Conveyancing, Explained

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What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the name given to the administrative and legal processes involved in transferring a property from a previous owner to a new owner. It must be carried out by a licenced conveyancer who will liaise with the conveyancer representing the other individual to answer any questions you may have. As soon as your offer is formally accepted on a property, you must contact or ‘instruct’ a conveyancing solicitor to legally complete the sale.  

How long does the conveyancing process take?

It varies! It’s possible to complete the conveyancing process in a month, though in practice the average duration tends to fall somewhere between 8 and 16 weeks. A range of factors will influence the length of your conveyancing process. If you’re in a property chain, it may take considerably longer to complete the sale, and if searches and surveys uncover issues with your prospective property, there may be substantial delays.  

The purchase process

The sales process

Understanding conveyancing terminology.

There is no set template for a conveyancing quotation and the information it should include. However, when you’re reviewing your quotation, it is likely you will encounter the following terms.  

Legal fee or solicitors fee.

The legal or solicitors fee is exactly what you imagine – the amount your solicitor or licensed conveyancer has charged you for their services. This includes all the legal work involved in the conveyancing process, from buying to selling to remortgaging a property. 

Telegraphic transfer fee.

This is a common term people see on conveyancing quotations. It refers to the cost charged by the bank for the electronic transfer of funds between accounts. Payments made this way usually arrive in the chosen account in the same working day. 

Online ID check.

An online ID check must be carried out during the conveyancing process as part of anti money laundering procedures, and a fee is charged for this. It involves verifying your name against your address, as well as signature verification, identify check and sanctions check.  

No completion, no fee.

If your transaction doesn’t complete for any reason, you will not normally be charged for your conveyancer’s services. The name for this guarantee is ‘No Completion, No Fee’. This doesn’t mean that you will necessarily be refunded for things you have already paid for. 

Second search promise.

Many conveyancing solicitors offer a ‘Second Search Promise’. This means if a property transaction falls through and you’re not at fault, the required searches for the conveyancing process on your next transaction will be carried out free of charge.  

HMLR registration fee.

This is the fee your solicitor will charge for registering you as the new owner with the Land Registry. For people purchasing properties that have never been registered, there may be additional charges to do so for the first time.   

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Emma Jones
Emma Jones
Emma began her career in Lloyds Banking Group, first in the unsecured & secured loans department at Halifax and later as a mortgage advisor at Lloyds. During 9 years in these roles and a further 2 years at Yorkshire Building Society, Emma was able to observe the impact of the recession, and how the banks let their customers down by denying loans and mortgages. Wanting to be a driving force for change, she stepped into a market advice role where she has been able to help clients when others couldn’t. Identifying a gap in the mortgage space, Emma went on to establish When the Bank Says No. As a keen property investor, she has been the focus of features in publications including The Sunday Times and This is Money. Emma’s greatest joy is overcoming the low expectations of their customers, many of whom have all but given up on getting a mortgage due. One thing Emma has learned through her own personal struggles is every client must be treated like a human and understood better by advisors and lenders in the industry. “We all have to navigate life events which can ultimately impact your financial status. It shouldn’t mean dreams of homeownership or business growth should have the breaks applied”. Emma and her team’s passion for helping people overcome the challenges they may face when applying for a mortgage have fuelled the success of When the Bank Says No.

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