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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** plus we offer No-Completion No Fee Protection† so 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. 

Get an online conveyancing quote today or call our friendly team who are available 7 days a week on .

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 .

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. This was extended in the 2021 budget to the end of June , and from June to September 2021 was extended to property's up to the value of £250,000. Please note that this only applies to properties in England and Northern Ireland.

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 calculator, or call us now on , 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 No Fee† 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.

Plus, when you get a quote for conveyancing services from us, we offer a Fixed legal fee** conveyancing quote with no hidden costs

Why not complete an instant online Fixed Legal Fee* Quote with No - Completion No Fee† today. Or, call one of our friendly team, available 7 days a week, on .

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 , 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.

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 Homeward Legal, we offer Fixed Legal Fee** conveyancing quote with no hidden charges and with our No-Completion No Fee

If 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.

Why not complete an instant online Fixed Legal Fee* Quote with No - Completion No Fee† today. Or, call one of our friendly team, available 7 days a week, on or by using our eligibility checker.

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 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. Complete an instant online quote tool for your fixed legal fee* conveyancing quote, safeguarded by our No-Completion No Fee†, or, if you want to talk to one of our friendly, expert team, call us on or by using our eligibility checker.

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 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 to get your solicitor assigned today?

One of the fastest-growing areas of property buying and selling is in property auctions. Conveyancing for auction is typically faster than a conventional property transaction, and specialist auction property solicitors can help ensure the process goes smoothly. 

Homeward Legal works with a nationwide panel of property law firms with expertise in completing auction conveyancing transactions.

Our property solicitor partners have experience in working with auction houses across England and Wales and can negotiate on your behalf as soon as you instruct them. 

Most auction property purchases must be completed within a specific deadline, often 28 days from the successful bid. That means any buyer must be well prepared for the auction day in advance. 

To ensure there are no hidden problems with a property you are interested in, call for a get a no-obligation auction conveyancing quote today.

Selling property at auction is often a quicker and more cost-effective way to find a buyer, particularly for unusual properties or those requiring upgrading.

Our panel of nationwide property law firms have all the expertise required to get your property to auction. Your property auction’s solicitor’s first step will be to prepare the necessary legal paperwork required by the auctioneer. 

This forms the auction legal pack that is available to prospective buyers. Your property auction solicitor can also advise on fees and on the completion date (when the property must be vacated for a new owner), while ensuring there can be no disputes after the sale is completed.

A legal pack is usually valid for up to six months from the date that it was first prepared.

Many properties are sold at auction because of issues that make them unsellable on the open market. For this reason, prospective buyers should always instruct an experienced auction conveyancing solicitor to review the legal pack before making a bid. 

The legal pack should identify any potential issues and, where necessary, allow your solicitor to make more detailed legal enquiries. 

Make sure you have an expert on your side at auction. You can get an instant quote for auction conveyancing at Homeward Legal by calling us on .

For a seller, the process of selling a property at auction can be as little as eight weeks. The preparatory work before the sale can be done by instructing property auction solicitors, with the auction conveyancing completed usually within 28 or 56 days, depending on the condition of the sale. 

Buyers can simply arrive on the day and make a bid that may be successful. However, a successful bid is binding. The buyer is then committed to the purchase and must immediately pay a 10 percent deposit. They then have up to 28 or 56 days to transfer the balance and complete the sale. 

Buyers who intend to bid at auction should do their own preparatory work in advance. Get a hold of the catalogue, identify the property or properties you are interested in and engage a conveyancing solicitor to request the legal pack and organise a building survey so there are no nasty surprises once the hammer falls. 

Talk to Homeward Legal now on to explore your options for auction conveyancing.

There are generally two types of property auction sales, the detail of which will be outlined in both the catalogue on the day and the legal pack related to the specific property. In an unconditional sale, the successful bidder must pay a 10 percent deposit immediately and complete the sale within 28 days. 

In a conditional sale, the completion timescale is longer. The successful bidder has 20 working days in which to secure finance, then a further 20 working days to complete the sale.

Buying property at auction is considered a risky venture for most mortgage lenders. Indeed many properties are being sold at auction because no mortgage can be secured on them.

That’s why it’s crucial anyone who needs a mortgage to buy at auction has their finance in place. That means a minimum of having a mortgage agreement in principle in writing from your lender. 

The short timeframe for completing an auction property purchase means your conveyancing solicitor is working against the clock to get the finance in place for completion date. 

A conditional auction sale gives a buyer more time to secure finance, to instruct a building survey and arrange buildings insurance.

The auction process is designed to protect both buyers and sellers and to encourage only serious bidders. Once the auctioneer’s hammer falls on a successful bid, the buyer is legally bound to complete the sale.

They must pay a 10 percent deposit immediately and commit to providing the balance within 28 days. If you change your mind after your bid has been accepted, you will lose your deposit and you must also pay the auctioneer’s fees. 

This is why it’s important to do the groundwork before the auction day itself and for potential buyers to get legal advice in advance. One call to Homeward Legal on can quickly put you in touch with an auction conveyancing solicitor near you.

Auction conveyancing works within a much shorter timeframe than conventional conveyancing. Once your bid has been accepted and you have paid the initial 10 percent deposit, your solicitor will usually have 20 working days (28 days in total) to complete the necessary paperwork, provide the balance of the property price and complete the purchase. Once completed, you will receive the keys for your new property.

