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What do conveyancers do?

In the UK, conveyancers are legal professionals who specialise in the legal aspects of transferring property ownership from one person or entity to another. Their primary role is to manage the legal process of buying or selling real estate, ensuring that the transfer of property ownership is smooth and legally valid. Conveyancers can either be qualified solicitors or licensed conveyancers.

Here are some of the key tasks that conveyancers typically perform in the UK:

  • Title checks: Conveyancers review the property’s title deeds and other relevant documents to ensure that the seller has the legal right to sell the property and that there are no undisclosed encumbrances or issues.
  • Property searches: They conduct various property searches to identify any potential problems that may affect the property, such as planning permissions, environmental issues, or local development plans.
  • Drafting and reviewing contracts: Conveyancers prepare and review the legal documents, including the sale contract, to ensure that all the terms and conditions are fair and accurate.
  • Liaising with parties: They act as intermediaries between the buyer, seller, mortgage lender, and any other relevant parties. They communicate the necessary information and handle negotiations between these parties.
  • Managing finances: Conveyancers handle the financial aspects of the property transaction, such as holding and transferring funds for the purchase or sale.
  • Preparing for completion: They make sure that all the required paperwork is in order, and all necessary conditions are met before the completion of the sale or purchase.
  • Registering the transfer: Conveyancers are responsible for registering the change of ownership with the Land Registry after the completion of the transaction.
  • Dealing with Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT): Conveyancers calculate the amount of SDLT payable and ensure that it is paid to the government.
  • Providing legal advice: They offer legal advice and guidance throughout the property transaction process, ensuring their clients understand their rights and obligations.
  • Handling post-completion matters: After completion, conveyancers tie up any loose ends, such as paying off any outstanding fees or mortgages, and providing their clients with the necessary legal documentation.

In Scotland they have a completely different system and most conveyancers in England and Wales cannot deal with any property transactions outside of England and Wales

About the Author
Angela Neale, Partner, Head of Residential Property

Specialises in: Residential Property

If you require any further information regarding property conveyancing, or any other matter related to Residential Property purchases and sales, please contact Angela Neale in the Residential Property department at Comptons Solicitors LLP. ( / 020 7482 9506).