Conveyancing FAQs

The conveyancing process can be particularly complex for both buyers and sellers, but our FAQ aims to help you to make sense of the process and familiarise yourself with complicated terms you may not have heard before. 

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1) What does conveyancing mean?

Conveyancing refers to a specialist branch of law that involves the preparation of documents necessary for the purchase or sale of a property. 

Conveyancing is a process that involves many steps, each of which can take time to complete. You can find out more about the conveyancing process here.

2) How long does the conveyancing process take?

There is no hard and fast answer to this question, as the process completely varies from one property transaction to another, however, you might find that online conveyancing progresses faster. In a straightforward freehold property transaction, the process could vary from between8 to 12 weeks. However, this does depend on how timely one party’s solicitor is in acting for the other party. 

Take a look at our blog article Is It Possible To Fast Track Your Conveyancing? for more information on how long the process takes and some of the factors that can influence the process.

3) What is a conveyancing chain?

A chain is a sequence of linked property purchases, each of which is dependent on the purchase before and after it in the sequence of events. If a link in the chain is broken - for instance, if a buyer pulls out - the whole chain is broken until that link is restored. 

One end of the chain has a buyer with no property to sell, who is usually a first-time buyer, and at the other end is a seller who is not buying another property. 

When you have short chain, you'll often find things can progress more quickly whilst longer chains can present more challenges as there are more potential instances for the chain to be broken.

4) How much does the conveyancing process cost?

If you are selling your home, you will need to budget for estate agents’ fees and solicitor fees, whereas if you are buying you will need to budget for legal fees and disbursements, which are payments made by your solicitor to others. Disbursements include stamp duty, land registry fees and search fees.

You will also need to budget for lenders’ valuation fees and the cost of your own survey. 

Move Home Faster provides fixed-fee online conveyancing starting from just £295+ VAT. To find out more get a quick conveyancing quote.

5) When should I apply for a mortgage?

It is important to do some initial research before viewing properties to find out the type of mortgage deal that is most likely to suit your needs. More often than not, you can obtain a mortgage in principle from most lenders before finding a particular property. 

You can obtain a quote for remortgaging or why not use our handy mortgage calculator to find out how much your monthly mortgage payments might be.

6) What is the difference between ‘exchange’ and ‘completion’?

A completion date is the date on which you are allowed to move into your new property after vacating the old one. The agreed completion date is written into the contract, and the exchange of contracts is the point at which the buyer and seller agree to commit themselves unconditionally to the transaction.

Completion occurs once all funds have been transferred, allowing the new owner to collect the keys to their new property and move in.

Take a look at our helpful guide to the conveyancing process for more detailed information.

8) What happens on the day I complete?

On the day of completion, you do not need to come to our office. Once funds have been transferred and received by the vendor’s solicitor, completion has taken place. The keys to your new property can usually then be collected from the estate agents on the day of completion.

9) As a seller, can I remain in my property after completion?

As soon as completion has taken place the property you have sold no longer belongs to you. The contract states that you must vacate on the day of completion, which means clearing the property of all your belongings. If you do not give “vacant possession”, the buyer could sue you for any losses or inconvenience caused.

10) When do I pay estate agent fees?

Agent fees are usually payable once they have introduced a buyer who exchanges contracts for the purchase of your property. The agent’s commission is usually settled on the completion date from the net proceeds of the sale of the house. In most cases, your solicitor will usually settle the fee on your behalf.

12) Is online conveyancing safe?

Online conveyancing is a safe process, and in some ways even safer than working with a small traditional property solicitor!

Your personal information remains confidential at all times, so there is no need to worry about your data getting into the wrong hands.

We only refer work to a small panel of trusted, fully qualified conveyancing solicitors and we offer fixed fees too, which means no nasty surprises along the way!

13) How does online conveyancing work?

The online conveyancing process is simple, efficient and cost-effective. It works just like regular conveyancing, and work is referred to a panel of fully qualified, trusted conveyancing solicitors. We have lower overheads which means we can pass those savings directly on to our clients, allowing us to offer a fixed-fee conveyancing service that starts at just £153+VAT.

You can read about how online conveyancing works here

14) What is a local search?

A local search is a set of standard enquiries raised by your solicitor with the local council. It relates solely to the property itself and would not, for example, reveal proposals to develop or extend neighbouring land or property. 

15) What is gazumping?

Gazumping is where a seller accepts a higher offer from another buyer before contracts are exchanged. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to prevent this, although a lock-out agreement can sometimes stop this chain of events.

For more information, take a look at the Move Home Faster guide to gazumping.

16) How much Stamp Duty will I have to pay?

