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By October 12, 2022May 23rd, 2023No Comments

Our Residential Conveyancing team answers your top seven property FAQs

Our Residential Conveyancing team often gets asked a whole range of questions about the conveyancing process but there are some which come up more than others. Here are our top FAQs and answers from our Residential Conveyancing team:

  1. How long will it take to sell my house?

This is always the burning question! Each matter is different, with its own characteristics. At the time of publication, our current estimated timeframe to completion for a relatively straightforward sale or purchase of a residential property is between eight and twelve weeks. Whilst we can never guarantee we will be able to complete within a desired timescale, we will always take your wishes into account and progress matters as quickly and efficiently as possible.

  1. How much does it cost to buy a house?

Legal fees on each transaction will differ, depending on the specific circumstances. There are some things that may make the transaction more expensive, due to the additional work required (for example, if a property is leasehold or unregistered).

For an accurate cost estimate, please get in touch with our Residential Conveyancing team, who will be happy to take some further details from you before providing our fixed fee estimate.

  1. When will I need to pay legal costs for buying my house?

As soon as your transaction begins, there will be some things that we have to pay for (for example, searches on a property you are purchasing, or copies of title documents on a property you are selling). These items are known as “disbursements”.

In order to be able to pay these, to kickstart your transaction, clients are required to pay money on account of these disbursements at the beginning of the transaction.

Someone from our Residential Conveyancing team will let you know the amount required to be paid on account, and it will be set out in our engagement letter also.

  1. When will I need to pay my deposit?

Where you are purchasing a property, you will usually need to provide a 10% deposit. This is different from the ‘deposit’ you may be paying to top up the amount being received under any mortgage you are funding the purchase with.

Where you are in a chain, it may be possible to use the deposit being received on your sale as the deposit on your purchase. However, if the deposit on your sale is less than the amount of deposit required on your purchase, you may need to top this amount up to a full 10%.

In any event, the deposit is payable shortly before exchange of contracts, and we will not be able to exchange contracts (to make your sale/purchase legally binding) until we receive this.

Any balance required to top up your deposit (and any mortgage funds) to complete your matter must show as cleared funds in our account prior to completion.

  1. When will I receive the money from the sale of my house?

Provided we have received your bank details, and verified them with you, and there are no other issues preventing us from releasing funds, you should receive any sale proceeds on the day of completion. If there is any reason why this is not possible, someone from the Residential Conveyancing team will contact you to explain.

  1. How do I get a mortgage?

If you are unsure where to start, it is best to contact a mortgage broker for advice on the various mortgage products available to you. If you do not have a mortgage broker and would like to speak to one, please let us know and we will be happy to recommend brokers who may be able to assist you.

Once you have applied for a mortgage product, it may be a number of weeks before your application is confirmed. After this, the lender should send a copy of their mortgage instructions to us, as your solicitor. We will then review the mortgage offer and report to you on the key terms.

Before completion, we will request mortgage funds from the lender to ensure the matter can proceed in a straightforward manner to completion.

  1. What is the difference between exchange and completion?

Exchange of contracts occurs towards the end of the transaction, once all of the checks have been carried out by your solicitor (including, receiving and replies to property enquiries, dealing with any mortgage conditions, carrying out searches, and obtaining source of funds).

On exchange, the sale and purchase of the property, the purchase/sale price, completion date and any other contract terms becomes legally binding.

Depends on the specific circumstances that apply to your transaction, exchange may take place simultaneously with completion (on the completion date) or could take place, days, weeks (even months) beforehand.

The completion date is the day on which the transaction completes and keys to the property are handed over. Whilst lots of transactions complete on a Friday, you can complete any working day you like.

Your solicitors will confirm once completion has taken place and, after this, the keys to the property can be released by the estate agent (if there is one) or the sellers (if not).  The buyer will then be able to move into the property or allow tenants to move in.


If you have a residential property you’re looking to buy, sell, transfer or remortgage, speak to one of our specialist Residential Conveyancing team on 01244 310 022 or at