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What is Conveyancing?

Technically the word 'Conveyancing' refers to the legal process of transferring ownership (or 'title') when buying and selling property. However the word is commonly used to describe the whole legal and administrative process between acceptance of offer and moving home.

Conveyancing can carried out by a Conveyancing Solicitor or a Licensed Conveyancer.

Conveyancing is one of the most complex and often opaque parts of the home buying and selling process. A good solicitor will ensure that you are well advised in non technical terms throughout the process.

Conveyancing Planning Consents

Do you actually need a conveyancing Solicitor?

Although it is technically possible to carry out your own conveyancing, only the very brave would attempt to do so. The process is often highly technical, full of risk and can take months. A conveyancing solicitor will carry out due diligence into the property you are buying including checking the property has appropriate planning consents for alterations or whether it complies with local conservation area rules.

Conveyancing fees are at an all time low and a solicitor will have professional indemnity insurance to protect you if anything goes wrong,

Moving home can be very stressful and having a specialist law firm will help ensure that the whole process runs as smoothly as possible.

What does a conveyancing solicitor actually do?

conveyancing plan search

Conveyancing for home buyers and sellers

The Solicitor or Conveyancer will check the title of the property, including the Land Registry Title Plan, to ensure it can be legally sold, draw up the contracts of sale, research and advise whether there are any restrictions on the use of the property, check that there are no planned developments that will adversely affect the property, handle the deposit and final payment for the property and register the new ownership of the property with the Land Registry.

Your solicitor will not only deal with relevant paperwork, in connection with buying a house or selling a house but will also provide informed advice as to how the sale or purchase of the property is progressing and flagging up potential problems or pitfalls.

Remortgage Conveyancing

Fridaysmove's remortgage-specialist property lawyers take care of the necessary legal work on behalf of owners wanting to remortgage their UK property. Our panel of solicitors take care of redeeming the mortgage and will confirm that the terms of the new mortgage are met. We will ensure that you are assigned to a solicitor that can act for your new mortgage lender.

New Build Conveyancing

In some cases, new build homes are marketed with free or discounted legal fees, regardless of the lower cost of such any offer, it is essential that your solicitor provide truly independent advice. Opting for the developer's preferred conveyancer may create an unavoidable conflict of interest.

Fridaysmove work with a team who focus on new build. Although new build is more complicated due to the initial property registration process, you won't be charged any additional fees.

How Much does Conveyancing Cost?

Conveyancing fees vary enormously between solicitors. It is estimated that fees vary between £400 and £1500, depending on the solicitor you choose.

The cost of conveyancing is broken down into 2 parts:

Conveyancing Fees

Conveyancing fees refer to the money you pay your solicitor for the work they carry out on the conveyancing. Some solicitors charge an hourly rate (between £150 and £250 per hour plus VAT) and others work on a fixed conveyancing fee. Some transactions require considerably more work than others, e.g. the purchase of a leasehold flat with a mortgage is considerably more complex than the sale of a freehold house with no mortgage to redeem.

Conveyancing Mining Search Plan

Conveyancing Disbursements

Disbursements are payments that the solicitor will pay to third parties on your behalf. These include the stamp duty paid to HMRC, registration fees paid to the Land Registry and searches. On a sale these will include a cost for sourcing the Official Copies (Title Plan) and information from managing agents (where applicable).

In most cases disbursements are predictable for a standard conveyancing transaction and these will be clearly set out in your conveyancing quote. On occasion there may be additional disbursements, for example when the environmental search identifies an area of historical mining activity.

In this example your lender would insist on a specialist mining search. These are relatively cheap and provide assurance that your property is not built on to of a mining shaft or tunnel.

What is included in your conveyancing quote and are there any Hidden Conveyancing Fees?

Unlike some firms, we never mislead clients by hiding additional fees in our terms and conditions.

Some solicitors claim to offer fixed fees, but there can be any number of costs, such as TT Fees, admin fees, and any number of other fees hidden in their small print.

These costs should be included as part of the standard conveyancing process, and can significantly increase your final bill if they are not.

We guarantee that for a standard conveyancing transaction we include everything, and the fees we quote are fixed.

See: Hidden conveyancing fees - a plain and simple guide

See: Do not get caught out by Terms and Conditions in Online Conveyancing Quotes

Will the conveyancing be no sale no fee?

It is always decidedly stressful when your UK property transaction goes wrong at the last minute. Innumerable reasons may contribute to a transaction aborting, for instance the chain collapsing or a poor HomeBuyer Report.

With the Fridaysmove 'no move, no fee' promise, you will not pay any solicitors fees if your property transaction does not go ahead.

Your UK solicitors deposit can be transferred to another purchase or sale and you will just need to cover any third party disbursements, such as managing agent information.

Search Plus Protection

Fridaysmove uniquely offer 'Search Plus Protection' as standard when you choose us for your purchase conveyancing. Search Plus Protection means that if you do not complete on your home purchase, you won't have to pay the cost of searches on another property. This is a potential saving of £249 plus VAT.

Search Plus Protection covers you even if you choose to pull out of the purchase.

How Long Does conveyancing take?

