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Conveyancing – what do you need to know?

conveyancing extend finance

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Conveyancing extend finance

Although we already have a section dedicated to conveyancing on our website, we have decided to introduce you to this topic in a little more detail. From today’s article you will learn:

  • What is conveyancing
  • How much it costs
  • Who does conveyancing
  • What the whole process looks like

If you are planning to buy a home in the UK or are at the stage of looking for a mortgage, be sure to read this article to the end!

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the series of legal actions involved in the transfer of ownership rights to a property. In the UK, conveyancing is dealt with by solicitors.

Source: MyHomeMove

As you can infer, these are simply the steps involved in documenting your home. Very importantly, you will also need a solicitor if you decide to change the lender (remortgage) or if you want to transfer part of the shares as a gift (Transfer of Equity).

Conveyancing is a fairly complex process and the components can vary, but the most common are:

  • Preparation of the purchase or sale contract
  • Negotiation of contract terms
  • Verification of the legal status, especially relevant for a property purchased under Leasehold
  • Carrying out a home survey
  • Verification of the local development plan
  • Analysis of the mortgage agreement
  • Taking care of insurance matters
  • Exchange of contracts and transfer of money with completion of transaction
  • Registration with Land Registry, payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax

Source: hoa

How long does conveyancing take?

Due to its complex nature, conveyancing takes quite a long time. The timescales given below are indicative, but usually coincide with reality.

Preparatory activities

Your solicitor’s work begins as soon as you accept the offer to purchase the property. Your cooperation with the lawyer will begin by informing him or her of all the important details of the transaction. Subsequently, your chosen law firm should contact the seller’s solicitor and deal with the analysis of the legal status of the property and its surroundings.

The duration of the local search (analysis of land use plans, land registers) depends on the local authority, but in the best-case scenario, this stage of conveyancing will take approximately two weeks.


Once the law firm has completed the preliminary procedures, your lawyer will work on the contract for the purchase of the property. This task requires cooperation between the parties to the transaction, as there will usually be some points of disagreement and negotiation, for example due to circumstances discovered during the local search.

It is difficult to complete a contract in less than 2 weeks. However, it may happen that the end of the negotiation is only 2 months after the start of the conveyancing. We can accept 4 weeks as a safe timeframe.

Exchange of contracts and completion

At this stage, your solicitor will take care of the final formalities and arrange a specific date for the handover of the keys to the property (completion). Usually, the final closing of the transaction takes place within a few days of the exchange of contracts, but this is not regulated by law. At this point, your solicitor will transfer the money to the selling party.

Usually, the exchange of contracts and completion take 2 weeks, as the time may extend, for example due to difficulties in moving on the part of the seller.

Taking into account the approximately four-week waiting period for the final credit decision, conveyancing will take approximately three months. In record-breaking cases, it is possible to complete all the formalities in as little as two months, but it can sometimes take up to six months.

What can delay conveyancing?

There are also a number of problems that can prolong conveyancing. Among the most common are:

  • Problems with the legal title of the previous owner
  • Problems detected during the building survey
  • No TA6 form required to be completed by the seller
  • Problems with obtaining mortgage
  • Delayed purchase of a new property to which the seller is to move
  • Slow response by authorities to requests for documents

Source: hoa

Who deals with conveyancing?

In the UK, legal actions relating to real estate can be dealt with by solicitors, i.e. lawyers who specialise in giving advice, drafting documents, conducting negotiations and approving the authenticity of documents. It is difficult to relate this profession to the realities found in other countries, but let us point out that solicitors in the UK are quite plentiful, so the search should not be a problem.

Well, how to find a solicitor?

There are several ways to find a lawyer:

  1. Ask your friends who have recently bought a house for their opinion on the law firm they used. If it is positive, it is worth considering this company
  2. Ask your broker and estate agent to recommend a law firm. You will certainly receive at least a few suggestions
  3. Use the internet and Google Maps to find law firms in your area. You will probably get the most options this way
  4. A solicitor search engine will soon appear on our website. The list may not be as long as in subsection number 3, but the undoubted advantage is the prices given, which will make the final choice much simpler and quicker

We believe that the best solution is to combine all the above methods. The more sources of information you use, the greater the chance that you will be satisfied with your choice of law firm.

