Conveyancing Process For Sellers: Our Guide

Written by Millie Archer

I love all things property and have a real eye for detail. I’m always reading up on property news, whether it be renting a first property or buying a mansion.

Guiding you through the conveyancing process as a seller, including a step-by-step guide, things that can go wrong and how to avoid it all...


When it comes to selling a house, it’s never an easy ride. Not only are there many different problems which you may face, but also a never-ending list of fees to pay.

One of the fees which you’ll need to pay is the conveyancing fees. These fees cover the conveyancing process, which is the legal part of selling a house, taking you from a seller to having your sale completed.

We know the conveyancing process is a bit of a mystery, so we’re here to help guide you through it every step of the way.

We’re also going to cover any potential problems you may face during the conveyancing process, what the conveyancing costs are, how long it can take and how to find a way around it…

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What is the conveyancing process?

The conveyancing process is the part of selling a house where all the legal paperwork is done, transferring the ownership of the house from the seller to the buyer.

For a seller, the conveyancing process helps to put their mind at ease that the buyer has enough funds to complete the sale and that they won’t transfer the ownership of their house until they have received the agreed amount.

As a seller, the conveyancing process can feel easier than as a buyer, as a seller mainly just needs to fill in the legal paperwork, whilst the buyer is carrying out the conveyancing searches.

Although it may feel slightly easier to be a seller in the conveyancing process, you still run the risk of things going wrong and your house sale falling through. Wanting to know about all the problems you may face? Keep your eyes peeled for our section on this later…

What is the conveyancing process when selling a house?

As you’re probably aware, the conveyancing process is long and complex but very important in getting you from a seller to having your house sale completed and moving out. To help you out, we’ve got a step-by-step guide, so you know what to expect in the conveyancing process:

  1. Choose your conveyancer – Before the conveyancing process can begin, you must select a solicitor you want to represent you. Ideally, you would have decided on a solicitor and made them aware of this before even accepting an offer on your property, as this will allow the conveyancing process to begin as soon as an offer is accepted, meaning minimal delays
  2. house repayments statement – This will only apply if you’re selling a property with a house repayments on it. Your solicitor will contact your house repayments lender to request a settlement statement. This is essentially checking the amount of money left to repay, so your solicitor can ensure you have enough money to pay it
  3. Identity checks – The next stage of the conveyancing process is your solicitor carrying out identity checks. You will need to provide a photo of your diving license or passport, alongside proof of your address
  4. Legal documents – Your solicitor will then obtain the title deeds for the property from The Land Registry, which *should* confirm you’re the legal owner of the property and the land which it’s on (unless your property is leasehold)
  5. Paperwork time – Next in the conveyancing process, you will be required to complete a number of forms about the property you’ve agreed to sell. Examples of forms you may fill in are the Property Information Form (TA6) and the Fittings and Contents form (TA10). Whilst it may not seem it, this step is actually very important as it clearly lays out what both buyer and seller should expect, preventing issues further down the line
  6. Draft contract – Your solicitor will then draw up a ‘draft contract’ which basically outlines details of the sale, including sale price. This is then sent to the buyer’s solicitor, alongside the paperwork you’ve filled out, for them to look over
  7. Enquiries – After checking over the draft contract, the buyer’s solicitor will pass on any enquiries which they would like to have answered before they can proceed
  8. Searches take place – Once you have answered the enquiries and the buyer’s party are happy, then the conveyancing searches can take place
  9. Completion date agreed – After searches, the next part of the conveyancing process is to agree on a completion date and write it into the contract. The completion date is the day where the house ownership is officially transferred to the buyer, and you move out, so choose your date wisely!
  10. Contracts signed and exchanged – Once both parties are happy with the contracts, they can be signed and then exchanged. At exchange the deal becomes legally binding, meaning no one can pull out of the deal without legal implications
  11. Completion – Yay you’ve made it to the final stage of the completion process! Now you can drop off your keys and move onto your next adventure…

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How long does conveyancing take?

The conveyancing process starts as soon as you’ve accepted an offer on your house and stretches until completion day when you drop off the keys for the property.

