Conveyancing FAQ’s

Conveyancing FAQ’s

How long will the whole process of buying a property take?

The length of time it takes to purchase a property is completely dependent on each individual transaction. For example, if there is a chain involved, it is likely that matters may take a little longer as there are a lot of people who need to coordinate so that all parties complete on the same day.
A standard transaction typically completes within about 6 to 8 weeks. It may take somewhat longer if there are unforeseen complications or delays in the chain. It can also be completed somewhat faster than this with the cooperation of all parties involved, or if there is no chain.
If you need to complete your purchase particularly quickly, please do contact us and we can discuss your options and timescales.

What is exchange of contracts?

When you purchase or sell a property, the buyer and seller each sign a copy of the contract which details the terms of the agreement. Once both parties are happy to proceed and have signed the contract to say so, the contracts are ‘exchanged’ between the parties’ solicitors. At this point the sale/purchase is legally binding on the parties. The contract will also state the completion date that has been agreed.
Before exchange of contracts, no contract exists between the buyer and seller, either is free to change his or her mind about the transaction ie withdraw from it.

What is a Transfer of Equity

A transfer of equity is when someone is added or removed from ownership of a property. This could be one sole owner adding a husband or wife, a parent, a son or daughter, or a separating couple removing one of them from ownership of the property.

How much stamp duty will I have to pay?

The amount of stamp duty that you will have to pay is dependent on whether you own other properties or whether you qualify for the first time buyers relief. Please see our online conveyancing calculator at which provides a further explanation regarding this. If you have not owned any other property before, and are purchasing for the first time in your sole name but your spouse owns a residential property(s) then you will not qualify for the first time buyer relief.

What are searches and do I need to do them?

Property searches are enquiries which provide further, additional information about a property that you are purchasing, The most common searches are Local Authority searches, Water & Drainage and Coal mining searches. In deciding whether you need property searches, it is best to discuss your options with a Solicitor as to whether or not you need them. If you are purchasing with the aid of a mortgage, your mortgage lender will require that these are undertaken.

We are unmarried and buying a property. I am putting a bigger deposit into the property. Can I protect it in the event of separation?

Yes, there are various ways in which you can protect your share in a property in these circumstances. This can either be by way of a Declaration of Trust or you can protect your share by owning the legal title in a specific way.

My husband has passed away, can I take his name off my house deeds? If so, how?

Yes, but the process is different depending on whether you own the property as tenants in common or joint tenants. If you own the property as joint tenants, then it is a very simple application to HM Land Registry. However, if you own the property as tenants in common, then you will need to seek appropriate advice from a Solicitor.

Do I need a survey on the property I am buying?

If you are getting a mortgage then your lender will insist that a valuation is undertaken. You may opt for a more detailed survey to be undertaken in addition to this. However, if you are not using a mortgage then it is your choice as to whether or not you undertake one. However, as purchasing a property is a significant investment, it is advised to get one.

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