Conveyancing

The property purchase journey we'll take together

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Fee and terms are clearly explained. You fill in our set-up documents.

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We receive and review all contract and title documentation.

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We order any required property searches.

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We review the contract and deeds and raise any necessary enquiries.

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We receive mortgage offer and report for agreement.

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Search results are received and we raise any necessary enquiries.

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Enquiry results are received and we ensure all replies are satisfactory.

We provide final documents and search enquiry replies for signature.

Signed documents are returned with deposit and agreed completion date.

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Final sign off by conveyancer.

We exchange contracts and request balance of funds.

Completion. Keys are exchanged.

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Frequently asked questions

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    Jargon

      • What is conveyancing?

        Conveyancing is the transfer of a property from one owner to another. When you buy or sell a home you need to appoint a conveyancer to ensure this is done correctly.

      • What’s the difference between a solicitor and a conveyancer?

        Both solicitors and conveyancers are regulated professionals. A solicitor could specialise in a variety of different types of law while a conveyancer focuses purely on property transactions. Licensed conveyancers can represent both the buyer and the seller on the same transaction; speeding up the sale/purchase. However, there are restrictions over whether a solicitor can act for both buyer and seller.

      • What are searches and why do I need them?

        Searches help to identify any issues with a property. If you are obtaining a mortgage, some searches are required as part of your lender’s requirements. If you are a cash buyer searches are optional (but recommended).

        The three compulsory searches are:

        Local searches
        These establish whether the property is a listed building, in need of a renovation order, located in a conservation area, etc. Local authority searches also cover planning permissions and building regulations approval. In addition, they will look at any proposals that could affect the property such as new roads etc.

        Drainage searches
        A drainage search determines whether the property is connected to the mains drains and sewers. It also establishes if there is a public sewer within the boundary of the property. If there is, your conveyancer will need to investigate this further to determine whether the right agreements are in place.

        Environmental searches
        An environmental search determines whether the property has been constructed on or within proximity to contaminated land. It would also identify any flooding, radon gas levels, and whether the property is located in a coal mining area.

        Depending on where you live and the results of the above searches, it is not uncommon for your conveyancer to request additional searches.

      • What is the difference between a valuation report and a survey?

        A mortgage valuation is a report undertaken on behalf of your lender.  It does not investigate any possible structural defects of the property.

        Among other things, a RICS HomeBuyers Report (HBR) would cover:

        • Notification of property parts needing urgent attention
        • Advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance
        • Inspection report
        • Key risk report
        • Advice on issues affecting the property value
        • Insurance reinstatement cost.

        Recommended for purchasers of older and larger properties, a building survey would cover (but is not limited to):

        • Any structural defects with the property
        • Comprehensive structural report
        • Notification of property parts needing urgent attention
        • Advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance
        • Key risks report
        • Advice on issues affecting the property value
        • Detailed inspection
        • Description of defects
        • Outline of potential problems
        • Professional advice on repair options
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    Cost & fees

      • Do you charge any hidden fees?

        No, as part of our welcome pack, we’ll send details of any additional fees that may apply to your transaction. These are clearly outlined in our terms and conditions.

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    Contact

      • When can I contact JS Law directly?

        Our phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Of course, you can find out the status of your case at any time by logging into our handy and secure online portal.

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    Timings

      • How long will my conveyancing transaction take?

        There are many things that can hold up a conveyancing transaction. For example, delays in obtaining a mortgage offer, search results, and responses to enquiries. The length of chain you are in can also affect timings. On average a freehold transaction takes around six to eight weeks. Leasehold transactions, which are often at the mercy of third parties such as landlords and managing agents can take longer. On average we would expect a leasehold transaction to take roughly 12 to 16 weeks.

      • How long do searches take?

        Some search results are returned within 24 hrs. Others, such as local authority and drainage searches, take around two to three weeks. However, this is dependent on the timescales of the local council.

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    Documents & ID

      • What identification do you require from me?

        We require ONE form of identification from List A and TWO from List B.

        LIST A

        • Current signed passport
        • Birth certificate
        • Current photocard driver’s licence
        • Current EEA member state identity card
        • Current identity card issued by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland
        • Residence permit issued by the Home Office
        • Firearms certificate or shotgun licence
        • Photographic registration cards for self-employed individuals and partnerships in the construction industry
        • Inland Revenue Tax Code Notification
        • Residents Permit (Issued by the Home Office to EU Nationals)

        LIST B

        • Benefit book or original notification letter from the DWP confirming the right to benefits
        • Council tax bill
        • Utility bill or statement, or a certificate from a utility supplier confirming an arrangement to pay services on pre-payment terms, dated within the last three months
        • Bank, building society or credit union statement or passbook containing current address
        • Confirmation from an electoral register that a person of that name
          lives at that address
        • A recent original mortgage statement from a recognised lender
        • Local council or housing association rent card or tenancy agreement
        • HMRC self-assessment statement or tax demand
        • House or motor insurance certificate
        • Employers ID Card
        • Signed National ID Card (EU)
        • Birth Certificate

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    Gifted deposits

      • Is there anything I need to be aware of if I am receiving a gift or a loan to help purchase a property?

        If someone is giving you money, or you are getting a private loan to help purchase a property, we are required to undertake legal and anti-money laundering checks against the donor. These checks include proof of ID and proof of funds in the form of a bank statement(s). Also, your mortgage lender may request that we obtain an Insolvency Act Indemnity Policy to protect their interest in the property. While this can be time-consuming, you must report any gifted deposit to your mortgage lender and obtain their approval to the gift before exchange of contracts.

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    Stamp duty land tax advice for first time buyers

      • Do I qualify for stamp duty relief for first-time buyers?

        From 22nd November 2017, first-time buyers are exempt from (SDLT) if they meet certain requirements. First-time buyers relief applies to properties that are bought for less than £300,000.

        You will not qualify for this relief if:

        • You are buying with a partner, and only one of you is a first-time buyer
        • You are buying a property for more than £500,000 (if you are buying a property worth more than £300,000 but less than £500,000 you can claim relief for the first £300,000 and pay 5% stamp duty on the amount above this up to a maximum of £500,000)
        • You are purchasing a buy to let property
        • You have inherited a property
        • You have ever owned a residential property in the UK or anywhere  in the world
        • You do not plan to use the property as your main residence

        You can find out more about SDLT: relief for first-time buyers here.

        *Subject to T&Cs

  • Useful documents

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