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Transparency in Conveyancing Quotes

Both conveyancing solicitors and licensed conveyancers are expected to try and provide you an accurate estimate of the total conveyancing costs at the outset.

Conveyancing Solicitors

The Solicitors' Code of Conduct (the SRA Code) sets out specific rules as to the way in which solicitors should publicise charges.

In addition to this, the practice note 'Publicising Solicitors Charges' and The Conveyancing Handbook provide guidance for solicitors in order to assist them in adhering to the code of conduct.

Clients should not be led to believe that costs are likely to be less than they will be. When giving an estimate or quotation for charges, solicitors are expected to make it clear to their clients whether or not VAT and disbursements are included in the quotation.

Quotes should be as comprehensive as possible and should clearly cite any disbursements that are routinely included in quotes, such as telegraphic transfer fees, land registry charges and official copy entries obtained from the Land Registry.

Licensed Conveyancers

For Licensed Conveyancers, the CLC’s Estimates and Terms of Engagement Code requires that your conveyancer states the fees and disbursements (plus any VAT) that they propose to charge you, and how fees for abortive work (if your property sale/purchase falls through) will be calculated. The purpose is to avoid any misunderstanding about the level of costs which will need to be paid and how they are made up.

How long does conveyancing take?

For property purchases, conveyancing usually takes in the region of 8-12 weeks. It can take between 4-8 weeks for contracts to be exchanged and then a further 2-4 weeks between exchange of contracts and completion.

If however a mortgage is not required on the property that is being purchased, and the property is currently unoccupied the entire process can be completed within a few weeks, assuming there are no unforeseen complications with the purchase.

What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing refers to the transfer of ownership (the title) of a property from one person to another.

The buyer and the seller of the property must choose their own solicitors who will represent them throughout the transaction. The process can take anything from a month to several months and depends on the speed of the property expert as well as the legalities involved.

As conveyancing is a reserved legal activity under Section 12 of the Legal Services Act 2007 (“the LSA”), only professionals who have undergone specialist studies and training are allowed to undertake them. The two types of professional you can use in England and Wales are Licensed Conveyancers and Conveyancing Solicitors.