In for Christmas – just 12 weeks to go!

1 October 2020

By Sarah Davies, Head of Residential Conveyancing

In just 12 weeks it will be Christmas Eve! 

For home movers the next three months will be an exciting journey and will bring a host of calls, correspondence and deadlines, especially for those hoping to open their Christmas presents in their new home.

With the timescale for the average conveyance being between 10 and 12 weeks now is the time to be agreeing your sales, purchases and instructing your solicitor.

There are several stages through which your property transaction needs to progress if you are to have your new keys in hand before Santa loads his sleigh:

In simple terms this is you appointing a solicitor to act on your behalf. You should obtain a quote for the legal work prior to choosing your solicitor – our conveyancing quote builder is a free and easy to use online tool which enables you to generate conveyancing quotes with no hidden fees or expenses and no obligation to proceed.

Legal work, including property searches and enquiries
As your solicitor, we will undertake the legal work including examining the title, the lease (if required) and the contract. We will also order the local authority, water, drainage and environmental searches and such other specialist searches as necessary.

Mortgage and surveys
To proceed you will need the finances in place for your deposit as well as a mortgage offer (if required). At Cullimore Dutton, we have our own in-house Independent Mortgage Consultant, Philip H Yates. If you still need to arrange your mortgage Phil would be happy to offer a free half hour consultation to discuss your requirements.  

We will be required to act for your mortgage lender as well as you, and will need to follow their instructions. A mortgage valuation will be carried out on behalf of the mortgage company to ensure the property can provide sufficient security for the loan. We also recommend that you arrange a survey to be sure of the property’s condition.

Exchange of contracts
This generally happens one week – ten days prior to completion. Up to exchange, dates can be changed and either party can withdraw without legal liability. After exchange, there are penalties and you will lose your deposit if you do not go ahead. 

On the completion day we organise the transfer of funds to the seller’s solicitor. You are then able to collect the keys – usually about 2pm.

This is also the stage when we arrange any Stamp Duty/Land transaction Tax payments, however  the current tax break on properties up to £500,000 in England and £250,000 in Wales could potentially save movers tens of thousands of pounds in tax. 

Christmas completions
The week leading up to Christmas is always a busy one for conveyancers with many home movers rushing to complete their property transactions. Most conveyancing firms will set a completion deadline within the week prior to Christmas day, all transactions will need to be completed by that day if you are to be in for Christmas. This year Cullimore Dutton’s completion deadline is Tuesday 22 December.

Are you hoping to be in for Christmas?
If so, contact us on: 01244 356 789 or email  for a free initial consultation with a member of our experienced Residential Conveyancing team.

Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.