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Conveyancing FAQ

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What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the process of transferring ownership of property or land from one person to another.

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How long will my conveyancing take?

This will depend on a number of factors, such as:

  • How long the chain is, that is the number of other transactions linked together. The longer the chain, the more coordination of dates is required and the more likelihood of a problem occurring.
  • Do you require a mortgage and have you got the offer in place?
  • Are the other parties to the transaction willing to move quickly with the transaction?

If a transaction goes ahead without any major problems then in can often complete in around 6 weeks. This is only a very general guide. Transactions often take longer than this, but some can be quicker.

Here at Carltons solicitors we will do everything possible to ensure a quick and efficient transaction and to work with you on proposed moving dates where practical.

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What are disbursements?

Disbursements are expenses which are incurred on your behalf during the conveyancing process.

These are things such as Land Registry Fees and property searches. Your solicitor will give you a full breakdown of any likely disbursements.

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What is 'exchange of contracts'?

Exchange of contracts means the transactions has become binding. On exchange of contracts the completion date (moving date) is confirmed. Contracts are exchanged between solicitors, on the telephone. You do not need to be present for us to exchange contracts.

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When can I book my removals?

It is best to avoid booking your removals until after contracts have been exchanged. Before exchange of contracts, the moving date is not definite and you may end up losing money if it changes after you make your booking.

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What happens on the completion date?

On completion the following will happen:

  • The buyer's solicitors send the seller's solicitors the money needed to complete the purchase.
  • If you are buying, we will arrange for your mortgage lender to send us your mortgage money on the completion date.
  • If you are selling, we will pay off your mortgage when we receive the money from your buyer's solicitor.
  • When the money has changed hands, keys must be handed into or collected from the estate agents (depending on whether you are selling or buying). We will let you know when it is key hand-over time.

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Do I need a survey when buying a property?

If you are obtaining a mortgage your lender will have the property inspected to see if it is suitable for them to lend against. It is important to realise that this is a very rudimentary valuation aimed only at protecting the lenders investment and not your interests.

For an extra fee you have the option of having a survey done which will provide you with more detailed information about the property, and it may highlight any problems with the property that you should be aware of.

It is often advisable to have a more detailed survey carried out on older properties, or simply if you want the additional peace of mind that a detailed survey can bring.

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We are unmarried and I am putting a bigger deposit into the property. Can I protect it?

If you are putting unequal amounts into the property the person who is paying the larger amount can protect that money by a “trust deed”.

This is a legal document which sets out who has put what into the property and it outlines who will get what from the proceeds of the property in the event of separation. For example, it can state that if the house is sold, the person who put in the deposit gets that amount first, before the remainder of the value is shared out.

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I’ve had a quote from you. Are there any hidden charges?

Here at Carltons Solicitors we operate a strict ‘No Hidden Charges’ quotation system, unlike some firms offering conveyancing services. Wecontact us want to provide transparent pricing and will always quote you honestly. A quote for Conveyancing is made up of two parts, the legal fee (our fee for doing the work) and the disbursements (expenses incurred on your behalf, such as searches).

We will quote you a fixed legal fee to cover the work. We will also quote you all the standard disbursements for your transaction based on the information we have at the time.

Fees and disbursements will only ever change if something comes to light during the Conveyancing process which was unforeseen at the time the quote was given. We will always contact you before incurring additional expenses on your behalf.

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What will I be charged if my transaction falls through?

Should your matter become abortive for any reason then your file will be costed for the work that has been done. Our fees are calculated mainly by reference to the time spent by the fee earner and the staff dealing with the transaction or case.

The time charged means all the time spent on your matter; this will include attendance upon the client and others; any time spent in travelling; time spent in considering; preparing and working on papers and correspondence; making and receiving telephone calls in units of one tenth of an hour. The hourly charge rate will be set out in our Initial letter. This also applies if your matter does not go through in the normal way.

We shall endeavour to advise you should we feel that there has been a change of circumstances in your matter which affects our initial costs quote. Any disbursements incurred will also be added to your abortive invoice.

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