Buying and Selling Property (Conveyancing)

Buying and Selling Property (Conveyancing)

How long does the conveyancing process take? 
Generally the Conveyancing process takes between 6-8 weeks. It is recommended that this time frame is kept in mind when agreeing Completion dates. Some vendors/sellers will ask for a quick completion, but if you are obtaining a mortgage, this may not be possible. It is recommended you speak to your Solicitor before agreeing a completion date. 
I have agreed to buy a property, what do I do next? 
Contact your Solicitor and your lender if you are obtaining finance to fund your purchase. Your Solicitor will meet with you to discuss your purchase in more detail, and take copies of your Identification documents. 
Remember, when making your offer to the estate Agent always ensure it is ‘Subject to Survey’ and ‘Subject to Contract’. 
Do I need a survey? 
If you are obtaining a mortgage to fund your purchase then your lender will carry out a survey of the property. The golden rule when purchasing a property is “let the buyer beware”. It is recommended that you obtain a ‘Home Buyers Report’ on any property which you have agreed to buy. This is a more in-depth survey of the property and will give you a better indication of the condition and if any remedial works are required. A ‘Home Buyers Report’ is especially recommended if you are purchasing an older property which may be susceptible to structural problems, or problems such as damp. 
I want to sell my property, what steps should I take? 
Do your research! Pick an Estate Agent with a good track record in your area, and remember to ask for a quote for fees. Next, instruct your Solicitor, this allows your Solicitor to ensure they have your title documents to hand so that when the property is agreed for sale the Contract can be issued immediately and there is minimal delay. 
How much stamp duty will I have to pay? 
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is generally payable on the purchase or transfer of property or land in the UK where the amount paid is above a certain threshold. Please contact one of our advisors who will be pleased to assist you with your query.
Living in a multi-unit development/apartment 
The Law Society of Northern Ireland has issued helpful guidance on living in an apartment, or a ‘multi-unit development’. These leaflets cover both living in an apartment and also living in a development with ‘common spaces’. This normally seen in the new developments in which there are open landscaped areas. The links below will take you to their guidance leaflets: 

How can we help you?

We appreciate that buying or selling your residential property can be a daunting and stressful experience.  We offer an efficient and comprehensive conveyancing service that makes the entire process as straight forward as possible.
What will McManus Kearney do?
We will:
  • Ensure you understand the process of buying or selling your property;
  • Carry out all necessary searches against the property;
  • Consider any survey reports you have obtained and discuss any possible problems which may slow the progress of your purchase;
  • Check the title and report on it to you (and your lender if you are obtaining a loan)
  • If you are obtaining a loan to purchase your property, we will explain the conditions of your mortgage offer;
  • If you are selling your property, we will liaise with your lender to redeem (pay off) any mortgages registered against the property;
  • A dedicated conveyancing solicitor will be assigned to your purchase or sale, who will, together with our team, see your transaction through to completion;
  • Complete Stamp Duty Land Tax Return;
  • Complete all registration requirements at Land Registry and Registry of Deeds;
  • If you are not obtaining a loan to fund your purchase, we have facilities to retain the title documents for the property for safe keeping.
The same principles apply no matter what your property requirements. We are here to offer advice and assistance on all residential and commercial property matters.  

Common ‘stumbling’ blocks when purchasing/selling a residential property:

  • Delay obtaining title documents from your lender/bank. This can take 2-3 weeks.
  • Building Control issues. If you have carried out works to your home, such as the removal of an internal wall, Building Control approval is required. If this wasn’t obtained at the time of the doing the works, a Regularisation Certificate must be obtained. This involves the Building Control Officer from your local Council visiting your property to view the work carried out. The Officer will either pass the works and issue a Certificate, or advise of any remedial works which will be required to be undertaken before the Regularisation Certificate will be issued.
  • Title issues raised by the purchaser. These issues may require further investigation or work to rectify them. The consequence may be delay in completion of your sale.
  • There can be a delay obtaining the offer of loan from your lender/bank. The lender will carry out a survey of the property prior to the offer of loan being made.
  • Problems with the title to the property. This will delay your purchase while the matter is investigated or rectified by the Vendor.
Jargon buster
  • Vendor/seller– The person selling the property
  • Purchaser – The person buying the property
  • Title documents/Deeds – These are the documents which document your ownership of the property. If you have a mortgage your lender will hold your title documents until your loan is repaid in full. If you do not have a mortgage then you, or your solicitor, should keep your title documents in a safe and secure place.
  • Consent to Discharge – This is a certificate issued by the Department of Environment and is required for every property which has a septic tank or sewage treatment plant. When selling a property with a septic tank/sewage treatment plant, a purchaser will request sight of the Consent to Discharge certificate.
  • Further guidance on obtaining a Consent to Discharge certificate can be found via the link
  • Conveyance – The Legal term used to describe the transfer of the property from the vendor to the purchaser.
  • Contract – This is the document which is firstly signed by the purchaser, and then signed by the vendor. Once the vendor has signed the Contract and provided a copy of it to the purchasers Solicitor the parties are contractually bound to sell and buy.
  • SDLT – Stamp Duty Land Tax – This is the tax charged by HMRC when you purchase a property.
  • Completion – This is the date on which the purchaser legally owns the property. The purchase money is sent to the vendor’s solicitor. Generally, the keys for the property are collected from the Estate Agent’s office. 


To make an appointment to discuss any of the above issues in person, or by telephone, please contact our conveyancing team. 

Our Belfast Team: 

Telephone: 028 9024 3658