When buying or selling your home, remortgaging, taking out a lease, or doing any other kind of property deal, it is essential to get all of the legal details right.
Make a mistake and you could lose a lot of time and money, or be left with on-going problems that should have been foreseen and avoided.
This is why you need a conveyancing solicitor you can rely on. Our conveyancing solicitors in the UK can handle the entire property transaction for you, including all of the necessary checks and searches to ensure there will be no hidden surprises after the deal has gone through.
We can also handle everything related to the contracts of sale, ensuring your interests are protected, as well as processing the financial side of the transaction, ensuring the money changes hands at exactly the right time, allowing the transaction to progress smoothly.
We hold the Conveyancing Quality Mark and have helped thousands of people make the move from one property to another. We pride ourselves on providing a fast, cost-effective, modern conveyancing service to clients all over the world.
We’re proud of our national conveyancing service, and the dedicated conveyancing solicitors and conveyancers who make up our friendly team. Our highly experienced conveyancing solicitors throughout the UK can deal with every kind of conveyancing transaction, from the smallest cottage to the largest penthouse apartment.
What is Conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal side of buying and selling real property, such as houses or land. It involves a number of different aspects, including:
- Liaising with many different parties – the representative or solicitor for the other party to the transaction, estate agents, surveyors, mortgage lenders and banks, sometimes leasehold managing agents and freehold landlords.
- Investigating the legal title to property, to ensure that the seller has the right to sell it.
- Examining the Official Register of Title or any title deeds (if the property is unregistered).
- Advising the purchaser on the rights and obligations associated with the property, such as easements (right to pass across land belonging to someone else), drainage and water supply, who maintains the boundaries etc.
- Obtaining and considering searches from the local authority, water companies, and environmental consultants.
- Asking or responding to enquiries (questions) from the other party to the transaction’s solicitors.
- Ensuring that all the legal documentation is properly drawn up.
- Making sure that the right amounts of money are paid to the right parties and any mortgages are redeemed.
- Registering the transaction with HM Land Registry after it has completed.
What does a conveyancing solicitor do?
In simple terms, conveyancing solicitors carry out all the legal aspects of transferring the ownership of a property from a seller to a buyer. Once you’ve instructed a solicitor to carry out your conveyancing, they will provide a conveyancing quote that covers their work.
This work includes, property searches, producing necessary documents and forms, checking on the progress of the sale, exchanging contracts between the buyer and the seller, and facilitation of completion of the sale through a final statement.
Do I need a solicitor to buy a house?
You can technically buy a house without a conveyancing solicitor, however, it is virtually impossible to meet all the legal requirements for the sale of the property without one. This is because it is much too complicated for a layman who has never practiced conveyancing law.
How long is the conveyancing process?
The conveyancing process takes around 12-16 weeks, mostly because of common issues that delay the process. Without these issues the process could take as little as a month, but it is extremely rare for it to be as short as that.
The 12-16 weeks tend to be broken down as follows:
|Step in the process||Average time taken|
|Pre contract work||2 weeks|
|Mortgage arrangement||4 weeks|
|Draft contract||2-10 weeks|
|Time between exchange and completion||1 week|
|Total time from start to finish||12-16 weeks|
This time tends to start from the moment you receive a conveyancing quote from your solicitor.
What documents are needed for conveyancing?
All conveyancing solicitors in the UK have certain documents they have to sign for the sale of a property to be legally binding. These documents are:
- Title Deeds – which will likely be found online in the Land Registry records
- Copy of the lease – if your property is leasehold
- Report on title – your solicitor’s report on title which should include a summary of the legal title
- Property information form – the TA6 form completed by the seller that includes important information about the property such as where the gas meters are
- Fittings and contents form – which tells you exactly what will be left in the property when the seller vacates
- Warranty – for new builds or properties under 10 years old
- Stamp duty receipt – a confirmation of your Stamp Duty being paid once the sale has been completed
- Indemnity insurance – if it is required by your solicitors
- Energy performance certificate – which shows how energy efficient your new home is
Please check our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to any further questions you might have about the conveyancing process:
Our conveyancing service
We offer conveyancing for a wide range of property transaction, including:
- Buying and selling freehold and leasehold property
- Equity release
- Gifts and transfer of equity
- Lease extensions
- Buying land and development sites
- Buy to let property
- Commercial property
One of the key advantages of our conveyancing service is that you don’t ever need to meet with us face-to-face (unless you want to!). Many of our clients deal with us exclusively online and over the phone, including by email and video messaging. Even essential documents can be sent online, using our streamlined and secure online conveyancing systems.
