Purchasing a New Property - The Conveyancing Process
A guide to understanding the conveyancing process when purchasing a property.
Purchasing a property can be an exciting but daunting process. Once you have successfully carried out your search for your ideal property and have had an offer accepted, what happens next?
A conveyancing solicitor will carry out the formalities of purchasing your new property and will go through the legal process.
When buying a property, the solicitor will need to gather information about you and your circumstances, this includes verifying your identification. At Middleton Ross, we use our digital verification tool Amiqus to help us carry out checks on our clients including verifying your ID. Our digital platform allows you to complete the checks securely, which can be done remotely, or you can do them whilst in our office with a member of the team. The solicitor will also be required to obtain a source of funds information, to ensure we meet our anti-money laundering obligations. This will be included as part of the Amiqus check sent to you.
Once these have been received and checked by the solicitor, a written offer will be sent to the selling solicitor on your behalf. Your solicitor will later receive a formal acceptance, along with other relevant information, including titles and the property searches to review. The searches will usually disclose information such as if the property is served by mains water and drainage, any notices affecting the property issued by the local authority, as well as the listed building and conservation area status. The Home Report, commissioned by the seller, might also include useful information for the solicitor to review, including the property questionnaire, which is a list of questions answered by the seller on various aspects of the sale.
If you are using a mortgage to buy the property, a mortgage application will need to be processed before the formal offer of loan is issued to your solicitor. Once this is complete and the relevant documentation is signed by you the lender will place a charge over the legal title of your property (called a Standard Security), which gives them the ability to repossess the property if payments are not kept up to date.
Your solicitor will ask you to sign paperwork to allow an LBTT return to be sent to Revenue Scotland on your behalf. LBTT was formerly known as stamp duty. LBTT is payable on transactions over a certain price and Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) is usually payable on a second home or buy-to-let.
Once all of the matters listed above have been dealt with, your solicitor will conclude missives on your behalf, which commits both the seller and purchaser to the transaction, with the completion date (often called the date of entry) formally set.
The completion date will be in sight and your solicitor will need to organise the purchase funds. This includes the solicitor requesting funds from the mortgage provider. The legal expenses and any deposit are collected from the client ahead of the completion date, so that the solicitor has everything in hand. On the day of completion, your solicitor will send the funds to the seller’s solicitor and will notify you when the purchase has completed and you can then collect the keys for the property.
After settlement, your solicitor will prepare the documents to register the title in your name on the Land Register and will settle and arrange for any LBTT to be paid. Once registration has been completed you will receive a copy of the up-to-date title showing your name against the title. This is now an electronic title that is sent by e-mail, but a hard copy can be sent to you on request.
Our team of conveyancing solicitors will guide you through the purchase from start to finish and answer any questions you may have. To discuss your requirements, contact us today or request an estimate.