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Buying a new home involves a complex legal process. And while it is possible to do the legal work yourself, we always recommend our customers find a legal expert to do the hard work for you. Not only will this give you more time to focus on preparing for your new home, it also means you can be sure the process has been followed correctly.

A word you will come across when buying a home is conveyancing. This refers to the steps that need to be followed before a property is transferred from its existing owner to you.

Here are just some of the factors you need to think about when finding someone to deal with conveyancing on your behalf.

How a legal expert can help

A legal expert will take charge of most aspects of buying your new home. Among the issues they will deal with include:

  • Carrying out property searches to make sure there aren’t any problems with the area surrounding your home.
  • Performing a local land charges search, which will identify any costs that could be passed onto you once you take on your new home.
  • Looking at the terms and conditions of your mortgage offer before you decide whether or not to accept it.
  • Transferring your deposit to your mortgage lender.
  • Exchanging the contracts that legally bind you to buying your new home.
  • Sending the title deeds for your property to the Land Registry, who will transfer them into your name.
  • Sending your title deeds to your mortgage lender, who’ll keep hold of them until you have fully paid off your loan.
  • Letting your Customer Experience Manager know when the money for your new home has cleared.
  • Sending you any legal documents relating to your property, which can take around 20 days.
Taking the hassle out of Stamp Duty

Another important job your legal expert will carry out is paying any Stamp Duty you owe to HMRC. They will need to do this within 30 days of your new home legally becoming yours, otherwise you could face a £100 fine, plus interest. It’s therefore a good idea to make sure you have the funds in place well ahead of the deadline.

Your legal representative will fill in the necessary tax return for your home, even if you won’t be paying any Stamp Duty. It’s also worthwhile having a look at the paperwork yourself, to confirm everything is how it should be.

“It’s important you go through the documents carefully with your solicitor to make sure the information is correct,” says Sue Platts, Senior Residential Property Lawyer at Taylor Bracewell. “You would be liable for any inaccuracies or false information.”

The differences between a conveyancer and solicitor

One decision you will need to make is whether to take on the help of a conveyancer or a solicitor.
In most cases, a solicitor will be a qualified lawyer who has experience in different areas of law. They will be able to provide a number of different legal services and must be a member of the Law Society.

A conveyancer, on the other hand, specialises in property and must be a member of the Council for Licenced Conveyancers. It’s likely that a conveyancer will charge less than a solicitor, which is something you might want to factor into your budget.

No matter whether you choose a solicitor or conveyancer, they will draw up a contract outlining the services they will provide and how much you need to pay. It’s then up to you to make a final decision.

How do I know who to choose?

There are thousands of solicitors and conveyancers in the UK, which makes it important to narrow down your options when looking for the right person for the job. Asking family and friends who’ve been through the conveyancing process is a good place to start, otherwise you could use one of our recommended panel.
We work with a team of specialists who’ve helped many people buy their new home with us. Their details can be found below:
Name Company Phone number Email address
Sue Platts Taylor Bracewell 01302 640405 sue@taylorbracewell.co.uk
Sarah Gaunt Taylor & Emmet 0114 218 4060
Angela Highton
Ison Harrison 0197 752 1886 Angela.highton@isonharrison.co.uk
While it’s not compulsory for you to use one of our panel of conveyancers, they have been tried and tested by our customers. Your Customer Experience Manager will be able to talk you through the costs various costs associated with the conveyancers we recommend.

You might also want to choose a law firm that’s a member of the Law Society's Conveyancing Quality Scheme. This will mean your solicitor meets the Law Society’s high standards for conveyancing services. 

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