of the disbursement fees is the Local Search fee. This fee is paid in exchange of information from the Local Council of the district that the property is located. A buyer must know of all state development plans that affect his property. He must know whether a local road is privately or publicly maintained, or whether there is any railway line under his garden. This information is usually recorded in the Local Council offices.

Water and drainage research

The other disbursement fee is the water and drainage research fee. This fee is paid to the water supply and drainage. Water and drainage research elucidate how much water a property gets and how it is drained. The source of water and methods of processing the water are also included in the search. The search reveals property owners responsibility to the water company. Wastes emitted from properties must be handled in specific ways. Information about waste management is one of the results of water and sewerage research.

Land Registry search

Land Registry search fee is another disbursement fee. It is one of the most important disbursement fees. The Land Registry is responsible for keeping a record of all land owners. The Land Registry must record any changes in ownership. A buyer must confirm that the seller is indeed the owner of the property. Sellers usually send buyers a copy of title deed before exchanging contracts. This copy must be reviewed against the record in the office of the Land Registry. Changes in property registration such as the presence of a new mortgage or bankruptcy of the seller affect property ownership. A buyer who proceeds with conveyance despite these changes faces the possibility of disputes over ownership in the future.

Taxes

The property can only transfer when the seller has properly paid taxes on the property. Also the buyer has to pay taxes such as stamp duty tax for title deed to transfer.

These are the most important disbursement costs. There are many others. Conveyance is studded with disbursement costs. Not all these costs are paid for by one buyer or seller. The amount of cost you are paying for depends on what you are buying or selling. The more complicated conveyance is, the higher the disbursement cost becomes.

buying a house timeline

Overview of buying a house timeline

Buying a home does not need to be as long and challenging as it sometimes is. Sure it involves much work, but if done well with the right people the process could be fast and stress-free. Buying a house is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life and throughout the process, you need to ensure that you do everything correctly to avoid future problems. When you are buying a house timeline for the conveyancing is something you should understand to know the state of the transaction.

Conveyance is vital during the buying process. Some of the process are unique according to the state of the property, obtaining a mortgage etc. But the timeline of events can be similar in every conveyancing transaction. A solicitor or a conveyancer is responsible for all the legal activities pertaining to the conveyance transaction. You have to first contact a solicitor or conveyancer and notify them of your need for their services. This is the first time you will be required to part with some amount to cover the initial expenditure. After signing the Letter of Engagement and payment of the first fees the transaction can start.

The complete buying a house timeline usually takes between 6 and 12 weeks for completion in the UK. The conveyancer will start by contacting the seller to get a confirmation of the transaction. They will then request the draft contract which comes with crucial information about the piece of property like the title. If you want to buy the property as a group, then you will have to state the nature of your partnership.

Draft Contract

After everything is stated out clearly, the conveyancer will start his primary duty which is to draft the contract documents. He/she will also prepare the standard forms that you will have to go through; this will enable you to check if everything is as you want it to be. Here you will want to be very careful not to miss anything as every detail is important if you have a question feel free to contact your solicitor for advice.

Mortgage Clearance (if you are obtaining a mortgage)

If you are funding your purchase by mortgage, your solicitor will receive information about your mortgage and go through it to ensure that at everything is in order. He/she can also do all the legal work one behalf of your lender.

Surveys

There will usually be some questions asked and inquiries made by all the parties in the process. The solicitor will settle each and every one of them and once done you will be called to sign the contract and also any documents about the mortgage. You will then be required to transfer funds to your solicitor’s bank account for the exchange to clear in time.

Signing of contract

After signing a contract and getting a building insurance policy, you can exchange contracts with the seller. Take note that is the last stages of the transaction, once contracts exchanges hands; there is simply no turning back.

After the exchange of the contract, you will be legally bound to buy the property while the seller will also be obliged to sell. Any party who will attempt to back out of the will be liable to pay the other compensation for the losses incurred. When the contracts exchanges, the solicitor will deposit some cash in the sellers, account to act as security.

Completion

The deal will complete officially once you deposit all the amount in the seller’s account. Once done the seller will drop the keys at the real estate agent’s office where you can pick it.

licensed conveyancer check

How to conduct the licensed conveyancer check

Everyone understands that to transfer house from one title holder to another; the conveyancing process needs work successfully. There are many advantages of using licensed conveyancer whenever you are buying or selling the house. However, one must have some licensed conveyancer check to verify the authenticity of the conveyancer and to get the most of the advantages. However, before that it is important to understand what a licensed conveyancer is.

Who is a Licensed Conveyancer?

A licensed conveyancer is a qualified professional for property law who can practice conveyancing. However, they need to hold the license from the Council for Licensed Conveyancer also known as CLC in the United Kingdom. A licensed conveyancer has to go through all the examination to hold the license. However, interestingly, the license can be for limited time and at the same time, it can be for the full time as well. A limited license holder cannot start his professional conveyancing service, unlike the full-time. A limited and complete time licensed conveyancer must have 8 and 12 hours of professional training respectively by the Continuing Professional Development Training or CPD. The licensed conveyancer is also accountable to Authorized Conveyancing Practitioner Board apart from CLC.

