The role of a conveyancing lawyer is one that many find confusing. At first sight, many people form the view that the purchase of a home shouldn’t be as complicated as it is and that a lawyer may not be required. However, when you dig deeper there are a number of other transactions, negotiations and promises that must happen between all of the parties involved. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a number of instances where someone has tried to save a few pennies by choosing not to engage a conveyancing lawyer, and ended up paying a huge amount more to rectify mistakes.
Conveyancing lawyer: The keeper of promises
At the core of the role, a conveyance lawyer is responsible for enforcing promises, known as undertakings, given by parties to the conveyancing transaction.
More relationships than meets the eye
Conveyancing is not a simple buy-sell transaction. In fact, there is a complex matrix of relationships involved. Both the seller and buyer’s banks are integral to the sale and purchase, as are insurers.
Conveyancing transactions in detail
It is a conveyancing lawyer’s job to bring all of those relationships together and ensure that each party’s concerns are met before the transaction is completed. Much of this activity is invisible to the buyer and seller but it is critical to the transaction happening. Some of the key parties and their requirements are:
Banks will not lend money unless they are confident that the person or persons borrowing the money has met a number of requirements:
That the documents have been fully explained
Legal undertakings that the money advanced will only be utilised to complete the purchase of the property;
That the property is insured;
That a mortgage will be registered over the title to the property securing the bank’s advance.
Until all of these requirements are complied with, the bank will not allow money to be advanced to the person purchasing the property.
The seller’s conveyancing lawyer
In the case of the solicitor acting for a seller, the seller’s lawyer makes promises to the buyer’s lawyer that the property can and will be transferred to the buyer on receipt of the purchase price.
The seller’s lawyer must also give promises to the buyer’s lawyer that all mortgages and other encumbrances will be repaid on the settlement date.
The buyer’s conveyancing lawyer
A buyer’s lawyer promises that the purchase price has been deposited to the seller’s lawyer’s account and that the funds will not be reversed.
The services offered by Tomas Ballestero Abogados in the transfers are:
- Review the contract and apply any necessary changes.
- Check the correct description of the property in the Land Registry (Registro Propiedad)
- Investigate any possible debts on the property.
- Prepare and control the signing of the contracts.
- Prepare the payments.
- Prepare the drawing up of the deeds in the offices of the notary.
- Accompany you to the offices of the notary on the day of the signing.
- Retain any necessary amounts from the seller.
- Retain the obligatory 3% from the seller if he is fiscally non-resident in Spain and deposit this amount with the tax authorities.
- Organise payment of your purchase tax 10%.
- Oversee the payments to the Notary and the Land Registry.
- Retain and organise payment of the local plus-valia tax payable by the seller.
- Inscribe the new owner´s name in the Land Registry.
- Change all the utilities to the new name ie water, electric, community, gas, rubbish, telephone etc