Solving the Mysteries of Conveyancing

Conveyancing is a complex business and an integral part of property sales. The experts from Sort Group explain the process

What’s the story behind Sort Group?
Sort Group is an umbrella brand of various companies that work across the Property, Finance and Legal sectors. It was originally founded with first brand, SortRefer back in 2009. Our founder and CEO, Kevin Tunnicliffe was a former Mortgage Broker himself and wanted to create solutions that could help his fellow brokers, and also the wider industry.

Why do I need professional help with Conveyancing?
You cannot buy, sell or remortgage a house without going through the Conveyancing process. Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring the legal title of a house from one person to another, or with a loan to another lender. All Conveyancing suppliers, whether a Solicitor or Licensed Conveyancer are regulated by either the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) or the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), and are also registered with the Law Society. The regulation and Law sets out specific processes that the Conveyancing process must cover, which is why you need to use a professional.

How much should a Conveyancing service cost?
The cost of a Conveyancing transaction varies hugely, as this all depends on the circumstances, whether it’s for a Sale, Purchase, Remortgage, Transfer of Equity or other type of case. Each client has a unique set of circumstances that will govern the work involved and therefore the cost. Some cases are ‘vanilla’ straightforward cases, but other transactions may involve more work, for example Leasehold work, New Build, or the redemption of a Help to Buy Equity loan. Through the CLC, all regulated firms must give an estimation or example of what a typical quotation could cost.

How long could a Conveyancing transaction take?
This is probably one of the most challenging questions for anybody to answer, as it often depends upon many factors. Each transaction is unique and depends on the legal work required, and additional third parties, such as Mortgage Lenders, Surveyors, and local authority search providers. You can visit for further information on what to expect. When using Sort Legal, your case handler will discuss an approximate completion date when they are confident and, in a position, to do so.

Does my Conveyancing supplier need to be local?
It used to be the case (pre computers, the internet and technology), that customers would use Local Solicitors to carry out their Conveyancing as they were seen as the legal expert. However, this is not the case anymore. As the customer, you can choose a Solicitor based anywhere in the UK. Most communication is done via telephone, email and online portals, which means the distance is not an issue.

Why do I need to provide ID and bank statements as part of the Conveyancing process?
When you instruct your case to Sort Legal, or any other Conveyancing supplier, they have to follow specific compliance guidelines for ID and AML (Anti Money Laundering) to confirm the identity and proof of funds/wealth for all legal transactions.

Please help us to simplify some Conveyancing/Legal jargon:
In the legal world, there are lots of different phrases and terminology. Here are a few common examples:

  • Covenants – Legal obligations contained in a deed to do or not to do something. A common one is a promise not to use a building for a particular purpose.
  • Disbursements – These are charges made by third parties and may appear on your quotation. Examples include Local Authority, water and drainage, environmental and mining searches, as well as Stamp Duty and Land Registry fees.
  • Legal Exchange – The formal exchanging of the two parts of the contract between the solicitors of both buyer and seller, where they become legally bound to complete on an agreed date.
  • Indemnity Policy – This is an insurance policy used by Conveyancers to cover a defect that cannot be solved. It is best practice to resolve any issue or missing documents/information, but this can be used as a last resort. Common use of an indemnity policy is where windows have been replaced, but with no building regulations certificate or FENSA paperwork.
  • Redemption – The full payment of an existing mortgage.
  • Unregistered title – Where land has not been registered at HM Land Registry. In this instance, proof is obtained through the production of a complete chain of documents, showing successive ownership (epitome of title).
    For further information, please visit our Helpful Guides section:

What are the common causes of delay in Conveyancing transactions?
Each Conveyancing transaction must follow set processes, however, the work and circumstances on every case are completely unique. Here are some examples of what could govern the length of time or delay a transaction:

  • Length of the chain involved – a delay at one point in the chain could delay everyone else.
  • Mortgage application – Each mortgage application varies, depending on the lender chosen and the set of circumstances of each client.
  • Mortgage offer and when it is issued – the time it takes to send out a Mortgage offer depends from lender to lender. A Mortgage offer can also include special or unforeseen conditions.
  • Searches or enquiries taking longer to receive the reports (this depends on the local authority and number of searches undertaken).
  • Searches or enquiries revealing something expected, which may involve raising more enquiries (additional questions) to find out the full information.

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