Frequently asked questions

We understand you might have questions throughout your conveyancing journey. Here, we answer some of our most frequently asked questions to help you during the process. 

General

The time from instruction to completion depends on many different factors beyond the control of any single party. The time varies substantially, but the national average time from becoming proceedable to reaching completion is between 10 and 20 weeks. A transaction is “proceedable” when you have signed and returned all the onboarding documents to your conveyancing firm, and successfully completed the ID and AML process.

The firms on our panel have different methods. Some use an online document completion and signature process, others email documents for signature, so it does depend upon the firm assigned. 

No, we don’t work on commission. We set the prices that we quote. We collect the fees and disbursements that we charge, and the assigned conveyancing firm charge for their services.

We work with carefully selected conveyancing firms, who agree to honour our terms and conditions and fees, in return for a specific number of cases every month. This “buying power” allows us to offer excellent value for money to the market. We match every client’s circumstances and needs to the expertise of the different firms within our network. Different firms have different skill sets so every case has to be matched specifically; we ask a lot of questions to make sure that our quote is as accurate as possible, and to ensure we select a suitable firm.

Quote

We are one of the biggest and most reputable conveyancing panels in the UK. Because of our size and reputation, we are able to guarantee substantial work for our panel of conveyancing firms and they, in return, agree to our fee structure. We then pass these savings on to you.

The answer to this is both “yes” and “no”. Firstly, you will not be charged an hourly rate. Secondly, for what is included in your quote, the price is firm, so if there are no surprises between now and completion, then your quote should cover everything. If something additional is required, your conveyancer will alert you to the cost, explain why it’s required and charge you the special rates only available to clients of HLD, so you will benefit from our favourable fee arrangements throughout the transaction.

We always offer the best possible price at the outset. Do you have a significantly cheaper quote or is it a difference of a few pounds? Although we don’t profess to be the cheapest, we do offer exceptional value for money so we would be surprised if we were more expensive comparing like for like.

HLD takes an initial payment to get the process underway and that is our portion of the quote. It covers ID/AML, setting up the file, plus the admin and support that we offer throughout the process. This is fully explained in our terms and conditions.

We ask a number of questions to ensure our quotes are accurate, but we cannot anticipate everything. It’s similar to when you put your car in for an MOT; until they get under the bonnet they can’t be sure there will be no other costs. We also don’t want to charge you for something that you may not need.

For example, many (but not all) leasehold properties, and even some freehold properties are managed by Management Companies. If there is a Management Company involved, changes in ownership have to be recorded and formalised with them. Some charge for this, whilst others don’t. Depending upon the time and complexity, if there is a management company involved, your conveyancer may ask for an additional fee to get it all done. There is no way that HLD or your conveyancing firm will know until further along in the transaction process. The Estate Agent and/or seller should advise purchasers of this risk but most often don’t just to get the deal done.

There are a few steps in the payment process.

HLD takes an initial payment to get the process underway and that is our portion of the quote. It covers ID/AML, setting up the file, plus the admin and support that we offer throughout the process. Next, you may be requested for a small disbursement deposit of about £75 by the assigned conveyancing firm to cover small disbursements during the process. Thereafter, you will need to order searches and possibly a survey if required. It’s important to order the searches as soon as possible so expect that expense within the first few weeks after instruction. The final payment will be required a few days before completion.

Special requirements

As joint tenants (sometimes called ‘beneficial joint tenants’):

  • each has equal rights to the whole property – neither one of you has a specific “share” in the property
  • the property automatically goes to the other owner(s) if you die
  • you cannot pass on your ownership of the property in your will
  • it is much more difficult to sell the property without the agreement of all joint tenants

As tenants in common:

  • each of you will own a specified share in the property, which may or may not be an equal share (HM Land Registry does not always hold information on the specific shares each owner holds)
  • the property does not automatically go to the other owner(s) if you die
  • you can pass on your share of the property in your will

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