What should guide you when choosing a solicitor?

Let’s assume that you already have a list of law firms and are wondering which one will be the best. Consider first and foremost:

  • Reviews about the firm, for example from Google Maps
  • Check whether the solicitor in question has an SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) number. Solicitors are regulated in the UK, as are mortgage advisers and insurance brokers. If a solicitor does not have a number, you should not engage them.
  • Price of services
  • Location of the firm
  • If your language skills are not good enough, look for a law firm whose lawyers communicate in your native language.

In the vast majority of cases, price will be the most important selection criterion. Remember, however, that working with a large law firm is done in a different, less personalised way than is the case with small firms. If you value personal contact with a human being, do not go with large entities.

How much does solicitor assistance cost?

The valuation of conveyancing is dependent on many variables. Some solicitors cannot deal with cash property purchases, and the amount of the transaction, your postcode, the number of buyers or the source of funding for your contribution also matters.

We have made some simple estimates based on the calculator on our website:

  • Purchase of a house worth £250,000 by 1 person who lives in Coventry, is funding a contribution from their savings and is buying a property not covered by leasehold in terms of living in it- cheapest offer was around £1850
  • Purchase of a house worth £250,000 by a couple living in Coventry who are funding their own contribution from their savings and want to rent the property– the cheapest offer was £1911
  • The purchase of a £500,000 flat in London by a couple who have earned their deposit money in Germany, received some cash from two people and have first time buyer status – conveyancing prices start from £2272

We can therefore assume that legal services for a property purchase will cost you around £1,800-2,000, although it is important to remember that there are a number of factors that affect the final cost of services here.

Conveyancing of leasehold properties

For leasehold properties, the legal handling of the transaction is a little more complicated and your solicitor will have to deal with additional issues.

Source: hoa

Leasehold means that you don’t actually own a particular property-you simply have the right to use it for a set period of time, usually between 90 and 999 years. If the user of the house or flat changes, the party to the lease also changes, so the landlord’s involvement is necessary.

For the purposes of this article, let us just point out that:

  • When buying a property you should make sure whether it has freehold or leasehold status. Virtually all flats in the UK are leasehold, while the vast majority of houses are freehold.
  • In addition to the additional costs associated with conveyancing, leasehold carries further expenses, for example, in the form of ground rent and service charges
  • If you want to buy a property under a freehold, it is essential to check how much is left on the lease

Remaining lease term

If you consciously want to use a leasehold property, it is essential to check the duration of such an agreement. Most banks will not lend to you on a leasehold property with less than 70 years, with a minimum of 80 years being a safe term.

The fewer years the lease has left, the less the property is worth and the more expensive it will be to extend. The price of renewal depends on a number of factors, but amounts run into thousands of pounds. For this reason, it is essential to check this parameter before buying a house, preferably several times. We should also add that you can only renew your lease once you have used the property for a minimum of two years. The safest solution would be to inhabit an apartment/home with a lease for around 90 years and extend it regularly every few years. Of course, you will also need a solicitor for this procedure and their services will cost you up to £1,500.


Conveyancing is a very complex subject and the amount of procedures stresses even those who have had to deal with them several times each. Do you feel this way too? If so, head on over! Our advisers will be happy to answer all your questions and help you with all your problems. If you’re planning to buy a property in the UK and are looking for a broker, don’t wait and sign up today for a free, no-obligation consultation where you’ll see that owning your own home doesn’t have to be difficult at all!

Want to find out more? Read other articles from our blog:


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Think carefully about securing other debts against your home. Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debts secured on it.

Your Home (or property) may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debts secured on it. Conveyancing services and some forms of Buy to Let mortgages are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Your Home (or property) may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debts
secured on it.

Your Home (or property) may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debts secured on it. Conveyancing services are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Extend Finance nor The Right Mortgage Limited can’t provide advice regarding Personal Pensions, Pension planning or investment planning advice. You must seek independent financial advice from a suitably qualified professional financial adviser who may charge you for advice.

Wills, Will writing, Trusts and Trust planning are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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