What is conveyancing?

What is conveyancing, who does it, and why do I need it? If you are like the vast majority of people then you probably won’t be able to answer some or all of the above. But fear not, we’ve taken the time to pull together a quick overview of conveyancing and how it fits into the mortgage process. 

What do conveyancers do?

Conveyancers liaise with the lender and your seller’s solicitor. They deal with all of the legal documentation required to transfer ownership of the property from the seller to you. It can start when your offer is accepted, up until after the sale is completed. The conveyancer will manage tasks including:

  • Reviewing your mortgage offer from the lender
  • Handling the contract of exchange, and negotiating any details – if needed
  • Dealing with the Land Registry
  • Handling local council searches and other formal enquiries
  • Notifying the freeholder of the sale, if your home is leasehold
  • The collection and transferring of money for the property purchase
  • Arranging for payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax and other payments
  • Providing legal guidance.

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

Well, conveyancers are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers and solicitors by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Law Society. The main difference between the two is that a conveyancer solely deals with property matters, whereas a solicitor can undertake other legal duties, should you need them.

How do I pick a conveyancer or solicitor?

At Roots we have access to some of the best conveyancers and solicitors in the UK. We recommend all our clients use who we partner with, but you are of course entitled to use who you want. The benefit of using our preferred partner is that they know who we are, how we work, and can get things completed quicker.

How long does conveyancing take?

This is the most frequent question we get asked. Whilst there is no formal timescale a good rule of thumb is to allow up to 12 weeks for the process to be completed. This can be extended if any problems show up during the checks.

How much do conveyancers charge?

The cost of using a conveyancers or solicitors (who are usually more expensive) varies from firm to firm, and also depends on the nature of the property you are buying as well as the area where you are buying it. They will either charge a flat fee or a percentage of the property value – and you should be given an idea of the fees at the start of the process, which are often between £500 and £1,500.

The conveyancing process: step-by-step

While every house purchase and sale is different, it will generally work like this: Before exchange 1. You make an offer on a property and the seller accepts. 2. You choose and ‘instruct’ a solicitor/conveyancer to act on your behalf. 3. Your conveyancer/solicitor carries out all relevant searches on the property and requests from the seller’s solicitor a draft contract and the other selling documents. 4. During this time, you organise a house survey and buildings insurance. Exchange of contracts 5. You and the seller both sign copies of the contract, and agree to a completion date. 6. Contracts are exchanged and the sale is now legally binding – you must have buildings insurance in place. 7. You pay an exchange deposit to the seller. 8. After exchange, your conveyancer/solicitor lodges an interest with the Land Registry. Completion 9. Your conveyancer/solicitor receives the funds from the lender – often the day before completion. 10. On completion day, your conveyancer/solicitor transfers all outstanding money to the seller’s solicitor. 11. Once the seller’s solicitor confirms the money has been received, the property is yours! After the sale 12. The conveyancer/solicitor registers the transfer of property with the Land Registry. 13. You have 30 days to pay your stamp duty bill, if you owe it. Your conveyancer/solicitor will usually arrange this for you.

Not quite ready to start the mortgage process just yet? Maybe you have a question you want answering? That’s fine, we’re here to support you when you need us – just contact us and we’ll be happy to help.


You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is £650.