A beginner’s guide to conveyancing terms

The terms used by conveyancing solicitors and estate agents can make buying your fist house feel like learning a foreign language. It can be hard to understand what is going on around you, and that can lead to anxiety about the process.

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Getting independent legal advice such as that described in https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/news/conveyancing/independent-legal-advice-4849 will help you unravel the process so that it does not seem daunting.

To make sure that you feel that you are in control of your first house purchase, here’s a simple guide to the main terms that you will hear and read.

Terms used in conveyancing

According to the Home Owners Association, conveyancing is defined as the transfer of the legal title of a house from one person to another. However, there are loads of other terms associated with this process. Here are the main ones.

Conveyancing fees: The sum of money that you pay to a conveyancer for handling all of the legal aspects of the sale.
Caveat emptor: A Latin term that translates to ‘Let the buyer beware’. It means that the responsibility is on you, the buyer, to make sure that you know all you need to know about the property before you buy it.
Searches: This is the process of finding out about the property and the area where it is situated. Carrying out searches involves contacting various bodies to find out if they hold any information that you need to know. Typically, local councils and local water authorities are contacted.
Exchange of contracts: This is the point in the sale when the legal agreement is finalised. After this, it can be very expensive to back out. A completion date is agreed.
Completion: This is when the transfer of the property takes place. The process is formally completed and the money changes hands.

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Terms used in house buying

Here are some of the main terms used when buying and selling a house.

Freehold: Many properties are purchased as freehold. It means that you will have complete ownership of the property and the land that it stands on with no time limitation associated with it.
Leasehold: When you buy a leasehold, the land remains the property of the freeholder but you have bought the right to occupy it for a certain number of years. This is called the lease.

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