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Conveyancing FAQs

You will no doubt have a few questions about the advice and support our Residential Conveyancing team offers as well as the processes involved before you decide to instruct your Solicitor.

We have captured some of the questions which we are frequently asked below. Remember all our teams also offer a free initial consultation.

Typically, most conveyances take between 12 and 14 weeks to complete, due to the bustling nature of the conveyancing market at present, however no two conveyances are the same. Once we have a good understanding of your transaction, we will provide you with a more accurate estimate on timescales.

You also need to be aware that many of the key stages in the conveyancing process are reliant on third parties such as the other side’s conveyancer, mortgage companies and surveyors to name just a few, we will manage these processes on your behalf and keep you up to date as we progress through your matter.

There are several costs involved in the conveyancing process. Alongside our professional fees there are search fees, registration fees and depending on the type and value of your transaction Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in England and Land Transaction Tax (LTT) in Wales.

The quickest and simplest way to get a precise quote for your transaction is to use our free online quote builder. Powered by Pali LTD, the quote builder provides an accurate quote in minutes, with a full breakdown of costs provided in PDF form. The quote builder is completely free to use, you can generate quotes for; Sale & Purchase, Sale Only, Purchase Only and Remortgage transactions. There are no hidden extras and there is no obligation to proceed. It is simply a really easy way to get a price for your conveyancing solicitor.

In terms of when fees are due, we require £300 at the start of the process to cover the cost of your searches. Prior to Exchange we will request that you transfer your deposit to us and just prior to the completion date we ask you to provide any additional purchase funds and monies to cover legal costs, Stamp Duty/Land Transaction Tax and disbursements.

With freehold purchases, you own the property and land on which the property is build. With leasehold purchases, you own the property for a fixed period but not the land it is built on.

Most flats and apartments are sold as leasehold. With leasehold purchases you will likely be liable for some form of annual ground rent and potentially management fees for the management of any shared areas.

Before we can act for you, we need to confirm your identity as part of our anti-money laundering procedures, this is the same for all conveyancers.

To do this we require two forms of ID, one from each of list A and B below:

• Valid, signed full passport
• Valid UK or EEA photo-card driving licence
• Valid HM Forces identity card with photo
• Firearm and shotgun certificate

• Valid UK driving licence (if not used from List A)
• Utility bill less than 3 months old
• Council tax bill for the current year
• Council rent book showing the rent paid for the last 3 months
• Mortgage statement issued for the full last year
• Bank/building society statement less than 3 months old

A survey is an expert inspection completed by a surveyor who will visit the property and prepare a report on it. It is really important to undertake a survey of any property you intend to purchase as once contracts are exchanged you are committed to buying the property and have no come back should you discover issues down the line. A survey can highlight any areas of concern. The surveyor may also recommend that you undertake additional specialist reports or (in some instances) can give you a guide for the cost of undertaking any works.

You will need a minimum of a valuation report to satisfy your lender that the property is of the same value as detailed in their mortgage offer.

There are three levels of survey available:
Level one: Valuation report
This is essentially your lender checking that the property value matches the value detailed in their mortgage offer.

Level two: Home buyer report:
This is a much more in-depth survey which will highlight any issues with the property and will usually include photographs detailing any issue the surveyor has found.

Level three: Full building survey:
This is a full structural survey of the property and is the most thorough survey available. It will provide you with a comprehensive analysis of the property’s structure and condition.

Not at all, we simply need to complete some additional paperwork, and confirm your parent’s (or whoever is supplying the deposit) identity, address details and source of funds. Parental deposits are commonplace in the current mortgage and property markets.

As part of the process, we will request the mortgage monies from your lender on your behalf, we will then transfer these funds to the other side solicitor on the day of completion.

Exchange or Exchange of Contracts is when you become legally bound to purchase the Property. The process is undertaken via a series of phone calls between the buyer and the seller’s solicitors.

At this stage we will also pay over your deposit and fix the date for 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. Upon exchange buildings insurance will become your responsibility.

Completion is moving day. 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 – and you take over responsibility for council tax and utilities.

Typically, the time gap between exchange and completion is quite short; often only a week to 10 days, however, should all parties agree, then it can be much longer or shorter.

If this is how you want the transaction to proceed and should all parties agree, then yes, we will arrange that for you.

Should you want your sale and purchase to complete on different days we can look to negotiate this with the other parties.

On Exchange of Contracts, a completion date will have been agreed, you should only book your removal firm once we have exchanged contracts. Up until this time the completion date can change.

Upon completion. Completion is the final stage in the process. 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.

Up until Exchange there is no legal obligation to proceed with the transaction, however you will incur costs for any work we have done on your behalf.

After exchange, there are penalties, and you will lose your deposit if you do not go ahead.