This is a general guide which details what we do as Conveyancers when acting for you in connection with a purchase. The transaction roughly takes the following route:-

  • When you agree to purchase a property, we receive a Memorandum of Sale from the Estate Agents;
  • We open a file for you and send out letters confirming our instructions to you and the Seller’s solicitors.
  • Contract documentation is then requested from the Seller’s Solicitors;
  • When this has been received, we check the title plan with you to make sure you are happy that this reflects the extent of the property you are purchasing;
  • We then discuss searches with you (e.g. Local, Water, Environmental) and apply for any that you require. If you require a mortgage to purchase then certain searches are compulsory;
  • Once the search results arrive, we check through them and report to you on their contents;
  • We then go through the Contract documentation to raise any necessary Enquiries with the Seller’s solicitors;
  • If you require a mortgage once your valuation has been carried out, we would receive and check your Mortgage Offer;
  • Once replies to Enquiries are received, we check through these for you and raise any further Enquiries, if necessary;
  • We then report to you on the Contract documentation and ask you to sign the paperwork, which normally includes the Contract, Stamp Duty Form, Transfer Deed and Mortgage Deed;
  • If you are happy with everything which has been provided we then discuss suitable completion dates, which will need to be agreed with the Seller and the rest of the chain, if there is one;
  • Contracts are then exchanged (i.e. becoming legally binding) and the completion date is set;
  • Buildings Insurance is at the risk of the Buyer from exchange unless the property is leasehold, new build or some other arrangement is made with the Seller;
  • You would then need to book removals, although we recommend you obtain removal quotes before we exchange and set a completion date;
  • We would then ask you for the balance to complete if necessary;
  • Your mortgage advance is requested at the point of exchange. Most lenders require 5 days for the release of funds although some require more notice;
  • Sometimes we can arrange a simultaneous exchange and completion if required;
  • We carry out some final checks and pre-completion searches;
  • Completion day arrives and once completion has taken place, you are free to collect your keys, usually from the Estate Agents;
  • We then carry out the post-completion work which involves paying your Stamp Duty and arranging registration of your ownership at the Land Registry.

This is not however an exhaustive list. There can be aspects of a purchase transaction that we can’t predict, such as complications with the title, which mean we have to carry out additional work.

In respect of timescale, we would normally estimate 6-8 weeks for a transaction to go through although this does depend on a number of factors. For example, the property could be leasehold or shared ownership which is usually more complicated and time consuming, you may buying with the aid of Help to Buy, or a Grant of Probate might be required if it is an Executor sale.

This article was written by our Licensed Covneyancer, Marie Moore, who is based in our Launceston office. If you would like to discuss any of the information mentioned in the article then you can contact Marie by email at, or by telephone on 01566 771117.

For all your legal needs, contact WBW Solicitors today.

This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since the date this article was published.