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Property Conveyancing: An In-Depth Look at the Legal Process

Property Conveyancing: An In-Depth Look at the Legal Process

Whether you are buying or selling a property, the process of conveyancing is an essential step in ensuring a smooth and legal transfer of ownership. Conveyancing involves a series of legal activities and paperwork that must be meticulously carried out to protect the rights and interests of the parties involved. In this blog post, we will delve into the intricacies of property conveyancing, exploring each stage of the legal process and shedding light on the key aspects that you need to be aware of.

The Pre-Contract Stage

The conveyancing process kicks off with the pre-contract stage, wherein the buyer’s solicitor begins the necessary investigations and searches to establish the legal status of the property.

One of the vital steps during this stage is conducting a Local Authority Search. This search involves investigating the local planning authority records to uncover any potential issues such as planning restrictions, building regulations, or proposed developments in the vicinity. It is important to assess these factors, as they can have a significant impact on the value and desirability of the property.

Another crucial search is the Environmental Search, which examines the environmental risks associated with the property. This includes investigating potential hazards such as contaminated land, flooding risks, or any other environmental factors that could affect the property’s habitability or long-term value.

Additionally, your solicitor will verify the title deeds of the property. This involves checking the ownership documents, any existing mortgages or charges, and any rights or restrictions affecting the property. It is crucial to ensure that the seller possesses a good and marketable title and has the legal right to sell the property.

Once all the necessary searches and investigations have been completed, the buyer and seller can proceed to the next stage, which involves the exchange of contracts.

The Exchange of Contracts

Exchange of contracts is an important milestone in the conveyancing process. At this stage, the buyer and seller become legally bound to complete the transaction.

Prior to the exchange, your solicitor will conduct a thorough review of the contract of sale and ensure that all necessary provisions are in place to protect your interests. They will also liaise with the seller’s solicitor to finalize any outstanding issues and negotiate the terms of the contract.

Once the contracts are exchanged, the completion date is set. This is the date on which the property will formally change ownership.

During this period, it is advisable to organize your finances and secure a mortgage offer, if applicable. Your solicitor will ensure that all necessary funds, including the deposit, are available for the completion date.

Additionally, your solicitor will arrange for the payment of any outstanding fees or taxes, such as Stamp Duty Land Tax, and register the change of ownership with the Land Registry after completion.

The Completion Stage

On the completion date, the property officially changes hands. The buyer’s solicitor will transfer the purchase amount to the seller’s solicitor, and the seller will hand over the keys to the property.

It is crucial to carry out a final inspection of the property before completion to ensure that it is in the same condition as agreed upon in the contract. Any issues identified during the inspection should be brought to the seller’s attention immediately and resolved prior to completion.

After completion, your solicitor will take care of all post-completion matters, including registering the change of ownership with the Land Registry and paying any outstanding fees or taxes.


Property conveyancing is a complex legal process that involves numerous steps and paperwork. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, it is crucial to engage the services of an experienced property solicitor to guide you through each stage and ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

At SQE Property Law & Land Law, we specialize in property conveyancing and have a team of expert solicitors ready to assist you. Contact us today to learn more and embark on a smooth and hassle-free conveyancing journey.

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