Interview with Sharon Livermore – Conveyancing
I am here with Sharon Livermore who is a Conveyancing Executive for Kerseys Solicitors, Sharon has worked in Conveyancing for over 30 years.
I think it is fair to say that every Conveyancer and Estate Agent has been run ragged over the last 18 months.
At the beginning of the pandemic most people felt things would slow down too much so took advantage of the Furlough scheme, but the stamp duty holiday kicked in and the market boomed. Local Authorities could not turn the searches around quick enough and Mortgage Offers were taking longer which trebled the length of time a normal transaction would take and at times I expect everyone in the industry was experiencing issues with trying to meet deadlines and do the best they could for their clients, and we all became very demanding of each other.
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So Sharon can you explain what the stages are to a conveyancing transaction and how we can all work together to help each other?
There are several stages to a conveyancing transaction.
It is so important that everyone involved in the process understands the expectations of the client from the beginning.
On a purchase we would receive draft contract, title information and various information forms completed by the Sellers from the Sellers Solicitors. Once these are received we would go through the same to see what enquiries we may need to raise. These enquiries could range from clarification on information received or requesting documents that we need but which were not initially provided. We would also carry out the usual Conveyancing Searches. The searches we obtain include a Local Authority Search, Water/Drainage Search and a Homebuyers Report (which provides environmental and planning information).
Once we have received all searches, all information requested, our copy of the clients mortgage offer (if one is required) and are happy with the same, we will then be in a position to provide a detailed Report on the Purchase and all documents received to the clients with the Contract and other documentation which the clients will need to complete/sign in readiness for exchange of contracts taking place.
Whereas on a Sale we would prepare and provide to the Buyers Solicitors a draft Contract, title documentation and the forms completed/signed by the Sellers. The Buyers Solicitors would inevitably raise enquiries on the documents we have provided which, in most cases would need to be referred back to the Sellers for them to answer. Once the Buyers Solicitors have confirmed that they are happy with what we have provided and are holding their clients mortgage offer and the results of all searches they will be able to progress towards an exchange of contracts.
We work hand in hand with estate agents and mortgage brokers throughout a transaction and will provide updates where required.
Once you’ve accepted an offer, or had an offer accepted, then the estate agent should issue a Memorandum of Sale to the seller, buyer and their respective solicitors which will contain all the information they need on each other and each party’s solicitors.
Typically estate agents deal with any negotiations between the parties, will hand over keys on the day of completion and will communicate between buyer and seller throughout the process. There will be some Estate Agents that can also help you organise a Survey.
Therefore if the Estate Agents and Solicitors can liaise with each other throughout, then lines of communication can be kept open and the Estate Agents can help advise parties as to the position of the chain and potential dates/timescales that may be required.
There will be times when as a client you may not have heard anything from us for a short while. This does not mean that nothing is happening, it will just be that we are dealing with the conveyancing process and have nothing new to report to you or that we may be waiting for information/documentation to come in before we can progress further.
Conveyancers are still very busy as although the current Stamp duty holiday came to an end on the 30 June, there is still a stamp duty holiday for properties up to £250,000.00 until the 30 September 2021. The stamp duty threshold will go back to £125,000.00 (the normal rate) on the 1 October 2021 but first time buyers will still benefit from paying no stamp duty on properties of no more than £300,000.00.
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