Property & Conveyancing
This is the process of legally transferring ownership of property from one person or organisation to another. Whilst in theory it is straightforward, in almost all cases the buyer and seller often have different agendas and expectations, and the process is fraught with difficulty.
Clark Willis have over 50 years experience in handling every type of property transaction and we are able to guide our clients through the many pitfalls and problems.
Please fill in the form below to receive a conveyancing quote:
Our property lawyers are:
Mrs Jane Mafham-Jackson
Miss Nicola Moss
Miss Monika Williams
Guide to Buying or Selling your Home
Set out below are the basic mechanics of a transaction. Throughout the process if you would like more details on any particular stage please ask.
BUYING your Home
Stage 1: Sale Agreed
- Request the Contract/Agreement from the Seller's solicitors including the Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form and the Seller's Information Form
- Carry out and check the result of a local authority search, drainage search and any other necessary searches
- Raise Additional Enquiries of the Seller's solicitors as necessary
- Report to you on the contract papers and arrange for your signature of the contract
- Review your mortgage offer (if any) and any survey or valuation report and arrange for your signature to the Mortgage Deed
- Agree a date with you and the Seller's solicitors for exchange of contracts and completion
Stage 2: Exchange of Contracts
- Arrange for you to provide us with the deposit needed to exchange contracts
- Exchange contracts on your behalf and send the signed contract and deposit to the Seller's solicitors – this is the point you will become legally bound.
- Arrange final searches
- Request funds from you and or your lender
Stage 3: Completion
- Pay the balance of the purchase money to the Seller's Solicitors on completion
- Receive and check the title deeds received from the Seller's solicitors
- Submit your SDLT Return and your payment of any SDLT Tax due (if instructed)
- Register the transfer at the Land Registry
- Once registration of the property has been completed send the deeds to you and or your lender
SELLING your Home
Stage 1: Sale Agreed
- Obtain your title deeds from you or your lender. If your property is registered, an up-to-date copy of the register can be obtained from HM Land Registry
- Send you the Property Information Forms, Fittings and Contents Formand any other relevant form to complete and return
- Draft and submit the contract papers to the Buyer's solicitors
- Answer any specific requests raised by the Buyer's solicitors
- Send you the Contract for you to consider and sign
- Agree a date with you and your Buyer's solicitors for exchange of contracts and completion
Stage 2: Exchange of Contracts
- Exchange contracts and fix a completion date – this is the point you will become legally bound.
- Obtain a redemption figure from your Lender (if any)
- Check the draft Transfer Deed prepared by your Buyer's solicitors and arrange for you to sign it
Stage 3: Completion
- Receive the outstanding purchase money from the Buyer's solicitors
- Hand over the Transfer Deed and title deeds to the Buyer's solicitors
- Arrange for the redemption of any mortgage
- Pay your Estate Agents (if instructed) and forward any balance to you
We have set out below a list of links which you might find useful when considering buying or selling a property.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders
The Council of Mortgage Lenders will provide information guides covering home buying and selling, equity release, buy to let products and mortgage payment protection insurance
CML Mortgage Guide
CML Mortgage Calculator
Electrical Installations - NICEIC
NICEIC is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Electrical Safety Council and acts as the electrical contracting industry's independent voluntary regulatory body for electrical installation safety matters throughout the UK. It maintains and publishes registers of electrical contractors that have been assessed against scheme requirements, including the national electrical safety standard BS 7671, the IEE Wiring Regulations
Electrical Works - ELECSA
Information on the current law concerning electrical installations and work carried out to domestic premises, and when such work has to be notified to the local authority building control department.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA)
The FSA will provide you with impartial free financial information.
FSA Budget Calculator
A Budgeting tool/calculator to help you budget
FSA Guide to Buying a Home
Information on the costs involved in buying a home and types of mortgage available
FSA Product Comparison Tables
Information to help you compare different mortgage products
Gas Installations and Safety - CORGI
Information on gas installations and an up-to-date register of qualified gas installers.
Halifax House Price Calculator
Check the value of your home with the Halifax House Price calculator.
Health Protection Agency - Radiation Protection Division
Information regarding the likely presence of Radon gas in your area
HIPS - Home Information Packs
The current requirements for the production of a sellers home information pack.
HM Land Registry - HMLR
The Land Registry website with information on what it does and the services it offers
HM Revenue & Customs (formerly the Inland Revenue)
The Leasehold Advisory Service
This organisation have a very useful guide 'Living in Leasehold Flats - A Guide to How it Works', which sets out your rights and responsibilitie.
National House-Building Council - NHBC
The NHBC is the standard setting body and leading warranty and insurance provider for new and newly converted homes in the UK.
Planning - The UK Government's Planning Portal
The online Planning and Building Regulations resource including the National Planning Application Register and a simple guide to Planning Permission and Building Regulations around your home
Redirecting your mail and notifiying others of your move
Replacement Glazing in Homes - FENSA
All replacement glazing in homes comes within the scope of the Building Regulations. If you have had windows and doors replaced you must ensure that they get a Certificate of Compliance, from FENSA or from Local Authority Building Control.
