Conveyancing Q&A

Do you offer fixed price conveyancing?

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.

How long will the transaction take?

The average time is six to eight weeks, 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. Call today on 0113 320 5000 to discuss your specific requirements.

What searches will be required on a purchase?

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.

What is the cost of the searches?

The cost varies, dependent upon the particular area where the property is being purchased. The total cost can be between £250 to £300 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.

Will I need to carry out a survey on purchasing a property?

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.

How much deposit will I need to pay?

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.

Can I exchange contracts before a mortgage offer is issued?

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.

Who will insure the property?

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.

When can I book the removal firm?

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.

When do I get the keys?

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.

Are there any matters to attend to following completion?

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.

See our Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) calculator to find out what you will need to pay.

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