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Residential conveyancing means the legal side of buying, selling or otherwise dealing with a residential property.

In most cases, it will relate to your home but also includes investment properties. For most people, buying their own home is the largest single investment they will ever make and we can help you through this important process and make it as stress-free as possible.

Types of work 

Our team of friendly conveyancers have experience in dealing with a full range of property transactions. These include:

  • freehold/leasehold sales
  • freehold/leasehold purchases
  • transfer of equity
  • buy to let properties
  • Help to Buy Scheme
  • Right to Buy purchases
  • mortgages and re-mortgages
  • new-build property
  • auction property
  • first time buyers
  • Help to Buy ISA’s


We aim to be as transparent as possible about our charges and, before you instruct us, we will provide you with a personalised estimate based on the information you give.

If we need to charge additional costs, we will bring this to you attention as soon as possible.

If you would like to discuss your conveyancing requirements and receive a personalised estimate, please call our Quotes Team on 01509 635445 (choosing option 1). Click here for a Conveyancing Quote.

Alternatively, to create your own estimate of our legal fees as well as viewing a list of other possible fees and disbursements, please click here.

Note: In giving an estimate, we will provide information about potential additional costs that may arise but which are not known  at the early stage. If circumstances change and more costs are likely, we will let you know at the earliest opportunity.


  • How long will the process take?

    The honest answer is that we don’t know! This is because no two transactions are the same and all are dependent on a number of factors that are out of our control.

    However as a guideline, a standard transaction, with no unforeseen delays or complications arising usually takes approximately 8-10 weeks from you instructing your solicitor to completion.

  • When shall I book removals/give notice on my tenancy?

    DO NOT MAKE ANY ARRANGEMENTS UNTIL CONTRACTS HAVE BEEN EXCHANGED. Until contracts are formally exchanged anything can happen, anyone could withdraw without facing a penalty. Therefore, our advice is not to make any arrangements until contracts have been exchanged and there is a legally binding agreement in place and a fixed completion date has been agreed.

  • What are searches?

    The standard searches which are carried out on a property purchase are local authority, drainage and water, environmental and chancel searches. A Home Information Pack contains local authority and drainage and water searches and we may therefore not have to carry these out.

    The various searches provide information as follows:

    • Local authority – planning permissions relating to the property, whether the road is adopted by the county council, details of any nearby road schemes, local plans which relate to the property and any notices which have been served on the property.
    • Drainage search – confirms if the property drains to the public foul and surface water sewerage systems and whether it is connected to the mains water supply, together with a map showing the nearest public sewers to the property.
    • Environmental search – any landfill sites within 500 metres of the property, historical and current land use of the postcode sector, any contaminated land issues.
    • Chancel search – reveals whether the property is within an area at potential risk of chancel repair liability.
    • Flooding – reveals whether the property is at risk of flooding from rivers or surface water flooding, provides mapping to show 1 in 75. 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 risks, insurance data.
    • Coal mining – a search of the Coal Authority’s records of past mining activity to establish whether the property is on land which is at risk from mining subsidence. This search is only carried out if the property is situated within a coal mining area.
  • How does joint ownership work?

    It is becoming increasingly common for friends to purchase properties together or for parents to help their children to get on the property market. Where this happens, it can be common for the individual parties to put money into the purchase in different proportions. In these instances, it is vitally important that it is clear who will get what proceeds in the event of the property being sold.

    There are also other issues that you should consider before you proceed with any joint ownership purchase and these are covered in more detail in our joint ownership information sheet

  • What do you need from me?

    In order to be able to act on your behalf on a transaction, we need to open a file for you. To do this, we need from you a completed and signed acceptance form. This will have been sent to you with our estimate for the work or with the initial client care documentation we sent you. If you have also been asked for a deposit and identification documentation, it is important that you get this back to us as soon as possible. We may also ask to see you face to face to assist in the identification process.

    Selling a Property.

    If you are selling your property you will be sent a number of property information forms. You need to ensure that these are completed and sent back to us promptly as these forms will be sent to your buyers solicitors with the contract papers. It is important that you fully disclose all information required by the questions on these forms. Please let us know if you have any trouble in completing the forms and we will be happy to help you.

