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JR Jones Solicitors Birmingham
solicitors Birmingham

Residential Conveyancing FAQ

We are always happy to answer our clients’ questions about the conveyancing process. To assist you, we have put together answers to some of the questions we are most frequently asked about property and conveyancing. Click on a link below to jump to that question.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is simply the process of transferring ownership of property (or land) from one person to another.

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I’ve had a conveyancing quote from you. Are there any hidden charges?

We always provide clear and transparent pricing. A quote for conveyancing is made up of our legal fee, the fee we charge for the work carried out, and the disbursements – these are the unavoidable expenses incurred on your behalf, such as searches and Stamp Duty.

We will quote you a legal fee to cover the work, based conveyancing quoteon the information you provide us at the outset. We will also quote you for all the standard disbursements for your transaction based on the information we have at the time.

In most cases the quote you receive will be the price you pay. Fees and disbursements will only ever change if something comes to light during the conveyancing process which was unforeseen at the time the quote was given and we will discuss these with you if this happens.

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How much will I be charged if my transaction falls through?

Sadly, some property transactions do fall through part way through the process due to problems arising, changes in someone’s circumstances of people simply pulling out.

If your property transaction falls through we will charge you a proportion of our fee which relates to the amount of work we have carried out thus far, therefore the cost to you will depend on what stage the transaction failed. Any expenses (disbursements) already incurred on your behalf will also be payable.

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How long will my transaction take?

Every transaction is different; however in general the timescale will depend on the following factors:

  • Whether any unexpected problems come up during the conveyancing process
  • How long is the chain of properties transactions involved? The longer the chain of properties, the more chance of a problem occurring.
  • Whether or not you are taking out a mortgage and have you already got this arranged (if not pre-arranged then this can add some time to the process).
  • Are the other parties to the transaction willing to move quickly with the transaction?

As a very general guide, if a property transaction goes ahead without any problems then it could complete in around 6 weeks. Many transactions take longer than this due to delays that arise during the conveyancing process.

We will always do everything possible to ensure as quick and efficient transaction as possible and to work with you on proposed moving dates where practical. Unfortunately, where other parties are involved we cannot be held responsibly for delays due to others.

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What does 'exchange of contracts' mean?

Exchange of contracts means the property transaction has become legally binding. Contracts are exchanged between solicitors; on the telephone. On exchange of contracts the completion date is confirmed. You do not need to be present for us to exchange contracts.

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When can I book my removals?

Do not book your removals until we give you the go ahead. Before contracts are exchanged, the completion date is not definite and could change. It is advisable not to book your removals until after contracts have been exchanged.

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What happens on the completion date?

  • The buyer's solicitors sends the seller's solicitors the money needed to complete the purchase. contact us
  • If you are buying, your solicitor will arrange for your mortgage lender to send them your mortgage money.
  • If you are selling, your solicitor will pay off your mortgage when they receive the money from your buyer's solicitor.
  • When the money has changed hands, keys must be handed into or collected from the estate agents. We will let you know when it is key hand-over time.

See our page on the conveyancing process explained for more information.

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I am buying a property. Do I need a survey?

This will depend on how much you want to spend, the type of property you are buying and your attitude to risk.

If you are taking out a mortgage your lender will have the property inspected to see if it is suitable for them to lend against. This is a very basic valuation aimed only at protecting the lenders investment and not your interests.

It is advisable to arrange a more detailed survey to be carried out if you are buying an older property, or if you want the additional peace of mind that a detailed survey can bring.

A survey should bring to light any existing problems with the property you are buying. If the problem is a major one, you not want to buy the property. If the problem is more minor, you can ask the seller to put it right before you purchase the property, or you may be able to use the problem to renegotiate a lower purchase price to compensate for the additional outlay you will have to make to rectify the issue.

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What are disbursements?

Disbursements are expenses which are incurred on your behalf during the conveyancing process.

These are things such as Land Registry Fees and property searches. Your solicitor will give you a full breakdown of any likely disbursements. For more information see our page on jargon buster / disbursements explained.

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We are unmarried and buying a property. I am putting a bigger deposit into the property. Can I protect it in the event of separation?

Yes. If one person is putting a greater amount into the property they can protect that money with a legal document called a "Trust Deed". This is becoming more common as parents often help out their children with their deposit.

A Trust Deed sets out who has put what into the property and it outlines who will get what from the proceeds of the property in the event of separation, or sale of the property. For example, it can state that if the house is sold, the person who put in the deposit gets that amount first, before the remainder of the value is shared out.

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