It doesn’t take long
You provide us with a few details about you, your financial circumstances, and the property you want
Whether you’re buying, selling, or remortgaging, you’ll need a conveyancer to oversee all the legal requirements and ensure everything progresses to completion.
We’ve partnered with Optimus to help you find the right conveyancer for your home sale, purchase, or re-mortgage. Optimus offers a panel of quality-controlled conveyancing firms.
No completion, no legal fee* guarantee
No hidden fees – all costs are included in the quote*
Peace of mind that each conveyancing firm has been through a stringent due-diligence process
Track progress of your case at any time, plus email alerts when key milestones are met
*except disbursements incurred on your behalf such as search fees, etc.
You provide us with a few details about you, your financial circumstances, and the property you want
We do the hard work of finding the best mortgage deals and lenders to meet your specific needs
Once you’ve found the right provider, you can click through and make your full application
You can compare mortgages from the whole market with MoneySuperMarket. Whether you’re buying your first home, moving up the property ladder, remortgaging, or buying to let, we can help you find the best mortgage rates.
You can get free mortgage advice, including deals from the whole market, from our partner broker London & Country. Call free from your landline or mobile on 0800 170 1943, seven days a week.
We’ve partnered with Optimus to help you find the right conveyancer for your home sale, purchase, or re-mortgage. You’ll have access to Optimus’ panel of quality-controlled conveyancing firms.
Just give Optimus a few details around your sale, purchase, or re-mortgage to get a conveyancing quote. With this information, they’ll give you an accurate fee instantly, instead of an estimate. That way, you won’t get caught out paying more than you thought.
Optimus offer a fixed-price guarantee on any conveyancing type you need, regardless of location or property type. There are no hidden fees.
Find out more today by calling Optimus Conveyancing Service team on 0330 0366801 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
'Conveyancing' refers to the legal process of transferring a property or piece of land from one owner to another. There are normally two steps to the process:
Exchange of contracts – when the contract details are agreed upon
Completion – when the legal titles are passed over
It can be done either by a general solicitor or a conveyancer. A conveyancer is a lawyer who has chosen to specialise in property law or the legal work surrounding conveyancing.
A draft contract is drawn up by the seller when an offer is made on a property. This contract must include various details. These can include price, boundaries, planning restrictions, and so on. This contract must also include a completion date for the transaction and an energy performance certificate.
Although the paperwork can be daunting, it's important to go through the contract extremely carefully and negotiate any terms if necessary. Your solicitor or conveyancer will be able to help you with this and offer sound guidance. A conveyancer will also conduct several searches and checks on the property.
You can apply for a mortgage before putting an offer in on a property. Based on the information you’ve given your mortgage lender (usually a bank), they’ll evaluate how much they are willing to lend you. This will provide you with an ‘offer in principle’ that outlines this figure.
That said, you'll have to have a survey done on the property you’re looking to buy before that becomes a formal mortgage offer. This is because the lender needs to know that the property you want to buy is worth what you are willing to pay.
A survey is also important for your own peace of mind, as you need to know that there aren’t any nasty surprises about the structural state of the building.
There are three types of survey. The most basic is a valuation survey. This is fine if you're remortgaging or buying a new build. It only provides an indication of the property's value, however, doesn't look at whether the building is structurally sound and won't highlight any potential problems. In most instances, it is worth paying for a more in-depth survey.
The most popular type of survey is a homebuyer's report. This will look at the general state of repair of the building, the roof, and the windows. It will also note any problems such as evidence of subsidence. Some problems can still go undetected as the surveyor won’t do any deep digging, such as lifting the floorboards.
If you’re buying an old property or a renovation project, it is worth having a full structural survey done. While this will cost you more than a homebuyer’s report, it is far more comprehensive. This will give you the most detail about the state of the property you’re looking to purchase.
When the buyer and seller are both happy with the terms, they sign and exchange contracts. The deal is now legally binding, so there's no going back! The buyer will normally pay a deposit on exchange and is now responsible for the home insurance on the new property.
Completion day is the final element of the conveyancing process. You can exchange and complete within a matter of hours, but most people prefer to leave seven to 28 days for any final checks.
Once everything is in order, the balance of the purchase price can be paid. It can be a nervous wait on completion day because you need to wait for your mortgage lender to transfer the money to the seller's bank account. Ultimately, this can take a bit of time.
Once the funds land, the property is yours and you can collect the key and move in. Your conveyancer will then register ownership with the Land Registry and arrange for you to pay any stamp duty that’s owed.
It's perfectly possible to carry out conveyancing yourself, but it can be complicated and time-consuming. You could also end up in a terrible mess if something goes wrong, so it’s highly recommended you find a solicitor to do it for you. Most people instruct licensed conveyancers to act on their behalf, as they’re specialists.
