England and Wales

St George, Jill and Sidoli, Julian (2022). England and Wales. In: Andersson, Magnus; Palm, Peter; Bohman, Helena; Balivet, Béatrice and Akinsomi, Omokolade eds. The Routledge Companion to International Housing Markets. London: Routledge, pp. 180–188.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1201/9781003130383-27


This chapter provides overview of how property transactions are undertaken in England and Wales, what issues may arise, and what remedies are available. The legal transfer of home ownership from buyer to seller in England and Wales is facilitated through private contract. This is supplemented by several standard industry protocols, many of which are recommended. The role of estate agents is however more limited in England and Wales than in many jurisdictions. Their role is essentially to present to buyers available property and negotiate the terms of the sale. A memorandum of sale is produced which has no legal effect but from that point it is the conveyancer who is responsible for the contract, enquiries, transfer, and registration. The buyer's conveyancer is responsible for verifying the identity of the buyer and ensuring funds are in place, most commonly a mortgage offer and checking the lenders associated terms.

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