Do I need a solicitor to move house?

When purchasing a new house, there are several fees to consider including:

  • mortgage payments;
  • new insurance policies; and
  • solicitor and estate agent fees.

The legal aspects of buying or selling your property should be handled by the solicitor or the conveyancer, preferably someone able to keep you updated regularly and someone who can really support you in such a stressful process.

What can property conveyancing solicitors do?

Conveyancing is the action of preparing documents for the legal transfer of property. Licensed conveyancers are specialist property solicitors who:

  • do all the legal paperwork;
  • Land Registry and local council searches;
  • draft the contract; and
  • handle the exchange of money.

The name and contact details of your solicitor or conveyancer are the first questions you will be asked when you put in an offer on a property.

A property conveyancing solicitor will:

● give legal advice;
● carry out local council searches;
● deal with the Land Registry; and
● transfer the funds to pay for your property and handle contracts;

Choose your solicitor or conveyancer carefully as this is such an important role. Offering a full range of legal services, solicitors are typically more expensive than conveyancers. Conveyancers are specialized in property but they can’t deal with complex legal issues generally.

Find out more about the residential property conveyancing process.

Solicitors’ legal fees

When buying or selling your property, you will need a solicitor to carry out all the legal work.

Local searches will also be conducted to check whether there are any local plans or problems and this will cost from £250-£300.

Conveyancing and search process

A solicitor will raise any concerns when a drafted contract has been received from your seller’s legal representative during the conveyancing process. Their local searches will then be requested. Remember that it is important for you to choose a solicitor who knows the local area.

Your conveyancer or solicitor will give you plenty of legal advice and provide more information about your potential property, such as details that will not be provided to you during viewing or survey. Some of these searches will be personally recommended by your solicitor while others help protect lenders against liability.

Completion and exchange

You’re nearly there and contracts can be exchanged once the searches are performed. Both parties will need to sign a contract and your solicitor will take charge of the processing transfer deposits to the seller once the searches have been performed. The deposit is usually 10% of the total purchase cost of the property. A completion date is then agreed between parties.