Conveyancing Solicitors

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What exactly is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the term used for transferring the legal title of a property from one person to someone else. It also refers to the granting of a legal right to a property through a mortgage. It is all the work that goes on behind the scenes to make the transfer of a home’s ownership legal and valid.

A property conveyancing solicitor starts their work when an offer has been accepted on a home. It ends when the final contracts have been exchanged and signed and all the money involved in the sale has been transferred between the parties.

As it’s up to you to instruct your conveyancer or solicitor, it can be a good idea to know who you want to use before you have an offer accepted. For sellers, you might want to look at conveyancers at the same time you’re deciding on an estate agent.

Your conveyancer will help you with:

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What does a conveyancer do?

Conveyancing solicitors carry out a huge range of duties to make sure your property purchase is legally binding. They deal with the contractual elements of buying and selling a home. They also deal with other solicitors in the chain and organisations like the Land Registry and HMRC, if Stamp Duty is applicable.

They’ll also help you understand the legalities surrounding some of the more complicated purchases, such as those involving leasehold or shared ownership properties.

Their work includes:

  • Carry out searches, such as environmental and water
  • Ask estate agents for details of the chain your purchase will be part of
  • Deal with the solicitors of your home’s seller or buyer
  • Raise any queries, such as those involving boundary disputes
  • Send you the necessary paperwork
  • Arrange exchange of contracts
  • Exchange signed contracts with the seller or buyer’s solicitor
  • Transfer or receive the deposit funds
  • Request payment from the mortgage lender
  • Send title deeds to the mortgage lender

Depending on your specific home and what it requires, your conveyancing lawyers could end up doing a lot more than that.

How much does conveyancing cost?

The cost of conveyancing can vary based on your specific circumstances, like where your property is located, what the property price is and if extra searches need to be done.

Your conveyancer or solicitor’s fees will usually be between £800-£2,000, but these can change depending on other factors, like if the home is a leasehold property. Then the searches necessary for a home purchase can cost up to £300.

There are some extra costs associated with the conveyancing process too. These include transfer costs – for example, the cost of transferring the mortgage from the lender to the buyer – as well as survey costs, Stamp Duty Land Tax (if applicable) and Land Registry fees.

You can get an instant conveyancing quote here.

Are all conveyancers solicitors?

Not all conveyancers are solicitors. You could choose to work with a licensed conveyancer, who can carry out the same duties as a conveyancing solicitor.

And not all solicitors are conveyancers. Lawyers specialise in an area of the law, so a family lawyer or personal injury lawyer, for example, wouldn’t be the best professional to complete your house purchase.

This is why it’s important to make the right choice of conveyancer. Just make sure you choose a lawyer regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority or a conveyancer regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.

How long does conveyancing take?

The entire conveyancing process – from the moment an offer is made on a house to keys being picked up – typically takes up to three months. But this isn’t a guarantee – every instance of conveyancing is different. For example, if your chain is particularly long, conveyancing could take longer for you.

Your house purchase doesn’t just involve you. There are many other parties involved, which means that your conveyancing timeline will depend on everyone else.

Other solicitors involved in the chain, local authorities, the Land Registry and mortgage lenders are just some of those parties. If there is a delay by one of them, your move-in date will be affected.

Having the best conveyancer – like those we work with – acting for you will give you the best chance of an efficient process.

Can I speed up conveyancing?

There are a number of things you can do to ensure you don’t cause any unnecessary delays during the conveyancing process.

You’ll be asked for a number of pieces of ID and proof of certain things, including where your deposit funds came from. Getting everything you need together will help to reduce any potential delays.

If you received your deposit – either the full amount or part of it – as a gift from a loved one, make sure your conveyancer knows this. They’ll have to look into it to prove the funds are legitimate. A major delay for a lot of house purchases is buyers not declaring the source of a deposit gift. You can help keep things moving by being upfront.

Make sure you get all documentation signed and returned to your solicitor promptly. This will allow them to get on with the work efficiently.

Pay for your property searches upfront at the start of the process. This lets your conveyancer progress things without having to wait for payment – and you won’t have to pay for the searches later on.

The most important thing you can do to reduce delays is to make sure you react quickly when your conveyancing lawyer needs something from you. Working with them is the best thing you can do.

How can First4Lawyers help?

Conveyancing doesn’t have to be complicated. Let First4Lawyers match you to the right conveyancer for you, who will take on the legwork and reduce the stress you face.

We work with expert property professionals who will work to make sure the conveyancing process is as straightforward and stress-free as possible.

To speak to our friendly advisors about your property needs, just give us a call, request a call back or make an enquiry here.


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