What is conveyancing?

We often a get asked for a “conveyancing” quote, so we thought we’d take a look at what the term “conveyancing” means; although we prefer to talk of “buying your home” or “selling your home“.

The term conveyancing dates back to the English feudal system which was imposed after the Norman invasion in 1066. Central to it was the notion, still true to this day, that all land belonged to the Crown. The role of conveyancing is therefore to show that an owner has better title to the land than Her Majesty!

Conveyancing is the process of transferring title in land from one person(s) or company to another. In English law, the transfer of “real property” is treated differently from the transfer of any other assets. You can make a contract to sell your car, furniture or even the household pet, without the need for a written agreement. However, for the sale of real property the agreement must be evidenced in writing and the document which transfers the legal title must be created by deed.

The conveyancing process can be as quick as creating the deed (TR1/TP1), but as the risk transfers to the buyer at that point, appropriate enquiries need to be made before entering into that commitment and paying the purchase price. Those searches and enquiries (combined usually with the wait for a mortgage offer) mean that the standard time for a property purchase to complete is 4-6 weeks. However, where there is a chain of sales and purchases which need to complete on the same day, that process can take much longer.

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