Matthew Clark, Director of Marcus Baum answers questions about the conveyancing process that many people ask…

At Marcus Baum, we are committed to providing an exceptional service to all our clients. The following questions have been derived from questions asked by our clients in relation to the conveyancing process – especially first-time clients.

You can go to our conveyancing step by step page for a more detailed understanding of what you can expect in each of the following processes:

  • House and flat purchase and sales
  • Mortgage and remortgages
  • Buy-to-let investment property
  • Transfers of equity
  • Deed of gift and declarations of trust
  • Matrimonial transfers

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the name given to the legal process of transferring the ownership of property. The conveyancing process involves undertaking the legally required checks and searches to ensure that the seller owns the property being sold and that the buyer purchases the property without any unexpected difficulties.

How long does a normal conveyancing transaction take?

An average conveyancing transaction takes anywhere between 12 to 16 weeks to complete. We have sold and purchased properties in the past within a much shorter timescale (even 48 hours of receipt of instructions!).

If there are no problems and no chain, exchange is about 2 – 3 weeks from the buyer’s solicitor receiving the contract. Completion is usually about 2 weeks after exchange. Please bear in mind that if you are part of a chain of transactions, the chain will only move at the speed of the slowest link. This could prolong the process.

Do I need a survey?

Yes is the simple answer. If you are having a mortgage, the mortgage company will carry out a survey or valuation. This will not be very detailed and you may not even see it. A Home Buyer’s Report or a structural survey is advisable. In fact most people do not do this but it is “buyer beware” and if you buy a house with a problem, it will be difficult to hold the seller responsible.

How much does a conveyance cost?

This varies with the price of the property. Phone us and we can give an estimate of the costs and disbursement (stamp duty, search fees etc.). Solicitor’s costs on leasehold properties are higher than for freeholds as there is a lot of extra work involved. Stamp duty starts for purchases over £125,000 at 1% of the purchase price, it increases to 3% for purchases over £250,000 and to 4% for purchases over £500,000.

Can I get an Electronic Quote?

In the majority of circumstances it is not necessary for us to see you in person. All issues can be dealt with by correspondence either by letter, email or by telephone. The distance between you and us is of no relevance in relation to your property transaction.

That being said, we are a friendly bunch and like to meet our clients whenever we can…so you’re more than welcome to visit our offices in sunny Southend any time!

Will I be able to speak to my conveyancer whenever I need to?

The Marcus Baum team prides itself on being available for you to speak to during normal working hours. The response time for returning calls in relation to messages left is at present two hours. You will have at least five points of contact available to you at any time that you decide to call.

Do your conveyancing services apply to the whole of the UK?

Our conveyancing services are limited to residential property transactions in England and Wales only.

Why is conveyancing for leasehold properties more expensive?

In short, leasehold conveyancing transactions usually involve more work than freehold conveyancing transactions. This includes lease investigation, liaising with the landlord about serving appropriate notices, obtaining up-to-date service charge and management information, obtaining the landlord’s consents and reviewing management accounts.

The obligations on both the landlord and the tenant in the lease need to be studied by the buyer’s conveyancing team and read from start to finish – no matter how many different owners have owned the lease since it was first granted.