Your Conveyancing Solicitors for Buying Property

To help you understand the legal process of buying your home, we have detailed the usual steps completed by the various parties involved.

For more general advice about how to buy your home and not regret it, read our free guide, How To Buy A Home – And Get It Right.

Looking after the legal process of buying your home, you should use a professional property solicitor you can rely on, one with decades of experience in getting the process right, and with plenty of positive reviews from satisfied customers. And one you can communicate with easily.

Cunningtons solicitors’ award-winning customer service means that our clients know that they are in safe hands with their property purchase.

Cunningtons make the conveyancing process as transparent and straightforward as possible.

So whether you are buying your first home or are investing for your future your Cunningtons property specialist will guide you through the process.

Cunningtons conveyancing solicitors have branches around England, so you do not have to deal with a faceless call centre – you call your own legal representative direct, or you can also pop in and speak to your conveyancing solicitor face-to-face.

Residential Conveyancing Services – Buying Property

Cunningtons are leading Residential Conveyancing solicitors, dealing with several thousand property purchases each year. We detail the conveyancing process for buying property below.

Once we have been instructed by you, the client, Cunningtons LLP will:

  • Contact the seller’s solicitors to obtain and check both the title deeds of the property and the proposed contract with the seller
  • Deal with various property searches and enquires and check results
  • Receive the mortgage offer from your lender
  • Report to you with the draft contract, mortgage transfer and associated documents for your signature

Exchange Contracts

  • Handed over the deposit
  • Prepare for completion
  • Prepare financial statement for you
  • Submit final searches
  • Submit certificate of title to mortgage lenders
  • Receive mortgage advance and any balance due from you


  • Send monies to seller’s solicitors
  • Receive deeds and documents from seller’s solicitor
  • Account to you with surplus funds if applicable
  • Pay any stamp duty
  • Register your ownership with the Land Registry
  • Send deeds to purchaser/lender
  • Arrange a Survey, you should check with your lender on this to ensure you comply with their requirements
  • We may be able to arrange the survey for you, please speak to your solicitor for further details
  • Arrange for both building insurance and life cover in readiness for exchange of contracts
  • Raise any neighbouring planning concerns that you may have with the council
  • Lodge deposit with your solicitor
  • Return all documentation received by your mortgage lender ensuring that it is signed
  • Return all documents to us signed where indicated
  • Source a removal company if required

Exchange Contracts

  • Place buildings and life cover on risk
  • Confirm removal company booking if required
  • Agree arrangements with estate agents for the hand over of keys
  • Notify change of address to friends, banks, building societies, credit card companies, insurance companies, DVLA etc.


  • Collect keys from the estate agent & move in!
  • Carry out a valuation survey of the property
  • Check that you are eligible for the mortgage
  • Send us the offer from your mortgage lenders and instruct us to check the title deeds of the property and that all the mortgage conditions in the offer can be satisfied.

Exchange Contracts

  • Mortgage advance sent to Cunningtons

Are conveyancing fees vatable?

Yes, the VAT is added to your final bill once the sale or purchase has been exchanged.

How long does the conveyancing process take?

The average freehold transaction which proceeds without undue delay from lenders or local authorities in processing property search requests, can usually take around 6 to 10 weeks from receipt of papers, leasehold transactions usually take longer due to the more complicated nature of the title and maintenance arrangements.

What are conveyancing disbursements?

Additional ‘disbursements’ are merely payments to 3rd parties such as to local authorities for search fees and to the Land Registry for title deeds.

What issues can make the conveyancing process more time-consuming?

Difficulties can arise when there are disputes as to title (ownership) of any part of the property, with alterations if the property is a listed building, lack of landlords consent for alterations to flats, or with a failure to have planning permission for changes to a property.

Are conveyancing property searches necessary?

The information from a property search is vital to a buyer. You need to know, for example, if the area is about to be extensively developed as that would be highly disruptive in terms of resulting traffic and noise levels.

What is a local search?

This is a request to the Local Authority to provide any information that they may have relating to the property being bought; this includes any planning entries, financial charges and local road schemes, but does not cover any neighbouring land.

What does ‘exchange’ mean?

There are two key events in the sale of a property in the UK – ‘exchange’ and ‘completion’.

The ‘exchange of contracts’ happens when both parties sign a legal contract and their legal representatives agree to the terms and date the Contract that makes all aspects of the purchase legally binding and enforceable.

‘Completion’ is the final stage in the sale of a property, when property legally changes ownership.

What documents do I have to get ready?

After you have gone through our quotation system and signed our instruction form, if you’re selling you’ll need to let us have any deeds you hold and guarantees and other certificates. Providing your ID documents at an early stage always helps, and if you’re buying, evidence of the source of your funds.

When should I instruct my conveyancing solicitor?

You should find a solicitor to act for you in your property sale or purchase as early as possible: you don’t need to wait until you’ve had an offer or found a new home to get the ball rolling.

Contact your local conveyancing solicitors

Click to find out more about our specialist property solicitors in Braintree, Brighton, Chelmsford, Croydon, Hornchurch, Solihull and Wickford.

Further Information on Buying Property

More information and guides to help you with the process of buying property in England and Wales

Buying A Home

To help you understand the process of buying your home, we have detailed the usual steps completed by the various parties involved.

Download our Guide to Buying

Issues When Buying

We have uncovered many incidences where lies on sellers’ property information forms have caused problems in the buying process.

Find out more

Search Choices

Part of the conveyancing process involves ‘searches’. We cover your choices in this area, and what they mean for you

Find out more