Our dedicated team will be on hand every step of the way to ensure buying property is as stress free as possible

Buying a property is a big decision, whether it's your a first-time buyer, you're moving up the property ladder or you are buying properties for investment.

Our dedicated team offers practical and personalised legal advice. You will be given a named member of staff as your main point of contact who will keep you updated at all important stages throughout the transaction, using your preferred method of communication.

See our 'buying a property' flow chart, which takes you through the stages of the conveyancing process.

Advice for buyers:

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. From the outset, we provide you with a breakdown of costs, which include our fixed fee legal costs together with any third-party payments, such as Land Registry fees, stamp duty land tax and search fees. There are no hidden costs with us; what we quote is what you will pay.

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.

Consider your options - if you are a first time buyer, it’s well worth exploring the government’s first time buyer initiatives.

Appoint an experienced lawyer - a good lawyer will manage the legal side of house buying and ensure everything goes smoothly.

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.

Ask questions – find out as much as you can about the area and the property, including how many viewings and offers it has had. This can be very helpful when it comes to negotiating.

Be realistic about timings – local searches can take up to 20 weeks and if you’re in a chain, not everyone will be ready when you are.

Commission a full property survey – This is 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.

Get insured – find a comprehensive building insurance policy without any onerous restrictions which can be imposed if, for example, you’re purchasing in a flood risk area.

Draw up a Will – if you pass away, you'll want your assets (including your home) to be distributed to your loved one. Battens' Private Client team can assist with this.

Enquire today


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.

How to choose a conveyancing solicitor?

Some estate agents may be tied through a referral scheme to a specific conveyancing firm or local solicitor. Sellers and Purchasers should always have freedom of choice as to which lawyer they wish to appoint to assist them with their sale or purchase transaction. It is helpful to get quotes from various firms who could assist you, but you should not just rely upon the cost of the service when deciding.

Our advice is to always read reviews online for those firms as whilst some may be cheaper than others, they may not provide the service you expect to receive or which you deserve to receive. Battens prides itself on providing a service which is both reasonable in terms of cost, but one where a client should expect to receive a first rate service provided by a dedicated lawyer and their support staff member. Working in conjunction with one another.

Licensed conveyancer vs conveyancing solicitor: what’s the difference?

Many different terms are used when describing a legal representative who carries out property work or conveyancing. A more effective term to use to describe the role would be property lawyer.

A Licensed Conveyancer is a conveyancing specialist who has qualified within the field of conveyancing or property law. They are a legally qualified person who deals solely with conveyancing work.

A conveyancing solicitor is someone who is a legally qualified solicitor who carries out conveyancing or property work. A solicitor is able however to practice in many other areas of law, including property as opposed to a Licenced Conveyancer who is only qualified to deal with conveyancing work.

When should I use a solicitor rather than a conveyancer?

There is no benefit when looking to appoint a property lawyer to carry out conveyancing work for a sale, purchase or re-mortgage for example, to choose a solicitor over a Licensed Conveyancer or vice versa. Whilst the qualifications each have obtained are different, both should be more than capable of assisting with a property transaction. However, someone who is listed as a ‘Conveyancer’ only may not be legally qualified and may be supervised by someone who is legally qualified instead. This should be checked before agreeing to instruct that person to assist with a property transaction.

Are there any disadvantages of using a solicitor for conveyancing?

On the face of it, there should be no disadvantages of using a solicitor for conveyancing. As long as that solicitor is competent in the field of property law and can confirm they are more than capable of carrying out a particular conveyancing transaction with experience with the specific transaction you wish to undertake.

A helpful tip is to perhaps research a particular individual online by visiting the firm’s website to get some idea as to the experience of the lawyer assigned to you or one you wish to instruct to deal with your property transaction. The firm’s website should list the individual’s qualification, level of experience and whether they supervise other lawyers or are supervised themselves and by who.

Should you choose a solicitor that’s local to you?

Of course you do not need to, however local solicitors have good working relationships with each other and can help improve transaction times. We have really good relationships with solicitors locally and it is always good to see a friendly name representing the seller/buyer. There’s also a lot of expertise locally so if there is a problem with the legal title that needs to be resolved we know how each other work and what is likely to be needed in order to resolve it saving a lot of back-and-forth emails.

Common frustrations of buying and selling a house

Always the transaction time! Unfortunately buying or selling a house is not an instant process and there are hoops to jump through for compliance before we get to the legal work. It can really help speed things up if your ID and Source of Funding is all organised beforehand for a purchase, and for a sale if you can find all of those certificates you put in that “safe place” this will reduce the number of enquiries the buyer’s solicitor needs to raise. With leaseholds the most common frustration comes from dealing with landlords. Some are really good but others you can be waiting weeks to get information from them unfortunately.

How long does conveyancing take?

The national average is about 10-14 weeks for a freehold sale or purchase (leaseholds do take longer), however there are so many factors that can impact this. We have to gather and review a lot of information to purchase a house so the quicker we get all of this in (the mortgage, searches, replies to enquiries) the quicker we can prepare a legal report to you with documents to sign. If however, there is a delay in getting some information this increases the transaction time. Of course transactions go through quicker than the average and some take longer, it very much depends on the property and the circumstances of the chain.

