Step-by-Step Guide to Conveyancing


Once an offer has been made on a property and accepted, contact your Solicitor with your full contact details and details of the transaction taking place. Further information will be sought from the Estate Agent (if applicable). Your Solicitor will open a file at this time and contact the other Solicitors acting.

You will be provided with a quotation for the work to be carried out by your Solicitor. This will come with the client care letter. The fee quoted will not change unless the transaction changes in some way, in which case you will be advised before any costs are incurred.

Should the transaction fall through, through no fault of your own, then you will not be charged anything and any monies you have paid to us will be returned to you in full (this does not include monies paid to third parties, e.g. HIP providers).


Your quotation will show the Conveyancing fees together with the VAT charged and the appropriate Search and Land Registry Fees. It is now necessary to register all Purchases and Re-mortgages at HML and Registry and the Land Registry fee shown on your quotation is for this purpose.

If you are buying a new property the developer may make a small charge for production of the legal documents.

Our quotation for a Re-mortgage assumes that the Title is already registered at the Land Registry. You should note that the Land Registry Fee will be slightly higher than that shown in our quotation if the property to be Re-mortgaged is still unregistered.

Local Authority Search

This is a Search which is sent to the Local Council. It reveals whether there are any charges or orders registered against your property by the Local Authority which will affect you after your Purchase. It also provides information regarding planning consents granted and council maintenance of roads and services.

Mining Search

This Search will be necessary if your property has been built in an area where there has previously been mining activity. It will reveal whether mining issues affect the property. For your own peace of mind we would always suggest that you ask the neigbours or the seller of the property if there has been any issues with subsidence.

Index Map Search

This Search is carried out where the land you are buying is not registered at the Land Registry. It will reveal whether anyone has ever registered the whole or part of the land.

Company Search

If you are buying from a Limited Company, this search will be carried out to ensure the Company is still entitled to sell the property.

Land Registry Priority Search

This Search is carried out immediately prior to the completion of your purchase to ensure that there have been no mortgage or notices registered against the property you are buying.

Bankruptcy Search

If you are buying with a Mortgage, we have to carry out this Search against your names on behalf of the Bank/Building Society. This would reveal any Court proceedings pending against you which of course, would need to be pointed out to the lender.

Drainage Search

This Search is sent to the Local Water Authority and will confirm whether the property is connected to the sewerage system. Depending upon the circumstances of your purchase, it may not be necessary to carry out all of these searches.

Alternatively, other Searches may be necessary. You will be advised of this as your purchase progresses.

Environmental Search

It is now possible to have an environmental search carried out on the property. This will reveal matters such as contaminated land, flooding risk and location of landfill sites. You will need to confirm to us prior to exchange of contracts if you wish this search to be undertaken.

The Contract

Seller's Solicitors. We will then carry out appropriate investigations to ensure Legal Title to the property is satisfactory.

Property Information and Fixtures and Fittings Forms

We will also be forwarded Property Information Forms and Fixtures and Fittings Forms from the Seller's which will reveal more information about the property. In particular, a list will be provided of all the items to be left at the property when you buy it. You will receive copies of these before you attend our office.


While we are carrying out our investigation of the Legal Title of the property, you will, if appropriate, be completing your mortgage application, and the Lender will be carrying our it's Survey of the property. Usually you will be arranging Life and Building Insurance in connection with your Mortgage and shall require full details of these when you come in to sign the documentation.

Private Survey

This Survey carried out on behalf of your Building Society or Bank is for valuation purposes only. You may wish to have a more detailed private survey carried out. If you are a Cash Buyers we would always recommend that you have survey of the property carried out. Now is the time to organise this in order that Exchange of Contracts need not be delayed.

Signing the Contract

When our investigations are complete, we will write to you asking you to make an appointment or we will post to you the documents that require signing. A member of the conveyancing team will be happy to go through these documents with you and answer any queries you may hve. In addition, they will also discuss the financial details of the transaction and you should be ready to pay your deposit at this stage.

Exchange of Contracts

Once all outstanding queries have been satisfactorily answered and your Seller is also ready, a Completion Date may be agreed and Contracts may be exchanged.

