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What does a conveyancing solicitor do?

By Anthony Irving  //  Mon 7th November 2016
Discover the many tasks a conveyancing solicitor carries out for you when you are buying or selling a property.
What does a conveyancing solicitor do?
A conveyancing solicitor is someone trained in all the legal aspects of transferring property from the seller to the buyer. In recent years, there has been a tendency for some people to do their own conveyancing. However, as buying or selling a property can be fraught with legal pitfalls and is very time consuming most people will use the services of a conveyancing solicitor.
As solicitors will charge for this service, it is only fair to ask what they do for their fees.
What they do
When you are buying a property, the first thing your conveyancing solicitor will do is contact your seller’s solicitor for all the legal documents relating to the sale.
He or she will then carefully go through these documents and raise any queries they feel need addressing before the sale proceeds.
Once they have completed this and are happy with the results, they will begin a series of searches.
These searches will include a local authority search to see if the property is going to be affected by the proximity of railways, both over ground and underground. They will discover if there is planning permission for future developments close to the property or any other developments that may prove disadvantages to the property now, or in the future.
Water and drainage searches will reveal if there are any sewers close to the property or any running within the property’s boundaries. They will also ask local water company to confirm they are responsible for the maintenance of the sewers, drains, and pipes.
An environmental search will reveal if the land the property has been built on has any environmental issues. These will include contamination caused by previous use, risk of subsidence, landslips, or flooding.
Once the search results and contract papers have been completed and your solicitor is satisfied with the results they will send you a summary detailing everything they have received.
This should include everything you need to know about the property. Information about the boundaries, and any restrictions on the deeds that you must comply with.

They will then draw up a contract for you to sign. Ensure all your finances are in place to allow them to exchange contract with the seller’s solicitor. Then you will able to agree on a moving date, more commonly known as the completion date.
The solicitor will oversee all the details of the completion date to make your move as problem free as possible.
Once you are in your new property they will pay any stamp duty due to the Inland Revenue and register your ownership with the Land Registry.
This article has only provided a rough outline of the services a conveyancing solicitor provides for their clients. Like many complicated transactions, the devil is in the detail and buying or selling a property is no exception to this rule.
Dealing with local authorities, utility companies, and the land registry office can be extremely time-consuming and requires a clear head and plenty of patience.
Conveyancing solicitors provide all of these attributes when carrying their work on behalf of their clients.

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