Conveyancers are solicitors who focus on property law and are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) in England and Wales. They can sometimes work out cheaper than a solicitor, but a licensed conveyancer can only deal with conveyancing. If any problems arise that do not relate to property law, you will have to call in a solicitor.
A solicitor can carry out conveyancing but is also licensed to advise on other areas of the law.
You probably want to choose a conveyancer who is familiar with your area. Most people also want to instruct someone who comes recommended. It’s important to remember that solicitors’ fees can be expensive, so you should always check the likely cost before you instruct a conveyancer.
Make sure that you understand exactly how the fee system works. Some firms, for example, do not charge if the sale falls through, which could save you hundreds of pounds in legal fees.
MoneySuperMarket has joined forces with ULS Technology and Optimus, so you can compare more than 200 highly rated solicitors and licensed conveyancers to find the right firm at the right price.
We want to show you conveyancing quotes from as many solicitors as possible. We can’t promise to show you quotes from every single firm, though, because some don’t want to be included on comparison websites. We’ve ranked conveyancing quotes from the cheapest to the most expensive.
The process of buying and selling a house is different in Scotland, so you should choose an experienced local firm if the property is north of the border.
In Scotland, for instance, land sale becomes legally binding once a series of letters (known as ‘missives’) are exchanged. The whole process can be relatively swift and may even be over in the space of a few weeks.
Another difference is that, across the border, it’s always the seller’s job to give evidence that they’re entitled to sell the property.
Conveyancers split their fees into two sections:
Legal fees: This is the basic charge for the work they do
Disbursements: These are charges for the third parties who conduct searches and surveys
Surveys: Sometimes, surveys discover unforeseen problems which may need to be resolved before the process can continue
Chains: A chain is a sequence of buyers and sellers, each waiting on someone else to buy their existing property before they can buy the one they want. If a property chain is long, it’s likely that there will be a hold-up further down the line
Mortgage applications: Sometimes, a bank might take longer than normal to approve a mortgage application as it investigates the buyer’s finances
The length of the process varies between every case. The average time can be around six to eight weeks to completion.
However, this depends on multiple factors, including how complex the transaction is and the length of the property chain attached.
There are numerous elements that will affect your conveyancing fees in comparison to others:
The value of a property: Some conveyancers take the price of your property into account and charge a percentage based on this
The tenure of the property: Whether it is on a leasehold or freehold can affect the price of conveyancing due to the different legalities and paperwork associated with each
Disbursements: Every sale or purchase will require different surveys and searches, which will be reflected in your fees
Legal fees: The basic fee a conveyancer charges will differ from business to business. This can range from £300 to £2,400, depending on whether you’re buying, selling, or both
There are many different type of disbursements that may be necessary when buying or selling property:
Bankruptcy search: Your solicitor will check all named parties listed on the mortgage application to ensure that no one has been declared bankrupt (£2 to £4)
Drainage search: This will vary based on different water companies. It will make sure that the property is connected to a freshwater supply and to sewage systems (£30 to £40)
Environmental search: An environmental search looks at factors such as subsidence and ground contamination (£30 to £35)
Land registration fee: This is based on the value of your property (£40 to £910)
Land registry office copies: Your solicitor will complete searches to make sure the seller is the legal owner. This price is for one transaction (£4 to £8)
Local authority searches: This can be based on the borough that the property is in or the postcode. These searches determine factors like planning applications (£100 to £200)
Telegraphic transfer fee: This is the charge incurred by the bank to send the money to the seller (£25 to £45)
On average, money is spent in three stages when buying property or land:
Starting the transaction: You’ll be asked by your conveyancer to put up some money to pay for searches and surveys at the property you’re looking to purchase
The deposit: When it’s time to exchange contracts, you’ll be required to pay 10% of the purchase price. Once the contracts have been exchanged, you are then legally bound to complete the purchase on the day of completion
Completion: On the day of completion, you’ll be required to put up the rest of the funds. As this needs to be sent through your bank, it can take some time to be processed. Normally, you are able to collect the keys to your new property after midday once everything has been completed
There is no universal answer to this question, as it depends entirely on your circumstances.
If you hire a solicitor or conveyancer who offers a no-sale, no-fee package, you’re unlikely to pay conveyancing fees should the sale fall through. That said, you may still have to cover other costs and fees, especially if any searches have already been carried out.
If you’re unsure, make sure to carefully go through your agreement’s terms and conditions before you hire a conveyancer or solicitor. This way, you’ll know what to expect if the property sale doesn’t go to plan.
MoneySuperMarket gives you lots of clever ways to save a lot, by doing very little.
Take control of your credit score by checking and improving it for free with Credit Monitor
Never overpay again with Energy Monitor, our energy monitoring service
Over 50 ways to Get Money Calm
So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from.
But you might have other questions. Do we provide access to all the companies operating in a given market? Do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?
We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.