Common questions | Winston Solicitors Skip to main content
  • Your solicitor will pay any stamp duty payable on the purchase and attend to the registration of the title into your name, forwarding details to you and any lender, once registered. If the solicitor is dealing with your sale, arrangements will be made to discharge any existing mortgage, if there is one.

  • Once you have exchanged contracts and the completion date is agreed in the contract, you will be legally bound to complete on that date by paying the purchase price in exchange for the keys. Therefore, if for any reason the lender decides to decline the mortgage or delay the issue of the offer, you would be liable for damages. So, the solicitor will advise you not to exchange contracts until you have received a written offer and the lender’s conditions can be complied with.

  • Yes, you can buy a property without a solicitor however, you will need to instruct a regulated and qualified person to arrange the legal and administrative documentation that is required to legally transfer ownership of property.

  • We will always provide you with a fixed priced conveyancing quote, by email, online or telephone. The price will not alter unless the transaction is different to that which has been quoted. An example might be where the quote is for a property with registered title, but the property actually has unregistered title. We will provide a clear explanation of why there is any alteration to the price.

  • The average time is six to eight weeks for a sale and eight to 12 weeks for a purchase, but this can vary, depending on the length of the chain involved. The shortest time could be only a few days, if a buyer was purchasing an empty property and had the purchase monies available without needing a mortgage. However, it could take longer than average if there is a long chain and the person at the end is waiting for a buyer to be able to proceed. Your solicitor will keep you fully informed of progress developments.

  • Most solicitors charge a fee proportionate to the value of the property, so the cost of the work depends on the sale price of your property, together with a number of factors including the complexity of the title and third-party involvement.
    Our fees range from £600 plus VAT for a freehold sale. The actual fee depends on the price of the property.
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  • The seller’s contract provides for 10% of the purchase price to be paid on exchange of contracts prior to the completion of the purchase a few weeks later, but this deposit amount is more often than not varied by agreement. This depends upon the amount of money being borrowed. If you are buying and selling, the deposit obtained on the sale can usually be used as a deposit on the purchase.

  • Finding a good conveyancing solicitor can be difficult as there are many around. The best way is to ask friends and family if they have any recommendations and by looking at reviews online. 

    If other people have had a good experience, then it is likely that you will receive the same service. You can also look on a conveyancing solicitors’ website to see if they give any information about the conveyancing process and further detail on what they can offer you. 

    You can often get a good idea of whether a conveyancing solicitor will suit your needs by contacting them and getting a feel of whether they are helpful and friendly. 

  • A conveyancing chain is when there is more than one buyer and seller involved. For example, your seller is buying a house off someone else who is buying another house and the chain goes on. 
    The chain breaks when the buyer or seller is not relying on buying or selling another house such as a first-time buyer or someone purchasing a buy-to-let property. 
    The reason why conveyancing chains can cause a delay is that a buyer cannot buy a property without selling their current property, so the transactions are dependent on what happens within the chain.

  • A conveyancing solicitor is a legal professional that handles the legal transfer of residential property ownership from the seller to the buyer. The conveyancing solicitor will deal with all the steps of the conveyancing process including doing searches on the house, drafting amended title deeds, taking payment, and transferring funds to the required parties.

  • Conveyancing is the legal transfer of property ownership from one person to another.

  • The cost varies, dependent upon the particular area where the property is being purchased. The total cost of the search pack we provide is £195.00 and the solicitor will request an initial payment to cover the cost of these at the outset, when they are submitted. A seller is no longer required to provide searches.

  • Your solicitor will fully protect your interests and that of any lender on a purchase, to ensure that no adverse entries arise which could affect the property generally. Such matters would be revealed on the searches and the transaction would not proceed until any issues are resolved.

  • When contracts are exchanged, the completion date goes in the contract and is a fixed date for completion. At that time, the removal arrangements can be confirmed to the company. A suggested date given before exchange of contracts may be altered and the removal company may charge a fee for changing the date.

  • If there is an estate agent involved, the seller’s solicitor will telephone to arrange for the keys to be released, once all the purchase monies have been received. Your solicitor will arrange for the transfer of monies as early as possible on the day of completion, but if there is a long chain and monies are awaited, this may delay the time the keys are released.

  • If you are obtaining a mortgage, the lender will normally insure the property or allow you to do so, provided your own insurance arrangements are satisfactory to the lender and the property is fully covered.

  • The conveyancing process can take time to go through especially if you are part of a chain. Conveyancing solicitors are dealing with different clients at one time, so naturally, there will be some time taken to handle your case. 
    However, mostly, solicitors are waiting on information from third parties such as other solicitors, Land Registry, local authorities, estate agents, or mortgage companies which is why the process can seem slow. 
    If you are in a chain, the whole process can be slowed down because solicitors cannot act when they are waiting for something to happen further along the chain that is out of their control. 
    Part of the role of the conveyancing solicitor is to chase third parties for information so that they can do their job.

  • The general principle is that it is the buyer’s responsibility to be satisfied as to the general condition of a property purchased. Provided a buyer is not misled by the seller, he cannot complain after exchange of contracts and completion as to its condition. If a mortgage is being obtained, a valuer on behalf of the lender will inspect the property, but only usually to ensure that the value of the property is more than the amount borrowed. In practice, the same valuer, on payment of a fee, will carry out a more detailed report, which can be relied upon if you, as buyer, later discover a problem with the property.