Conveyancing Guide to Buying a Property

This Conveyancing Guide has been produced by experienced property lawyers and conveyancing solicitors to aid individuals currently involved in the house or flat buying legal process. It is written from the perspective of individuals involved in the purchase of a house or flat (the buyers).

Alternative Conveyancing Guides:

If you require a Conveyancing Guide for another type of property transaction please choose from the following alternative conveyancing guides:

Online Conveyancing Guide - Purchase of House/Flat

It should be noted that the information contained here is intended to be a general guide to conveyancing only. It should not be viewed as a definative or set process as all property conveyancing transactions vary and depend upon individual circumstances of home buyers, sellers, mortgage lenders and other interested parties.

The start of the conveyancing process - your (the buyers) offer on a your chosen property is formally accepted by the current owners (the sellers):

You will need to:

  • Get at least three seperate conveyancing quotes for your purchase
  • Choose your conveyancing solicitors or conveyancers and provide formal instructions
  • Instruct a surveyor or pay for your mortgage valuation
  • Pass your conveyancing solicitors details onto your mortgage lender and estate agent

Your conveyancing solicitors will:

  • Give you a conveyancing quote
  • Open your purchase conveyancing file and send your client care information
  • Receive confirmation of your purchase from the estate agents

You will need to:

  • Reply to your solicitors client care information
  • Provide Identification, Information and usually make a payment on account

Your conveyancing solicitors will:

  • Carry out any client due diligence checks in relation to your identity
  • Confirm instructions and request a contract from the seller’s conveyancers
  • Confirm instructions with the estate agent selling the property
  • Request and obtain a copy of the Home Information Pack from the estate agent or seller's solicitors
  • Check and provide a copy of the Home Information Pack to you
  • Where required check and report to you on any additional searches required
  • Receive the Contract and supporting documents from the Sellers Conveyancing Solicitors

You will need to:

  • Read and respond to any requests for instructions or information from your solicitors
  • Make sure your mortgage has been applied for (where required) and ensure your application is being progressed by your chosen lender
  • Provide a copy of the survey result or mortgage valuation to your conveyancing solicitors

Your conveyancing solicitors will:

  • Receive a copy of the survey or mortgage valuation report
  • Check the Contract and Title to the property
  • Carry out any additional search required
  • Raise appropriate Preliminary Enquiries before Contract with the seller’s solicitors
  • Report on and send to you the Contract, conveyancing information and seller’s completed protocol forms and search results
  • Receive a copy of the formal Mortgage Offer from your new mortgage lender (where appropriate) and ensure compliance with their formal instructions
  • Report to you on the Mortgage Offer
  • Prepare and send to you the Mortgage Deed
  • Where appropriate prepare and send to you the Stamp Duty Land Tax return as required by the Inland Revenue on all purchase conveyancing transactions
  • Prepare and forward a draft Transfer Deed to the buyer’s conveyancing solicitors and to you where appropriate

You will need to:

  • Read all reports carefully
  • Raise any issues on the reports provided with your conveyancing solicitors
  • Provide any instructions required by your solicitors
  • Sign the Contract and return to your solicitors
  • Formally execute (sign in the presence of a witness) the Mortgage Deed (where appropriate)
  • Formally execute the Transfer Deed (where appropriate)
  • Check, sign and return the Stamp Duty Land Tax return (where appropriate)
  • Ensure all documents are returned to your conveyancing solicitors
  • Keep in mind the date you wish to complete and make sure you have any removal arrangements in hand

Your conveyancing solicitors will:

  • Receive and check your signed and returned documents
  • Chase replies to the Preliminary Enquiries before Contract from the seller’s solicitors
  • Ask you for instructions regarding exchange of contracts and completion of your purchase
  • Receive and check replies to the Preliminary Enquiries raised with the seller’s solicitors
  • Report to you on the replies to Preliminary Enquiries Before Contract
  • Raise any additional Enquiries required with the seller’s solicitors
  • Chase and receive replies to any additional enquiries as necessary and resolve any remaining legal issues
  • Send you a request for the deposit monies you are paying towards the purchase

