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The majority of Conveyancing solicitors offer a quote online. However many conveyancing firms promote what they call 'the cheapest conveyancing quotes' so it’s always worth checking the small print to see what additional costs might be hiding in the small print. Depending on the nature and complexity of your transaction a good conveyancing solicitor will follow up with a call to ensure that the quote matches you and your property’s needs.

Any extra costs need to be fair and only come into force where your conveyancing lawyer has to perform these additional tasks for you and provided they could not be anticipated at the start of the process. In these instances, Homeward Legal includes all foreseeable legal costs in their standard conveyancing offering as part of the fixed legal fee guarantee, this does rely on the information that you provide us.*

Get an online conveyancing quote using Homeward Legal’s user-friendly calculator for your property transaction.

The local authority search is a set of enquiries made of the local authority's records by your conveyancing solicitor. These relate specifically to the planning and building control records, roads and highways, local development plans and other aspects of local authority control that might impact your property in some way. It is worth noting, however, that the search only relates to the property you are thinking of buying, and will not report on any records affecting neighbouring or nearby properties.

The local authority search focuses on the subject property only, so, as an example, it would not reveal planning applications relating to other properties or land in the area around your prospective building. A separate search, known as a 'Plan’ or ‘Planning Search', would be needed to extend the search to include neighbouring properties and any adjoining land.

The local authority search is a key part of the conveyancing protocol because the information is generally highly relevant to the purchaser’s interests. Mortgage lenders will also insist on this search being carried out, unfortunately at the expense of the buyer (although Homeward Legal can act on the behalf of most lenders and advisers so that they do not pass on their legal costs to you).

However, if you are a cash-buyer, it is up to you whether you choose to have this search carried out, and you should inform your conveyancing solicitor if this is the case at the time of appointing them.

Want to see how this looks on one of our quotes? Try our online calculator, or call us now on 0800 038 6699.

SDLT stands for Stamp Duty Land Tax, and is a tax payable to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by a buyer on all properties bought for £125,000 and above. 

However, in July 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a stamp duty holiday, which means that anyone completing on a main residence up to the value of £500,000 will not have to pay any stamp duty. Please note that this only applies to properties in England and Northern Ireland until 31 March 2021.

There are other government schemes in place such as ‘Help to Buy’ which you may be eligible for. In particular, for first-time buyers, the stamp duty threshold has been raised to £300,000. For more information our experienced team are on hand.

The information provided below is how SDLT was calculated prior to Chancellor Sunak’s announcement.

Note that if the property being purchased is a buy-to-let or a second home, then, as of April 2016, each value band has been increased by 3%.

First-time buyers already have a higher stamp duty threshold, paying no property tax on transactions up to £300,000.

The current levels of SDLT have been in place since December 2014 and are calculated as a percentage of the final purchase price according to the following brackets:

  • £0 - £125,000 - 0% (3% for buy-to-let, or second homes)
  • £125,001 - £250,000 - 2% (5%)
  • £250,001 - £925,000 - 5% (8%)
  • £925,001 - £1.5 million - 10% (13%)
  • £1.5 million - 12% (15%)

The tax owed is not a flat rate but is calculated as the purchase price moves up through the bands. So, for example, if you buy a house for £950,000, the first £125,000 will not incur any tax, the next £125,000 will be taxed at 2%, the next £675,000 at 5% and the remaining £25,000 at 10%:

First £125,000 = £0
Next £125,000 = £2,500
Next £675,000 = £33,750
Final £25,000 = £2,500
Total = £38,750

Your conveyancing solicitor will submit the SDLT return to HMRC on your behalf upon completion of your home purchase, at the same time as registering the change of ownership with the Land Registry.

Note, too, that, from 1 April 2018, the Welsh government abandoned SDLT and introduced the Land Transaction Tax (LTT), which operates on a very similar basis, although the trigger threshold is currently set at £180,000.

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 quote or give us a call on 0800 038 6699, so we can match you with the best conveyancing solicitor based on your conveyancing needs.

