Buying a home can be stressful, especially for first-time buyers, so it’s wise to do some research to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Conveyancing is the term that refers to the legal process of transferring one’s property (the seller), to another (the buyer).


What Does The Process Involve?

Put simply; this is what conveyancing looks like from start to finish:

  • Get your mortgage sorted out before you start looking for your property, so you know what your budget is


  • Find the property you want


  • Put in an offer i.e. tell the seller what you’re willing to pay for the property. This is also the time to raise any conditions you have.  We can assist on a preliminary Title Check for you if you wish


  • The offer’s accepted. At this point, you are advised to seek a survey to check the property’s condition, and your solicitor will review any legal issues raised in the survey


  • The survey will include a wide range of examinations, including the structural integrity of the property, whether there are any signs of subsidence, damp or damage, and whether there are any existing plans for the immediate area that may impact the property


  • Your solicitor will check with the local authority, water and drainage company and environmental search provider to find out if the property is connected to mains water and drainage, if there is any history of contamination, or if you are responsible for any shared access points. They’ll also look at the deeds for rights/covenants and boundaries and see if there are any disputes. If everything comes back okay, you can move onto the next level – buying your home


  • Exchange. This is when you pay your deposit, which means you can’t back out of the deal without losing a lot of money


  • Completion: Now you hand over the rest of the money for the house for both the keys and the deeds. At this point, the property is legally yours



You should note that nobody is legally bound to complete the transaction until contracts are exchanged.


Top Tip: As part of the process, ask for a list of fixtures and fittings the seller is willing to include within the cost of the property before you make an offer. Get this in writing. That way you’ll manage your expectations and won’t get a nasty surprise.

What Is Gazumping?


This term refers to another buyer offering more money to the seller than you have, and the seller goes back on the deal you made. Sadly, you can’t legally protect yourself from this happening if this occurs prior to exchange. However, it’s always worth asking the seller to take the property off the market as part of your original offer. This rapidly reduces the likelihood of another buyer submitting a higher price.


What Is Gazanging?


Gazanging is when the seller cancels the sale to stay in their property. This could occur when the market price shoots up as there’s a good chance the seller will make more money if they wait to sell in a few months’ time.


Finding A Mortgage & Doing All The Checks


If you are buying a property then make sure you’ve got your finances in place first. If you go house hunting before you’ve gone mortgage hunting, you’ll complicate the process, especially if you don’t get the full amount you need and have to scrabble around to make up the shortfall. Don’t automatically go with the first lender you find; mortgage products change almost daily. There are so many mortgage lenders out there, all hustling for your business, especially if you’ve got an excellent credit score. It’s almost inevitable that another lender will match your bank’s offer, or even try to tempt you with a better deal.


Always get a personalised mortgage illustration: this should highlight the important features of your mortgage. Taking out this kind of loan is a massive commitment, so do your due diligence and don’t sign up for anything you’ll regret later on. Remember, a mortgage typically lasts for 25 years, so this is a long-term commitment and not something to be rushed into without a lot of careful thought.


Once you have got your finances straight, it’s time to…


Choose Your Legal Specialist


It is important to use Solicitors who specialise in Property Law. They’ll handle all the paperwork and documents and conduct the necessary searches and checks to satisfy the Land Registry and any Mortgage Lender.



Top Tip: Budget up to £1,500 for hiring Solicitor specialising in Property Law. It’s recommended that you find an independent experienced Solicitor to look out in your best interests to make the process a whole lot smoother and ensure everything goes through as quickly as possible.


If you are a first-time-buyer you are bound to have many questions as this is an entirely new process. At Lamb Brooks, our Property Law Team are always happy to answer your queries. You have your own Conveyancer and Assistant working on your transaction – pop in and see us at our dedicated Property Law Team office in Basingstoke.


For further advice or for a free estimate please contact us on 01256 305516 or email enquiries@lambbrooks.com


The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.