Conveyancing

Complete guide to conveyancing

4 min read

Buying or selling your home? Our complete guide to conveyancing gives you expert solicitor advice, and info on conveyancing, timings and fees.

  • Amy Colton, Conveyancing Manager and qualified solicitor
    Amy Colton

    Conveyancing Manager

    Published October 21st 2023

couple looking online at a conveyancing guide

What is conveyancing?

Strictly speaking, conveyancing is the legal transfer of property ownership from one person to another. In practice, conveyancing includes all the processes and paperwork that ensure a sale or purchase is conducted properly.

Why do I need a conveyancer?

The majority of those who are buying or selling a property will need a conveyancer or solicitor to take them through the conveyancing process. This is due to the legal intricacies involved.

Who can do the conveyancing?

There are a few options when it comes to who carries out the conveyancing:

Conveyancer: a property lawyer who specialises in property sales. Conveyancers are regulated by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers (CLC)

Solicitor: conveyancing solicitor’s are also qualified to act for conveyancing. They are regulated by Solicitors Regulators Authority (SRA), although some specialise in the area, others are generalists. Using a solicitor can work out to be more expensive than hiring a specialist conveyancer.

Find out more about the differences between using a local solicitor or a specialist conveyancer.

Can I do my own conveyancing?

DIY conveyancing is possible if you’re a cash buyer, but it can be complicated as well as time consuming. You’ll need to spend a lot of time doing research, understanding the legal jargon and completing the paperwork. Plus, it might not save you as much money as you expect, as you’ll still have to cover buying expenses including searches, Land Registry fees and Stamp Duty Land Tax.

Find out more in our DIY conveyancing guide

How to choose a conveyancer  

There are lots of options when it comes to choosing a conveyancer. Doing your research and checking customer reviews online is a good idea to help you find the right option. When doing your research, it’s worth asking some key questions:

  • What’s included in the price – and what costs may be extra?

  • Will I be charged if the sale or purchase falls through?

  • Will I have a personal conveyancer or solicitor?

  • Can I make contact and find information outside of office hours?

  • How can I keep track of the process?

Why choose us

happy family playing in their new home happy they used My Home Move Conveyancing to help them complete their house purchase
  • Tailored to you

    We’ll find out what’s important to you and what’s unique about your move, so we can match you with the conveyancing firm within our group that best suits your needs.

  • Trusted by our customers

    The Simplify family are all rated Excellent on TrustPilot, so rest assured you’ll only ever receive the best service.

  • Your time matters to us

    Using the right combination of tech and people, at the right points in your journey, helps to fast track the process and keep you in control.

How long does conveyancing take?

Whether you’re buying or selling a property, the industry average for conveyancing is 16-20 weeks. In some cases, the transaction could take less time if there are cash buyers and no chain. On the other hand, it can take months to complete a sale if problems emerge that need investigating and resolving.

Find out more about average timescales.

Your solicitor is there to ensure things move as quickly as possible and will set a target date at the start of the process. They should also let you know what’s happening at every stage – there’s nothing worse than being left in the dark when you’re excited about a move.

a lady with her dog looking online at the conveyancing quote for her home move

Get a personalised quote

The cost depends on your transaction (purchase or sale) and includes fees for conducting the legal work, registering with the Land Registry, Stamp Duty Land Tax and any searches.

FAQs: What else do I need to know about conveyancing?

Auction conveyancing: What’s different?

If you put in the winning bid at a property auction, you’ re contractually obliged to buy. The auction house will provide a legal pack, but it makes sense to have a conveyancer review all the information and carry out extra checks.

Conveyancing for buy-to-let: What help do I need?

When buying a property to let it’s vital that you have the right sort of mortgage. You may also need a licence from your Local Authority. Your conveyancer can advise on that, plus any additional issues that can arise with buy-to-let.

Vacant possession: What does it mean?

Buying or selling a property with vacant possession simply means it must be empty on the day of completion. Speak to your conveyancer if you’re worried that the tenants may not move out, as there are additional safeguards they can insist on. It’s also possible to buy or sell with tenants remaining in the property – your conveyancer will be able to help with this too.

Leasehold and freehold: What’s the difference?

When you buy a property freehold you own the building and the land it’s on, whereas when you buy the leasehold you own the property for a set number of years detailed in the lease. Owning a leasehold property with a share of the freehold is possible, particularly if you have a flat.

First-time buyer: What’s different for me?

Things are simpler if you’re a first-time buyer as you don’t need to worry about selling at the same time. There may be government led help to buy schemes and incentives to help you get on the property ladder such as Help to Build and Lifetime ISAs.

Remortgaging: Do I need a conveyancer?

You’ll almost certainly need a conveyancer if you are remortgaging and moving to a new lender. If you’re sticking with the same lender and changing deals, there shouldn’t be additional legal work.

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