When should you instruct a conveyancer?

Whether you are selling your property or looking to buy a new one, it is worth knowing when you should instruct a conveyancer to ensure a speedy transaction once an offer has been accepted.

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Statistics show that one in three property sales fall through after offers have been accepted. This is often due to delays on one or both side during the conveyancing process, which can be avoided by ensuring your conveyancer has ample time to prepare the documents needed by instructing them at an early stage.

Solicitors acting as conveyancers are recommended by their governing body to follow a conveyancing protocol that sets out the various stages of the process, although this is not designed for use when the property being putchased is a new-build. The protocol can also be used by licensed conveyancers and the sooner they have received instructions, the smoother the process is likely to be.

Buyers or sellers can also get an understanding of the steps involved in the conveyancing process by searching online.

How sellers benefit from early instruction

Your conveyancer can get on with a number of tasks before any offer is accepted, saving time once the sale is underway. As the vendor, you will need to sign an agreement with your legal representative, your ID will need to be confirmed, and money laundering checks will be undertaken.

The forms relating to the property – the TA pack – can also be completed at this stage. This can be a time-consuming process and the sooner it is completed, the less likely you are to encounter delays on your side.

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You will also need to produce other documents relating to the property, such as any planning permissions, insurance documents and compliance with building regulations. In the case of leasehold properties, you will need a management information pack, which should be requested promptly as this can also be a time-consuming process.

Once an offer is in, you can get the ball rolling as all the documents are to hand.

When buyers should instruct their representative

Although the vendor is responsible for much of the initial work, buyers can also get some matters out of the way early on. These include the ID and other checks mentioned above. You will need to ensure that your conveyancer can act for your lender, which may involve shopping around. This can also be time-consuming, so begin early.

Having a conveyancer in place before making an offer on a property also demonstrate to vendors that you are a serious buyer.

Both vendors and buyers will find that instructing a conveyancer at an early stage will be cost-effective and speed up the process.