Conveyancing is the transfer of legal title of land or property from one party to another.
Conveyancing can also involve the creation or cessation of an ownership interest in land or property.
The conveyancing process commonly involves two fundamental legal transactions; the exchange of contracts and completion, although the process also incorporates the pre-contract stage.
These transactions are usually undertaken by a solicitor or qualified conveyancer on behalf of the vendor and purchaser.
The exchange of contracts is the process whereby equitable title passes from the vendor or seller to the purchaser.
Completion is the means whereby legal title passes from the vendor to the purchaser.
A purchaser must ensure that he obtains a lawful 'title' to the land/property together with all the rights that are associated with the land/property and that he is made aware of any restrictions associated with the land/property in advance of the transfer.
In most countries conveyancing is facilitated by a system of land registration based on established public records.
In some jurisdictions conveyancing agreements are not considered legally binding until the exchange of contracts has taken place.
In others there is an element of legal protection offered to the purchaser once their offer has been accepted by the vendor.