Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When should I instruct my solicitor?
If you are selling, speak to us when you put your property on the market.
If you are buying, speak to us before making an offer.
Q: How much will it all cost?
If you are selling, you need to budget for estate agent’s fees and our legal fees.
If you are buying, you need to budget for our legal fees and disbursements.
Disbursements are payments to others such as – Land Registry fees, search fees and Stamp Duty. You also need to budget for lender’s valuation fees and your own survey fee.
Q: What is the difference between “exchange” and “completion”?
Exchange of contracts is the point the agreed completion date is written into the contract and at that point the seller and buyer commit themselves unconditionally to the transaction.
Completion date is the date on which you get the keys to your new property and vacate your old one.
Q: What is a conveyancing chain?
Most people usually buy and sell property simultaneously, therefore a number of linked sales and purchases arise, each dependent on the other, Exchange of contracts must take place at the same time in all transactions, meaning that the speed of progress is dictated by the slowest link in the chain.
Q: What is a local search?
It is a set of standard enquiries which we raise with the local council which relates solely to the property you are buying, they will reveal, for example, restrictions on your property, who is responsible for maintaining road and paths adjoining your property but a local search would not, for example, reveal proposals to develop or extend neighbouring land or property.
Q: Do I need to have a survey?
It is always sensible to have your own independent survey carried out. If you are taking out a mortgage your lender will require a valuation but this is not a building survey and is for the lender’s benefit, not yours.
Q: When do I get the deeds to my property?
Nowadays all legal documents of title (ownership) are held electronically at the Land Registry, there are no “deeds” as such and you will be sent a copy when your purchase is registered at the Land Registry. However, there are a number of useful supporting documents which you should keep safe as they are/may be required when the property is sold again.
Written February 2020, Do not rely on the information that you have read here without contacting one of our fee-earners to take individual advice first.