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Purchase conveyancing guide

Oliver Meddick By Oliver Meddick
Purchase conveyancing guide


What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring a property from one owner to another. It begins from when you first instruct a conveyancing solicitor and continues through to completion of your property transaction i.e., when keys are exchanged.

Conveyancing is required when buying and/or selling a property as well as for re-mortgages, transfer of equity and equity release. The steps will vary depending on which transaction is being undertaken.

What is a conveyancer?

The role of a conveyancer is to carry out the necessary legal work required for the legitimate sale and purchase of a property. The legal fee paid is for the conveyancer's legal expertise and time in carrying out the property transaction.

Do I need a conveyancer when buying a property?

If a property is being bought with a mortgage, then a conveyancer is required as lenders will always require a conveyancer to carry out the property transaction. Cash purchasers on the other hand can avoid using a conveyancer. However, the purchase and selling of a property is complex and having professional legal guidance is important so even if a property is being purchased with cash, a conveyancer is still recommended.

How long does conveyancing take?

The conveyancing process can take on average around eight to ten weeks. However, each case is different and it can take less or longer, depending on circumstances such as the length of the chain, the complexity of the transaction and how quickly information is submitted and reviewed.

How much does conveyancing cost?

The average cost for conveyancing will vary depending on the price of the property and the legal work involved. You can expect to pay anywhere between £500 and £1500. Conveyancing costs are split into the cost for the conveyancing legal fees, mandatory government costs such as stamp duty and disbursements such as search costs.

What is fixed fee conveyancing?

Fixed fee conveyancing is where a price is given for the necessary legal work required. Fixed fee conveyancing costs are the costs associated for the legal work undertaken and do not include the disbursements such as property searches and stamp duty. With fixed fee conveyancing, the price quoted is the price you pay.

What is no sale no legal fee conveyancing?

No sale no legal fee conveyancing means if a property sale falls through, the cost of the legal fees are not payable. It is also referred to as no move no fee or no completion no fee. It applies to the legal fees only. Disbursements and third-party costs such as local searches are not included.

What is a conveyancing quote?

A conveyancing quote is the starting point for your property purchase journey. Getting a quote is important to help you understand the costs involved and what the costs relate to. Consider speaking to an online conveyancing company as they offer conveyancing advice and have access to a panel of conveyancing solicitors that will suit your individual needs.

What should a conveyancing quote include?

A conveyancing quote should include a clear breakdown of the conveyancing costs applicable to your particular circumstances and property transaction. Below is a summary of what you can expect to see detailed on a conveyancing quote and a guide as to the costs. NB The costs are based on the average conveyancing costs on a 3-bed property and are for guidance purposes only.

Legal Fees   
Conveyancing Fees£400 to £2000yesyes
Government and mandatory disbursements   
Stamp Duty Land Tax0 - 12% Dependent on the purchase price of the propertyyesno

Search Pack

  • Local Authority Searches
  • Water and Drainage Search
  • Environmental Search
£150 to £450yesno
HM Land Registry Search£3 - £10yesno
HM Land Registry Fee


* based on a £300,000 property

ID check£6 - £20yesyes
Bankruptcy Search£5 - £30yesno
Property Fraud£10yesno
Chancel Indemnity Insurance£20 - £40yesno
Office Copies£4 - £10yesyes
Bank Transfer Fee£20 - £30yesno
Transfer of Ownership£200 - £300noyes
Additional Items   
Gifted Deposit£100yesno
Lifetime / Help to Buy ISA£60yesno
Unregistered Property Supplement£120 - £250yesno
Leasehold Property Supplement£200 - £300yesno

What is the conveyancing process when buying a property?

The conveyancing process when buying a property can be broken down into a series of steps as follows:

Step 1: Agree your mortgage in principle

Step 2: Choose and instruct your conveyancer

Step 3. Conveyancer sends the Welcome Pack

Step 4: Provide your conveyancer details to your estate agent for Memorandum of Sale

Step 5: Sign and return documentation and Letter of Engagement (Terms & Conditions) to your conveyancer

Step 6: Submit documentation for ID and anti-money laundering checks

Step 7: Pre contract pack drawn up following collation of buyer and seller information

Step 8: Searches ordered by your conveyancer

Step 9: Mortgage valuation and building surveys undertaken

Step 10:Your conveyancer obtains the approved mortgage offer

Step 11: Home contents and buildings insurance

Step 12: Enquiries raised between parties and ongoing review of information

Step 13: Exchange of contracts

Step 14: Completion

Step 14: Post completion

How can I speed up the conveyancing process when selling a property?

As a buyer, the best way to speed up the conveyancing process is to complete and return all information quickly and accurately. Missing documentation, documents not signed correctly, taking a long time to answer enquiries and return information will all impact how long the conveyancing process takes.

What information is it important to know when buying a house?

Selling a property is complex and there is a lot of information that needs to come together to reach exchange and complete the purchase of your property. Understanding the key steps and having answers to questions such as What are searches? or What is a Property Information Form? can only be of benefit to you when speaking to your conveyancer, estate agent or mortgage lender.

Click here to find out the answers to everything you need to know to help the sale of your property go as smoothly and as stress free as possible.

What conveyancing advice is available for first time buyers?

Understanding how the conveyancing process works is key for first-time buyers. It can be a minefield with different paperwork and timescales and information all needing to come together to make the process run smoothly. Click here for advice for first time buyers.

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