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When moving house, you’ll need to enlist the services of conveyancing solicitors. But what do they do exactly? In this article, you’ll learn about the basics of conveyancing.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Conveyancer?

One of the biggest concerns you might have about conveyancing is the price. There are many conveyancers available so expect quite a bit of variability in prices. The average cost of conveyancing is £1,100. Conveyance fees usually have 2 parts:

  • Basic fee
  • Disbursements

Average Conveyancing Fees

The table below shows the average conveyancing fees for buying and selling a house.

Property PriceConveyancing Fee (Sale)Conveyancing Fee (Purchase)Stamp Duty

Basic Fee / Disbursements

The fee is the basic cost of the time of conveyancing solicitors for handling your transaction. The disbursements are the costs that your conveyancer needs to pay to third parties. We’ll go into more detail on these disbursements in a later section.

The price of hiring conveyancing services largely depends on the value of the property you’re buying and/or selling. If you are buying and selling a property, your conveyancing fees will be higher since your conveyancer will need to process both transactions.

So, What Actually is Conveyancing?

At first glance, conveyancing might seem like boring or complex jargon. It is the process where a conveyancing solicitor or conveyancer ensures that the buyer receives the title deeds of a property after purchase. In a nutshell, conveyancing is the s the legal process of transferring property from one owner to another.

You don’t have to worry about the specifics of this paperwork—that is what conveyancers are for! Unless you decide to do the conveyancing yourself, you won’t need to go through the legal and administrative work on your own.

Who Can Do Conveyancing For You?

Navigating through the conveyancing process might not spark much excitement, but it’s crucial. The entire legality and validity of the property transaction hang on the precision of the legal paperwork. So, it’s vital to entrust this task to the right professionals:


Solicitors are broadly trained legal professionals who deal with a range of legal matters. Although they handle various legal aspects, they may not always specialise in property law. However, they are qualified to manage conveyancing and can provide additional legal services if your transaction becomes complex.

Property Solicitors

These specialists focus exclusively on property law. With their in-depth knowledge, property lawyers are invaluable when transactions become sticky or when there are property disputes to resolve. For a deeper understanding, consider reading our blog post on property solicitors.

Licensed Conveyancers

Conveyancers specialise solely in the property transaction process. While they may not have the broad legal expertise of solicitors, their focus is sharply honed on conveyancing. They are often the most adept and cost-effective choice for straightforward property transactions. To be authorised to process property transactions, they must be a part of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.

Conveyancing your house

What Happens During the Conveyancing Process?

#1. Beginning Stages

When you choose a conveyancer, they will create a draft contract and the terms of engagement. Here, they will specify what services they will provide to you as well as their fees. After, they will contact your seller’s solicitor or conveyancer to request a copy of the draft contract and other pertinent information.

1.1 Ask Any Questions

Your conveyancer will inspect these documents and ask about any possible issues. At the same time, you should go through the documents and forms together with your conveyancer so you can ask any questions you may have.

2.2 Property Ownership

One thing you should keep an eye out for is whether your ownership of the property is leasehold or freehold. This determines whether you own your home without restrictions or you have a landlord.

#2. Property Searches

Your conveyancer will also conduct property searches. They will look out for things that you can’t notice just by asking estate agents or home surveys. These include anything from building plans in your area that could affect your home to potential environmental such as flooding risks, ground stability, or landfill sites.

2.1. List of Required Searches

Some of these searches are required by your conveyancer, while others are necessary for your mortgage provider.

  • Local authority searches
  • Title register and title plan
  • Flood risk
  • Water authority searches
  • Chancel repair search
  • Environmental search
  • Additional searches and surveys

The above is necessary to ensure that there will be no unexpected issues affecting your property once you move in. Your conveyancer will pay the costs for these searches, otherwise known as disbursements, which are included in your total conveyancing fees.

2.2. Examining, Signing, and Exchanging Contracts

Your conveyancer will review the contract and documents on your behalf. These documents include property boundaries, the sale price, and the fixtures and fittings of the property.

#3. Checking Contract Details

Your conveyancer or solicitor will make sure that all issues and enquiries have been resolved. They will also check that the property matches the contract details. Once everything checks out, they’ll make arrangements for you to transfer the deposit to your conveyancer.

3.1. Validation of the Purchasing Contract

On an agreed date, your conveyancer will exchange the contracts with the seller’s conveyancer. Once they exchange the contracts, you will now be legally obligated to buy the property. In this contract:

  • You must complete the purchase or else you will lose the deposit that you made to the seller
  • The seller must sell the property
  • The seller cannot accept another offer (there is no need to worry about being gazumped!)

You’ll need to pay the seller and make an application with the Land Registry so you can transfer the deeds to your name.

#4. After Completion

Completion, although usually set on a specific date agreed by the 2 parties, will probably be once the seller has received all the money that is due. The seller will then hand the keys over to the estate agent so you can collect them. After this, the house is officially yours!

4.1. Taxes

During this time, your conveyancer will also finish up the last few tasks. These include paying the Stamp Duty Land Tax, sending a copy of the deeds to your mortgage provider, passing on the legal documents to you, and billing you for their services.

4.2. Move-in

At this point, you should start getting ready for your moving day. Usually, the whole conveyance process takes around 6 to 8 weeks. However, you should ideally begin the process of preparing for moving house at least 3 months before your move-in date.

Get the Keys to Your New Home

Now that the transaction is complete, go pick up the keys to your new house! And if you’ve not found a suitable removal company yet, now is the time!

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