What is Conveyancing?

Transferring the ownership of a house, flat or piece of land from one person to another is known as conveyancing.

What is a Licensed Conveyancer?

A Licensed Conveyancer is a specialist property Lawyer, someone who is trained and qualified in all aspects of the law dealing with property.

My lender says you are not on their panel does this mean I have to appoint another solicitor?

When buying a property you have to appoint a lawyer to act on your behalf in the carrying out the legal aspects of the transaction. If you have a mortgage then your lender effectively appoints us to act on their behalf as well and we have to provide them with a report on the property before they will release funds. Often the Lawyer acting for the buyer and the lender are one and the same although this doesn’t have to be the case. If we are not on a lenders panel then don’t worry as this does not mean you have to appoint another solicitor. Please do contact us and we will explain the process we need to go through. If you are concerned about this in any way then please contact us for more information.

How long will my matter take?

An average conveyancing transaction takes anywhere between 6-8 weeks to complete although this does vary depending on the length of the chain involved and a number of other factors.

Who will be dealing with my matter?

A qualified and experienced Lawyer will handle your transaction from start to finish. You will have direct email and telephone contact with your Lawyer throughout your transaction.

What does my quote include?

Your quote consists of two parts:

1. Our basic fee (i.e. what we charge to do the work); and
2. The disbursements (these are things we have to pay other people for on your behalf

Will there be any unexpected fees?

We aim to provide as much cost information to you when we provide you with your conveyancing quote. However sometimes we cannot give you information up front about all disbursements. For example if you are buying a leasehold property we may need to service notice of your interest on the landlord for which the landlord usually charges a fee or if you are selling a leasehold property you will be required to obtain replies to enquiries of the landlord who will charge a fee. Please do note however that these disbursements would be due whoever you use to do your conveyancing.

What are disbursements?

Disbursements are payments that you are responsible for paying to third parties during the course of your transaction. Stamp duty land tax, land registry payments and search fees are all examples of disbursements which we pay on your behalf at various stages of your transaction.

Why do I need to pay money to you at the start of the transaction?

Some of your disbursements will need to be paid early in the transaction. These sums are payable immediately and any balance remaining is credited to your account. All other fees and disbursements (including stamp duty) are payable after exchange of contracts but before completion.

Will I need to visit your offices to sign paperwork?

In the majority of circumstances it is not necessary for you to visit your lawyer. We can deal with most issues arising throughout your transaction by telephone or email saving you valuable time. We will send any documents which cannot be emailed for signature to you by post.

What is ‘exchange of contracts’?

Exchange of contracts means the transactions has become binding. On exchange of contracts the completion date (moving date) is confirmed. Contracts are exchanged between solicitors, on the telephone. You do not need to be present for us to exchange contracts.

What happens on the day of completion?

Provided we have exchanged contracts, then on the day of completion the purchase monies are transferred from one solicitor to another by Bank Telegraphic Transfer. How long the telegraphic transfer takes depends on how busy the Bank Transfer system is on the day.

Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about the Bank Transfer system. However if you are buying then sometimes we will request your mortgage advance to arrive the day before completion in order to avoid any delays on the completion day itself. We will speak to you before we do this as interest will be charged by your lender from the day funds are sent to us.

If you are selling completion effectively happen once we have receive the purchase funds in our bank account. If you are buying then completion will effectively happen once the seller’s solicitor receives funds. Upon receipt of funds the Lawyer will authorise release of keys.

When will I be able to pick up my keys?

Keys will not be released to you until the seller’s Lawyers have received all of the purchase monies.
If an Estate Agent is involved then they will usually hold the keys and they will let you have them when the seller’s Lawyers have informed them that the purchase money has arrived.

If there are no Agents, you should liaise with the seller to arrange to collect the keys directly from them. The seller’s Laywers should advise the Lawyer when they are in receipt of the purchase money.

When should I book my removal firm?

Not until we have exchanged contracts because until this time either party to the transaction can withdraw and you may lose any advance booking fee paid to the removal firm.

We are unmarried and buying a property. I am putting a bigger deposit into the property. Can I protect it?

If you are putting unequal amounts into the property the person who is paying the larger amount can protect that money by a “Trust deed”. This is becoming more and more common as parents often help out their children with getting a deposit together.

A Trust deed is a legal document which sets out who has put what into the property and it outlines who will get what from the proceeds of the property in the event of separation. For example, it can state that if the house is sold, the person who put in the deposit gets that amount first, before the remainder of the value is shared out.

Do I need a survey on the property I am buying?

It is advisable to have a more detailed survey carried out on older properties, or simply if you want the additional peace of mind that a detailed survey can bring. A survey can bring to light problems with the property you are buying which may make you not want to buy the property – if the problem is serious. Often a survey can bring to light more minor problems which you can ask the seller to put right before you purchase the property, or you may be able to use the problem to renegotiate a lower purchase price.

What will I be charged if my transaction falls through?

If your transaction falls through we will charge a proportion of our fee which relates to the amount of work we have carried out, therefore the cost to you will depend on what stage the transaction failed. Any expenses (disbursements) already incurred on your behalf will also be payable. However, depending on the matter, we may try to sell searches to a replacement buyer if you withdraw from a purchase after search fees have been incurred.