Conveyancing is the legal work involved in buying and selling a house. It would normally be done either by a solicitor or a licenced conveyancer.
As a buyer you need to have one or the other for the sellers/vendors Estate Agent to contact immediately your offer is accepted. So get one lined up before you get to this stage.
Conveyancing involves sorting out things like;
Checking with the Land Registry that the seller is the real owner and actually allowed to sell you the property;
Carrying out a “local authority search” to see whether there is anything you should be aware of – like the motorway they’ll be “rolling out” at bottom of the garden;
Checking the lease from where they’ll get information about any service charges or special conditions you have to comply with.
Checking that there are no land disputes affecting the property.
Conveyancing has changed little since Victorian times, involving the slow shuffling of legal papers and often taking several weeks – during which time you could lose your house through gazumping etc.
Owing to the heartbreak this causes, the Government planned to slash the paperwork, and simplify the whole conveyancing procedure by launching the National Land Information Service.
This has taken the process online. “It is planned to streamline all information about land and property by centralising all the various sources of information currently held at disparate locations into one location” ie a website coming near you. Though it is only currently available to professional firms it should be available to the public at some stage – though it’s already been a long wait…