How long will the conveyancing process take?

The average time between instructing your solicitor and moving in is currently 16-20  weeks, this period has become longer than before Covid but is gradually coming down. It's worth noting that our average conveyancing time is 12 weeks across the board.

What is a conveyancing "chain"?

To avoid the risk and cost of owning two houses people buyers and sellers usually elect to buy and sell simultaneously. Because of this several  linked transactions arise, each dependent on the other.  Exchanging contracts must take place simultaneously in all transactions meaning that the speed of progress is dictated by the slowest link in the chain.

How much will it conveyancing cost?

If you are selling you need to budget for estate agent’s fees and legal fees. If you are buying you need to budget for legal fees and disbursements. “Disbursements” are payments made by your solicitor to others, such as stamp duty, land registry fees and search fees. You also need to budget for lender’s valuation fees and your own survey fee. Knowing your conveyancing costs is easy to do by requesting a free online quote.

When should I instruct my conveyancing solicitor?

If you are selling you should speak to your solicitor prior to putting your house on the market. If you are buying you should make contact prior to  making an offer on a property.

When should I apply for a mortgage?

Research prior to viewing properties. There are many  different mortgages available and you should consider which one is best for you. You can obtain a mortgage in principle from most lenders prior to finding a specific property.

Look for Mortgage Broker who can look at the whole of the market and offer you the various options..

When do I know the property is mine?

Once contracts are exchanged a legally binding agreement arises and neither party can withdraw. Until that point either party may back out.

What is the difference between "exchange" and "completion"?

A completion date is the date on which you move into your new property and vacate the old one. The completion date is written into the contract and exchange of contracts is the point at which the seller and buyer agree to commit themselves unconditionally to the transaction.

What is gazumping?

Gazumping is where a seller accepts a higher offer before contracts are exchanged with the buyer. There is not a great deal that can be done to stop a seller from gazumping although a lock out agreement may sometimes stop this from happening.

What is a local "search"?

A local search is a  standard enquiries that your conveyancing solicitor raises with the local council. It relates  to the property and would not, for example, reveal proposals to develop or extend neighbouring land or property. The local council charge a fee “the local search fee” which your conveyancing solicitor collects from you and pays to the council when the search is completed.

Can I find out if there are plans to build nearby?

Enquiries may be made with the local planning office to establish whether planning permission has been granted for any nearby development.

The builder has given me 28 days to exchange contracts. Is this possible?

Yes. Builder’s conveyancing solicitors usually pre-package legal work and often the developer will allow you to exchange contracts conditionally upon the sale of your own property. Speak to your conveyancing solicitors as soon as possible to agree a timetable for exchange.

Can I save stamp duty?

It is possible to apportion the price between the bricks and mortar and the fixtures and fittings. There are rules but the basic one is that any apportionment has to be an accurate reflection of the true price of the items involved.

What is the rate of stamp duty?

Property or lease premium or transfer value                        SDLT rate

Up to £125,000                                                                                Zero
£125,001 to £250,000                                                                     2%
£250,001 to £925,000                                                                     5%
£925,001 to £1.5 million                                                                10%
Above £1.5 million                                                                              12%

You can calculate how much stamp duty will be due by using this link –