What is conveyancing?

Buying your first property can be an overwhelming experience without the help of an experienced property lawyer to guide you through the conveyancing process – but what exactly is conveyancing you may ask?

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal transfer of a property from one owner to another. The transfer can be of either a leasehold or freehold property. The conveyancing process usually involves a conveyancing solicitor or licensed conveyancer acting on behalf of the buyer to ensure their client obtains the deeds to the property and the land it sits on.

Conveyancing encapsulates the entirety of the legal-administrative work required to ensure a house purchase or sale is legally valid.

The property lawyer will also be required to protect the investment of the buyer by negotiating with the seller.

Standard conveyancing practice

First time buyers purchasing property in England or Wales will have to abide to the following law agreements:

  • A house move is not legally binding until contracts are exchanged between buyer and seller – giving freedom to both parties pre-contract. A deposit, usually of 10% is required at the exchange of contracts.
  • In the phase prior to exchange of contracts either party can cancel the transaction, with no obligations to the other. This does increase the risk of gazumping if you are part of a lengthy moving chain.
  • Post-exchange of contracts the buyer is legally committed to the purchase and the agreed terms of the sale. If you decide to pull out of the agreement at this stage you may automatically lose the deposit paid upon exchange.

What will your property lawyer do for you?

  • Liaise with the seller’s solicitor to receive a contract pack
  • Request and obtain a copy of your mortgage offer
  • Follow through local authority searches in relation to the property
  • Analyse the results of local authority searches
  • Arrange potential completion dates with both parties
  • Swap signed contracts with the seller’s property lawyer
  • Transfer the deposit to the seller’s property lawyer
  • Prepare the completion statement and transfer deeds for you to complete
  • Transfer signed transfer deeds to the seller’s property lawyer
  • Initiate payment from your mortgage lender
  • Transfer the agreed sale monies to the seller’s property lawyer
  • Send transfer deeds and applicable stamp duty to the Stamping Office
  • Forward documentation regarding proof of ownership to HM Land Registry
  • Forward title deeds from HM Land Registry to mortgage lender for proof of purchase

While your chosen property lawyer will do the majority of the administration leg work, as a first time buyer you will also be asked to carry out tasks to ensure a stress-free completion. Read our conveyancing checklist for buyers for more detailed guidance.

How to find a good conveyancing solicitor

An experienced, thorough property lawyer is worth their weight in gold. However, if you are first time buyers new to an area it can be difficult to locate a professional. Why not let reallymoving.com take the strain? We offer up to four instant conveyancing quotes to customers from our large network of professionals from top quality legal firms who cover your area.

Whether you choose a conveyancing solicitor or a licensed conveyancer, you can be assured they are regulated by both the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Council for Licensed Conveyancers respectively.


  • Daniela Adams says...

    posted on 11/12/2015 00:20:24

    We want to buy a house, and the owner yesterday mentioned conveyancing. I'm not very familiar with this process, so I find your article very helpful. We will start looking for a lawyer who can help us with it. I think, when it comes to legal matters, it's always safer to work with a professional.

Let us know what you think

Your comment

Leave your comment