Whether you are buying or selling, the earlier you can appoint your conveyancing solicitor, the better, because the legal work can start very early in the process. For sellers, this means that your solicitor could draft a contract in advance of finding a buyer, and for buyers, conveyancing solicitors can verify ID checks, proof of funds and the mortgage application if needed. Promptly instructing a solicitor can reduce any chance of the other side pulling out, and will also mean that you are ready to push forward with an offer as soon as you find a property that you want to buy.

With Homeward Legal’s No Completion Protection† if your move falls through for whatever reason, there will be no legal fees for you to pay.

When you get a quote for conveyancing services from us, the legal price we quote you is the price you'll pay, with no hidden costs.

Why not try our online calculator for your fixed legal fee conveyancing quote? Or, if you’re ready to get started, instruct your Homeward Legal solicitor by calling our property experts on 0800 038 6699.

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.

New owners will often be frustrated with the lack of formality around what fixtures and fittings should be included in a sale, and indeed what should be included under each term. Sometimes this list isn't firmed up until the transaction nears completion, and it can also form post-offer negotiations, causing potential delays.

However, to avoid confusion, an approximate list will need to be agreed by the buyer and seller prior to offer. The seller will note these in the formal conveyancing form known as the fixtures and fittings form (FFF), which confirms in detail what will be sold with the property, and which formally becomes part of the contract of sale.

Your conveyancing solicitor will, in the first instance, talk you through the process and what’s expected of you including the filling in of various forms. Give us a call on 0800 038 6699, so we can match you with the best conveyancing solicitor based on your conveyancing needs.

Conveyancing searches are a common bundle of queries carried out for the buyer, with respect to the specific property they are purchasing. The most common (and mandatory for taking out a mortgage) searches are Local Authority, Drainage and Water, Chancel Liability and Environmental, although circumstances may dictate that further searches (e.g. Brine, or Coal or Tin-Mining) may be required, particularly if you are financing the purchase with a mortgage. In these circumstances, your conveyancing solicitor will advise and discuss the need to order these additional searches, as well as providing the cost of these disbursements.

Buyers should be aware that searches cover solely legal-related matters. If you want to know about the structural integrity of the property, you are strongly advised to commission a survey with an RCIS chartered surveyor.

Over recent years, a number of lenders have reduced the number of legal firms they have on their approved panel. The upshot of this is that they potentially create higher conveyancing costs for buyers as the lender’s legal costs for establishing the mortgage are passed on.

At Homeward Legal, however, we can act on behalf of most mortgage lenders, thereby ensuring you are always in control of your legal bill and will always know what you are paying. This makes us your optimal choice for conveyancing. Why not give us a ring now on 0800 038 6699 to get your solicitor assigned today?

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.

No. With Homeward Legal's panel of conveyancing solicitors, when you get a quote for conveyancing services from us, the legal price we quote you is the price you'll pay.

You should be aware, however, that some property solicitors do not give accurate quotes, only estimates, often putting standard conveyancing fees in the small print, possibly to make the headline offer seem far more attractive. The final bill you receive may then be much more than you budgeted for as a result. With us, what you see is what you get, and you will always be in control of your legal bill, which is reinforced with our No-Completion Protection

Want to see what we mean? Try our online quote calculator, or call us on 0800 038 6699.

When acting for a purchaser, a conveyancing lawyer will carry out an environmental search, which will identify if the property is on a known floodplain.

Whether the house or flat is in one of these locations or not doesn't necessarily mean that it has flooded in the past, or will be flooded in the future, because the basic environmental search only assesses the general risk. Furthermore, the information returned in the search cannot factor in the existence and effectiveness of flood defences, such as the Thames Barrier.

If a potential risk is identified and is deemed significant, your conveyancing lawyer may recommend a further, more detailed search (from a specialist company such as Searches UK, Homecheck or Landmark), which will be charged as a third-party fee. Please speak to your solicitor if you have any concerns about the flood risk with respect to your property.

See a sample Homecheck Flood Report.

