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A Comprehensive Guide to Property Conveyancing: What You Need to Know

A Comprehensive Guide to Property Conveyancing: What You Need to Know

Property conveyancing is an essential process when buying or selling a property. It involves legally transferring the ownership of a property from one person to another. Whether you are a first-time buyer or an experienced property investor, understanding the conveyancing process is crucial to ensure a smooth and successful transaction. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the key steps involved in property conveyancing.

Step 1: Instruction

The conveyancing process begins with the instruction of a solicitor. As a buyer or seller, you need to engage the services of a solicitor who specializes in property law. They will act on your behalf to handle all legal aspects of the property transaction, including drafting and reviewing contracts, conducting searches, and liaising with the other party’s solicitor.

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Step 2: Property Searches

Property searches are an integral part of the conveyancing process. These searches provide essential information about the property, such as planning permissions, restrictions, and any potential issues that may affect its value or use. Common searches include local authority searches, environmental searches, and water authority searches. It is important to thoroughly review these search results as part of the due diligence process.

Step 3: Preliminary Enquiries and Contracts

Once the searches are complete, the solicitors for both the buyer and seller will engage in preliminary enquiries. These inquiries aim to clarify any outstanding issues or questions about the property. The solicitors will also work together to draft the contracts, which outline the terms and conditions of the sale. This includes details about the agreed sale price, fixtures and fittings, and any additional conditions or obligations.

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Step 4: Exchange of Contracts

Once both parties are satisfied with the terms outlined in the contracts, the solicitors will organize the exchange of contracts. This is a significant step as it legally binds both parties to the transaction. At this stage, the buyer will typically be required to pay a deposit, usually 10% of the purchase price. The completion date will also be agreed upon, which is when the property officially changes hands.

Step 5: Completion

On the agreed completion date, the remaining balance of the purchase price is transferred from the buyer’s solicitor to the seller’s solicitor. Once the funds are received, ownership of the property is officially transferred, and the keys are handed over to the buyer. The solicitors then complete the necessary paperwork, such as registering the transfer of ownership with the Land Registry.

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Step 6: Post-Completion Matters

After completion, there are still certain post-completion matters that need to be addressed. This includes paying the stamp duty land tax (SDLT), if applicable, and ensuring that all utility bills and council tax accounts are updated with the new owner’s details. The solicitors will also handle the registration of the new ownership with the Land Registry and provide the buyer with a copy of the registered title.


Property conveyancing is a complex process that requires careful attention to detail and expertise in property law. By understanding the key steps involved in conveyancing, you can navigate the process with confidence and ensure a successful property transaction.

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