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A Complete Guide To Conveyancing


We haven’t done a complete conveyancing guide for a while now. Sometimes, it’s good to get back to basics and explain what we do best. Conveyancing is our speciality so let’s talk about exactly what it involves including some of the costs involved. Compare Solicitors fees today

Conveyancing is a vital aspect of buying and selling property. Choosing the very best conveyancer is extremely important. We have created this guide to tell you all you need to know about conveyancing, including: what the term means and how to find a conveyancer to best suit your needs. We will also explain and help you compare conveyancing fees.

What Is Conveyancing?

When you are buying, selling, or remortgaging a property, you will need a conveyancer to complete the legal work. This includes the transfer of the property deeds. 

Your conveyancer’s job includes a range of tasks, including:

  • Liasing with the other party’s solicitor to negotiate a contract,
  • Ordering the necessary local authority searches,
  • Arranging potential completion dates with both parties
  • Swapping contracts with the other party’s solicitor
  • Anti Money Laundering checks.
  • Transferring your deposit
  • Preparing a completion statement and transfer deeds
  • Liaising and making arrangements with your mortgage lender
  • Submitting a tax return and paying the required Stamp Duty (SDLT) to HMRC
  • Forwarding documentation regarding the transfer to the Land Registry


This is just a brief outline of what your conveyancer does. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important parts of conveyancing.

Getting Started

One of the first parts of the property conveyancing process involves your solicitor examining the draft contract and supporting documents. If there are any queries, they will raise them with the seller’s solicitor. As a seller you might not realise how much information you need to provide about your property. It can be time consuming but we can help you complete and submit them digitally with the minimum of effort. We will guide you through the forms the seller has completed too, including the TA6 form and let the solicitor know if you have any queries or concerns.

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Property Searches

As part of the property buying process, your conveyancer will order a set of legal property searches to ensure there are no problems you should be aware of. Some searches are generally recommended for all purchases and others will be required by the mortgage lender to protect them from financial loss.

Property searches include:

  • Local Authority Searches: are there plans for a new road being built nearby?
  • Checking the ‘title register’ and ‘title plan’ at the Land Registry– these are the legal documents proving ownership. 
  • Checking Flood Risk.
  • Water authority searches – to find out how you get your water and if any public drains on the property could affect extensions or building works
  • Chancel Repair Search – to ensure there are no potential leftover mediaeval liabilities on the property to help pay for church repairs. You can take out Chancel repair insurance for £20 or so. 
  • Environmental Search – this made on the vast majority of transactions. The report will give information about contaminated land at or around the property, landfill sites, former and current industry, detailed flooding predictions, radon gas hazard, ground stability issues, and other related information
  • Optional And Location Specific Searches – sometimes extra searches are required or recommended depending on the location or type of property. These could include:
    • Tin Mining searches in Cornwall
    • Mining searches in various parts of the UK and Cheshire Brine searches
    • Additional Local Authority Questions such as Public Paths, Pipelines, Noise Abatement Zones, Common Land, etc

Your Mortgage

Ideally your mortgage offer will be in place prior to making an offer on the property. You must also make sure you have the finance available for a deposit. Your conveyancer will receive a copy of the offer and go through the conditions.

A mortgage valuation will be carried out on behalf of the mortgage company so they know the property provides sufficient security for the loan. You may have to pay for it unless included in the mortgage company fee. 

Signing Contracts

After each conveyancer receives draft contracts they will communicate with each other to ensure::

  • All enquiries have been returned satisfactorily .
  • All the fixtures and fittings included, are what was agreed.
  • A completion date has been agreed between both parties. This is usually 4 to 12 weeks after exchange of contracts
  • Arrangements have been made to transfer the deposit into your solicitors account, so that it clears in time for exchange. 

Different mortgages require a different percentage of mortgage as a deposit. Even if you pay less than 10% you are still liable for 10% of the value of the property if you later pull out of the agreement. Therefore if you pay a 5% deposit and pull out of buying the property you will not only lose your deposit but also legally owe an additional 5% of the value of the property.

Exchanging Contracts

A date and time will be agreed to exchange contracts. The conveyancers will exchange contracts for you, Usually done by both solicitors/conveyancers reading them over the phone. Once contracts have been exchanged, you will be in a legally binding contract to buy the property with a fixed date for moving. This means that:

  • If you do not complete the purchase, you will lose your deposit. If the deposit was less than 10% you will owe the seller more.
  • The seller has to sell or you can sue them
  • The seller can no longer accept another offer (you don’t need to worry about being gazumped)

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Completion Day

Completion is normally around midday on the specified date. In practice takes place when the money involved has been transferred to where it should be. Once this happens the seller should drop the keys at the estate agents for your collection. You can then move in.

Conveyancing Fees

When you Compare Solicitors fees you will notice they are split into two parts:

  • The legal costs charged by the conveyancer
  • The disbursements, or third-party expenses involved during the sale.

If the sale comes with a number of complications, there may be extra conveyancing-related costs to bear in mind:

For sellers:

  • The solicitor or conveyancer’s basic fee – expect this to be higher if the property is leasehold
  • Land Registry copies
  • Telegraphic Transfer fees – amounts under £60,000 will be cleared using the free Bank Automated Clearing System or BACS

For buyers:

  • The basic fee
  • Land Registry fee
  • Land Registration fee
  • Searches including Local Authority, drainage, environmental and location specific
  • Telegraphic Transfer fees
  • Stamp Duty – you can check this calculation using a stamp duty calculator


What Are Conveyancing Disbursements?

Most of the disbursement fees have set rates so always check the small print for costs:

Buying a property

Bankruptcy search – £2 – £4

Local Authority searches – £250 – £450

Land Registry office copies – £4 – £8

Environmental search – £30 – £35 plus VAT

Drainage search – £30 – £40 plus VAT

Local searches – £40 – £250

Telegraphic transfer fee – £20 – £45 plus VAT

Land registration fee – From £20 (for properties under £80,000) to £1,105 (for properties over £1,000,000)

Stamp Duty 

Selling a property

Land registry office copies – £4 to £8

Telegraphic transfer fee – £25 -£45

Fixed Price Conveyancing

It’s important to ensure your conveyancing quote includes all fees and disbursements and that it is fully itemised. This way you know from the beginning the exact fees you need to pay. 

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Compare Solicitor’s Fees

If you are buying or selling a new home you will need a conveyancing solicitor to help with the legal aspects of the transaction. Our comparison tool gives you a conveyance quote comparison in under 30 seconds. It’s totally free and there is no obligation. Compare Solicitor’s fees today.

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