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Sale & purchase

What Makes Conveyancing Complex?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring title (ownership) of a property from one person to another. It is a lengthy process that takes on average around 12 weeks or more, based on the circumstances. The process includes legal and administrative work as well as negotiating with parties involved in the transaction. The very nature of the conveyancing process makes it complex. This post will take you through the conveyancing basics (that will explain the complexity of conveyancing) and why you need a conveyancing lawyer or local conveyancer.

Basics of Conveyancing

When a purchase or sale of a house or flat occurs in the UK, it has to go through a multi-stage legal process known as conveyancing. There is no standard classification of the different steps of conveyancing, but it can be described as a five-step process:

  • Pre-contract stage;
  • Exchange of contract;
  • Pre-completion;
  • Funds collection and transfer of ownership – completion;
  • Post completion.

The pre-contract stage is the longest which starts with a buyer making an offer on a property, obtaining advice from a surveyor or valuer to accurately value the property, performing searches, obtaining a mortgage offer, negotiating with other parties involved to define the terms of contracts which leads to the preparation of a draft contract.

Once the buyer and seller have agreed the terms of the contract and a completion date, the exchange of contracts takes place and the necessary paperwork to facilitate the transaction has been performed. After the exchange of contracts, parties cannot back out of the transaction. If, in the unlikely event, either party is unable to complete the sale on the agreed date, that party will be legally required to pay any penalties and may be liable for any losses incurred by the other party.

The title of ownership and transfer of funds is set up by the conveyancing solicitor to be finalized on the day of completion, along with registering with the Land Registry the purchase of the property with the details of the new owners.

Types of Conveyancing

There are two different types of conveyancing: one for unregistered land and one for registered land. According to the HM Land Registry, around 13% of property in England and Wales remain unregistered.  If a property is unregistered, the seller must prove the chain of ownership and that they hold the title or ownership, or title deeds, for a period of 15 years or more and demonstrate they have the legal right to sell the property.

If you are selling registered land, the process is less complex because usually the title deeds or title of ownership specifies the owner of the land and they have the legal right to sell it.

Why do you Need a Conveyancing Lawyer?

With the average property in the UK costing more than £260,000 it would be sensible to use the services of a specialist conveyancing lawyer to ensure the legal work, administrative processes, background checks, property surveys and negotiations are handled professionally and accurately. To exemplify the point, even with specialist lawyers handling conveyancing, it has the highest negligence rate of all legal sectors.  

Phew! Conveyancing are specialist conveyancing lawyer in London who can help you buy or sell a property anywhere in England.

If you want a quick, free conveyancing quote for your purchase or sale, get in touch with Phew! Conveyancing.



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