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Clutton Cox Conveyancing Guide: Simples Part 2

View profile for Paul Hajek
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conveyancing-guide-clutton-coxIn the first part of this Conveyancing Guide, you discovered the early stages in the Conveyancing Process.

Now we have almost reached the point of legally committing yourself to selling or buying; exchange of contracts.

Before giving your Conveyancing Solicitor the go ahead to exchange contracts you should be satisfied with all of the search results, enquiries raised, your mortgage offer, your Surveyor’s report and have Buildings Insurance arrangements in hand for your new property.

At this point your Conveyancing Solicitor will request a deposit, usually 10% of the agreed purchase price. The Seller may if agreed in advancer, a smaller amount depending on circumstances.

Once you have provided the deposit to your Conveyancing Solicitor, provided all other parties in the chain are also ready, an exchange should be imminent.

If not already agreed, now is the time to discuss a completion or moving in date.

The completion date is the date when you will be able to collect the keys for your new home and/or hand them over if you are selling.

But until exchange takes place, there is no legal liability on either the Seller or Buyer to proceed and either party may withdraw from the transaction at any time.

Your completion date is usually set for one to two weeks following exchange; this enables your Conveyancing Solicitor to request the mortgage funds from your lender, who usually stipulate a seven working day notice period for release of funds (If we twist their arms that can normally do sooner)

Once contracts have been exchanged, usually via a telephone call between Conveyancing Solicitors, both parties become legally bound by the terms and conditions of the contract and will be required to complete the contract on the agreed completion date.

You will not be able to change the completion date once contracts have been exchanged and if you cannot complete on the contractual completion date your deposit may be forfeited and you could be sued for further out of pocket expenses.


Between exchange and completion your Conveyancing Solicitor will be required to carry out final searches with the Land Registry, either a Land Charges search or an Official Search, and will also report to your lender that the title to the property makes it a suitable security for their needs and request release of the mortgage advance.

You may also be required to finalise and sign some paperwork, if this has not already been carried out. Prior to completion your Conveyancing Solicitor must be in possession of a signed mortgage deed and Transfer.

You must also ensure that you have carried out the following:

• Book/confirm your removers - it may be necessary to give them a map with directions;
• Cancel newspaper, milk and other deliveries;
• Send details of your change of address to everyone - bank, DVLA, insurance companies, club memberships, doctor, health authority, credit cards.

Usually about one week before completion you will receive a completion statement. This sets out exactly how much is needed to complete your purchase and will include any Stamp Duty Land Tax that may be payable.

On the day of completion your Conveyancing Solicitor will transfer to the Seller’s Conveyancing Solicitors the purchase price, less any deposit paid on exchange via their Bank electronically.

This process should be virtually simultaneously, but in practice can take up to one hour or two hours to be received by the Seller’s Conveyancing Solicitors. (Banks can have bad hair days as well!). Once they have received the funds they will call the Estate Agents and arrange for the keys to be released to you.

Congratulations you are now officially now a new home owner (and/or an ex home owner)

Post Completion

For the Conveyancing Solicitor though, your transaction does not end there and there is still work to be done.

Your Conveyancing Solicitor will arrange for any Stamp Duty Land Tax payable to be paid to HMRC, in accordance with their requirements. Any fee for Stamp Duty has to be provided to HMRC within 30 days of completion and upon receipt of payment they provide your Conveyancing Solicitor with a certificate that enables the registration at the Land Registry to be carried out.

The Land Registry can take several weeks to complete their part but once everything is checked your Conveyancing Solicitor will send all the deeds to you for safe keeping, unless you have asked them to store the same on your behalf, in which case they will make arrangements to store them in their vault and confirm any details to you in writing.

We hope that this Conveyancing Guide has helped in demystifying the Conveyancing Process.

The Conveyancing Guide should not be construed as legal advice. Please consult your Conveyancing Solicitor if you have any questions.

And, of course, if you choose Clutton Cox as your Conveyancing Solicitors, we’ll get right back to you

You can find out the legal costs fir your move by using our special online Conveyancing Calculator.