Eight Conveyancing FAQs

If you are buying a new home you may have a lot of questions to ask. Here are the answers to eight of the most frequently asked conveyancing questions.

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What is meant by a ‘chain’?

This means that other peoples move will depend on yours and vice versa. For you to move, your buyer and your vendor will both need to move and their vendor will need to move. This goes ‘up the chain’ to the person at the top who is moving into an empty property.

How long does the process take?

This often depends on the length of the chain as your conveyancers will have to co-ordinate everyone’s move around the other people who are moving. It can take longer to complete the conveyancing process if the chain is longer but this isn’t necessarily the case.

Do I need a survey?

You will need a basic survey if you are getting a mortgage. A more in depth survey is recommended, especially if you are buying an older style property.

When do I need to pay the conveyancing fees?

You will need to pay the conveyancer for the search fees when you instruct them so that they can do this work for you. Your conveyancer will ask for the fee for the conveyancing process on exchange of contracts and they will also ask you to pay the stamp duty at this point too.

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What is meant by ‘exchange of contracts?’

This is when the conveyancers have finished doing the work they need to and they are ready to exchange contracts with the other conveyancers in the chain. In England this is the point at which the sale becomes legally binding so nobody can legally pull out of the transaction after this point.

Does my solicitor need to see a mortgage offer before exchange?

Yes your solicitor will need to receive a conveyancing copy of this and you can’t exchange contracts without one.

What happens after exchange of contracts?

When contracts are exchanged a ‘completion date’ will be set and this is the date you can move into your new home. The date will be agreed by all the solicitors in the chain.

What time will I be able to move in on completion day?

This will depend on what time all the conveyancers have finished doing the work and they are ready to complete the transaction. This may take longer if you are in a long chain. There is no way of knowing exactly what time you will be able to pick up the keys to your new home so there may be a fair bit of waiting around on completion day.

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