Buying, selling and remortgaging a property can be a complex and time-consuming process for any home owner. This step-by-step guide to conveyancing can advise you on what you need to do from start to finish.

Why do I need a conveyancer?

Most home buyers and sellers choose to use a conveyancer because the legal process is complex and open to potential pitfalls. Mistakes can be costly. Conveyancers are lawyers qualified to look after your interests, and those of your mortgage lender, throughout your sale or purchase transaction.

Do I need a conveyancer and a solicitor?

No. It is possible for you to ‘do-it-yourself’ but this is not recommended. Also, if your transaction involves a mortgage then most mortgage lenders will insist on a conveyancer being instructed to manage their involvement in the process of buying or selling a property.

Do I need a conveyancer when buying a house?

No. It is possible for you to ‘do-it-yourself’ but this is not recommended. Crucially, you cannot buy a house without going through the conveyancing process, which is the legal process of transferring the property from one owner to another. It is the conveyancer’s role to manage this process for you. They will conduct appropriate searches, investigate title, deal with your offer of mortgage and effect registration of your new ownership following completion. We have a dedicated team at BBH Legal who are experienced in work of this kind.

A house being sold - BBH legal services can help you buy, sell, or remortgage your property

Do I need a conveyancer when selling a house?

While you are able to manage the conveyancing process yourself when selling your home, we recommend hiring a conveyancer to handle the process. A conveyancer will be able to deal with the legal process of selling your home, and manage the transaction ensuring a smooth transfer of ownership to your buyer.

Do I need a conveyancer for a remortgage?

Depending on your lender you don’t always need a conveyancer if you’re remortgaging. Also, a conveyancer isn’t essential when borrowing more money, or moving to a new rate or deal, with your current lender. However, some lenders may insist on using a conveyancer to represent their interests and you will need to seek legal expertise from a conveyancer if you are changing or removing names on your mortgage.

Buying a property

If you are purchasing a property, and have nominated us as your chosen solicitor, these are the steps you will need to take:

  • Having found a property you want to buy, instruct us to act on your behalf and apply for a mortgage
  • Once we receive the initial instruction, we will open the file and send you initial paperwork
  • You complete the paperwork and return it to us
  • We speak with the seller’s solicitors to receive the contract and mortgage offer
  • You send our fees
  • We raise enquiries with the seller’s solicitors and, once satisfied, send your contract report to the property, alongside documents to be signed, the mortgage deed, and details of how to transfer your deposit to us
  • You sign and return the documents to us, and pay the deposit ahead of exchanging contracts
  • We discuss the date of completion with you – this is the day you can move into the property
  • We exchange contracts on your behalf, meaning you are now legally bound to purchase the property
  • We request money from you and the mortgage lender and, on the day of completion, funds are transferred to the seller’s solicitors. You are now the legal owner of the property
  • Finally, we register you as the owner of the property with HM Land Registry.

Selling a property

BBH can help you sell your property. Here is a summary of the steps you’ll take:

  • You accept the offer and nominate us
  • We will send paperwork for you to sign and return to us
  • Once you have returned this, we obtain office copies and a redemption figure for existing mortgages on the property
  • If the property is leasehold, we will request information from the freeholder management company
  • We will send a draft contract pack to the buyer’s solicitor and, once approved, send to you for approval
  • You sign the document and return it to us
  • We receive confirmation from the buyer’s solicitor that they are ready to proceed
  • We check the completion date – when the new person moves into the house – with you, and exchange contracts
  • We obtain any final redemption figures on existing mortgages
  • Once we receive the funds from the buyer’s solicitor, they can complete the sale. This includes redeeming existing mortgages, paying the estate agent and transferring the final funds to you.

Remortgaging a property

If you are looking to remortgage your property, here is the conveyancing process you’ll need to follow:

  • You will first apply for a mortgage and nominate us as your solicitor
  • We will receive the initial instruction, open a file and send you the initial paperwork
  • You complete the paperwork and return it to us
  • We obtain office copies and check for potential issues with regards to the property
  • We request a redemption figure for any existing loans on property
  • We await the mortgage offer from the new lender
  • Once the offer has been received, we send a mortgage report and mortgage deed to you
  • You sign and return the mortgage deed to us
  • We apply for the final redemption figure, conduct final searches, arrange local search indemnity insurance and submit a Certificate of Title for research of funds
  • We receive a mortgage advance from the new lenders
  • On the day of completion, we redeem any charges secured on the property
  • We pay the proceeds to you by your preferred method
  • We register the mortgage at HM Land Registry
  • We receive a Title Information Document (TID) from the Land Registry on completion of registration
  • Finally, we send a copy of the TID to you and the lender.

This guide to the conveyancing process is not a substitute for expert legal advice. If you are planning on selling, buying or remortgaging your home, contact BBH Legal Services Ltd by calling 0800 051 4218.