FAQs

We have the answers to your legal questions

FAQs Residential Conveyancing

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal work undertaken to transfer the ownership of a property in the UK from one person to another. Our specialist conveyancing team also deal with other property related matters such as rectifying deflects in legal titles, lease extensions and remortgages. Please review our website for a comprehensive list.

How long does conveyancing take?

An average sale or purchase will take around 8-10 weeks from instruction to completion. Various factors can alter this timescale, such as the complexity of the matter, or any lender requirements that must be fulfilled. As your matter progresses, we will endeavour to keep you updated on any issues that arise, which could impact on those timeframes, so that you can plan accordingly.

Do I need a Conveyancer to sell my house?

Buying and selling property is a complex matter and it is important that the legal documents are correctly drafted. Your buyer will be relying on any statement or reply that you give during the transaction, and it is therefore essential that you fully understand what is being asked of you and that you give an accurate reply. Our property lawyers have years of experience and training to ensure that they can progress matters smoothly and they are available to assist with any questions or concerns that you may have during the course of your sale.

What additional costs should I consider when moving or buying a house?

When you are ready to consider moving house, please contact us and we can provide a comprehensive quote to include our legal fees and the known disbursements (eg Land Registry Fees and Searches).

If you are buying or selling a Leasehold Property (eg a flat) there are additional fees to consider. For a sale, the landlord will provide a selling pack (LPE1s) and most companies will charge a fee for this; your lease may also contain provisions regarding additional payments on any sale or transfer. A buyer is typically charged a fee by the Landlord for updating their records. These fees vary company to company however can be several hundred pounds. Some Freehold properties have similarly charges, when there is a management company who maintain external common areas on the estate eg the roads or green areas.

Whilst it is not a legal requirement, if you are purchasing a property, it is always recommended that you arrange to have a survey conducted to check for any major problems and recommended works.

FAQs Top Tips when buying a house

There are many hurdles to jump when you’re purchasing a new home.

  1. Know the true costs and set a budget. Don’t just save for a deposit; budget for the whole buying process including surveys, searches, land registry, mortgage arrangement and legal fees, stamp duty, removal and furnishing costs and any potential repairs. And, if you’re buying a leasehold property, remember to factor in service charges and ground rent.
  2. Get an ‘Agreement in Principle’ before making an offer. Talk to a mortgage adviser about mortgage deals, then get an 'agreement in principle' from a mortgage lender – it could give you the edge on buyers without one.
  3. Consider your options - if you are a first time buyer, it’s well worth exploring the government’s first time buyer initiatives.
  4. Appoint an experienced lawyer - a good lawyer will manage the legal side of house buying and ensure everything goes smoothly.
  5. Get first dibs – ask local estate agents to call when suitable properties are about to come onto the market, that way you can book one of the first viewings.
  6. Ask questions – find out as much as you can about the area and the property, including how many viewings and offers it’s had - it helps when it comes to negotiating.
  7. Be realistic about timings – local searches can take up to 18 weeks and if you’re in a chain, not everyone will be ready when you are.
  8. Commission a full property survey – it's different to a valuation survey and will flag up any problems that could cost you later down the line. Your lender may require you to use a specific surveyor.
  9. Get insured – find a comprehensive building insurance policy with no onerous restrictions they can impose if, for example, you’re purchasing in a flood risk area.
  10. Draw up a Will – if you die, you'll want your assets (including your home) to be distributed to your loved one. Ask a lawyer to help you draw up a legally binding will.