Having all the information is key for home buyers
Conveyancing is a term used to describe the legal transfer of a property’s ownership from one party to another: simple in theory, yet sometimes complex in practice. While the process can be completed in a relatively straightforward manner, it is important for prospective home buyers to be fully prepared so that conveyancing can proceed as smoothly as possible. As a buyer, the first step is to familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of conveyancing.
Produced in association with Glenveagh Homes, Through the Front Door is a weekly podcast that provides listeners with all the tools they need for a smooth home buying experience. Each week, the podcast expands listeners’ knowledge of the home buying process through interviews with leading figures in the property industry, including mortgage brokers, architects, interior designers and sustainability experts.
And when it comes to conveyancing, preparation is key, according to this week’s guest Paul McCutcheon, partner and head of Real Estate at Kane Tuohy Solicitors.
One of the first questions a first-time buyer might ask is: do I need a solicitor to do the conveyancing of my property for me, or can I do it myself?
Paul’s advice on this point is clear: “Certainly, if the purchaser is buying with the aid of a mortgage, they have to get a solicitor, and given that for most people, their house is the single biggest purchase they will ever make in their lives, a good solicitor is essential.”
While the conveyancing process for newly built and second-hand homes is essentially the same, different issues can arise. A solicitor will be familiar with all requirements and can assist the home buyer every step of the way.
How long does it take to complete conveyancing?
The length of the conveyancing process depends on the particulars of each case. For example, it can take four to six weeks when the house is already built, and the purchaser has all of their documentation in place. However, the process can become more protracted if the house has not yet been built.
“The challenge for a lot of new buyers is that if they’re buying from plans, the properties will need to be constructed, and that will take a certain amount of time,” Paul cautions. “Purchasers in that situation need to be aware that the timing of this isn’t wholly within the control of their builder. There can be delays with supply chains, with getting the raw materials needed to build.”
What can home buyers do to ensure conveyancing proceeds smoothly?
Paul says that the most important thing purchasers can do is consult with their solicitor and mortgage broker at an early stage of their purchasing journey.
“The purchaser needs to have their homework done at the start of the transaction to make sure this happens promptly. I act for a number of developers and in many instances, there are significant delays because the purchaser hasn’t done their homework.”
Examples of common purchaser mistakes include:
- Allowing mortgage approval to lapse.
- Not having house insurance in place.
- Not having life insurance in place.
As Paul describes it, “The actual conveyancing – the transfer of title from vendor to purchaser – can happen very, very quickly. it’s everything around that transaction that can cause it to stretch and to drag.”
His advice to anyone entering the housing market – buyer or seller – is to heed the motto of the Scouts: be prepared.
Three tips for success
Paul has three tips purchasers can bear in mind to ensure that the house will be theirs as soon as possible:
- Get your Help To Buy application in promptly.
- Have your life insurance and health insurance teed up and ready to go.
- Keep an eye on your mortgage offer, particularly the time it will last and when it will expire.
Another key piece of advice he has for buyers is to maintain lines of communication with their bank, particularly if they experience a change of circumstances, such as a job change or relationship breakdown.
“How will big job and life changes impact your mortgage offer? Communicate these things promptly. Banks can be wary of people moving jobs and being on a probationary period, for example. It’s important to just keep communication open, to ensure that everything is signed off and approved.”
The team at Glenveagh understands that buying a home is possibly the biggest decision you will ever make in your life. Their aim is to exceed your expectations in every way possible. To find out more about the buyer journey, visit the website here.