Now’s the time to get your move moving with the best conveyancing solicitors from Homeward Legal. Try our online calculator for your fixed legal fee conveyancing quote, safeguarded by our No-Completion Protection†, or, if you want to talk to one of our friendly experts, call us on 0800 038 6699.

Find an auction online or in local papers and look into the houses you like beforehand. Get a solicitor to look over the seller’s pack and view the property with a surveyor to check for hidden problems. Get your mortgage lined up and ready beforehand, then on the day, you’ll need two forms of ID to bid, plus immediate access to 10% of the final property price (by cheque or banker’s draft) if you win.

No, you can buy a house at auction with a mortgage. Most mortgage lenders are experienced with auctions and will get your funds ready in time, but you’ll need to set it all up before you bid as when that hammer comes down, you’ll need to cough up 10% immediately, and the rest of it usually in less than 28 days.

Not at all. If you keep your wits about you and consult a property solicitor, you can get yourself a real bargain home at auction. If you get an in-depth auction property survey done beforehand, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

While auctions work on a “sold as seen/buyer beware” arrangement, you won’t be buying completely blind. You’ll have the seller’s pack (often called a Legal Pack), which will include details of any legal problems which may affect the property, as well as details of existing tenants if you are bidding on a commercial property.

You can usually download an auction catalogue directly from the auction house’s website, usually around seven days before the auction is due to take place. Sometimes you can request a hard copy, or you may find that companies such as Rightmove list their auction properties directly on the website for buyers to see before the auction.

You should definitely view the property before bidding and take your surveyor with you. This way you can guarantee the property doesn’t have any hidden issues before you buy.

You can make an offer on any property before it goes to auction. We recommend that you speak with a solicitor before doing this as there may be issues that bring the asking price down.

You’ll pay 10% of the final price on the day and the rest is usually due within 28 days. This means you’ll need to complete all conveyancing and have your mortgage or cash lined up within this time. Friday’s Move offers a guaranteed 28 Day Conveyancing package specifically for properties bought at auction.

Selling your property at auction often comes with a wide range of fees including: around 2.5% commission to the auction house, advertising costs, a portion of the auction room hire fees, admin fees, legal costs for creating a Seller’s Pack and drawing up final contracts.

When the hammer falls, your top bidder has entered a legally binding contract that you both must follow through on. The buyer will have to pay 10% of the final price on the day of auction and pay the remaining amount within 28 days. If your buyer fails to pay the full amount by then, you have legal grounds to sue them for the costs of having to re-list the property.

Shop around for auction houses and choose one that is not only more established, and so can guarantee a large turn out on the day, but also make sure that you choose a specialist auction house with experience of selling the same kind of property.

You can sell your property quickly without much complication. Buyers can’t pull out without heavy penalties and you can guarantee that the exchange will have gone through within 28 days. Sometimes you might be able to sell your property for more than the guide price if you get buyers in a “bidding war”, and if there is something wrong with your property which may affect its chances of selling on the housing market, you may find that it sells better at auction where many buyers are looking to renovate or buy to let.

The kind of property that sells well at auction are those in high demand which could attract many buyers, like London-based houses, also unique properties which are hard to value, properties which need to be sold quickly, or properties in a bad state of repair which need renovating.

You’ll need to factor in your own conveyancing and survey costs, plus stamp duty fees if the property is over £250k. In some cases, there will be a buyer’s premium to be paid to the auctioneer and you may also be charged seller’s legal costs, search fees and auction fees. These costs should be listed in the Seller’s Pack.

You will pay an administration fee and have the opportunity to contact any interested buyers in order to negotiate a sale outside of the auction room, or you can list the property in another auction, perhaps with a reduced reserve and guide price.

Over recent years, a number of lenders have reduced the number of legal firms they have on their approved panel. The upshot of this is that they potentially create higher conveyancing costs for buyers as the lender’s legal costs for establishing the mortgage are passed on.

At Homeward Legal, however, we have solicitors who can act on behalf of most mortgage lenders, thereby ensuring you are always in control of your legal bill and will always know what you are paying. Why not give us a ring now on 0800 038 6699 to get your property solicitor assigned today?

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