What Is A Conveyance Solicitor?

land registrations
What Is A Conveyance Solicitor?

You may be familiar with the bureaucratic challenges that property sellers and buyers encounter in the UK. Explore the crucial role that conveyancing solicitors play in assisting clients with meeting legal requirements when purchasing new property.

What Does Conveyance Mean?

When real estate changes hands between buyers and sellers, a process known as “conveyancing” takes place. This involves not only transferring formal ownership of the property but also shifting legal liability to the new owner, which is crucial for finalising any real estate transaction.

The deed encompasses all administrative and legal tasks required to transfer property ownership from the seller to the buyer. It follows after a buyer makes an offer on a property and the seller accepts it.

Upon signing the contracts, transferring funds, paying stamp duty, and receiving legal paperwork from the land registration office, the conveyancing process is concluded.

Conveyance Solicitors

A qualified conveyancing solicitor is a legal professional who manages the conveyancing process for their clients. These experts typically have a background in various legal areas, although they may specialise in conveyancing.

If you’re in the process of writing a will while also purchasing a home, this legal knowledge can be beneficial. All solicitors in England and Wales are registered with the Law Society and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). In Scotland, solicitors are regulated by the Law Society of Scotland, and the conveyancing process differs from that in other parts of the UK.

What Are the Duties of Conveyance Solicitors?

Conveyancing solicitors oversee crucial aspects of property transactions, including providing legal advice, managing ownership transfers, handling payments, arranging registry options, and conducting local council searches. Some of their ongoing tasks include:

  • Offering Legal Advice: The solicitor conducts research and provides legal advice on various matters related to the property transaction. If there are aspects of the contract that are unclear or if you want to ensure you avoid mistakes, seeking legal advice before finalising the deal is advisable. Your solicitor can help protect your rights by adding extra conditions to the contract of sale based on property searches.
  • Transferring Title of Ownership: Drawing up paperwork for the transfer of ownership title is a primary responsibility of the solicitor. They prepare a “Contract of Sale” during the property transaction, handle the deposit transfer to the seller’s solicitor, manage the formal mortgage offer, and address all necessary conditions on your behalf.
  • Transfer of Payment: Once your offer on a property is accepted and deemed “sale agreed,” you will need to pay a booking deposit to the estate agency. This information is then forwarded to both your solicitor and the seller’s solicitor. Your solicitor manages the property deposit, ensuring that all financial and legal obligations related to the sale are finalised by the closing date.
  • Determining the Best Registry Option: When dealing with property paperwork, the solicitor can choose to use either the Registry of Deeds or the Land Registry. They research and determine the most suitable option based on your specific circumstances and needs.
  • Assisting with Local Council Searches: Sellers are required to disclose any significant issues with the property to the buyer before the sale is completed. Your solicitor conducts local council searches to identify any potential material problems associated with the property, ensuring transparency and compliance with legal requirements.

What Steps Are Involved in Conveyancing?

Before finalising a transaction, solicitors undertake various checks to ensure that the buyer is protected from potential losses or harm after the deal is completed. To efficiently carry out these checks, solicitors must follow specific procedures or steps. Here are the key ones:

  1. Verification of Identities: Solicitors verify the identities of all parties involved in the sale, including both the seller and the buyer. This involves conducting official identification checks using documents such as residency permits, driver’s licences, birth certificates, etc.
  2. Drafting of the Contract: The seller’s solicitor drafts a contract once the parties agree on the sale. This contract verifies the seller’s legal right to sell the property and includes all necessary title and governmental documentation.
  3. Performing Searches: Solicitors conduct or arrange various checks before finalising the contract. This includes searches and surveys that can significantly impact the property’s value. Thorough investigations can uncover issues such as boundary disputes, planning restrictions, or unauthorised alterations.

Some of these searches include:

  • Local registry searches
  • Local authority searches
  • Water authority searches
  • Environmental searches

In a typical property sale, both the buyer and the seller engage their solicitors. The responsibilities of each solicitor are as follows:

Seller’s Solicitor:

  • Provides an assurance that the seller’s mortgage (if applicable) will be paid off after the sale.
  • Prepares a completion statement detailing the final payment required to close the deal.

Buyer’s Solicitor:

  • Initiates the process of transferring the property title by filing a claim with the Land Registry.
  • Sends the client a completion statement outlining the final costs, including the solicitor’s fee, search charges, Land Registry fees, and any outstanding amounts on the property.

Conveyance Solicitor Salaries

Salaries for conveyancing advisors vary based on their level of expertise.

  • Newly trained or trainee advisors typically earn between £17,000 and £25,000.
  • Experienced conveyancing advisors can earn between £25,000 and £40,000.
  • Self-employed conveyancing advisors set their own wage rates.

Various factors influence pay, including location, sector, practice area, company size, abilities, and experience. Generally, commercial and industry-focused roles tend to offer higher salaries compared to positions in family and personal injury law. Advancement opportunities and responsibilities may come quicker in locations outside of London and within smaller organisations, though compensation may be lower in these settings.

Final Thoughts

Purchasing or selling a home is typically one of the most substantial financial transactions individuals undertake, making it crucial to proceed correctly. A conveyancing lawyer can assist in avoiding potential legal pitfalls and addressing concerns that could result in significant financial consequences. They serve as an invaluable resource, saving both time and money during the often stressful process of acquiring new property.

Avatar of DLS Solicitors by DLS Solicitors
7th May 2024
Avatar of DLS Solicitors
DLS Solicitors

Our team of professionals are based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. We offer clear, specialist legal advice in all matters relating to Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection.

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