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What is conveyancing?

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In this modern era of convenience shopping, buying a house is probably the most longwinded purchase you'll ever make. This is not just to deter impulse buyers, though part of the time does elapse as a result of due diligence by the lenders of the mortgage. One of the major time-eaters is the conveyancing process, which can easily take two or even three months to complete.

You will need to use a solicitor or licensed conveyor to carry out all the legal work involved with selling a property. Make sure that whoever you choose has experience in this kind of work. Click here for more on choosing a solicitor.

You should start thinking about hiring a solicitor as soon as you have decided to sell your house. There are plenty of things that they can be getting on with whilst the estate agent is preparing to market your property, such as drawing up a draft contract and retrieving the title deeds for your home. The more time you give them, the less excuse they will have for delays.

The conveyancing process begins in earnest once an offer has been made and accepted on a property and both parties have exchanged details of their solicitors. However, even once you have accepted the buyer's offer, you must remember that it has been made subject to contract and survey. There are still quite a number of things that can go wrong during the process of conveyancing, so don't rest upon your laurels just yet.

The conveyancing process essentially involves the transfer of "good" title (meaning that the vendor is actually in a legal position to sell) or ownership from one party to another. It sounds very simple, but to be fair, there is quite a bit of work involved. Considering you are unlikely to bear witness to much physical evidence of the work a solicitor does, it can be a little reassuring to know what exactly they are up to for all that time.

Your solicitor then liases with the buyer's solicitor at the lightening pace of a snail on a tea break to complete all of the legal documentation involved in transferring ownership of a property from yourself to proud new owner-to-be of your home. Your solicitor has much less to do throughout the process of conveyancing than does the buyer's solicitor. He or she will perform much more of a liaison role than the buyer's solicitor, who will be responsible for a great deal more activity. For a detailed understanding of the activities involved, click here.

Why use a solicitor? Can it really be that hard? Well, if your lender permits it (which many won't unless you are qualified), and have the time, confidence, intellectual capability and really want to, then you can do it yourself. However, it is very important that the work is all carried out correctly and be prepared for a fair amount of detailed work involved. Remember that if you take on the responsibility yourself and get it wrong, you will have no redress. It will be on your head.

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