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What is conveyancing and the difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor?
"Conveyancing is the legal procedure used to transfer the ownership of a property from one party to another, typically involving the buying and selling of properties. A conveyancer is a specialist in property law, while a solicitor is a qualified legal professional who can deal with various legal matters, including conveyancing, and both can handle the conveyancing process."
What is the difference between exchange and completion?
"Exchange' is an exchange of contracts that makes the transaction legally binding between the parties, and the completion date is agreed upon. 'Completion' is the date where the parties physically move."
What are the typical time scales for buying and selling a property?
"Selling a Leasehold or Freehold property 10 - 14 weeks
Buying a Leasehold property – 12 - 22 weeks
Buying a Freehold property – 8 – 14 weeks
Buying a New Build property – It is usual for developers to impose a 28-day exchange deadline. Completion will occur when the property is built for occupation."
Are there any hidden costs?
"No, our terms and conditions identify any additional costs you may incur during the course of your transaction. Your Case Manager will bring it to your attention to discuss with you during your transaction to inform you of any additional work needed which could incur a cost.."
What are 'enquiries', and is it normal to raise them?
"Enquiries are questions the buyer's property lawyer license conveyancers or solicitor raises with the seller's solicitor and can include questions about the legal title, queries about the documents supplied by the seller or questions raised as a result of any searches submitted on the property. It is usual for there to be some questions to clarify the information provided by the seller's solicitors. The information obtained assists in your decision-making process for buying a property."
What is the difference between a survey and searches?
"A 'survey' is usually carried out by the mortgage provider and reports on the physical state of the property. 'Searches' are carried out by the buyer's property lawyers, license conveyancers or solicitors and cover various additional information about the property being purchased, i.e., local authority, Water & Drainage, Environmental, and Chancel repair liability. "
What is the difference between a home buyers, complete structural and valuation survey?
"A valuation survey is the cheapest option and is essentially the lender ensuring that the property is the agreed value. A Homebuyers report is a condition report plus a valuation and provides the insurance rebuild cost. A Full structural will provide you with a complete survey that will look at everything a homebuyer would and include a review of the property's main structure, and provide you with a quotation and essential repairs required. A complete structural survey is only required on properties in need of significant restoration."
What information is in a water and drainage search, and why should I have one?
"A search will reveal whom the statutory undertaker will supply mains water and foul sewage to and from the property. This search will also identify where the drains are located at the property. If you are purchasing with the benefit of a mortgage, this search is a loan requirement.."
What information is in an environmental search, and why should I have one?
"This looks at ground contamination, ground movement probability and potential flood risk"
What information is in a chancel search, and why should I have one?
"Chancel repair liability is a legal obligation on some property owners in England and Wales to pay for certain repairs to a church that may or may not be the local parish church. A search will identify if the property is within such an area that may be liable."
What is the difference between a deposit required on exchange and a deposit that a mortgage lender requires to lend?
"In exchange of contracts, it is usual for a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) to be paid by the buyer to the seller. This is part of the process for making the transaction legally binding. A lender may also refer to a 'deposit'; however, they refer to the balance of monies between the loan value and the purchase price. Although the same word is used, these are two different things. "
When are funds due for the deposit to exchange, and when are the remaining funds owed to complete?
"To exchange contracts, we must hold a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) from you, the client, as cleared funds in our firm's bank account. Following exchange and in anticipation of completion, we will supply you with a final statement of account showing you, if any, the balance of funds required to complete. We again will require this as cleared funds before the date of completion."
What are the risks of accepting a reduced deposit (less than 10% of the purchase price) on the exchange of contracts?
"It is usual for a buyer to provide a 10% deposit on exchange of contracts. Occasionally this may not be possible, and they might propose a reduced deposit. We will always let you know if this is the case and take your instructions. Each circumstance is different; however, it is usually low risk to accept a reduced deposit as long as it is over 5% of the purchase price. A deposit is paid to compensate you if the other party fails to complete financially, and if a reduced deposit is accepted at an exchange, you can still seek the complete 10% through a court of law."
What is an original document?
"An 'original document' is the physical document itself. A scan, photograph or photocopy of the document is not legally classed or can be used as the original document."
What is a covenant?
"A covenant is a legally binding promise that is attached to the land. As a buyer of property, you should be aware of any covenants attached to the land so that you can ensure you comply with them during your ownership."
What is a legal indemnity policy?
"Your Case Manager may suggest a legal indemnity insurance policy if a 'defect' of the property is identified during the transaction. A defect may range from missing title documents with the land registry to absent planning or building regulation certificates. "
Are a third party fund and gift the same thing?
"Yes, if any amount of money is being contributed to purchasing a property that has not been earned by the buyer's themselves, then this is classed as a gift/third party fund."
Why are there additional fees for the third party/gifted funds?
"There is additional work involved for the Case Manager to review and investigate where all monies are coming from. We must carry out further checks on the third-party funds, which are requirements of any mortgage lender and Anti Money Laundering (AML) regulations."
Is there anything the person gifting the money needs to do?
"Yes, we need to see a certified photo & address ID, a letter stating whether it is a gift, and an explanation of the source of funds. We may also ask for a statement of accounts detailing the transfer from the donor to you. We do accept other solicitors' certifications or your local post office if your donor cannot attend one of our RG offices."
Will I be required to disclose the original source of the purchase monies I will be using in the transaction?
"Yes, you must tell us at the start to avoid any delay. If you do not state that you are receiving a gift/third party fund at the beginning of your conveyancing transaction, you will cause a delay further down the line. Several checks and documents need to be carried out and provided by the person gifting you the money. These checks and documents are required by law."
What is an expedited completion, and why does it cost more?
"Suppose you are selling or buying a property with or without a mortgage and would like us to complete your transaction with 7 or fewer working days between exchange and completion. In that case, we will make an additional charge to you of £99.00, plus VAT, for each transaction. A substantial amount of work needs to be completed within a small timeframe, so an extra charge is applicable."
What is simultaneous exchange and completion, and why does it cost more?
"If you are selling or buying a property, with or without a mortgage, and you would like us to exchange and complete on the same day, we will charge you £199.00 plus VAT for each transaction. A substantial amount of work needs to be completed within a small timeframe, so an extra charge is applicable."
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