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors can provide information regarding Surveys and other useful property related information
Stamp Duty Land Tax - SDLT
Information on SDLT and when and where it applies
The Government direct.gov.uk website
Information on central and local government online services
We also set out below an explanation of some of the terms used in the conveyancing process
The document which regulates the terms agreed between the Seller and the Buyer. It includes the description of the Property, the Purchase Price, the deposit payable and whether any monies are being paid in respect of additional items which the Seller is selling to the Buyer.
A Search made to check you are not bankrupt.
The date when the property legally becomes the Buyer's and they can move into it. It is agreed before exchange of Contracts.
In cases of newbuild properties, when the property is built, the Developer's Solicitors will issue a “Completion Notice” to the Buyer's solicitors stating that they have a certain number of days in which to arrange for completion to take place – usually in 14/28 working days of such Notice being served.
Upon exchange of Contracts a deposit of 10% is usually paid, although it can be reduced by agreement. If it is the Buyer is generally liable to pay a full 10% deposit if the transaction does not complete.
Early Redemption Fee
A fee sometimes charged by Lenders if you are paying off a mortgage or loan early. If you are uncertain as to whether this applies to you, check it immediately.
Exchange of Contracts
The process of each party’s solicitor passing to the other their part of the contract/agreement. Once contracts/agreements are exchanged the transaction becomes legally binding. Any Deposit will usually be paid at this stage.
Fixtures Fittings and Contents Form
A form completed by the Seller listing items included, or excluded from the sale. It is part of the Contract provided to the Buyer's Solicitors and usually attached to or referred to in it.
Groundsure Environmental Search
An environmental screening report.
Home Information Packs
From 21st May 2010, there is no longer the requirement for a Home Information Pack.
The 1st October 2008 marked the final roll out of the Energy Perfromance Certificate (EPC) to all buildings including rented homes, and commercial properties under 2,500 sq metres. Sellers are under a duty to make available an EPC to a prospective purchaser at the earliest opprotunity, and certainly when they provide any information in writing or when viewing takes place. An EPC has to be made available before exchange of contracts and given to the purchaser on completion.
Know Your Neighbour Planning Report
A report showing planning applications submitted to the Local Authority relating to properties and land neighbouring the subject property (which would not be revealed by a Local Search).
A Government Agency which records the ownership of land including, what the land is, who owns it, when it was purchased, the price paid and matters that affect or are registered against it. Not all land is registered however.
An owner of a Leasehold property owns the property for a limited period of time; such as 99 or 999 years. When the lease expires then the property, has to be handed back to the freehold owner
Local Authority Search
A search made of the Local Authority, the results of which give information regarding the roads near to the property, Planning Applications, Conservation Areas, and other matters.
Usually found in connection with Leasehold properties or blocks of flats. An independent Management Company is often appointed by a Landlord to deal with rent and Service Charge collection.
A loan secured by or upon land or property.
A document used to record the terms of the mortgage and to enable the Lender to register it at the Land Registry.
Pre-Contract /Additional Enquiries
These are Enquiries made of a Seller/Seller's solicitors by a Buyer’s solicitor after receipt of the Contract documentation. We normally recommend that our own Buyers themselves prepare and provide to us a list of any Questions that they have regarding the Property in order that we may raise those at the same time as our own Additional Enquiries.
Redemption of Mortgage/Loan
The repayment of any mortgage, loan or charge secured on the property.
Seller's Property Information Form
A document which provides the Sellers answers to a standard list of questions and which forms part of the Contract. The answers cover who is responsible for the boundaries, alterations to the property, Guarantees, and disputes.
A Government tax payable on all purchases over £125,000 at the following rates:
from the 3rd Sept 2009 (but this is subject to government review)
£0.00 - £125,000 0% of the Purchase Price
£125,001 - £250,000 1% of the Purchase Price
£250,001 - £500,000 3% of the Purchase Price
£500,001 and over 4% of the Purchase Price
In certain areas properties up to a Purchase Price of £150,000 are exempt if the property lies in a qualifying area - to check if the property lies in a qualifying area a post code search can be made from the HMRC website - www.hmrc.gov.uk/so/dar/dar-search.htm
A report on the physical state and value of a property prepared by a qualified surveyor who will inspect the property.
Telegraphic Transfer Fee
This is a fee to cover the bank charges incurred by us and our own costs when we have to send 1 [one] sum of money by Bank Telegraphic Transfer. On a Purchase this will be to the Sellers solicitors and on a sale to your Lenders.
Title Deeds/Official Copy Entries
Documents detailing the ownership of the property and legal matters which affect it.
The document which transfers the property from the Seller to the Buyer, and which is handed over on completion.
A basic report prepared by your Lenders surveyor for the Lenders benefit only. Buyers should not rely upon it and should obtain their own more detailed survey.
Checks upon the water supply and drainage to and from a Property.