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If you are buying a property for the first time, it's a great idea to leave yourself plenty of time to choose a conveyancer. Read our guide choosing your first conveyancer, which gives detailed information on what to look for in a conveyancer and also read our article “conveyancing – who am I actually paying?” which will help you spot fees that you may not realise are being charged to you.
Choosing a conveyancing solicitor or licensed conveyancer (read our article “Conveyancing Solicitors and Licensed Conveyancers – what's the difference?” if you want to know the difference) in advance will mean that when you have found a property to buy and/or sell, you will be able to pass your conveyancers details straight on to the Estate Agent handling the property transaction, and get your conveyancing started as quickly as possible.
The conveyancing process normally takes between eight and twelve weeks from start to finish, however conveyancing can be carried out much faster than this if both parties are in a position to do so, and there are no holdups with mortgages or searches.
Please bear in mind that if you are part of a chain the conveyancing process may take longer, simply because not everyone works at the same speed and some of the transactions within a chain may be more complicated than your own.
If you are getting a mortgage, it is quite common for your mortgage lender to appoint a surveyor on your behalf. They will normally only carry out a valuation to ensure that the property is worth the amount you have agreed to buy it for. You can usually pay the same surveyor extra to obtain a Home Buyer’s Report which will give more information about the state of the property. If you have particular concerns, then you should raise these with the surveyor before they visit the property, and if you have extreme concerns you can request that a full structural survey is carried out.
If your lender is not appointing a surveyor, then you need to appoint your own surveyor as soon as possible - your conveyancer will be able to help you with this, or else google local surveyors and find one with good reviews at a reasonable price.
If you are buying a property, your conveyancer will normally ask you for around £250-£300 upfront, in order to cover the costs of ordering things like property searches on your behalf.
Your conveyancer will try to send you the proceeds of any sale on the day your sale goes through. Payment can be made by cheque or bank transfer (there is sometimes an additional charge for the bank transfer).
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