What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property ownership from the seller to a buyer. After finding a property you want to buy or receiving an offer on your current home, you will need to instruct a conveyancing solicitor or licensed conveyancer to complete the legal side of your home move.
In this article:
Conveyancing for home buyers
A conveyancing solicitor manages the legal aspects of buying a property, ensuring a seamless transfer of property ownership.
They conduct thorough property checks and searches, coordinate with the seller's solicitor, review and exchange contracts, manage fund transfers, and register the new ownership at HM Land Registry.
If you are buying with a mortgage, your solicitor must also complete the legal work for your lender. If they're not an approved panel member of your lender, they'll need to outsource part of the conveyancing process to a solicitor who is. This can lead to significant delays before your purchase can complete.
Our solicitor panel can work with 99% of UK lenders, including major lenders like Lloyds Bank and Nationwide Building Society, to smaller niche lenders like OakNorth, so you can complete your purchase without delay.
Our panel solicitors can act for over 100 mortgage lenders
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Conveyancing for home sellers
Your solicitor will coordinate with all parties involved, including the buyer's solicitor, estate agents, landlords and lenders. The solicitor will collate all the property forms and documents, draft the contract of sale, address buyer enquiries, negotiate terms, manage contract exchanges, redeem the mortgage balance, and ensure you receive the sale proceeds.
Conveyancing for transfers of equity
A 'transfer of equity' is when you add or remove one or more people to the title (ownership) of your property. If you want to transfer equity in a property, you will need a conveyancing solicitor to carry out the legal work.
Conveyancing for a remortgage
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Remortgaging with the same lender may not require a conveyancing solicitor; it's best to check with your lender directly. For a different lender, a solicitor will settle any outstanding balance, communicate with the new lender, review legal documents, and update the lender's charge at HM Land Registry.
We work with remortgage solicitors who are approved by 99% of UK lenders, so whether you're switching to a fixed rate mortgage with the Halifax or taking out a flexible mortgage with the HSBC, we can help with the legal side.
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How much does conveyancing cost?
Getting an online conveyancing quote takes moments - but understanding what is and isn't included in the quote can be intricate.
Conveyancing fees are paid to your solicitor for the legal work that they complete on your behalf. Your conveyancing solicitor's quote should clearly detail the legal fees, including VAT, that you'll pay when your transaction completes.
Disbursements are third party costs incurred by a solicitor on behalf of their clients. Examples of disbursements include Stamp Duty, HM Land Registry fees and Bank Transfer Fees.
In certain cases, your solicitor may need to incur additional costs on your behalf. In the event that additional disbursements are necessary, your solicitor will notify you and seek your consent before proceeding.
Shopping around? Check what's included in your quote...
Beware of hidden charges not mentioned in the initial conveyancing quote. Many solicitors quotes include extra costs in their terms and conditions, leading to an inflated final bill.
Make sure that your solicitor's quote doesn't have extra fees for tasks that should be part of the standard conveyancing process, making the lower initial quote seem more attractive. Read the terms and conditions before instructing a solicitor.
A conveyancing quote should also confirm whether the solicitor offers a no move, no fee service. You should also check whether you'll have to pay for replacement searches if you decide to pull out and buy a different property.
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For a standard conveyancing transaction, the legal fees you are quoted are the fees you will pay to your solicitor.
Your quote will include all conveyancing legal fees for standard conveyancing transaction, based on the information you provide when obtaining a quote.
*Fixed fee promise
The fixed fee promise means that you pay exactly what you are quoted, provided the information you've given us is correct.
While most transactions fall within the standard conveyancing process, in some cases clients may ask for additional work that couldn't be predicted at the quote stage, such as crafting a declaration of trust.
For clarity, we've itemised the charges if you require additional work over and above the standard conveyancing. Rest assured, should any extra work become necessary, your solicitor will inform you. Work beyond the original scope will only commence once you've approved it.
In the event your property transaction falls through, you will not have to pay any of the solicitor's fixed legal fees for the work they have carried out.
To take advantage of our No Move, No Fee promise, a fee is included in your quote which is payable on deciding to proceed with your transaction.
Should your transaction fall through, for whatever reason, this amount can be held on account for your next transaction or the amount can be refunded in full.
If you are buying a property, our no move, no fee conveyancing solicitor service also includes Search Plus Protection.
If, for whatever reason at all, your property purchase falls through, your property searches on a second property purchase are free. (Terms and conditions apply)
In certain circumstances, you may ask your solicitor to complete chargeable legal work that is not part of a standard conveyancing transaction, such as a lease extension or a contract race.
If you ask your solicitor to carry out any additional work, your solicitor will notify you of any additional fee or disbursemnt cost implications and seek your consent before proceeding.
Examples of additional work:
|Lease extension||If you are extending your lease during the sale, this requires additional legal work beyond standard conveyancing.|
|Contract race||When a seller opens the property to multiple buyers, with the first to complete the purchase winning the property. Solicitors must expedite their work to outpace competing buyers, knowing they may not get paid if their client loses the race.|
|Declaration of trust||When 2 or more owners with different shares in a property draw up a separate contract detailing their agreement.|
|Deed of covenant||An agreement between a leaseholder and a freeholder that sets out obligations such as property maintenance.|
|Deed of easement||An agreement that grants the right to use another person's land for a specifically stated purpose.|
|Deed of postponement||A deed required by some lenders in order to prioritise certain ‘charges'|
|Deed of variation||A separate deed enabling a freeholder and tenant to change the terms of the lease.|
|Lockout agreement||An agreement between a seller and a buyer giving the buyer exclusive rights to proceed with the purchase for a defined amount of time.|
|Mutual deed of covenant for flying freehold||A legally binding agreement between you and the freeholder which sets out obligations on a property with a flying freehold.|
|Notice of Transfer or assignment||An agreement to pass on the responsibilities of the lease to someone else.|
|Removal of a registered caution or restriction at HM Land Registry||Restrictions can be placed at the HM Land Registry against land or property to prevent any owner from making any specific changes.|
Examples of additional disbursements:
|Indemnity insurance policy||Indemnity insurance in conveyancing covers unresolvable or time-consuming legal issues with a property, such as an extension lacking planning permission or building regulation approval.|
|Management information pack||When selling a leasehold property, you'll need to request a leasehold management pack from the freeholder or managing agent. This pack contains essential information like service charge accounts, ground rent, and planned major works, and may come with a fee.|
|Additional pre-contract search||Additional searches may be required if initial searches identify an issue needing further investigation. An example could be a mining search, HS2 route search or a Crossrail search|
How to use our online conveyancing quote
Using our online conveyancing calculator, you can obtain an instant, fixed-fee quote in just a few moments. The conveyancing quote will be valid for a period of 30 days.
Should I choose the cheapest conveyancing quote?
While there are cheap conveyancing solicitors who deliver an excellent service, there are also more expensive ones that may not provide the speed or quality you'd expect. A higher price doesn't always equate to better service.
Before committing, thoroughly review the terms and conditions attached to a conveyancing quote. Sometimes, a lower quote might be an estimate or might omit standard costs, leading to unexpected fees later on. Make sure the quoted fees are fixed and you know what's included.
Quittance offer a fast, friendly and efficient conveyancing service and our conveyancing quotes cover everything that should be included in a standard conveyancing transaction, with no hidden costs or disbursements.
How we can help you
If you are buying, selling, remortgaging or transferring equity in a property, our solicitor panel can help make the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible.
- No Move, No Fee Guarantee
- Fixed fee conveyancing service
- CQS-accredited panel solicitors
Fixed fees from £415 inc VAT
Chris Salmon, Director
About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.