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Archive for July, 2010

What you will need during the Conveyancing Process | Saturday, July 17th, 2010

If you are a seller who is preparing their house for the buyer you will need to consider collating the information required for the conveyancing process. This is basically all of the information about the house as it applies to any outstanding mortgages or monies owed, the forms required for the conveyancing process and information required to draw up the contracts that are going to be required to transfer ownership. Of course you will also need your deed of ownership that stipulates that you actually own the property and have the right to sell it. This may not seem like a great deal, but when you break it down it is easy to see why it takes so long to go through the conveyancing process as any information that applies to the house is needed in order to finalise the sale.

It is wise to start by getting together the easily obtainable information. You probably have (or you should have) the title deed for the house locked away safely in a filing cabinet. The solicitor that oversaw the purchase of the property should also have a copy of this in the event you can’t find it. This should be step one of the conveyancing process – ensuring you have a copy of this document. Next, get any information that you have conglomerated while having the property on the market. This will include things such as surveyor reports, real estate documentation and things that specify what the house is worth and why it is worth the amount that has now become the sale price. Alternatively, you might have been made an offer. Get this offer in writing and include it in the documentation.

If your property is mortgaged you will require some information from the bank. Get all of the information that you can as it relates to the current mortgage status. You will also have to let the bank know the particulars of the potential buyer to ensure they can allow them to take over the mortgage. If you are using the proceeds from the sale to finalise the mortgage, you will have to let the bank know. There may be a fee for paying the mortgage outright. After all of this and you have managed to get the basic information together you can start filling out the forms required to kick start the conveyancing process. I won’t detail all of the forms you will require here. You should consult a conveyancing firm from this point onward.

What is Conveyancing? | Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Conveyancing is designed to protect both parties (although it is most beneficial to the buyer or receiver of the title) in the event of a transaction relevant to the exchange of a land title. It can be a drawn out process that ensures that the buyer has the right to sell the title to the land and that there is nothing to suggest that the land is acceptable for resale at the behest of the buyer. It is also a formality for banks or lenders in the event the land is to be bought via a mortgage or long term loan. This ensures that if the person borrowing the money neglects to pay the money back – the banks have some option in regard to reselling the property to get their money back.

Other important reasons for conveyancing includes drawing up the relevant contracts for the buyer and seller that stipulate the terms of the sale. This is to ensure that the buyer is given the right to do with the land what they wish. If no agreement is made during this process it gives the buyer and the seller the opportunity to back out of the deal before anything is signed. The conveyancing process is a necessity in that it ensures a transparent means of equity transferral. Because purchasing land is a major expenditure on the part of the buyer, there needs to be a system in place that records all of the details of the exchange in order to allow the buyer and seller come to an adequate understanding as it applies to the deed of sale.

Conveyancing is also relevant in regards to the transferral of any mortgages or monies owed on the property that is being sold. As conveyancing is more akin to facilitating the transfer of equity from one person to another, a person may opt to take over the mortgage or loan repayments on the property if they are still outstanding. Because of the large time frame in which the process is undertaken and the many variables involved in the undertaking of the process, it is not a simple task. This is compounded by any outstanding loans of mortgages on the property as it will require a bank to sign off on the transfer of the loans. It is important that people who require this form of transfer deal with a buyer that has a clean credit history in order for the bank to allow the process to continue.

Solicitor versus Conveyancer for the Purposes of Conveyancing | Saturday, July 17th, 2010

There is not a lot of difference between a licensed conveyancer and solicitor. However, the minor differences can help you make an informed decision about whom you wish to use in regards to any conveyancing work you need done. The first thing to consider is price. Again, there may not be a great difference in what each charge. However, a solicitor is more likely to charge you a regular hourly rate as a solicitor – unless the solicitor specialises in conveyancing, then they may charge flat fees. A licensed conveyancer is more likely to charge you a flat fee then a little extra for getting the contracts finalised. The flat fee is sometimes relevant to how much the property is selling for or how much equity is being transferred in the conveyancing process.

