The Conveyancing Process - Step by Step Guide

Buying or selling property can be a confusing and stressful time. To assist you we have prepared a step by step guide to conveyancing to explain the different steps and stages involved in the conveyancing process.

The Conveyancing Process

The three main stages are listed below, please click to see the specific steps involved in each stage.

  1. The Buyer and Seller have to agree a price and instruct their respective solicitors to start the conveyancing process. Where Estate Agents are involved they will do this and will circulate the transaction details to all the interested parties. The Estate Agent or Seller will organise an Energy Performance Certificate if one has not already been commissioned.
  2. The Seller’s solicitors will have the Seller to complete a “Property Information Form” and “Fittings and Contents Form” which will be sent to the Buyer’s solicitors with the contract.
  3. The Seller’s solicitors will prepare and send the contract to the Buyer’s solicitors together with details of the title of the property and copies of any important documents that are referred to in the registers. The Buyer’s solicitors may raise some specific enquiries of the Seller’s solicitors arising from the documents received or the information within the Property Information form.
  4. If the Buyer is obtaining a mortgage they will make an application to the Mortgage Company and will need a firm written offer of mortgage before he can proceed to exchange of contracts. The Buyer must have their finance in place (including any mortgage offer) before we can exchange. The buyer will need to have a signed Mortgage Deed which secures the Mortgage on the Property.
  5. As the Buyer takes the property with any defects it may have, they should obtain a survey on the property before exchanging contracts. In practice this is often done by the Mortgage Company but the Buyer should consider whether this is sufficient for their needs and if there needs to be a more detailed survey (which can often be arranged through the Mortgage Company on payment of an additional fee).
  6. The Buyer’s solicitors will carry out a Local Search and such other searches (e.g. Water searches) as they deem appropriate for a particular property. The additional searches usually depend on the type of property being purchased and its situation for example in a coal mining area a mining search will be required.
  7. If the Buyer has a sale and there is a “chain” of transactions, the same process is carried out for every property in the chain. Exchange of contracts cannot take place until everybody in the chain is ready to exchange and all parties have arranged their finance.
  1. Once all the above steps have been carried out and all the parties in the transaction or chain of transactions have agreed a completion date the solicitors will exchange contracts. This is normally carried out by the solicitors by telephone. If a client has a sale and a purchase the solicitor ensures that exchange of contracts on both transactions is simultaneous and normally with the same completion date which has been agreed previously by the parties.
  2. Upon exchange of contracts a deposit (normally 10% of the purchase price) is paid. If a Buyer is in turn selling his own property the deposit from the sale is usually used in connection with the purchase and no further deposit is required from him.
  3. The Completion Date is normally 2-4 weeks from exchange of contracts and is agreed by the parties through their solicitors before exchange of contracts. The Completion Date has to be a weekday and is normally the date on which the parties move.
  4. Between exchange of contracts and completion the Buyer’s solicitors will prepare the Transfer of the property which is approved by the Seller’s solicitors and then signed by the parties.
  5. Where the Buyer is obtaining a mortgage the Buyer’s solicitor will send a report on the title of the property to the Mortgage Company in accordance with detailed instructions supplied by them and will apply to the Mortgage Company for the Mortgage Advance which they will normally receive the day before completion. Frequently the Mortgage Company will have requirements which their solicitor has to comply.
  6. The Buyer’s solicitors will make final Land Registry and Land Charges searches and obtain any balance of moneys required from the Buyer to complete.
  1. On Completion the Buyer’s solicitors send the Seller’s solicitors the balance of the purchase money by telegraphic transfer. If there is a “chain” of transactions the parties must wait for the monies to pass down the line between the respective solicitors’ banks.
  2. Once the Seller’s solicitor has received the purchase monies he will release the key which is normally held by the estate agent.
  3. The Seller’s solicitors will send the Buyer’s solicitors the transfer of the property to the Buyer together with any other title deeds or documents relating to the property.
  4. The Seller’s solicitors will redeem any mortgage or mortgages on the property and account to the Seller for the proceeds of sale.
  5. The Buyer’s solicitors will send any stamp duty to the Inland Revenue together with a “Land Transaction Return” relating to the property.
  6. The Buyer’s solicitors will receive a certificate from the Inland Revenue and will then proceed to register the Buyer’s title at the Land Registry.
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Our Services include:

  • Sales
  • Purchases
  • Transfer of Equity
  • Remortgages

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