Before you exchange
As part of the conveyancing work, there are numerous steps that need to take place, such as:
- Liaise with the seller’s conveyancer and go through all the documents sent by them.
- Carry out searches. These usually consist of a local search and a drainage search, but other searches are common based on where the property is, for example environmental or mining searches – in Scotland this is done by the seller's conveyancer.
- Ask the seller's conveyancer any questions that are needed.
- Receive a copy of your Mortgage offer letter from your mortgage provider.
- Report any findings back to you and discuss any concerns you have.
- Ask you to sign a copy of the contract.
You will also need to have buildings insurance in place for the day you exchange contracts. Your conveyancer will ask for proof of this.
On exchange of contracts you must pay a deposit to your conveyancer. This amount is usually 10% of the purchase price but in some circumstances it may be lower. It is not directly related to your mortgage deposit amount.
Once all the legal work is done and you’ve signed your contracts, then the purchase will become legal. Until this point, both the buyer and seller can pull out of the deal.
Before you pay the deposit, check that:
- You have the mortgage offer in writing.
- Your conveyancer has completed all searches.
- You understand and are happy with the contract.
- You have agreed a completion date.
After exchange of contracts
Your conveyancer will still need to do some work before you get your keys, such as transferring any remaining money and arranging the mortgage deeds etc.
The time between exchange and completion (the day you get the keys) is typically between 7 to 28 days. But this can be more, or less if needed but will depend on the circumstances of everyone involved in the property chain. You should discuss this with your conveyancer before you exchange.
The steps involved and time may vary based upon your circumstances. For more detail on the exact conveyancing process that relates to buying your home, please speak to your appointed conveyancer.
Once you have your moving date, you’ll want to start planning. That means arranging any removals and letting the right people know. You can find out more in the next part of the guide.