    To help avoid any unnecessary delays, please let your conveyancer have any relevant documentation relating to the property as soon as possible. This may include deeds to the property, permission and certificates relating to planning and building control applications, certificates relating to installations such as gas, electrical, windows etc, any appliance servicing records. This will help us when the buyers solicitor starts to ask questions about your property.

    If you are missing any documentation then please let your conveyancer know as there may be alternatives they can arrange for you, for example take out an indemnity policy to cover any missing permissions.

    Purchasing a Property

    When you are purchasing a property, we will ask you to complete a Stamp Duty Land Tax questionnaire. It is important that you fill this out and return it to us as soon as possible and definitely before exchange of contracts. This will help us to inform you of any stamp duty liabilities on your purchase.

    We will also ask you to complete a source of funds form. This needs to be returned to us as soon as possible, along with any evidence, so as to prevent any unnecessary delays if we ask you to provide further information of where your purchase funds are coming from.

    We will ask you for a 10% deposit prior to the exchange of contracts and then the balance of funds prior to completion. For Help to Buy purchases, we’ll ask you for a 5% deposit.

  • What is Chancel Repair Liability?

    Chancel repair liability is a legal obligation on some property owners to pay for certain repairs to a church, which may or may not be the local parish church.

    Further details are available in our chancel repairs information sheet

  • Do I need to have a survey undertaken?

    Whether you require a survey or not is a personal choice and depends on your approach to risk. However as buying a property is likely to be the most important and expensive purchase you will make, we would always recommend that you have a survey undertaken on any property you are thinking of purchasing.

    There are various levels of survey available ranging from basic surveys through to very details surveys. If you are borrowing money for your purchase then your Lender will insist upon their own valuer inspecting the property for valuation purposes only. Further information is available in our surveys information sheet

  • What is exchange?

    Exchange of contracts is when a legally binding agreement is made between the buyer and seller and a fixed completion date is agreed.

    Exchange takes place on the telephone by the respective parties solicitors, and cannot take place until everyone in the chain has signed their contract and is ready to proceed.

    If a party decides not to proceed with the transaction after exchange of contracts, then they will be liable to the other party for breach of contract.

  • What is completion?

    The moving date! This is agreed on exchange of contracts and is the day when the money transfers take place. If you are buying, as soon as the purchase money reaches the seller’s solicitors’ account, you can collect the keys and move in.

  • What happens with the keys?

    The estate agents usually deal with handing over the keys, although you may wish to handle this direct if this is more convenient.

    The agents will release the keys on the completion day once they are advised that the buyer’s money has reached the seller’s solicitors’ account.

    The time in the contract for legal completion to take place is usually 1pm or 2pm. However, actual completion takes place as soon as the buyer’s money has reached the seller’s solicitors’ account, and this can be anytime on the day of completion until 5pm. Most transactions do complete by 1pm.

  • When do I have to pay solicitors/estate agents' fees?

    The estate agents will send their invoice to us on exchange of contracts and this is when their fees become payable; however, payment is not actually made to them until the completion date. We will organise payment of the estate agents’ account on your behalf from the sale proceeds.

    Our bill will be prepared on completion and we will arrange payment either from the sale proceeds or we would have collected a balance from you prior to the completion date.

    We do ask for a sum of money from you at the outset, to cover the costs of disbursements which we have to pay to third parties, and this will be taken into account when we prepare your financial statement.

  • When do you need my deposit/balance funds?

    If we require a deposit from you, we will need this before exchange of contracts as the deposit will be paid on exchange.

    We will need any balance required from you to be cleared in our account on the day prior to completion, and we will provide you with a financial statement showing the amount required as soon as we are able.

  • Why can't I move at the weekend?

    Purchase monies are transferred between solicitors electronically and banks only transfer money electronically on working days.

    When the buyer’s money arrives in the sellers’ solicitors’ account the buyer must be given vacant possession of the property. This is why completion has to take place on the same day that the money is transferred and must therefore be a weekday.

  • What are disbursements?

    Disbursements are the fees charged by third parties that you have to pay for on top of the basic fee for our conveyancing work. Searches, Land Registry fees, office copies, bank transfer fees, identity check fees and Stamp Duty Land Tax are all examples of disbursements.

    These disbursements will have been included in your initial estimate for your conveyancing work.

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