Conveyancing is the process of transferring legal title in a property (either freehold or leasehold) from one person or company to another.
There are two key stages in England (the process is different in Scotland):
- Exchange of contracts – the point at which the buyer and seller become legally bound to complete the transaction. It is possible for either party to pull out before exchange of contracts. The buyer usually pays a deposit of 10% to the seller.
- Completion – the date when the buyer pays the rest of the purchase price, and the legal title is transferred to the buyer. Following completion, the property belongs to the buyer, and the estate agent will release the keys to the buyer.
After completion, the Register of Title at HM Land Registry will be updated with the new owner of the property, and any charges (including mortgages) registered against the title.
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