Paperwork efficiency and tracking milestones

You being really organised with your paperwork helps us enormously. Source of funds can sometimes cause a bit of a stumbling block. We understand that it feels like you are providing a lot to us but 6 months worth of bank statements showing where the monies you are contributing are held, together with 6 months statements for any accounts that have paid into your account (e.g. if your deposit is in your savings and you have transferred money in from your current account we will need 6 months of both accounts) are required.

Also for a sale or a purchase we will need ID from you, so make sure you have downloaded a utility bill recently and your passport/driving licence is in date.

How much do conveyancing fees cost?

Our fees are on a sliding scale compared to property value so let us know if you need a quote and we can provide this for you. On a sale you would need to bear in mind any estate agents fees if you sell via them. On a purchase we detail how much the searches are likely to cost within our quote, but you should also factor in the cost of a survey if you are looking to obtain one of those. We do not organise the survey for you.

What does exchange of contracts mean?

Exchange of contracts is when the transaction becomes legally binding and the completion date is set. This means you can start organising the practicalities of the move, such as booking removal companies and putting in place buildings insurance.

Prior to exchange, both the seller and buyer will be given a contract containing the terms of the transaction to sign and return to their conveyancer. The buyer will also transfer their deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) and exchange of contracts can then take place. This involves both the buyers and seller’s solicitor confirming the terms of the contract over the telephone and once exchanged, neither party can pull out of the transaction without a penalty.

What happens on completion day?

This is the date where the money and keys change hands; the seller moves out and the buyer can collect the keys and move in.

Prior to the day of completion, the buyer’s solicitor should ensure they have all funds for the purchase in (including any mortgage money). On the day of completion, the purchase funds are sent from the buyer’s solicitor to the seller’s solicitor and once the seller’s solicitor has received them, completion has taken place. The Estate Agent is then contacted by the seller’s solicitor to confirm that they can release the keys to the buyers.

Can you do building work between exchange and completion?

On exchange, you do not automatically get access to the property. The exchange of contracts fixes a completion date which usually follows in the next week or two and that is the date the buyer will get the keys and have access to the property. However, on some occasions where access is required to carry out building work, if the seller is agreeable, the buyer can be granted a “key licence” so that they can get the keys to access the property to carry out works. The key licence will set out the terms in which the buyer can access the property and what works they are able to do under that licence.

Can you exchange and complete on the same day?

Yes. This is called a simultaneous exchange and completion. This is usually avoided because most parties want confirmation that the completion date is set in stone so that they can start arranging their move and without exchanging, the completion date is still uncertain. The other disadvantage of a simultaneous exchange and completion is that where there is a chain, it can take quite a lot time for all of the exchanges and completions to go through meaning that completion may be later in the day than it would be if the contracts had been exchanged beforehand and all money is set up ready to go.

Penalties for late completion / not completing at all

The contract will contain a contracted time in which the legal completion should take place by and if this is not met, the contract has been breached. If there is a hold up on the day of completion and this causes inconvenience for others in the chain then “notice is served” on the party causing the hold up. This involves sending a notice to the other party to confirm they have breached the terms of the contract for completing late.

If completion is late, interest payment may be due. If costs are incurred by a party in the chain and they therefore suffer loss due to the late completion, for example, if someone needed to pay for storage over night or stay in a hotel, then this can be claimed by that party and those further up the chain, depending on who is at fault for the late completion.

If the transaction does not complete at all, there are a number of penalties which can be imposed such as retaining the buyer’s deposit, damages or requiring the party at fault to do something to rectify the issue at hand.


“My girlfriend and I used Emma Taylor in Yeovil for the purchase of our first house. Emma was very helpful and was always happy to answer any questions that we had. As first time buyers, we were completely clueless about the process however, Emma guided us through every step of the way. When Emma went on holiday Ross Siviter took over the file and we were so pleased with the work that he did whilst Emma was away.

We would definitely use Battens again and would recommend this firm to our family and friends.”


“Top professional work of the highest standard and ability from Ross Siviter. Super efficient. Couldn't have been better.”

Ms Price

“Lucy was the most professional and approachable solicitor I have used. Moving house can be so stressful but not if Lucy does your conveyancing.”

M Jessop

“Brilliant service, couldn’t speak any higher of Tina and Cathy. Professional and friendly what more could you ask for.”

C Wallis

“Cate, was incredibly professional and friendly. She worked diligently on our conveyancing case and kept us informed throughout the process. Her eye for detail is impeccable. We're very satisfied with the service we've received from battens. Can't thank her enough for her service.”

E Phiri

“Throughout the entire conveyancing process, Naomi provided an excellent & efficient service dealing with any queries as they arose & keeping us well informed on progress being made. This turned a potentially stressful event into one that ran smoothly from start to finish. I'd have no hesitation in recommending Naomi to anyone who is looking to buy or sell a property.”

R Lucas

“Jason was fantastic! As first time buyers, we were largely unaware of the process, however, Jason kept us up to date every step of the way. I’ve got to say, Jason made everything so clear and simple that I’m now confused as to how family/friends found their purchases stressful! I’ll be recommending Jason to anyone that mentions they’re looking to buy or sell their home!”

J Ball