With Homeward Legal you can always rely on us to be transparent. We’re firm believers in providing fixed legal fee** conveyancing. So, be assured that the quote we give you for your solicitor’s legal fees is the price you will pay. Based on the information you give us, we will also outline any disbursements*, charges and fees that must be paid to your solicitor on top of their legal services. These include Land Registry fees, Telegraphic Transfer fee (for banks), property searches and a bankruptcy search. 

Each conveyancing transaction is unique. As your transaction proceeds, there may be other non-standard fees incurred to ensure the sale or purchase goes through. However, your solicitor will keep you fully informed of any additional costs that arise.

We’re proud of our No-Completion No Fee†, which means you won’t lose out if your transaction fails to complete for any reason.

When budgeting for a property auction purchase, remember to factor in additional costs. These are likely to include:

  • Auction conveyancing fees

  • Auctioneer’s administration fees – usually a fixed charge detailed in the catalogue

  • Buyer’s premium – an extra admin charge on the successful buyer, often a percentage of the purchase price

  • Stamp Duty Land Tax*** - depending on the purchase price, you may have to pay the property levy to HMRC. No stamp duty is paid on the first £125,000 of any purchase, while first-time buyers enjoy stamp duty relief on any property purchase up to the value of £500,000

  • Buildings insurance – you must put this in place as soon as your bid has been accepted

***Please Note; the government temporarily increased the amount at which stamp duty to £500,000, for property sales in England and Northern Ireland. This was due to end on 31 March, but it was announced in the 2021 Budget that it will now end on 30 June. After this date, the starting rate of stamp duty will be £250,000 until the end of September. Stamp duty will then return to the level of £125,000.


Similar to residential freehold, a freehold commercial property means the title (ownership) of the property and land belongs to the freeholder (owner). Leasehold is an interest in the land or property created by a lease. The leaseholder is a tenant who pays rent and has the right to occupy the land or property for a fixed period. Many commercial properties are occupied by tenants with a lease, meaning anyone buying or selling that property must take account of the leaseholders’ rights.

At Homeward Legal, we work with expert property law firms across England and Wales who have vast experience in commercial property conveyancing. Our partner firms can help with sale or purchase conveyancing, drawing up new leases and help to transfer existing leases. They will offer expert legal advice and support to all commercial clients in every transaction. 

Get a no-obligation quote online now or call our team on to find out more about what we can offer in commercial property conveyancing.

On top of the legal costs of conveyancing, there are a number of other commercial conveyancing fees to consider when purchasing business-related property. Anyone buying commercial property can also expect to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on the transaction. There might also be fees for any building survey you might instruct. Buyers can also expect to pay for property searches, bankruptcy search fees, Telegraphic Transfer fees (bank) and Land Registry fees. The property searches might include a local authority search, drainage and water, environmental, HS2 and mining. Commercial property searches are more expensive than their residential equivalent. When you get a no-obligation quote from Homeward Legal for commercial conveyancing, we will detail the cost of all searches and additional charges that you might expect to pay, giving you full information on the expected total cost of your transaction.

Yes, you should always take professional advice on leases. Leases are a complicated area of the law, and any change to the condition of one could have expensive consequences if not done properly. Specialist commercial conveyancing solicitors can help negotiate new terms correctly, ensuring your interests and those of the lessees are protected. You can get a no-obligation quote from Homeward Legal for creating new leases and transferring a lease, ensuring you have an expert professional by your side.

Instructing a building survey when buying commercial property will give you peace of mind that the property is worth what you are paying. A survey carried out by a RICS chartered surveyor will give you an expert opinion on the condition of a property and identify any structural or other issues. Talk to your commercial conveyancing solicitor about your building survey options.

Depending on the value of the commercial property or land you are buying, you may be liable for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). This is a land levy payable to HMRC on completion of a purchase transaction. SDLT is paid on a sliding scale depending on the value of the property. For example, all transactions up to a value of £150,000 in England are exempt from SDLT. For transactions between £150,001 and £250,000, purchasers will pay 2 percent of the purchase price in SDLT. Your conveyancing solicitor must file a return for SDLT with HMRC within 14 days of completion. You can find out more about SDLT rates here.

In the commercial property market, purchasing a commercial unit with tenants in place is referred to as “in situ”. Where the property is known to be leasehold, your conveyancing solicitor will receive details of any tenancies from the seller’s solicitors. The tenants’ lease agreement with the previous owner remains in place until a new agreement is drawn up with the new owner. Where the property is freehold, your solicitor should check at the Land Registry for any registerable leases. These are leases that run for more than seven years. Short leases that run for less than seven years are not registerable and will not be included on the Land Registry charges register.

Anyone selling commercial property will be asked to complete a set of Commercial Property Standard Enquiries (CPSEs), which are a standard part of pre-contract conveyancing. These comprehensive enquiries were introduced in 2002 to help speed up commercial conveyancing. The information contained in the CPSEs will allow the buyer to make an informed decision about the property’s value. The seller does not have to complete the CPSEs, but where they are completed, the seller has a legal duty to answer truthfully and accurately in replies and not misrepresent the property. The seller must also disclose any latent defects affecting the property.

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