Step-by-Step Guide to Buying a Home 
March 12, 2024

Buying a property can be daunting, and the conveyancing process can seem overwhelming, particularly if you are a first-time buyer. 

A specialist conveyancing solicitor can help. 

Specialist residential property solicitors oversee the various stages of a house purchase or sale, ensuring that the transfer of title is legal, and the process runs smoothly. 

Conveyancers also act as a crucial point of contact between clients, the other party’s legal representative, and an estate agent to minimise delays and ease your stress. 

However, the role a conveyancer plays in a property sale or purchase is often misunderstood and underappreciated. 

This week (11-15 March) is National Conveyancing Week, a now-annual initiative that aims to raise the profile of conveyancers in the home-moving process. 

Building on last year’s themes, National Conveyancing Week 2024 (NCW 2024) aims to “inform, educate, assist, motivate and reassure” people about conveyancing and help recruit new entrants to the industry. 

By shining a light on the crucial role conveyancers play in property sales and purchases, organisers of NCW 2024 hope to improve the image of conveyancing and ensure fees can be set at, and kept at, an acceptable level. 

To find out more about National Conveyancing Week 2024, click here

In this blog, our experienced residential property lawyers consider the main stages involved in the conveyancing process when buying a new home. 

1. Instruction of conveyancer.

Once you have found your ideal home and had an offer accepted, you must instruct a specialist residential property solicitor or a conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of your property purchase. 

More than any other area of law, conveyancing needs regular contact between the parties involved, and an experienced conveyancing solicitor will act as a key point of contact to ensure every stage of the transaction runs smoothly. 

Failure to obtain the appropriate advice and guidance can be costly, both financially and in terms of timing.  

At Bowsers Solicitors, we utilise the best, most up-to-date technology to ensure an efficient, cost-effective and fast conveyancing service. 

If you are buying or selling a property and need legal advice from a specialist, contact us today. We have provided quality conveyancing services to clients in Wisbech, March and the surrounding areas for many years. 

To speak to one of our team, call on 01945 583194 (Wisbech) or 01354 652606 (March), or email reception@bowsers.co.uk. Alternatively, you can fill in our contact form

2. Preparation of contract. 

After a sale price has been agreed, the seller’s solicitor or conveyancer will prepare the contract of sale and send your conveyancer the contract pack. This will also contain the title deeds indicating the type of ownership, and a copy of the lease if the property is leasehold. 

You will also receive a Property Information Form (TA6), and the Fittings and Contents Form (TA10), which contain important information about the property and a list of items that will be included in the sale, such as white goods, curtains, and carpets. 

At this stage you will also need to arrange for a survey to be undertaken on the property you are buying. Although this is not required by law, a survey will highlight any major faults with the property and alert you to any potential defects to the structural integrity of a building.   

3. Searches and enquiries. 

Before you sign the contract of sale, your conveyancer undertakes various searches, which are designed to find out more information about the property and expose any issues. 

A conveyancer will complete three main searches: 

  • Local authority search. A local authority search reveals any issues that might affect the property directly and can forewarn any legal restrictions a property may have imposed on it, such as if the property is a listed building or is in a conservation area. 
  • Environmental search. An environmental search surveys land records to highlight any potential land contamination related to past use, such as a high risk of flooding, subsidence, and landslips. 
  • Water and Drainage search. This will confirm the property is connected to a mains water supply and ascertain whether there is a public sewer within the property’s boundaries. 

4. Exchange.  

Once the seller has addressed any additional queries you may have, and your solicitor has conducted a final check with the Land Register to confirm no changes have been made to the property since the initial searches, the parties exchange signed copies of the contract. 

At this stage you pay a deposit (usually ten per cent of the purchase price), and the sale becomes legally binding. 

5. Completion. 

Completion usually takes place a few weeks after the exchange of contracts and is the stage of the conveyancing process when a property officially changes ownership. 

On completion day, your solicitor arranges the transfer of the balance of the sale price to the seller and obtains the signed transfer deeds and other documents relating to the transfer of title. 

The seller vacates the property, and the buyer takes possession. 

6. Post-completion. 

After completion, your conveyancer will register the change of ownership with HM Land Registry, pay any stamp duty to HM Revenue & Customs. 

At this stage, the conveyancing process is complete. 

For more conveyancing tips for first-time buyers, click here

Conveyancing Solicitors Wisbech and March 

Even if you have bought or sold a house before, the process can be stressful and overwhelming. Seeking advice from an experienced conveyancing solicitor provides valuable peace of mind and ensures your transaction runs smoothly. 

At Bowsers, we have a wealth of experience selling and buying leasehold and freehold properties in March, Wisbech and across Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk. 

 As part of our property-related service offering, we can assist clients with: 

  • Sale and Purchase of Freehold and Leasehold Properties. 
  • First-time property transactions. 
  • Buy-to-Let. 
  • Remortgage, Equity Release and Transfer of Equity. 
  • Landlord and Tenant. 
  • Lease Extensions. 
  • Development Land. 

In addition, we are proud to be accredited by The Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS). CQS is a recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing practices. As part of this scheme, Bowsers Solicitors show that they: 

  • Have the expertise to deliver quality residential conveyancing advice. 
  • Use standardised processes to recognise and reduce risks. 
  • Educate clients about what to expect when paying for conveyancing advice. 

If you are looking for property law advice, please contact our experienced conveyancing solicitors and chartered legal executives today on 01945 583194 (Wisbech) or 01354 652606 (March), or email reception@bowsers.co.uk. Alternatively, you can fill in our contact form

Find out more about our residential conveyancing service by clicking here