We regularly offer online conveyancing to clients all over the world and can guarantee exactly the same level of service as if we were dealing with you face-to-face. When you use our online conveyancing service, your property transaction will still be handled in house by our highly experienced conveyancing solicitors, ensuring the you benefit from the very highest standards of legal expertise in a convenient, cost-effective package.
To find out more about how our online conveyancing service works, please get in touch.
Why you should use Bird & Co for your conveyancing
There are several reasons you should choose us for your conveyancing:
- We're Conveyancing Quality Scheme and Lexcel accredited by the Law Society.
- We're proper conveyancing solicitors, meaning we have the expertise to deal with even the most complicated property transactions and are fully regulated and insured.
- We provide conveyancing for properties right across England and Wales for clients based anywhere in the World (and there's no need for you ever to come to our office).
- We are highly experienced in conveyancing for a wide range of property types and different kinds of property transaction, meaning we have the expertise to offer a fast, smooth and efficient conveyancing service, no matter what you require.
- Our identity checking process is streamlined and easy - no need to send us original documents in the post.
- You will get a direct phone line for your conveyancing solicitors, so you can always get in touch for an update or the answer to a question.
- You get a direct email address to your conveyancing team.
- You can track your case for free online.
We work with buyers and sellers in a variety of locations, click to see some of the locations where we have helped people to buy and sell property previously.
Request a conveyancing quote
To find out how much your conveyancing is likely to cost, why not try out our free conveyancing fee calculator on the right hand side of the page? This will give you an estimate of what your conveyancing is likely to be, or you can call our free conveyancing quote hotline on 01636 600656.
Our conveyancing fees
We aim to keep our conveyancing fees transparent and competitive, while offering the very best service for our clients. We offer fixed fee conveyancing, meaning that the price we quote you upfront is the price you will pay unless there are unforeseen circumstances, in which case we will inform you of any additional cost at the earliest opportunity. This would include any work which is outside of the scope of the usual conveyancing transaction such as negotiating a lease extension on a leasehold property prior to sale.
Our conveyancing quotes include a complete breakdown of the cost of your conveyancing, including our fees and the various fees paid to third parties, such as HM Land Registry. These third-party costs are known as disbursements and are fixed, meaning they should be the same between difference firms of conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors. These are the disbursements which we anticipate but are not an exhaustive list.
Our fee assumes that:
- this is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise including for example (but not limited to) a defect in title which requires remedying prior to completion or the preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction
- (leasehold properties) this is the assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease
- the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complication arise
- all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation
- no indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.
If you’re saving to buy your first home, why not try our mortgage deposit calculator to find out if you have enough money for a deposit, or if you need to save more.
In a typical leasehold purchase there will be the following additional fees:
- Notice of Transfer fee – This fee if chargeable is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £75 and £250.
- Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – This fee is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £75 and £250.
- Transfer of any share in the Management Company or application to become a member (where relevant). This fee is again chargeable under the lease. Often the fee is between £75 and £250.
- Deed of Covenant fee – This fee is provided by the management company for the property and can be difficult to estimate. Often it is between £200 and £500.
- Certificate of Compliance fee - To be confirmed upon receipt of the lease, as can range between £100 – £300.
In some cases there can be two sets of these fees payable where there is a Landlord and Management Company that require notices. These fees are set by the Landlord or Managing Agent for the whole development.
These fees vary from property to property and can on occasion be significantly more than the ranges given above. We can give you an accurate figure once we have sight of your specific documents.
You should also be aware that ground rent and service charge are likely to apply throughout your ownership of the property. We will confirm the ground rent and the anticipated service charge as soon as this we receive this information.
Where you are selling a leasehold property it will be necessary to obtain information from the Landlord or Management Company. The cost they charge can typically be up to £500.
Some of these fees may also be payable for freehold properties that are on developments which include management companies.
We use Index Property Searches for our conveyancing searches. Experienced local service from reliable experts.
Stamp Duty Land Tax
This depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC's website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority's website.
How long will my house purchase take?
How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 6-10 weeks.
It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you are a first time buyer, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage in principle, it could take 4-6 weeks. However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between 3 and 6 months. In such, a situation additional charges would apply.
Stages of the process
The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. In a typical purchase the stages will include the following (this will be slightly different for a sale or other transactions):
- Take your instructions and give you initial advice
- Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender's solicitors if needed
- Receive and advise on contract documents
- Carry out searches
- Obtain further planning documentation if required
- Make any necessary enquiries of seller's solicitor
- Give you advice on all documents and information received
- Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you
- Send final contract to you for signature
- Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
- Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
- Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
- Complete purchase
- Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax
- Deal with application for registration at Land Registry
For full details of our team of national conveyancing solicitors please look at the "Our People" section of the website.