Any lengthy legal process has the risk of things going wrong and conveyancing is no different. There are many steps, each with a variety of considerations that need to be taken into account. While expert conveyancers will be aware of these pitfalls and employ measures to avoid them, sometimes events are simply out of our control. As such, it pays for buyers and sellers to know what can go wrong, why, and when.
In this blog, we’ll be shedding light on all the things that can wrong during conveyancing so you can ensure your process is as smooth as possible.
What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is a term that refers to legal advice and support that is specifically related to property both residential and commercial. It concerns the legal process of transferring the ownership of a property from one person to another. This work is overseen and completed on behalf of buyers and sellers by a conveyancer – a lawyer specialising in the law surrounding property transactions.
Conveyancing for a property purchase usually takes between 18 and 24 weeks and around 10 weeks for a sale, although these are rough estimates. The duration can vary due to market conditions, property chains, delays, and, of course, things that go wrong.
As you might guess, there are many stages to the property conveyancing process. They are simplified as:
- Gather initial paperwork and draft the contract.
- Arrange a mortgage.
- Forms relating to the property completed and returned.
- Conduct property surveys and searches and review findings.
- Approve draft contract.
- Obtain mortgage offer and pay deposit.
- Exchange of contracts.
- Completion and transfer of ownership.
- Land Registry is informed of the transaction.
For more information, read our blog ‘Is a conveyancer the same as a solicitor?’.
Buyer Seller conflict
During conveyancing, the buyer and seller must agree to the terms of the property sale. These ongoing communications begin once the offer has been formally accepted and can continue until the exchange of contracts, where the sale becomes legally binding. Issues can therefore be raised at any stage of the process before this takes place.
Conflict between buyer and seller can occur due to a range of things, such as fixtures and fittings, price, and the entry date. Where disagreements are significant or concern multiple areas, offers can be renegotiated. This involves solicitors on both sides on the sale meeting to discuss potential compromises. Our conveyancing services include professional legal representation to ensure you get the best deal possible.
Delays in funding
Conveyancing can be held up if there is a delay in the lender granting approval for the buyer’s mortgage. As this is essential to allow the process to progress, funding delays can have a knock-on effect. Similarly, mortgage valuations, while quick to complete, can take lenders a while to arrange.
A property sale also has the potential to take a long time from start to finish, sometimes due to unavoidable external factors. When this happens, there is risk of the buyer’s mortgage offer expiring during the conveyancing process. They may have to apply for a new offer as a result.
Issues with paperwork
Completing any kind of property transaction is a complex legal process that comes with numerous documents. Many of these will need to be exchanged between the parties involved to be viewed, signed, and witnessed in some cases. Keeping on top of all the necessary paperwork in an organised fashion is one of the most common obstacles in conveyancing.
Sellers should note that they must provide documents relating to any property alterations made by themselves or a previous proprietor.
When property surveys are carried out, the primary reason is to identify any defects in the property. Examples include structural damage, poor plumbing, badly maintained features, and more. When problems are reported, a decision must be made as to how much the remedial work will cost, as well as who will implement it and cover the costs. Property survey results are a common cause of renegotiation during conveyancing.
Ensuring a smooth conveyancing process
Don’t be put off from buying or selling due to potential risks of the above. A team of competent property conveyancing solicitors will be intimately aware of where the conveyancing process can go wrong. As such, they should follow the best practices to make sure sale goes through smoothly.
One way to help avoid multiple areas of risk is to have clear and open channels of communication. This ensures that documents can be signed and sent off promptly, in turn helping to avoid delays.
Similarly, time can be saved by being organised. Before the conveyancing process begins proper, it’s recommended that both parties gather all documentation they think will be relevant to the sale. Buyers and sellers should also keep thorough records of all correspondence, so points can be easily referred to. This will be helpful in resolving any issues that arise.
Professional and quick conveyancing Cramlington
If you’re looking for property conveyancing solicitors near me to help you experience a stress-free transaction, Toomey Legal can help. We strive to make conveyancing straightforward for buyers and sellers alike. This has been achieved for clients in the past through our extensive legal knowledge. Our team knows what can go wrong in property transactions, so we take pre-emptive action to avoid issues. Contact us today and get a fixed fee quote.