To help you see the breakdown of the conveyancing process and how long each stage takes, take a look at this table:

 Category  Approximate time
 Pre contract work: appoint conveyancer, instruct local searches, get survey, get draft contract  2 weeks
 Time for buyer to arrange house repayments  4 weeks
 Draft contract: reviewing survey report, local searches, answering outstanding questions  2-10 weeks
 Time between exchange and completion  1 week
 Total time from an offer being accepted to completion  12-16 weeks

Figures taken from HomeOwners Alliance

On average, the conveyancing process tends to take between 12-16 weeks, but due to covid a lot of solicitors are snowed under with work, making the process take even longer.

Whilst we know this is probably not what you want to hear, stay tuned for our last section – it’ll give you some tips on how to avoid any problem, like this, which you may face in the conveyancing process.

What are the conveyancing costs when selling?

The conveyancing costs when selling will differ depending on the price of your house. As an approximate range, the conveyancing costs can be somewhere between £550 and £1000.

Some conveyancing solicitors will charge a percentage of your home’s value, whereas others may charge a fixed fee, which if you’re selling an expensive house may work out slightly cheaper.

Your conveyancing costs will also differ depending on if your house is freehold or leasehold and if you have a house repayments or not. This table should give you a better idea on how the average costs differ between freehold vs leasehold AND house repayments vs no house repayments:

 Property type  Cost
 Freehold + no house repayments  £575
 Freehold + house repayments  £612
 Leasehold + no house repayments  £768
 Leasehold + house repayments  £805

Figures taken from The Advisory

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What can go wrong during the conveyancing process?

We told you we’d come back to this!

It may come as no surprise to you that there are many different things that can go wrong when it comes to the conveyancing process and selling.

We’re going to tell you all about the things which can go wrong, so you’re ready to face whatever comes your way...

Buyer pulling out

The main issue you could face during the conveyancing process is your buyer deciding to pull out of the deal all together. This can happen at any time, but is more likely to happen before exchange, as until this point the deal has no legal binding.

Gazundering

Another common problem you may face in the conveyancing process is being gazundered. This means after the buyer has done their conveyancing searches, and before exchange, the buyer significantly reduces their offer.

Whilst you don’t have to accept this lower offer, you are left in a tricky situation of losing your buyer, meaning you have to start the process again, or accepting the offer but selling for significantly less than you first agreed.

Time consuming

Also, the conveyancing process can be very time consuming, with some searches taking an extremely long time. The speed of the searches is controlled by your buyer and their solicitor, so you’re relying on other people to ensure the process moves along smoothly – something which can lead to you waiting months for the searches to be returned.

Buyer’s house repayments offer expires

Most buyers will need a house repayments to buy a property and so will have a house repayments offer ‘in principle’. If the conveyancing process goes at a slow pace, then a problem which you may face is your buyer’s house repayments offer expiring.

This will mean they no longer have a house repayments to afford the property so will need to go back to a house repayments lender and try get another one, making the conveyancing process drag on even longer. OR they may even pull out of the sale altogether.

Problems within the chain

Another problem you may find in the conveyancing process is you’re in a chain and someone in the chain below you pulls out, causing a chain break, having a knock-on effect on you, meaning your sale may not be able to go ahead.

How can I avoid these issues?

We know after reading the potential problems you may be a little put off selling your house, as you don’t want to go through all these issues, but we have a way to sell your house without the stress!

Not only will it help you avoid the potential problems in the conveyancing process, but it’ll also mean you don’t have to wait MONTHS because your solicitor is snowed under and can have you completed in as little as 7 days!

So, what is it? What’s the secret?

Sell to us!

‘Really? Why should I sell to you?’

A great question!

Well, here at The Property Buying Company, we buy houses for CASH completing in a fast timescale to suit you. Not only this, but we will cover all the fees associated with selling your house, including the conveyancing costs.

Also, we buy any house in any condition, so you don’t need to worry about your house not ‘passing’ the conveyancing searches. We’re also a guaranteed buyer – once you receive your cash offer from us, that’s the price you’ll get in full in your bank in as little as 7 days.

Did we also forget to mention our great reviews on Trustpilot? Have a read and rest assured we’re a cash buyer you can trust.

Ready to avoid a long conveyancing process with lots of problems? Give us a call or fill in our online form to receive a no-obligation cash offer, which we could have in your bank as soon as next week...

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