In an ideal world the property you are buying or selling would be empty, freehold, chain free and there would be no mortgage required. Under these unlikely circumstances the conveyancing could be wrapped up in a few days.

In all probability some if not all of these factors will exist in a transaction and as a result a typical conveyancing will between 4 and 6 weeks to get to the point of exchanging contracts. A further 2 to 3 weeks is likely between exchange of contracts and completion.

There are no guarantees therefore (you should be wary of anyone offering such guarantees) as there are so many other parties involved in a transaction that all to often the machine turns at the speed of the slowest cog.

Fridaysmove believe that it is the conveyancing solicitor's obligation to actively push along all parties involved in the conveyancing process. Our pro-active and commercial approach give you the very best chance of successfully completing your sale or purchase within the minimum possible time. Once you have spoken to your solicitor they will be in a better position to advise on what can be done to get things moving as quickly as possible.

See: The Secret to Fast Conveyancing? Email, Email, Email

See: New initiative brings faster conveyancing for flat-owners

I am looking for a fast conveyancing solicitor - is that Fridaysmove?

Our panel of conveyancing solicitors are proactive and will drive your move forward. This means that they will contact the other parties involved in the transaction to facilitate communication. In addition, there are a number of things you can do to accelerate your move:

  • Request that your solicitor order searches as early as possible
  • If you are selling, respond to any queries quickly
  • Complete and return forms and other paperwork quickly
    • If you are selling, some of these can be completed even before you accept an offer. This could easily cut a week or two off your transaction. Assuming you do need to move quickly, do not waste any time. Instruct your conveyancing solicitor in two minutes here, or call our conveyancing team on 0845 643 5785.

      Should you use an online conveyancing service?

      Home movers who have used traditional local conveyancers may think that low fees advertised on property legal websites are almost too good to be true.

      An assumption made by many who avoid 'online conveyancing' is that there will be disadvantages to choosing a lower-cost online solicitor. In reality there are no such things as online conveyancers, only conveyancing solicitors with websites. Solicitors without websites suggest a somewhat antiquated approach that could lead to a lengthier process.

      What people tend to mean when airing concerns about online conveyancing is, should they use a local conveyancing solicitor?

      Should you use a local conveyancing solicitor

      In short, it is not necessary to use a local conveyancing solicitor. Some larger firms process large volumes of transactions and have become known as 'conveyancing factories'. Many of these offer a good service and some do not, earning the so called 'Online Conveyancers' a bad name.

      Conveyancing can be completed over phone post and email and it is no longer necessary, or common, to meet your solicitor face to face (most people consider this a good thing as you do not have to take any time of work to do so).

      Fridaysmove's panel of solicitors is comprised of over 50 local high street firms based throughout the country. Fridaysmove can still offer a local firm if you would prefer it.

      Either way, your solicitor will update you regularly by phone and email and will guide you every step of the way. Should you choose to proceed with Fridaysmove, your solicitor will call you within the hour to introduce themselves and answer any questions.

      What about DIY Conveyancing?

      Most people instruct a Solicitor or Licensed Conveyancer to undertake the legal side of buying or selling their home. It is possible to do the Conveyancing yourself. However, it is advisable to think about this very carefully as it is a complex and time-consuming business. If it is not carried out properly you could, for example, find yourself involved in costly legal disputes over boundaries, discover that there is a new road planned to be built opposite your home, or even that the seller did not have the legal right to sell the home.

      In reality very few home-buyers undertake the Conveyancing themselves, for three main reasons:

      1. Many mortgage lenders will insist on employing a Conveyancing Solicitor to protect their interests. They do not want to risk having shoddy Conveyancing work.
      2. There is a higher risk of things going disastrously wrong
      3. The other people involved may not be happy with you doing your own Conveyancing, and may even reject your offer on this basis

      Fridaysmove offer a service with the benefits of both online Conveyancing service and traditional ‘face to face’ Conveyancing, meaning you can ring them and speak directly to your appointed Conveyancing Solicitor if necessary, but the majority of the Conveyancing will be dealt with via email to update you on the progress of your house sale or purchase.

      I have more questions about conveyancing

      Fridaysmove's website has over 10,000 articles on the subject of conveyancing. Since 2004 we have helped over 100,000 people move home quickly and affordably. During that period we have encouraged the conveyancing solicitors we work with to share their knowledge via our website so you can be as informed as possible.

      See also:

      See our extensive database of Frequently asked conveyancing questions

      Some of the more commonly asked questions include:

      Do I have to use the conveyancing lawyer the Estate Agent has recommended?
      When should I instruct a Conveyancing Solicitor ?
      I don't know if my property is a Freehold or Leasehold
      How long does Conveyancing take?
      Are all conveyancing lawyers the same?
      What are ‘disbursements’?
      Why is conveyancing for leasehold properties more expensive?
      What happens at exchange of contracts?

      Get an instant conveyancing Quote

      Why not get an instant fixed fee conveyancing quote to find out how affordable your conveyancing fees will be. You can do this instantly using our on-line Conveyancing Fees Calculator or by contact a member of our conveyancing team on 0330 660 0286. We are open Monday to Fridays from 8-6. 30 and on Saturday from 10-4. Our team look forward to helping with your move.

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