A solicitor may have a broader understanding of specific legalities that apply in a broader sense. This can be useful in the sense that they can help you avoid legal pitfalls that are not specifically applicable to the conveyancing process. A licensed conveyancer will know all of the ins and outs of the conveyancing process and may have a better grasp of the legalities as they are applicable to conveyancing regulations. In this regard, both have their strengths and weaknesses. Although they are both probably adept at fulfilling the requirements of a conveyancer; one may be more specialised in the other. However, the other may not have a good understanding of external legalities that can apply to the process.

If you are selling a property or transferring equity as part of a business venture then you may be more inclined to use a solicitor that you have already working for your company. Although that is not to say that you can’t get advice from another source. Having a licensed conveyancer work hand in hand with a solicitor can yield excellent results. It will also ensure that if one or the other can’t fulfil a specific obligation within a certain time frame then the other can pick up the slack. This can help push the conveyancing process through a lot quicker. Although, you are still at the whim of the other parties that are required to process the paperwork so it may not be a huge advantage in this sense. Shop around, get some references if need be. There is no dearth in the amount of conveyancing experts out there.

Getting Cheap Conveyancing Quotes | Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Conveyancing fees can differ dramatically from solicitor to solicitor. Some will even charge you a percentage of the value of the property – which is ludicrous. That is why you should always shop around when you require the services of someone who can do your conveyancing for you. Licensed conveyancers can be a little cheaper but the price you are likely to pay for conveyancing services will be around the same price as that of a solicitor. That is why it is always advisable to get quotes from people who offer conveyancing services to ensure you are getting the right price. You will also want to ensure you get a flat fee instead of getting charged every step along the way during the conveyancing process. Many conveyancers will charge you for just signing a contract – however, it is worth noting that they are the people who are preparing the contract you are signing.

There are so many conveyancers out there that it may seem overwhelming at first. Start with a few conveyancers. Because there are so many conveyancers out there the market is quite competitive. Conveyancing has become a massive industry unto itself. So finding the right person for the job may be easier than you think. If you can’t find a reasonable price at first, keep looking. You will find someone eventually. It is just a matter of knowing what to look for when searching for the right price. You will probably see some dramatic differences in fee structures. Only after seeing how their fee structures work will you be able to accurately gauge what a reasonable price is. You may opt to pay a little more if the conveyancer is highly regarded. However, someone who is fresh to the industry may really know their stuff and will charge a little less in order to build a client base.

Never take the first quote as the best you will find. It may even help to play conveyancers against each other in order to get the best deal. Ensure you know what fees you are likely to incur and get something in writing. It may also help to get other conveyancers to look at other quotes you have received in order to see if they can match the price of another firm. Conveyancing is something every property buyer and seller has to go through in order to sell or purchase a property.

Gazumping and Gazundering in Conveyancing | Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Although they sound like something taken straight out of a Roald Dahl novel, they are actually terms that spring forth from dodgy property sales practices. Conveyancing is a long and drawn out process that can take months to finalise. Because of this, gazumping has become a fairly commonplace practice in which the buyer will refuse to finalise the sale. This is because they may have got a better offer on the property or just don’t want to sell the property anymore. Getting the contracts ready for exchange is what conveyancing is all about. Because this process can take quite a while it gives the buyer the opportunity to have others browse the property. However, it may be the result of a buyer who had previously looked at the property finally coming forth with an offer.

Because it costs the buyer money to get all of the contracts drawn up for exchange during the conveyancing process this ends up leaving the buyer out of pocket and feeling pretty disillusioned with the whole process. Although reforms are in the works to help minimise the risk of gazumping, many buyers have already been burnt by this form of shady practice. Gazundering is essentially the opposite of this. During the conveyancing process a buyer may become a little impatient and then when it comes time for contracts to be exchanged they offer the seller less than their initial offer. Because conveyancing is such a long and drawn out process, the seller will just want to push the sale through and accepts (begrudgingly). It is often a good idea to have the price finalised in writing with both parties signing off on the price prior to initiating the conveyancing process.

However, this is not a cure all approach to the problem. Unless the contract is verified by the legal parties that represent both the buyer and seller are present and have the opportunity to ensure the contract is legally binding then the contract is easily nullified. The best way to avoid these practices is by trying to push the process through the system as fast as possible. Even then it can take months while all parties that are required to witness and involve themselves with the transaction are bought into the fold. That leaves the other option of ensuring that the people you are dealing with have a clean track record in regards to property sales.

