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What is the difference between commercial and residential conveyancing?

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal term for the process of transferring a property from one owner to another. This process involves a solicitor or a conveyancer who will act on behalf of the buyer or seller, ensuring that their client obtains a clear legal title to the property on completion in respect of a buyer and that the property is sold correctly in respect of a seller.

The conveyancing process surrounds the overall legal and administrative work required, ensuring your home or commercial property is transferred to you and any mortgage is registered correctly. The process has two main phases, exchange of contracts and completion.

What is the difference between commercial and residential conveyancing?

Most people will be familiar with the residential conveyancing process, whether this is buying a home themselves or through the experience of family and friends. When it comes to buying or selling business premises or other properties which are not residential in nature, the transactional process may seem similar, but there are some fundamental differences.

What is involved with commercial property?

Commercial property transactions usually involve business premises, for example, an office, shop, warehouse or restaurant. These tend to involve limited companies, partnerships/LLPs or sole traders; however, residential property conveyancing predominantly revolves around individuals looking to buy and sell a home, like a flat or house.

In addition to selling or purchasing commercial property, parties may also look to buy or sell the business trading from those premises. If this is the case, it is common for an additional goodwill payment to be made, ensuring the buyer will have the right to adopt the previous owner’s client base and can continue trading under the same name.

What is residential conveyancing?

Residential conveyancing is the legal term for transferring the contractual title of a property from one owner to another. The process is to be completed by a residential l solicitor or a conveyancer.  

Our residential conveyancing team deal with the sale, purchase and remortgage of freehold and leasehold properties; 

What is the process for buying or selling commercial properties?

  1. In the initial stages, a commercial property specialist will look into the property title and conduct thorough due diligence, including obtaining property searches and raising standard enquiries known as CPSEs (Commercial Property Standard Enquiries).
  2. Once replies to the enquiries raised have been provided, and all information is to hand, the buyer’s legal advisor will prepare a report on the title, setting out all the relevant information and highlighting any areas of concern. Subject to any further enquiries being raised and the buyer is satisfied, the parties on either side of the transaction will then negotiate and exchange contracts. Once this is done, the deposit will be paid, and the transaction will be legally binding.
  3. Pre-completion searches will be undertaken by the buyer, and a transfer deed will be signed and dated on legal completion. The buyer’s solicitors will simultaneously send the balance of the purchase money to the seller’s solicitors, and the seller will then discharge any mortgage secured on the property.
  4. Once the transaction has been completed, the buyer’s solicitors will pay any stamp duty land tax due to HMRC and apply to the Land Registry to register the purchase.

What is the conveyancing process for residential properties? 

The conveyancing process for Residential Properties involves:

  1. When the conveyancer has been instructed by their buyer client, they should contact the seller’s solicitor to obtain the contract pack. They will then check it; they should raise any enquiries, carry out the relevant searches and obtain a copy of the final mortgage offer. 
  2. When the enquiries have all been answered, the conveyancer will report back to their client, and once they are happy, arrangements will be made for the deposit to be paid in exchange for the contracts. The seller and buyer will then agree on a completion date, and the contracts will be exchanged. At this point, both parties will have legally committed to the transaction.
  3. When the conveyancer has been instructed by their seller client, they will collate all relevant documentation relating to the property, including a copy of the title and property questionnaires completed by their clients. These documents will then be provided to the buyer’s solicitor. Enquiries will be raised by the buyer’s solicitor which may have to be sent to our clients for their reply.
  4. Once all the enquiries have been dealt with, and the buyer’s solicitor has completed their title report, we can start to discuss exchange and completion dates.
  5. When both the buyer and seller’s conveyancers have drafted and agreed on the transfer deed, a final copy will be signed ahead of completion. Upon the day of completion, the buyer’s conveyancing solicitor will then prepare a completion statement, carry out the applicable pre-completion searches and apply to the buyer’s mortgage lender for the loan. The keys will then be available from an estate agent, then the buyer’s solicitor will send the HMRC stamp duty, obtain the title deeds, and then transfer the deed to the buyer, registering the property in the buyer’s name with the Land Registry.

How can Eric Robinson Solicitors help me with my conveyancing and property needs?

At Eric Robinson Solicitors, our expert team provides a conveyancing service dedicated to client care. We appreciate the law can often seem overwhelming, and we strive to explain the legal process to our clients in a way they will understand. Our lawyers are authorised and properly regulated, providing professional legal advice on which you can rely.

We always ensure that your sale, purchase or remortgage is handled by one of our expert team of conveyancers. Moving home can be stressful for both buyers and sellers, with pressure to secure the exchange of contracts and to reach completion. Our trusted team are easy to contact, providing you with the professional legal advice you can trust and will communicate with you at every stage of the buying and selling process.