Buying a home for the first time is a joyful experience - but newcomers to homeownership can often feel a little overwhelmed by what's involved. With so many things to consider and arrange, we understand how daunting the journey can sometimes seem.

What you need is the clear, professional advice of a first-time buyer solicitor, and Homeward Legal is the place to call. Our team are the welcoming, experienced voice on the other end of the phone who can help remove any stress from the legal process.

We are here for you every step of the way, with no hidden surprises and no extra costs. Our friendly team is available seven days a week while our nationwide panel of first-time buyer solicitors and conveyancers have the knowledge and expertise to ensure your transaction goes smoothly.

Whether you just need a helping hand with the conveyancing process or you'd like us to organise building surveys as well, we can provide the whole package. Read on for everything you need to know about first-time buyer conveyancing and start the journey to collecting the keys of your very first home right here, right now!

What is first-time buyer conveyancing?

The word conveyancing is a catch-all term to describe the legal formalities and paperwork that must be carried out for any property or land transaction. As first-time buyers, all this will be done for you by a conveyancing solicitor or a licensed conveyancer.

What do first-time buyer solicitors do?

As part of the first-time buyer conveyancing services they offer, your solicitor will:

  • Confirm your ID
  • Ask to see a mortgage offer, if you are buying with a mortgage
  • Agree a completion date
  • Exchange contracts with the sellers
  • Transfer the funds on completion day and arrange for the collection of keys
  • Register you as the new owner of the property with the Land Registry
  • Pay any Stamp Duty Land Tax (in England) or Land Transaction Tax (in Wales) on your behalf

How does the conveyancing process work?

For first-time buyers, the conveyancing process can seem long, daunting and complicated. In fact, even for those who are experienced in the property market, it doesn't always get any easier! But to give you an idea, here's a basic summary of how the conveyancing process works once your offer has been accepted:

  • You fill out the ID documents and instruction forms
  • Your first-time buyer solicitor receives the contracts from the seller's side
  • Your solicitor raises any enquiries with the sellers
  • Your solicitor orders searches from local authorities and the Environment Agency, as necessary
  • Terms are agreed and a date for completion is set
  • Contracts are exchanged between the two sides
  • The process is completed and you move into your new home
  • Your first-time buyer solicitor registers you as the new owner and pays any stamp duty that is due

How much are first-time buyer solicitor fees?

For a first-time buyer, conveyancing fees will vary depending on a number of things, including the value of the property. Unfortunately, that means there is no simple answer to this question. However, to give you an idea, these are some of the charges you might expect to see:

  • Solicitors' fees
  • Surveyors' fees
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)***
  • Land Registry fees
  • Local authority searches
  • Electronic bank transfer fee
  • VAT

***In line with current Stamp Duty thresholds, first-time buyers in England will - due to the first-time buyer stamp duty relief - pay no SDLT when purchasing a residential property valued up to £425,000. If they buy a property valued up to £625,000, they will pay 5% SDLT on the value portion between £425,001 and £625,000. The relief cannot be claimed on properties over £625,000. 

Please note: there is no first-time buyer relief available in Wales.

Get in touch about a first-time buyer solicitor

If you're looking to buy a property, get in touch with the team today about our first-time buyer conveyancing services.

Alternatively, you can always give us a ring on  or request a callback and we'll be happy to speak to you.

Frequently asked questions...

Your conveyancing solicitor should be able to advise if there are any other government schemes in place (such as ‘Help to Buy') to assist with your purchase and whether you are eligible to take advantage of any that are running. In particular, for first-time buyers, the stamp duty threshold has been raised to £300,000.

If you are looking for ways of cutting costs, there is no better way of doing it than choosing one of the best conveyancing solicitors in the country with Homeward Legal. Get an online calculator, or call us now on , so we can match you with the best conveyancing solicitor based on your conveyancing needs.

It is strongly recommended that all prospective purchasers book an inspection of the property they are intending to buy. There is a wide range of defects that can affect a property, from cracked roof tiles to the suspected existence of asbestos, from unsupported chimney stacks to wet rot in the cellar. These will not be reported on by a conveyancing solicitor, as it is not part of the legal remit.

In addition, a survey will identify any structural issues so that you can budget for remedial and upkeep works if necessary. Local builders and your RCIS surveyor can provide detailed advice on what you should consider, and whether it is worth renegotiating the asking price to help pay for any major works post-purchase.

Many contaminants can impact a residential property. These need not be restricted to chemical or mineral pollutants either, since investigations into contamination also include proposed erection of mobile masts, or the proximity of electricity pylons.

Where the property has been built on former industrial or agricultural land, consideration will be given to any known pollution that exists in the topsoil or in the vicinity. All aspects of the environmental impact to the property will be considered as part of the environmental searches and reported in the conveyancer's report on title for the property.

Yes, you can usually inspect the property's condition before the auction during designated viewing times. However, getting a formal survey before the auction might not always be feasible due to time and cost constraints. 

It's advisable to carefully review the legal pack and seek professional advice if there are concerns about the property's condition or any structural issues.

Your Fixed Legal Fee** quote from Homeward Legal ensures that you pay no more than we have quoted you for and is based on the information you’ve provided to us being true and accurate.

There are specific circumstances on a minority of transactions that may require additional charges that could not be foreseen at the outset.

A list of those charges and explanations can be found here with details of the potential cost. These will only be charged following discussion with your conveyancer with a clear explanation of what they are for.

No Completion No Fee is our promise that in the unfortunate event that your property transaction falls-through you will not be liable for any of the conveyancer’s fixed legal fees for the work completed.

To secure this benefit a fee, already included in your quote, is taken upon on deciding to go ahead with your transaction.

Should your transaction fall through, for whatever reason, we can hold this amount on account for your next transaction or provide a refund.

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