Do It Yourself Conveyancing | Saturday, July 17th, 2010

If you have managed to find a buyer (or managed to find a property you wish to buy) you are going to have to go through the conveyancing motions in order to finalise the sale. Conveyancing is a complicated and time consuming process. If you opt to do it yourself then you will have to arm yourself with the knowledge to do it properly. You will also have to deal with many other people (including the buyer or seller – or their solicitor) to ensure that the process is transparent and done to the correct legal standard. You may also have to deal with a mortgage broker, lender or bank in order to successfully complete the paperwork. A lot of the time anyone who is responsible for lending money will not deal with someone who wants to do their own conveyancing.

The main advantage when doing your own conveyancing comes from the amount of money you can save. Although it may seem like a relatively small amount in the grand scheme of things; it is money that is better in your pocket than theirs. You also have an element of control over the sale – more so than you would otherwise. You are able to get the information to the parties that require it quicker than waiting. However, this in itself can be a draw back in that you do not get any guidance regarding when to do what. Conveyancing is fickle territory. As previously stated, a bank may be unwilling to deal with someone who is not covered by professional liability insurance if any problems arise during the conveyancing process. Although you can hire someone to represent you in order to approach lenders for you, it might be cheaper in general to have someone help you through the whole process.

Whilst you do not have to be a licensed solicitor in order to successfully undertake the conveyancing process for any property you wish to buy or sell; the cost of your time may be quite high if you wish to do it yourself. It may end up cheaper hiring someone to do it for you. If you factor in the value of what your time is actually worth – it can end up costing you more in the long run. Although, that is not to say that it is a bad idea to do it yourself. It is worth approaching a professional in order to find out what it is likely to cost before attempting to do it yourself.

Do I Need Conveyancing? | Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Do you need conveyancing when selling a property or transferring equitable property? The short answer is yes. After all is said and done during the conveyancing process comes the time to exchange contracts and title deeds and that is when the ownership is conferred to the new owner. Prior to this (and after) is the conveyancing process. This is when everyone who is required to be involved with the process comes together and signs a bunch of forms and confirms that the property is able to be exchanged. Without this process there is no guarantee for the buyer (or seller) that the transaction is actually allowed or able to take place. There are various options in regards to fulfilling the requirements that are required during the process – this is another article entirely – however, the main thing to remember is that the process in general is required of you and all other parties that are involved in some way with the property.

A prime example of why this process is required is if you consider the financial backing for the transaction which may come from a mortgage broker, lender or bank. If the lender can’t be assured of the value of the property, the buyer’s intention to fulfil contractual requirements that stipulate the repayment of funds and a guarantee on their investment then they can hardly be blamed when they refuse to take the risk associated with lending hundreds of thousands of pounds. It is also a security measure for the buyer. If the property is not actually owned by the seller then the title deed they are eventually awarded is void. They have not actually bought the property – they just have a worthless piece of paper.

While conveyancing may seem like a total waste of time and money from the perspective of the seller – that is far from the truth. It is actually just as important for the seller as it ensures that they will end up receiving the money they have been offered for their property. It is also important in regards to the legal exchange of a large amount of money for property. It can be argued that the same conveyancing process would be useful for any large purchase. However, it is not the case because property itself is an equitable asset. It may also be important for divorcees to utilise this process in order to distribute the equitable assets accordingly during the divorce proceedings.

Watch Out For the Conveyancing Pitfalls | Saturday, July 17th, 2010

If you have a property you wish to buy or sell you will have to take a trip down the road of conveyancing. The first pitfall you can avoid during this process is not relying on the person who is responsible for the conveyancing component of the transaction to give you any warning regarding the structural integrity of the property or the properties real value. This is best left to a professional engineer or real estate expert. However, if you have hired a surveyor to give you a proper value estimate of the property and they have indicated that work will need to be done in order to actually adhere to the asking price then you can have an expert approach the real estate with alterations to the pre-sale contract that stipulate a reduction in the cost of the property. Having a surveyor inspect the property will also protect you from a bad investment. If the property requires too much work than a mortgage broker, lender or bank will refuse the application for a mortgage.

