Conveyancing is the process of legally transferring a property from one owner to another.

It can takes weeks or months, depending on a number of issues such as how many buyers/sellers are involved in the chain.

At Thomas Dunton we will explain the process to you, resolve any legal issues and always keep you up to date with the progress of the sale/purchase.

We have the Law Society’s accreditation award for Conveyancing which is given only to those firms offer the highest standard of expertise and service.

What are Searches and Surveys?

We make “searches” to find out any issues that could affect your new home such as legal disputes, flooding, planning constraints, covenants and permissions.

A survey will bring to light any issues such as structural issues, damp, woodworm etc. There are different types of survey and you need to ensure that the one you chose is sufficient to highlight any potential problems for the age and type of property you are buying. It is likely that you may want any problem resolved before you buy or that the price is reduced to accommodate this.

We will endeavor to resolve any problems revealed in the searches or survey before “exchange of contracts”.

What is “Exchange of Contracts”?

Until you “exchange contracts”, you or the seller can change their mind about buying or selling the property.

When the contracts are exchanged, both parties sign them and the deposit paid. A completion date is agreed at this point by all parties.

Once exchanged, the contract is legally binding and there may be severe financial penalties if you or the seller pull out of the sale.

What is “Completion”?

Completion takes place on the date agreed and the balance of the purchase price and any other fees are paid. The solicitor tells the mortgage lender that all is in order and the lender releases the mortgage money.

The money is transferred to the seller by the solicitor together with any other fees. They will also prepare a tax return and make arrangements to pay the Stamp Duty Land Tax to HMRC.

When receiving quotes for conveyancing, not all conveyancers include processing the above two sets of costs, but at Thomas Dunton our quote does include them, together with all other normal costs associated with the sale/purchase.

The property is registered in your name at the Land Registry together with details of your mortgage lender.

The purchase is now “completed” and the property is yours!

Why do you need to use a Solicitor when buying a home?

Because of the number of legal issues involved when buying a property, it is risky to try to do so without the help of an experienced and skilled conveyancer.

It is a complicated and time consuming process that can be fraught with delays and obstacles. Knowing that you have a person dedicated to overcoming the problems and seeing the process through, not only reduces your stress levels but also goes some way to ensuring that your dream home becomes a reality. It reduces the likelihood and disappointment of delays causing the seller to place the property back on the market.

The Legal work — how it all works

When we start work, we send you our standard Client Care letter which sets out what the legal work will consist of and, if you are obtaining a mortgage, lets you know that we will generally also be instructed by your mortgage lender.

It is important that all work is carried out thoroughly to ensure the legal title to the property is sound.

If you are buying

  • We will act for you, and usually also for your lenders, if you are obtaining a mortgage.
  • You will have to pay fees to enable us to obtain the requisite searches.
  • We keep in touch with the estate agents and keep you updated as the transaction progresses. As it advances towards exchange of contracts, we will provide you with a detailed report of your new property including important matters relating to the legal title.
  • As the legal process advances, you have to sign the purchase contract and agree a date for completion (as will all the other parties in your chain). In order to exchange, you will need to provide a deposit, usually 10% of the purchase price. You have to provide us with the money to pay the agreed deposit to your seller. Once exchange has taken place, we will let you have any other documents for signature, provide a statement showing all financial details and arrange for your lender to send us the mortgage money to be paid on completion.

If you are selling

  • We will ask you to complete general information questionnaires on your property and also a form dealing with fixtures and fittings. Along with a copy of the title to your property, this will enable us to provide the buyer’s solicitors with a complete package of documents, including the sale contract, which they will require to proceed with the buying process.
  • We will obtain a copy of the title to your property and a statement of the amount you will have to pay to redeem your existing mortgage (if any).
  • As the legal process advances, we ask you to sign the sale contract and agree a completion date convenient to you and all the other parties in your chain.
  • Contracts signed by both you and your buyers will be exchanged, at which time their solicitors will send us the deposit money. On completion day they will send the balance of the money and we will redeem your current mortgage and send you a Transfer to sign and a final statement of the financial dealings in your sale.

Exchange and Complete

Once contracts have been exchanged, you are legally contracted to complete the transaction on the agreed date.

Completion usually takes place two weeks after exchange of contracts and is the day on which you can actually move.

The cost of moving

Solicitors’ costs are only one small part of the expenses you should budget for. Others include:

  • Mandatory costs such as Stamp Duty, a number of searches and Land Registry fees
  • Lender’s charges on redemption of an existing mortgage and administration charges on a new mortgage
  • Removal charges, survey fees and estate agents’ fees
  •  If you are buying or selling a leasehold property, there will be landlord’s agent’s fees


It is advisable to contact a surveyor for advice regarding the need for either a housebuyers’ report or a full structural survey.

Any survey or valuation undertaken by your mortgage lender cannot be relied upon as to the structural condition of the property and will only tell you if the price you are paying is reasonable.

Remortgaging your home

Whatever the reason for remortgaging your home, Thomas Dunton have a wealth of experience in this area and will delighted to advise you.


Should a disagreement arise, your solicitor has the knowledge and experience to help in a number of ways.  This may be by simply explaining your rights, adapting the agreement, negotiating a solution, or, if necessary by taking court action.
If you have issues with tenants or a dispute concerning home ownership, please click here full details of where we may be able help you.

For further advice please contact on 01689 822554 or
FREEPHONE  0800 371219 or email

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