Property in Hampshire: Conveyancing process

Published Dec 2, 2019 – 4 mins read

Finding houses for clients is what we, as property finders, do best and we take the greatest satisfaction from securing property in Hampshire for our delighted clients.

From the initial meeting, understanding the brief, sourcing the property, and negotiating a deal; we are involved in every stage through to the successful purchase. The final step is perhaps less exciting than the searching and negotiation stages but is highly important; overseeing the conveyancing process often proves to be an invaluable element of a property finder’s service.

Buying a property: The meaning of conveyancing

Conveyancing involves the legal transfer of homeownership from the seller to the buyer. The conveyancing process starts when your offer on a house is accepted and finishes when you complete on the transaction and receive the keys.

The key stages of the conveyancing process from a buyer’s perspective are as follows:

The buyer’s solicitor requests the contract pack from the seller’s solicitor and reviews the draft contract and raises enquiries. These enquiries can cover a wide range of legal areas and may include checks with regards to planning permissions, building control, rights of way, boundaries, neighbour disputes and more.

The buyer’s solicitor will then undertake legal searches including:

  • The Local Authority search which will checks for information such as Tree Preservation Orders, whether the property is listed, any road proposals or schemes that may affect the property.
  • Water drainage search to confirm the property is connected to a pubic sewer, septic tank or another private disposal facility. It will also check the water supply and disposal.
  • The Environmental search is carried out by a specialist company and checks for contaminated land.
  • The solicitor will also check the Land Registry to confirm the Title Register and Title Plan.

When the solicitor is satisfied that all their enquiries and questions have been answered, they will report their findings to the buyer, this document is usually called the Report on Title. This report will include the results of all the searches and enquiries and provide an overview of the property from a legal perspective.

Once the buyer is happy with the property they are buying the process moves to the final stages – agreeing on a date for exchange and then completion, transferring the deposit monies and signing contracts.

The importance of a survey when purchasing a property

A survey is vital to give the home buyer peace of mind about the physical condition of the property they are buying. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) surveyors offer different types of survey and there can be confusion about which is the most suitable for each individual purchase. Below are examples of types of surveys when buying a property.

  • Condition Report – looking at the property’s condition, including risks, potential legal issues, risks and urgent defects. This is a very basic survey for standard properties that are relatively new and in good condition.
  • Homebuyer Report – Includes all of the above plus advice on repairs and maintenance.  It can also include a market valuation and rebuild cost – useful from an insurance perspective. Suitable for standard properties in reasonable condition.
  • Building Survey – an in-depth look at the property’s condition, advice on defects, repairs and maintenance. We advise this survey for most larger, older properties, and renovation projects.

How can a property finder help with conveyancing?

Our role, once we have found the perfect property in Hampshire, negotiated and an offer has been accepted, is to manage communication between the selling agent and the seller’s solicitor, any financial advisory involvement and the buyers’ solicitor. We make regular calls to all parties to make sure everything is moving along smoothly and to deal with small niggles and gripes before they grow.

This can be a frustrating time for both parties involved and can be time-consuming. Whilst a selling agent will put in regular calls their interest falls with their client, the seller, a buying agent is acting solely on behalf of the buyer and their interests

It is important that all parties are kept informed of the progress of the conveyancing and it is critical that the pace of progress is kept up. Slow conveyancing increases the risk of the deal breaking down.

We are also there to help guide our clients when unique and sometimes more complex issues arise.  As an example, last year we were commissioning and studying a Geotechnical Cliff Erosion Survey on one property, whilst at the same time untangling a complex and arcane piece of property law relating to an unregistered covenant on another.

In both cases using our experience and network of excellent third-party experts enabled us to work through these issues to a satisfactory resolution, and ultimately to very happy clients purchasing fabulous homes.

Impartial advice when purchasing a property

A property finder is also there to renegotiate if necessary, and ultimately to advise against continuing with a purchase if a significant and insurmountable issue arises during the conveyancing process. This can be a difficult decision, particularly once there has been an emotional connection to a property, but as a professional advisor, our role is to remain objective and advise on the facts.

You never know what issues will arise during the conveyancing process which is why it is important to have an experienced property finder on hand to provide expert advice on matters on an ongoing basis.

Property Market 2019

In the current nervous market buyers and sellers are pulling out of property deals in record numbers. For most of the past decade, the rate of ‘accepted offer’ fall-throughs has run at approximately 20 – 22%. Over recent years, this has rocketed to over 30%, with Q4 2018 reaching a shocking 49% according to some sources.

Our experience, relationships, third party network and diligence means that our fall-through rate runs less than half the national average. We ensure our clients make only well-informed decisions and are armed with the necessary information before securing a property. Our involvement assists the conveyancing process to enable a smooth transaction.

Professional property finders

As property finders, we assist clients with the sourcing and acquiring of property in Hampshire and the wider region. Our services can include overseeing the conveyancing and purchase of a property. If you’d like to learn more about our property finding service please contact us for a no obligation discussion regarding your future property plans.