You will need to:

  • Ensure you are satisfied with all the information you have received regarding the property
  • Make sure you have signed and returned all required legal documents
  • Send your deposit monies from your bank account to your solicitors client bank account

Your conveyancing solicitors will:

  • Receive any outstanding documents or information
  • Receive your deposit for the purchase
  • Check your instructions regarding the date you would like to complete (get the keys)
  • Exchange Contracts

Exchange of Contracts ensures that all parties are legally bound to the conveyancing transaction and sets the legal completion date – you will obtain possession of the property and the keys on the legal completion date

Important - Once exchange of contracts is confirmed make sure you firm up any removal arrangements you have made on a provisional basis

Your conveyancing solicitors will:

  • Send your signed part of the Contract to the Seller’s solicitors
  • Receive the Sellers signed part of the Contract
  • Ensure the Transfer Deed is agreed and if necessary provide a copy for execution by you (if not dealt with previously)
  • Ensure the seller’s solicitors have provided replies to Requisitions on Title
  • Provide a completion statement (financial statement) to you detailing all costs charged and incurred
  • Request any final balance from you to be deposited in the conveyancing solicitors account in time for legal completion date
  • Request your new Buildings Insurance Details (where a mortgage is being used to fund your purchase)
  • Submit the Certificate of Title to your new mortgage lender for release of the mortgage monies in time for legal completion date (where appropriate)
  • Carry out the final conveyancing searches required
  • Deal with any outstanding issues resulting from the conveyancing searches undertaken

You will need to:

  • Ensure you have signed and returned all legal documents to your solicitors (or in some instances your mortgage provider)
  • Provide your Buildings Insurance Details to your solicitors (where requested)
  • Send the balance money required to complete to your solicitors in time for completion
  • Make sure you have confirmed all appropriate removals arrangements where required

The Legal Completion Date

Your conveyancing solicitors will:

  • Send a same day bank transfer payment to the seller’s conveyancing solicitors
  • Chase the funds with the seller’s conveyancing solicitors until confirmation of receipt is given
  • Ensure the keys are released to you as buyer’s as soon as funds are confirmed
  • Formally confirm legal completion with the seller’s solicitors and request any title deeds, documents and the seller’s signed Transfer Deed for registration purposes

You will of course move in (or take possession of your new purchase) on the legal completion date.  Your conveyancing solicitors will continue with the post-completion legal conveyancing work for you.

Post Completion

Your Conveyancing Solicitors will:

  • Submit your signed and completed Stamp Duty Land Tax return to the Inland Revenue
  • Receive the formal Certificate issued by the Inland Revenue for registration purposes
  • Receive and acknowledge the seller’s signed Transfer Deed and any deeds or documents from the seller’s conveyancing solicitors
  • Prepare and submit the formal application for registration to the Land Registry in order to register the property in your name
  • Prepare and submit the formal application for registration to the Land Registry in order to register the new mortgage as a charge (where appropriate)
  • Chase up and ensure receipt of confirmation that the seller’s previous mortgage has been fully repaid
  • Receive the completed application for registration back from the Land Registry
  • Provide a copy of the new title register to you confirming your new ownership of the property
  • Send any outstanding documents and deeds relating to the property to you for safekeeping
  • Check the financial ledger on the file to ensure it is clear
  • Close the purchase conveyancing file
  • Store your purchase file for the next 6 years as required under our professional rules

Further Conveyancing Information:

Further information about buying a property including a run down of what your conveyancing solicitors will do can be viewed by choosing the following link:

Further about the conveyancing process involved in the purchase of a property is available at:

To obtain a conveyancing quote for buying a property or for detailed information relating to legal fees (conveyancing solicitors fees) or Disbursements (third party costs payable during the course of the purchase) please choose from the following links:

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