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First Time Buyers: A Guide to Conveyancing

Conveyancing Explained

So far in my First Time Buyers series, we have spoken about how much it costs to move house and property surveys. Today, I want to talk about conveyancing. This is another one of those things that people kept saying to me and I had no idea what they were talking about.

Turns out it's a pretty important part of the whole home buying process and you are probably not going to be able to do it yourself. You'll need to instruct a conveyancing solicitor. Your estate agent or property developer can point you in the right direction, but I would recommend shopping around a bit first because it can all get a bit pricey. (Yes, more money to part with, will it ever end?!)

What is conveyancing?

So, conveyancing is basically the process of transferring the ownership of the land and/or buildings from one person to another. It can take a few weeks to a few months, or maybe longer depending on how many buyers and sellers are in your chain.

It's pretty hefty work and there are so many legalities involved. You could probably do it yourself if you researched enough, but to avoid any hiccups, I'd really recommend finding an experienced and licensed conveyancer.

What does a conveyancing solicitor do?


Searches are similar to property surveys, but instead of focusing on the building, they focus on the surrounding areas. For example, a conveyancer will check with local authorities that nobody is about to build a nuclear plant right next door, where the sewers run, if there is a flood risk or id there are any financial liabilities from previous owners hanging over the property to avoid you coming in to any problems after you have moved.

Incurred Costs

The conveyancer works out all of your incurred costs, such a stamp duty, and will advise of these costs and handle any transfer of money to the seller so it is done securely and at the right time. We transferred some of our money to our conveyancer, who held onto it in a secure account until it was the right moment to send it over.


The conveyancing solicitor will check all contracts, property plans, site plans etc to check that everything matches up to what you are expecting to purchase. The solicitor will also handle the exchange of contracts, which is the point where you will be in a legally binding contract to buy the property. They will also make sure you and everyone else involved has the correct contracts, deeds and documents set out at the correct time


Your conveyancing solicitor will complete the sale for you by transferring the money to the seller, ensuring it arrives safely and makes sure the seller transfers the keys to the eastate agen so you can move in.

How much does it cost?

The cost for the conveyancer depends on the property price band and can vary from £400 - £1,500. Remember to compare costs of conveyancing solicitors so you are getting the best deal (like your car insurance!).

Does that all make sense? It still goes over my head a little bit, but I would never be able to understand all the intricacies of it all. I guess that's why I'm a Social Media Executive and not a solicitor!

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