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Moving house can be a stressful time. You should therefore take great care in your choice of conveyancer. It is, after all, in their hands that you are placing probably the largest transaction of your life.

At Read Cooper we believe that a major part of our role is to reduce the stress for you by making the conveyancing process run as smoothly as possible.

Conveyancing - the process and associated issues

The flowchart below outlines the conveyancing process. (Click on the blue text to link to a description of the associated issues).

Flowchart of conveyancing process

Key issues

  • Completion
    This is when the balance of the purchase money is paid and is usually the moving day. Ideally there should be at least two weeks between exchange of contracts and completion. You should ensure that your removal arrangements are provisionally booked prior to exchange of contracts as the completion date is legally enforceable and binds you to move out of your house by that date.
  • Contracts
    After checking the seller's legal title and making all searches and enquiries, we will be ready for you to sign the contract. The contract is your legally enforceable promise to proceed with the purchase. At this stage it is usual to pay up to 10% of the purchase price as a deposit which can be forfeited by the seller if you fail to honour the terms of the contract.
  • Estate Agents
    If you have a property to sell, choose an estate agent with a thorough knowledge of the local market. Do not base your choice on fee levels alone as a correct valuation and appropriate marketing strategy from an experienced agent may well mean considerable savings in the long run.
  • Mortgage Offer
    Contracts should not be exchanged until a written mortgage offer has been received to enable you to check that the special conditions of the offer are acceptable to you.
  • Searches
    One of the searches we make on your behalf is with the local council. This relates only to the property. It will not reveal whether any planning applications have been made or permissions granted in respect of adjoining property. It is therefore advisable to make a personal visit to the local council's planning department to check what applications have been made in respect of land and buildings in the vicinity of the house you are purchasing.
  • Surveyor
    If you are buying, it is important to have a survey of the property. A valuation will be required by the building society or bank if you are borrowing part of the purchase price, but it is advisable to have a more detailed "Home Buyer's Report" or full structural survey. Either of these types of survey can, with the lender's consent, be combined with the valuation.