If you’re in the process of buying or selling a property, you’ll need a solicitor to do your conveyancing. Although you may already know this, you may not be 100% sure what conveyancing actually is.
If this is the case, don’t worry – you’re not alone! We’re here to demystify everything. In this guide, we’ll talk you through exactly what conveyancing is, who does it, why you need it, and what you should expect from the process.
What is conveyancing?
In a nutshell, conveyancing is the “legal” transfer of a property from one owner to another. Any admin work needed to make sure a house purchase is legally valid falls under this term. The conveyancing process is considered completed once signed contracts are exchanged between the buyer and seller. The process starts when an offer is accepted on a house and ends when the buyer has the keys.
Who needs conveyancing?
If you’re buying or selling property, you’ll need to go through the conveyancing process.
Who carries out the conveyancing?
While it’s possible to do conveyancing yourself, (as long as you’re not using a mortgage) it’s a complex process, with huge consequences if not done correctly. That’s why it’s generally advised that you arrange for a conveyancing professional to help you. By handing it over to a property solicitor or a licensed conveyancer, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that you’ll be 100% legally protected when you sell or buy your house.
What does a conveyancing solicitor do?
Depending on whether you’re selling or buying a property, your conveyancer will play slightly different roles. However, their key job is to make sure your property’s title deeds, along with the land it sits on, get transferred correctly from the old owner to the new one. If you’re the buyer, your conveyancer will collaborate with the seller’s conveyancer and vice versa.
By the end of this process, if you’re buying the property you’ll become the legal owner of the property, and if you’re selling, you’ll be removed as the legal owner.
Buying a Property: What a Conveyancing Solicitor will do
Your conveyancing solicitor will carry out a number of other important tasks. If you’re buying property, it’s your property solicitor’s job to:
- Carry out local authority searches in relation to the property to check for any issues with the property.
This will include checking any forthcoming planning issues, such as transport or building plans that are likely to affect the home you want to buy. It will also include an environmental report which will check that the house was built on good land, whether or not it’s liable to flooding etc.
- Request and obtain a copy of your mortgage offer
This will contain your mortgage lenders’ instructions for the conveyancer to act on their behalf.
- Liaise with your property’s seller’s solicitor to receive a contract pack
This will include the draft contract which specifies the terms of the purchase/sale
- Organise the potential completion dates with the seller’s solicitor
They’ll liaise between the buyer and seller and organise a completion date – this date will depend on the property chain involved in the sale.
- Draft a deed transferring title in the property to the buyer
The buyer’s solicitor will draft a deed transferring title in the property to the buyer and give the lending institution a certificate of title. This is a legally binding document and will determine that the property belongs to the new buyer.
- Transfer the signed transfer deeds to the seller’s conveyancer
- Forward the title deeds to your mortgage lender
- Transfer the property’s deposit to the seller’s conveyancer
- Swap the signed contracts with the seller’s conveyancer on the agreed date
- Request payment of the mortgage advance from your lender
- Transfer the balance of the purchase price (less the deposit already paid) to the seller’s conveyancer.
- Forward documentation regarding the transfer of ownership to the Land Registry
- Check whether the capital gains tax (CGT) has been paid by the seller
Selling Your Property: What a Conveyancing Solicitor will do
If you’re selling your property, it’s your conveyancing solicitor’s job to carry out the following tasks:
- Draw up the draft contract
This will detail what you intend to include within the price of the property, along with a suggested date of completion. This will then be sent to the buyer for approval.
- Negotiate on your behalf the terms of the draft contract depending on what the buyer requests
Any issues between the two parties about the draft contract will need to be resolved at this point
- Liaise with the buyers’ solicitor to organise a potential completion date
- Receive the signed transfer deeds from the buyers’ conveyancer
- Exchange finalised contracts
- Receive the property’s deposit from the buyer on the sellers’ behalf
- Hand over documents to the buyer that proves ownership of the property
- Pay off any outstanding mortgage from the proceeds of the sale
How much does conveyancing cost?
Prices for conveyancing services can depend on which solicitor/conveyancer you choose, where you’re buying or selling a property and the value of the home. However, you should never expect to pay more than around €1500 + VAT.
It’s important to check exactly what a conveyancer is offering within their quote. While the above tasks should all be included, check that your chosen solicitor’s processes are included in a fixed fee – this way you’ll avoid any nasty billing surprises later.
How should I choose a solicitor?
Buying and selling a property can be a stressful process, so it’s important that the conveyancer you choose makes you feel as at ease as possible. At the end of the day, you’re trusting someone with organising the legal ownership of your home – so feeling like you’re being looked after and prioritised is really important.
By opting for a solicitor that shows a human side and empathises with the stress and financial implications of buying/selling property, it can make the process far less challenging.
Reviews are also really useful. Check what previous clients have to say about a firm – this will say a lot about how a company treats their clients in general.
Gibson & Associates’ Conveyancing Package
At Gibson & Associates Solicitors, we’re proud to offer an extremely valuable and competitive conveyancing service, with added extras designed to make the process as seamless and as stress-free as possible. These include:
- Competitive, fixed fees
- A 21-day closing service, saving many of our clients up to a month’s rent if buying from a rented property
- A dedicated point of contact with an assigned member of our team
- Appointments via video call, so you don’t have to travel to our offices
- General advice and guidance on buying and selling property throughout Ireland
We understand how stressful buying or selling a property is, which is why we go out of our way to provide you with a service that provides the peace of mind you need. Our team has a depth of experience in successfully closing property deals quickly, cleanly and efficiently across the country – from Dublin to Galway; from Cork to Donegal.
Find out more about our conveyancing service today and how we can help you.