Moving house isn’t the easiest, particularly for those of us that didn’t go to law school. The conveyancing process can be confusing and the thought of spending hundreds of thousands of pounds without knowing exactly what’s going on can be unsettling at best!
If you’re buying or selling a property, you‘re no doubt full of questions and tired of googling them, which is why we’ve put together an in-depth conveyancing FAQ to answer everything for you.
Conveyancing is the legal handover of a property from one party to another. It is usually done by a conveyancing solicitor who will write up and check contracts, apply for property searches and contact all relevant authorities such as the Land Registry.
Every situation is different but in general, conveyancing usually takes about 6-8 weeks to complete.
As a rough estimate though, you’ll probably be looking at upwards of £300-400 depending on the value of your property. Luckily all the solicitors we work with offer fixed fees so you won’t be charged any extra later on, so for a standard conveyancing transaction the price we quote is the price you’ll pay.
Well you’re in the right place – finding property solicitors is what we do! Use our handy search engine to compare conveyancing quotes from many reputable solicitors and filter your quotes by price, location and guarantees.
When you’ve found one you like the look of, click ‘complete’ and we’ll pass your details on to that firm and someone will get back to you to discuss your needs further – no obligations, no hassle, no stress.
All mortgage lenders require you to get a survey on your new property to make sure that it is a good investment, but a mortgage lender’s survey is very basic and usually only counts for a valuation. A Homebuyer Survey (TARGET _BLANK) for example, will give a more in depth analysis of the condition of the property to ensure that there is nothing wrong with it.
Unfortunately, there’s not much to be done in this case – you can’t return a house if it’s faulty! If you’ve heard the phrase “buyer beware”, you may know that the seller isn’t under any obligation to make defects clear to you and that you, as the buyer, are liable to examine the property fully before you buy.
If later you find something wrong with the house or the surrounding area, unfortunately it’s too late. This is the main reason we urge people to get a Homebuyer or Building Survey before committing to a purchase.
Another point to consider when you compare conveyancing quotes is if the solicitor is approved to work with your mortgage lender
Most mortgage lenders will only work with a set of approved solicitors, making your decision a little harder. If you find a property solicitor you like elsewhere and get a quote, only to find that they don’t work with your mortgage lender, you have added considerable delay to your house hunting.
This doesn’t have to be the case though as The Solicitor Finder allows you to specify your mortgage lender, and then filters the results according to your selection, so you are only shown conveyancing solicitors that you can work with.
Conveyancing searches are an integral part of buying a house. These formal applications enquire into official registers or local authorities in order to find out if there are any known issues with the land or surrounding developments. Your conveyancing solicitor will request several of these searches including a planning search to find out if there are any buildings due to be constructed nearby, flood and drainage searches to check if the property is at risk of water damage, and chancel searches to find out if any local churches require annual repair fees from the local community, to name just a few.
Completion is when the deal is finally closed. All payments have been made, contracts have been signed and exchanged and the deeds to the property have been passed over to the new owners. This is usually all done in one day, agreed upon at the Exchange of Contracts, and after all this you can finally move in!
The Exchange of Contracts is the point when both solicitors check over the final contracts and get their clients to sign. A completion date will be arranged and the initial deposit paid. This is the point when the sale becomes legally binding.
The Exchange of Contracts should be organised as soon as possible so that the sale is legally binding and neither side can pull out last minute. Your solicitor will need to make all search enquiries before this point so we recommend planning to exchange contracts a week before Completion at minimum to allow time for documents to be read, contracts signed, money transferred and moving arrangements sorted.
Technically yes, as soon as you’ve completed you can move in and call it home, but the sale will need to be registered with the Land Registry to make it official. Your solicitor will take care of this as part of your conveyancing deal.
These things do take time, but if you are in a rush don’t hesitate to get in touch as we may be able to help you get your conveyancing done a little quicker.
If your property is worth over £125,000 you will be liable for stamp duty. How much this will be is dependent on the value of your new property. You’ll pay no tax on the first £125,000, after which it can be worked out on a sliding scale with the next £125,000 attracting a 2% fee and the following £675,000 chunk attracting a 10% fee. If you need more information on stamp duty or other government charges, give us a call on 0800 038 6644.
Not always. Of course, all properties are different and it’s hard to tell exactly what conveyancing needs you will have, but a survey will help you work that out. If the property you are interested in is very old, we urge you to look into a Homebuyer’s Survey to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
We are open 7 days a week to help with customer support, and will happily call you back at a time which suits you.