If you require the services of a solicitor in order to take care of the conveyancing aspect of a property sale, ensure you have knowledge of all of the fees and charges that will be incurred throughout the process. It may come as a shock when you are given a bill for every contract that requires your signature. Conveyancing requires a lot of paper work. Ensure you know what you are paying for. If you are doing the conveyancing yourself then you will be less worried about the fee aspect of the process and will be more worried about doing the right thing at the right time. Do your research; make sure you understand the jargon that is likely to be splattered throughout every contract that crosses your desk. If you don’t understand what you are reading then you are likely to make a grievous error that can cost you a lot of money.

If you have employed a solicitor to conduct the conveyancing tasks for your then make sure you keep an eye on what they are doing. If you get some knowledge of how the process works you might not require their services next time you wish to buy or sell a property. Keeping an eye on what they are doing might also keep you safe from any extraneous fees that the solicitor taps on to the cost of the process when it has been finalised.

Conveyancing Online | Friday, July 16th, 2010

If you are looking for a method to get any conveyancing work done efficiently and expertly without the need to involve yourself or others in the process unnecessarily then electronic conveyancing may be the solution you are looking for. Electronic conveyancing (or online conveyancing) is a relatively new trend offered by firms to help speed up the process and ensure that everything is done to a schedule. It also reduces the costs associated with conveyancing because there are less overheads involved for the conveyancing firm. It also allows the client to submit any paperwork electronically or via mail from the comfort of their own home (or a quick trip to the post box). Financial institutions look upon this method favourably as well. Although, you may still have to attend an interview at the bank in order to get mortgage approval.

It allows you to fill in the forms required and submit them electronically. A lot of the time this can actually save you time when trying to get a mortgage for the property which you wish to purchase. In the event you want to transfer ownership of an equitable property or equity then you are also able to utilise online conveyancing services. Rather than driving from place to place in order to collect forms and submit them, anything that you are required to sign can be sent to you via post and then returned via post. Because the process is more about collating information there is a minimum of forms that will be required to be returned with a signature. It is a time saving device and it call also save you a lot of hassle in the long term as it is just a matter of submitting what you need to submit and waiting.

There are plenty of conveyancing firms that now offer this method. They are generally offered on a secure connection with the server so you do not have to worry about your details falling into the wrong hands. It is in your best interest to give it a try as it can expedite the process somewhat. However, you will still be waiting as the process is generally drawn out and reliant on multiple firms and individuals in order to push it in the right direction. Of course you still have the option to follow a traditional route in order to fulfil your conveyancing requirements. Electronic conveyancing is just another option available to the client.

Conveyancing – A Brief History | Friday, July 16th, 2010

Conveyancing as a means to finalise property sales and equity transferral has a fairly rich heritage. Although aspects of conveyancing are hundreds of years old – modern as we know it has been refined through a series of reforms and improvements in how the process works. One of the most influential conveyancing reforms involved standardising the process in regards to having firms following the same guidelines and using the same forms in order to ensure that procedures were pushed through the system quicker to allow both the buyer and seller to agree on specific conditions of sale. This reform was pushed through in 1925 and since then there has not been a lot that has changed in the industry besides minor reforms to help expedite the process and protect both the buyer and seller.

However, reforms have opened up the door for a few shady practices. These include (but are not limited to) gazumping and gazundering. Although these practices are reliant on how the real estate market is functioning – they have taken precedence after specific reforms have been introduced. However, because the speed at which processes is now performed (they are still slow), the risk of gazumping and gazundering is more prevalent than it was prior to specific reforms. Further reforms are forthcoming which are aimed at reducing this practice so that it becomes a thing of the past. Although, these reforms may take years to push through as a legal basis for how conveyancing is practiced. As with any reforms that threaten to shake the industry up and change the way things are done – it takes time for changes to become adopted by the mainstream of the industry.

Online conveyancing solutions have now started to penetrate the conveyancing market. It is important to note that not all of the bugs associated with electronic conveyancing practices have been ironed out. However, as more and more people opt to use electronic methods; the more refined the process will become. This is a relatively new method implemented to help reduce the time and costs associated with conveyancing. It is also important to note that the process is looked upon favourably by banks and lending institutions as it allows them to process conveyancing applications as they apply to financial issues in a timely and accurate manner. Because all of the information is centralised and submitted electronically, it allows for a quick turnaround in any processing that is required.