Frequently Asked Conveyancing Questions
We often hear the same questions being repeatedly asked. We have therefore prepared
this section to assist and we hope you find it useful. None of the answers below
constitute proper and formal legal advice.
Once you have instructed your solicitor, they will be happy to answer any questions
you may have, relating to your case, on a formal and proper basis.
Q. Does my conveyancing solicitor need to be local?
The simple answer to this question is that it really doesn't matter if your solicitor
is local or not. The nature of conveyancing is such that no face-to-face meeting
is needed, and all correspondence can easily (and more efficiently) take place by
telephone, fax, email or post.
The reality is that by using a specialist firm that takes cases from anywhere in
the UK, you could save money and speed up the process.
Q. Am I legally required to use a solicitor to do my conveyancing?
No. You can use a licenced conveyancer or a solicitor to do your conveyancing, or
you can even try to do it yourself. HOWEVER, solicitors and licenced conveyancers
are qualified and competent to do this work - and you are not. It is not recommended
that you attempt to do your own conveyancing.
Conveyancing is a complex process and the financial penalties for mistakes could
be very costly. You could end up losing your property or even face criminal prosecution.
Solicitors and licenced conveyancers have the proper insurance and training for
handling these matters. In our view, the savings do not outweigh the risks when
it comes to D.I.Y. conveyancing.
Q. Is this REALLY all I have to pay?
In the very vast majority of cases, YES. Very rarely there may be some peculiarity
to a case, or some omission or inaccuracy in the information supplied by the client
which may push up the price - BUT don't worry. Even if this does happen the solicitor
will discuss the increase in price with you, and seek your agreement BEFORE going
ahead with any additional work.
Q. How long will the process take
Conveyancing typically takes between 8 and 12 weeks. Every effort will be made by
the solicitor to conclude the matter quickly, and to keep you informed along the
way. Remember, buying and selling property often involves a chain, and it only takes
one troublesome link in that chain to slow the conveyancing down for everyone involved.
Be prepared for delays caused by other solicitors in the chain - or other buyers
and sellers pulling out, causing the chain to collapse.
Q. Broadly speaking, what are the costs involved?
We recommend that you get a detailed quotation for your conveyancing - but broadly
speaking the following costs can apply when moving home. Only some of these
items will be payable to, or collectable by your solicitor.
- Estate agency fees
- Removal costs
- Legal fees
- Stamp Duty / Land Tax (SDLT)
- Cost of surveys
- Local authority and other searches
- Land registy fees
- Mortgage arrangement fees
- Energy Survey fees
Q. My offer has been accepted / or I've accepted an offer - how do I get started?
Go to the quotations page, and
enter the details of your sale or purchase. Compare the quotations that are returned,
and read the feedback on each solicitor. View the details of each quotation, and
make your choice of solicitor.
Next, click "Instruct" and fill in the form.
You will receive a "Welcome Pack" in the post over the next couple of days - you
should read this carefully, and then return your signed instructions, along with any
up-front payment that may be required.
If you have any questions, please call the solicitor before returning any signed
If you are selling, then you will also receive questionnaires that must be carefully
and accurately completed. These are legally binding and are passed to your buyer
to accurately represent what they are purchasing from you.
Searches will be executed by your solicitor.
Your solicitor will also need full access to your deeds of title of ownership for
your property, and details of any loans, mortgages or other borrowing secured against
Q. What happens at the "Exchange of Contracts" stage?
The most important aspect of contracts being exchanged is that you will become legally
bound to purchase and or sell the property(ies) referenced by the contract(s).
A deposit is normally paid to the seller's solicitor at this point.