Call Us Contact Us
Call us on: Free phone 02920 404020

If you're thinking of buying or selling a property, you'll need to hire a conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of the transaction. Conveyancing is the process of transferring the ownership of a property from one party to another. It involves various steps such as conducting searches, preparing contracts, exchanging documents, and completing the transaction.

Conveyancing can be a complex and time-consuming process, so it's important to choose a reliable and experienced conveyancer who can guide you through it smoothly. In this blog post, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions that our clients at Howells Solicitors have about conveyancing.

  • Why Does Conveyancing Take So Long?
  • What questions do solicitors ask when buying a house?
  • What does a conveyancer need to know?
  • What should I look for in a conveyancing quote?

Why Does Conveyancing Take So Long?

The duration of the conveyancing process can vary depending on several factors, such as the type and condition of the property, the number and availability of parties involved, the speed and efficiency of communication, and the presence of any issues or complications along the way.

However, some of the steps that typically take the most time in a conveyancing transaction are as follows.


These are enquiries that your conveyancer makes to various authorities and organisations to find out more information about the property and its surroundings. For example, they may check for any planning permissions, environmental issues, flood risks, or other matters that may affect your decision to buy or sell. Searches can take several weeks to complete, depending on the availability and response time of the sources.


If you are buying a property with a mortgage, you will need to obtain a mortgage offer from your lender before you can proceed with the purchase. This may involve providing evidence of your income, credit history, and affordability. Your conveyancer will also need to liaise with your lender to ensure that they are satisfied with the property and its value. This can take some time, especially if there are any issues or delays with your application or valuation.


A chain is when there are multiple transactions linked together, such as when a buyer needs to sell their current property before they can buy a new one, or when a seller needs to find a new property before they can move out. A chain can cause delays in conveyancing, as each transaction depends on the completion of the previous one. If there is a problem or a change of mind at any stage of the chain, it can affect the whole process and sometimes cause it to collapse.


What Questions Do Solicitors Ask When Buying a House?

When you instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf in buying a house, they will ask you some questions to gather the necessary information and documents. Some of the questions they may ask are:

  • Your personal details, such as your full name, date of birth, address, contact details, marital status and nationality.
  • The details of the property you are buying, such as the address, purchase price, type of property, tenure and any special features or issues.
  • The details of your mortgage lender, if you are taking out a mortgage, such as the name, address, contact details and reference number of the lender and the amount and terms of the loan.
  • The details of your source of funds, if you are paying cash or using other funds, such as the origin and amount of the funds and any evidence to support this.
  • The details of any other parties involved in the transaction, such as the seller, their solicitor, your estate agent and any surveyor or valuer you have instructed.
  • The details of any special requirements or preferences you have, such as the completion date, any fixtures and fittings you want to include or exclude, any searches or enquiries you want to make or any additional services you need.

What Does a Conveyancer Need to Know?

A conveyancer is a legal professional who specialises in the transfer of property ownership. They need to know all the relevant information and documents related to the property and the transaction. Some of the things they need to know are:

  • The title deeds and plan of the property, which show the legal boundaries and ownership of the property and any rights or restrictions affecting it.
  • The contract of sale, which sets out the terms and conditions agreed between the buyer and seller.
  • The property information form and fixtures and fittings form, which provide information about the physical condition and features of the property and what is included or excluded in the sale.
  • The results of any searches or enquiries made on the property, such as local authority searches, environmental searches, water and drainage searches, mining searches and chancel repair searches. These reveal any potential issues or risks affecting the property or its use.
  • The results of any surveys or valuations carried out on the property, such as a homebuyer report, a building survey or a mortgage valuation. These assess the structural condition and market value of the property.
  • The draft transfer deed, which transfers the legal ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer.
  • The mortgage offer and deed, if applicable, which confirm the terms and conditions of the loan and secure it against the property.
  • The completion statement, which shows the final balance of money due from or to each party on completion.


What Should I Look For in Conveyancing Solicitors Quotes?

When you are looking for a conveyancing quote, you should compare not only the price but also the quality and service of different conveyancers. Here are some of the things you should look for in a conveyancing quote.

The breakdown of fees and disbursements

Fees are the charges for the conveyancer's time and expertise. Disbursements are the expenses paid by the conveyancer on your behalf, such as search fees, land registry fees and stamp duty. You should check what is included and excluded in each quote and whether there are any hidden or extra costs.

The experience and reputation of the conveyancer

You should look for a conveyancer who is qualified, regulated and insured. You should also check their reviews and ratings from previous clients and see how they handle complaints or queries.

The communication and accessibility of the conveyancer

You should look for a conveyancer who is easy to contact and responsive to your needs. You should also check how they communicate with you, whether by phone, email or online portal, and how often they update you on your case progress.

The speed and efficiency of the conveyancer

You should look for a conveyancer who can complete your transaction within your desired timeframe and without delays or errors. You should also check how they handle any problems or complications that may arise during the process.


Find Your Conveyancer with Howells

We hope this blog post has answered some of your questions about buying a house. If you need more information or advice, please contact Howells Solicitors today. We are experts in conveyancing and we can help you with every aspect of your property purchase. We offer competitive fees, excellent service and fast results. Just get in touch to get a free quote.

With effect from 15th February 2015 EU Regulations on Consumer Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) allow consumers who bought our services online to submit their complaint via an online complaint portal.

We are required under the regulations to provide our clients the following information:-
  1. Link to the ODR platform - please follow the following link for further information (
  2. Our contact email address in case of a complaint under the ODR regulation – Andrea Coombes