Exchange of Contracts is the stage at which the transaction becomes legally binding. The Completion Date is inserted in the Contract and this date is also binding. The Completion Date is when the property legally becomes yours.

As soon as Contracts have been exchanged you should ensure that cover is commenced for your Life and Buildings Insurance. After Exchange of Contracts, the final Searches are carried out and formalities compiled with in requesting the Advance from the Bank or Building Society.


On the day of Completion the money is paid through the CHAPS System. This means that it is telegraphically transferred between the Buyers and Sellers Solicitors Banks. As we have our own CHAPS machine, the transaction can be completed quickly and efficiently.


The keys will be passed over on the day of Completion. You may negotiate with the Sellers directly to collect the keys from them at the property, or alternatively, you may arrange to collect the keys from the Estate Agent.

Stamping and Registration

When your purchase has been completed, we shall arrange for the Stamp Duty to be paid on your behalf and for the Registration formalities to be completed.

Calculate your Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)


If you bought the property with the assistance of a Mortgage, your Title Deeds are likely to be lodged with the Building Society or Bank. If you are a cash Buyer, you may retain the Deeds yourself or, alternatively, we will keep them for you in our Deeds Safe free of Charge.

Property Information & Fixtures & Fittings Forms

These forms will be forwarded to you for completion and return to us. Your replies will be forwarded to the Buyers's Solicitors.

Office Copies

If your property is registered at the Land Registry we must obtain an up to date copy of the Register (known as an Office Copy) to supply to the Buyers. The cost of these will be included in your quote.


Upon receipt of the above docuements, we will draft a contract which will be forwarded to your Buyer's Solicitors. Once they have approved the contract, they are almost in a position to proceed to exchange of contracts. At this time, we will contact you to arrange for you to sign the contract.

Exchange of Contracts

When both parties are ready and a completion date has been agreed, Contracts will be exchanged. This is the stage at which your Sale becomes legally binding.


The balance of the money will be paid over via the Solicitors on the Completion day and you must give up vacant possession of the property to the buyer from this date. Please note that all your furniture and belongings must be removed from the property by 2pm at the latest on the completion date.

Once we have received the purchase money through the banking system, you may release the keys to the buyer. These can be given to the Estate Agent who will hold them until we confirm it is ok to release them or alternatively you can pass them to the buyer directly.


The keys will be passed over on the day of Completion. You may negotiate with the Buyer directly to collect the keys from you at the property, or alternatively, you may arrange to give the keys to the Estate Agent.

Redemption of Mortgage

Your mortgage will be repaid by us from the sale proceeds on the day of completion.

Occasionally the figures that are given for repayment by your Building Society or Bank do not take account of your most recent payment. If this happens and an over-payment is made, you will normally receive a refund within the next 2 or 3 weeks.

You should ensure that you cancel your Direct Debit payments for this mortgage.

Some lenders add on one additonal mortgage payment to their redemption figure. We are not sure why they do this as it is onerous on the seller. It may be worth asking your lender if you are unsure.

If the property is in negative equity, we will need to collect the sortfall from you as cleared funds before exchange of contracts.

Any life insurance policies that were with the deeds will be reassigned to you unless required in connection with a new mortgage. If the Policies are to be released to you, we will forward them on to you as soon as the appropriate formalities have been completed.


If you are arranging a Re-mortgage much of the procedure will be similar to that of a purchase. It will be necessary for us to obtain your title deeds from your existing Buidling Society or Bank and your mortgage offer.

We will then carry out the appropriate searches and arrange to see you to sign the mortgage documents.

On the day of completion, your existing mortgage will be repaid using the advance obtained form your new Mortgage. When your re-mortgage has been completed we will arrange for registration formalities to be completed at the land registry.

Life insurance policies will be re-assigned to either yourself or assigned to your new Bank of Building Society depending on their requirements. If there is a balance due to you after completion of your re-mortgage, this will be forwarded to you – normally on the day of completion.

To discuss any of the above or if you have any specific queries, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0844 412 5857.
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