Licensed Conveyancer Check

The criteria for a licensed conveyancer should match, and verified whenever you are searching for a licensed conveyancer. The licensed conveyancer check is a continuous process that starts from the beginning of the search. The first thing to verify is that whether the CLC regulates the conveyancer. It is relatively easy to find out the names of the enlisted conveyancer. The professional and the other related information must also verify accurately. There is no harm to contact CLC to cross check the authenticity of the conveyancer. The tests are vital for the conveyancer as it can ensure that the conveyancing is in the right hands.

Benefits

There are scores of benefits for using the licensed conveyancer. The first is that one can get trustworthy and professional services. The enlisted conveyancer undergoes training and certifications before holding the license, so the credibility and the exposure of the conveyancer are highly rated. There is a standard fee for the authorised holder that is regulated by the authority and one cannot violate the regulations. In case there is any discrepancies in the services and the payment for the conveyancing process during buying or selling of the house, you can have your complaint placed with the CLC. This ensures that the authorities will emphasise the interest of the consumer. These are enormous benefits but can only help when you opt for the licensed conveyancer.

This is the prime reason one must go for the licensed conveyancer and should carry out the licensed conveyancer check. This will ensure not only high-quality service but also security to the buyer or seller during conveyancing process.

Shared Ownership Explained

Shared Ownership Explained – How Government can help you?

Buying a house in the United Kingdom is the dream of every citizen but as always the financial constraints or the other reasons hold them back. Yes, some people are moving into the shared ownership with different housing associations but how helpful these schemes are and how to take advantages of it. Here is the shared ownership explained so that the core idea behind the ownership and the benefits are clear.

Shared Ownership Explained

The shared ownership is one of the finest schemes released by the government for some set of people and reasons. The first thing about the shared ownership is that you can enjoy your house even though you do not own it completely. The first thing that has to be understood is the basic concept of the shared ownership. The ownership of share simply justifies that the owner can buy part of the house and rest can be purchased when he has money. This was first allowed for the first time buyer, but now the government has extended it. However, this is not all. There are many things that one must consider as a part of the shared ownership. The mortgage, deposit, and the association are crucial parts of the shared ownership.

Mortgage and Deposit

Here is the relation between mortgage, deposit and the purchasing shared ownership explained. If a person buys a quarter part of the house from the housing association, he has to pay the purchase amount of the 25% of the house. He will give rent to the Housing Association for the remaining 75% of the house which you can later buy. However, the rules for mortgage and deposit do not change for the shared ownership. One must secure the deposit of 25% to get a mortgage. However, different schemes from the government further help the person to buy a house with mere 5% of deposit. Once you complete it, the conveyancing process starts and the 25% gets transferred to your name. You can follow the same suite next time and buy another 25% or remaining portions as part of the shared ownership.

How to sell shared ownership

This is one of the common questions that arise in the mind of the people. The first thing is that if you do not hold the entire property, you need to sell it to the same housing association you have bought it from. However, if you have bought the whole house but until 21 years, after 100% property is transferred to your name, the housing association would have the first right to buy it from you as per the scheme.

This is shared ownership explained in short, but one must understand that the scheme is to facilitate housing schemes to everyone, and none should leave the opportunity.

Conveyancing pre contract Inquiries

Conveyancing Pre contract Enquiries (UK)

When buying or selling the property, there is a list of points and other conveyancing pre contract enquiries that your solicitor will discuss with the other party.  A good amount of information resides in draft contracts which exchange between the solicitors. This includes terms of the transfer and include documents like Energy Performance Certificates and Property Information forms. However, it is important to have a series of enquiries lined up, unique to the property, so that you can make an informed decision before making a deal.

Analyze the local Market

It is always important first to be aware of the general market trends in the area.  Find out how much the properties nearby have been selling for, and the percentage of the original asking price that they sold at.  Also, check the asking prices of the local properties for sale, keeping in mind that if they have not sold for a few months, the asking price may be set too high.  This will help you come up with a general idea of how much to ask or offer, although things like interior renovations can cause fluctuations in properties that may appear similar. This is important for conveyancing pre contract enquiries.

When it comes time to make specific enquiries about a property you wish to buy, try to talk to the owners directly, rather than their solicitor. You will be able to get more personal information from their experiences, and they will also likely give you more honest answers, as they do not have the training that their solicitor does in speaking about a property. Try to get into their heads and understand why they are selling. You may ask them how long they lived there, and how long the previous owners did as well. Ask about pests, structural problems such as leaks and insulation, and whether the house is affected by any weather phenomena – is the house on a floodplain for example?

Direct contact with the Seller

You can even strike up a conversation with the neighbours to get some unbiased opinions on the area and possibly even about the property you are looking to buy.  Also, be sure to get receipts for anything with an existing warranty, or anything that has changed recently.

In some cases, it may be a good idea to have a professional survey done to the house and property.  This is sometimes necessary if the building is old or unusual, as the surveyors can uncover problems that the first owners potentially didn’t know about, or tried to cover up. At least you will not be bothered by other enquiries later. In some areas, properties are affected by other things such as historical sites and common land, mining areas, pipelines, noise abatement zones, and various other possibilities.  You can even get fined if your property is in a conservation area, and therefore require special approval before making any adjustments or changes at all.  Your solicitor can help you find this information, which could end up being a deal breaker on a property.

The most important thing is to imagine yourself using the property as you would once you’ve purchased it.  What direction does it face, will there be any sunlight? Do the taps work? Is the garage big enough? Is the yard too big? Be realistic and honestly ask yourself if you are satisfied before moving forwards with a deal.