Stamp Duty is a progressive tax that is levied on all property transactions above £125,000. The standard stamp duty bands are as follows:

Property Value Stamp Duty
Up to £125,000 0%
£125,001 to £250,000 2%
£250,001 to £925,000 5%
£925,001 to £1.5million 10%
Over £1.5million 12%

Please be aware that stamp duty bands can differ, depending on your circumstances and during the Covid-19 global pandemic rates have been reduced and in some cases removed altogether in order to keep the housing market moving. You can read more about Covid-19 stamp duty rates here.


17) What shall I do if the surveyor finds an issue with my property?

Sometimes, buyers will find out there are problems with the property before contracts have been exchanged. In the event that this happens, you can:

  • Request that the seller corrects the problem at their expense
  • Seek a price reduction to cover the cost of resolving the problem
  • Withdraw from the purchase if the problem proves too difficult to resolve
18) How do I know how much to offer?

In order to know how much to offer for your new home, you could look at recently sold properties in the area to get a feel for how much property is generally selling for. 

Also, don't be tempted into paying over the odds for a property that you fall in love with. When haggling, bear in mind that very low offers are likely to be instantly rejected which could give other buyers time to potentially swoop in with a better offer so in a particularly bullish market, moving straight in with your best and final offer could be worth considering.


19) What makes Move Home Faster different from other conveyancing services?

Move Home Faster refers its online conveyancing services to our partnered solicitors, all of whom are SRA and CQS accredited. Despite providing online conveyancing services, our partnered solicitors have a high street presence too. By using Move Home Faster you'll benefit from lower online prices whilst still receiving an excellent, professional service.

We are not a "conveyancing factory", and your file will be dealt with by a qualified property specialist. 

20) Is online conveyancing cheaper?

Using our online conveyancing service is cheaper than a traditional high street firm. Handling of your file and transaction will be overseen by a qualified solicitor and supported by a trained team of legal assistants.

All of our work is done online and via email, resulting in a saving on conveyancing costs that is passed on to you by providing lower fees. Beeston Shenton guarantees no hidden extras, and what’s more, if your sale does not proceed to completion, you do not have to pay legal fees.

23) Will I have to provide identification?

Identification will be needed in order to complete either a sale or a purchase. This is to comply with money laundering regulations, which stipulate that we must obtain evidence of a client’s identity. We will ideally need a valid passport and/or driving license for each owner of the property being sold, together with a copy of a utility bill. If the originals cannot be supply, we will require certified copies.

24) Are there any hidden costs?

There are no hidden costs associated with our conveyancing service. We will provide you with a fixed legal fee to cover the work. We will only ever increase the fee if, during the transaction, something comes to light which was unforeseen. If this did happen, we would discuss this with you before imposing extra charges.

25) Does Move Home Faster use SRA Regulated Solicitors?

Yes. We only refer to solicitors that are SRA Regulated and Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme Accredited. The CQS scheme gives customers peace of mind during property transactions and ensures the solicitors meet their strict guidelines - this means you are in safe hands when you use Move Home Faster.

27) What do I have to do?

The majority of the conveyancing process is handled by us - however, you do have some obligations throughout. Talking to us will give you a good idea of what exactly will be happening and what you will need to do.

29) Can conveyancing be done in 4 week?

Although there is never a fixed guarantee that predicts exactly how long conveyancing will take, it's highly unlikely that the conveyancing process will be completed in 4 weeks. We generally advise that a realistic timescale for the conveyancing process is around 8 - 12 weeks. In some cases, depending on the particulars of an individual transaction, the home conveyancing process may complete sooner than 8 weeks, and in complex cases, it can sometimes take longer. We'd advise you to plan for between 8 - 12 weeks though.

30) Why is conveyancing so slow?

We understand that when it comes to buying and selling property, time is of the essence and nobody wants their property transaction to be held up or take many, many months to complete.

When parties are keen to get everything completed, it can sometimes feel like time is dragging and the average 8 - 12 weeks can seem like an age!

The length of time that the conveyancing process takes is determined by a number of factors including whether the property is freehold or leasehold, the size of the chain, as well as the area of the county where local authority searches are being conducted in.

You can find out more about what's involved in the conveyancing process here.

31) Are you an online property solicitor?

Move Home Faster has been set up by industry experts and property solicitors and is designed to provide you with access to leading conveyancing solicitors.

We work directly with fully accredited expert conveyancing solicitors meaning that we only work with trusted property solicitors who are Accredited by the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS).

Contact Move Home Faster today by calling 01270 263 263, or fill out an online enquiry form and we will be in touch at a time that is convenient for you.

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