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Buying property tips: UK conveyancing

Conveyancing is the legal process of buying and selling a property usually carried out by a solicitor or licensed conveyancer.

It's worthwhile choosing a solicitor or conveyancer as soon as you start looking for a new home, so that you don't have to rush your decision once you've found a home you want to buy.

Ask any friends, family or colleagues who have recently bought a home whether they can recommend someone. You can also search the Law Society Directory for a suitable solicitor in your area. If you are buying a home in Scotland, visit the Scottish Law Society web site as the Law Society is the regulatory body for over 116,000 solicitors in England and Wales.

Fees for conveyancing vary so get two or three quotes from different solicitors to compare prices. The cost will depend on how complicated the transaction is, the price and location of the property and whether or not the land is registered. Confirm in writing with your chosen solicitor what the quote will include. Try visiting for a fixed competitive price for anyone moving home in England and Wales.

Once you've made an offer on a property you like, inform your solicitor who can then start the legal work to transfer the property to you.

This includes:

Commissioning local authority searches on legal restrictions and local development proposals affecting the home you're considering buying
Receiving mortgage offers and dealing with all the conditions
Holding your deposit and passing this to the developer's solicitor
Dealing with and checking a contract for sale
Arranging for the exchange of contracts
Preparing and approving the deed of transfer and mortgage deed
Arranging payment of any stamp duty to the Inland Revenue
Applying to the Land Registry to register your ownership
Sending deeds to the mortgage lender

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