Residential property

We know that moving can be stressful and that buying a new property is likely to be the biggest transaction you will ever make. That’s why our property conveyancing solicitors in Birmingham and Nottingham offer our clients expert property conveyancing services to ensure your move is as smooth as possible.

Our property solicitors are experienced and have the expertise to ensure that the conveyancing process is one less thing to worry about when buying or selling property in Birmingham, Nottingham, London and across the UK. We will also keep you informed of the costs outside of the conveyancing fees, such as searches, meaning you can focus on the more important things, like where your furniture will go, and how you’re going to settle in.

The team of property solicitors in Birmingham and Nottingham are committed to providing outstanding customer service by being transparent and open about the progress of your conveyancing matter and offering you the best, most professional service based on your needs.

Accredited by The Law Society, our conveyancing solicitors in Birmingham and Nottingham provide a high quality property conveyancing service to their clients so you can be sure that your conveyancing needs will be expertly handled by our team.

We offer expertise in a number of areas of property law, from helping you with the purchase or sale of both freehold and leasehold property, to providing expert legal advice on a number of other residential property matters. Our conveyancing solicitors also prepare and review auction packs, as part of their auction property conveyancing services.

Our expert team of property conveyancing solicitors can assist you with:

  • Freehold property conveyancing
  • Leasehold property conveyancing
  • Buying land
  • Re-mortgages
  • Transfer of ownership / equity release
  • Auction property conveyancing
  • Preparing auction packs
  • Reviewing auction packs on behalf of potential auction purchasers
  • Buy-to-let property conveyancing
  • Repossessed property conveyancing
  • Help to Buy property conveyancing
  • New Build property conveyancing
  • Shariah-compliant property funding
  • Staircasing
  • Right to buy
  • Deeds of variation
  • Tenancy agreements
  • Purchase of freehold interest
  • Lease extensions

Frequently asked questions – Residential Property & Conveyancing

How long does property conveyancing take?

For property purchases, it normally takes between 6-8 weeks from the moment you instruct your property conveyancing solicitor to the date of completion. This can be slowed down if you are part of a chain, or if you are getting a new or amended mortgage.

For property sales, the conveyancing process takes approximately 8-12 weeks from instructing your property solicitor. Again, this can be slowed down due to being part of a chain.

What are property searches?

An important part of the property conveyancing process, searches are carried out before the exchange of contracts and before completion to find out as much about the property as possible to ensure you know what you are purchasing.

Those carried out before exchange are with public bodies such as the Local Authority, the Drainage Authority and the Environmental Agency; and will include any information regarding planning permission or restrictions, tree preservation orders, any local developments that may have an effect on the property or its owners, as well as finding out if the property is connected to mains water and drainage.

Searches carried out before you are due to complete are with the Land Registry, and are made to that nothing has happened since exchange that could affect ownership of the property.

You may also require additional searches depending on the location and type of property you are looking to buy, which can be instructed in consultation with your property solicitor. All searches are treated as disbursements additional to the conveyancing fee, but you will be informed of the likely cost of the searches before instruction.

Do I need a survey?

To ensure that you are fully aware of the property’s condition prior to purchase, a comprehensive survey as part of your conveyancing process would be recommended.

For old or large properties, a full structural survey would be useful. The surveyor will report on everything that is visible, including;

  • the structure of the building;
  • outbuildings;
  • nearby trees;
  • water services;
  • drainage;
  • the outside of the roof; and
  • a sample floor board, where possible.

It may then be suggested to have further surveys taken if something is suspected at the property which was unable to be accounted for in this survey, such as rot.

Your mortgage lender will also arrange for a valuation of the property as part of their decision-making process towards lending money against the property, which is chargeable by the institution. This valuation will solely be for the benefit of your lender and therefore we would recommend a more comprehensive survey be taken independently.

When do I have to pay the deposit on my purchase?

Funds for the deposit need to be cleared and with your conveyancing solicitor in time for the exchange of contracts, so it can be sent to the seller’s property solicitors.

Who pays the estate agent?

Normally, the seller’s solicitors will pay the fees for the estate agent on completion day, using monies received from the buyer’s solicitors.

What is Stamp Duty Land Tax?

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a lump-sum tax to the Government that property purchasers have to pay within 30 days of completion. The rate you’ll pay the tax at varies based on the price of the property and the type.

Under the new system for Stamp Duty Land Tax which was announced in December 2014, you’ll only pay the rate for the proportion of the property that’s at that rate, as follows:

  • You pay nothing below £125,000, which is £0;
  • You pay 2% on between £125,000 and £250,000;
  • You pay 5% on the value of the property above £250,000.

Our conveyancing solicitors can assist you in how to comply with Stamp Duty Land Tax regulations to ensure you’re not hit with any penalties.

What is exchange of contracts?

Exchange of contracts is the stage where the property transaction becomes a binding contract. After exchange, neither party can withdraw without breaching the contract, which usually incurs a financial penalty which is usually the deposit monies or 10% of the property price if the deposit was less than 10%.

Exchange of contracts will occur when your conveyancing solicitors are satisfied that all queries have been answered and all conditions met. We will then send you a report with the contract, explaining clearly what the title details are. You will then need to sign the contract and any other related documents that require it and send them back to us.

What is completion?

Completion day is the day where the buyer becomes the legal owner of the property, meaning that you can collect your keys and begin to move in.

From a legal standpoint, completion is where the purchase monies are transferred from the buyer’s solicitors to the seller’s solicitors, allowing them to then instruct the estate agents to release the keys to the buyers, with all mortgages relating to the properties handled and accepted by the banks, and title documentation is passed on from the seller’s conveyancing solicitors to the buyer’s conveyancing solicitors.

Where and when can I have the keys to my new property?

Keys are usually kept with the estate agent selling the property and are released on the day of completion upon confirmation by the seller’s conveyancing solicitors that they have the monies from the buyer’s solicitors.

This usually happens in the early afternoon and it is advised that Fridays are particularly busy. You will not need to come and see your conveyancing solicitor on completion day.

When do I cancel my mortgage payments on my sale and begin payment on my purchase?

Your existing mortgage payments must continue to be paid to your lender right up until the agreed completion date. Your lender will then provide us with the figure required to redeem your mortgage.

Our property solicitors advise you to not cancel your mortgage payments. Your lender will send details of how and when to start paying your new mortgage in your mortgage offer, and you should contact them if you are uncertain.

When do I have to insure my new property?

You must insure your new property starting from the exchange of contracts. Therefore, you should ensure that arrangements have been made in advance so that the property on cover upon exchange.

Your conveyancing solicitor will normally require a copy of the insurance schedule to prove that the property will be on cover.

If you are selling a property, it is advisable to retain the buildings insurance cover until the day of completion.

What happens if I change my mind?

It is your right to pull out of a property transaction until the exchange of contracts. You will still be liable for any disbursements (search fees) and any conveyancing fees incurred, normally at a reduced rate.

Upon the exchange of contracts both the buyer and seller are contractually obligated to the property transaction, where cancellation will incur penalties in accordance with the contract.

When do the fees get paid?

Sellers: our conveyancing fees, the agent’s fees, and the redemption of any mortgages will be payable upon completion. Your conveyancing solicitor will send you the figures for same in a completion statement which you will receive prior to completion.

Buyers: A final completion statement will be sent to you for approval by your conveyancing solicitor. We will then ask you to send us the balance required (if needed) to complete the transaction, including the conveyancing fees and disbursements.