Kirk Hallam Homes

A Helpful Guide to the Purchasing Process

Transferring legal ownership in land and property in England and Wales is called Conveyancing. It isn’t Illegal to undertake Conveyancing yourself, but purchasing a property without the help of a qualified solicitor can be stressful and potentially hold things up. Your solicitor will be qualified in every aspect of property law and is there to assist you, avoiding potential problems and protecting your interest at every step.

We would recommend that you contact your solicitor as soon as you think about purchasing your new home. If you do not already have a solicitor, seek a recommendation, or visit “Conveyancing Residential” to get details of solicitors in your area.

Kirk Hallam Homes may be able to suggest the names of local solicitors that are known to have a good reputation.

Conveyancing work can also be undertaken by a Licensed Conveyancer. All references in these notes to a solicitor should also be taken to apply to a licensed conveyancer.

Services and Costs

Services and charges vary between solicitors. Before you decide who to use, check with several firms of solicitors to compare the services provided, and their fees. Note: the cheapest quote may not always be the best option.

Typically the fees and expenses involved would be as follows:-
  • Solicitor’s fees
  • VAT
  • Local Authority Search fee
  • Coal Mining Search fee
  • Drainage Search fee
  • Land Registry Search fees
  • Land Registry Registration fee
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (free up to £125000.00, 1% above £125000.00, £150000.00 in certain areas)

What your solicitor will need from you

The solicitor you choose will ask you for a number of details and documents. Which could include:-
  • Some personal identification;
  • Estimated completion date of the property;
  • How you are planning to finance the property;
  • Whether you have applied for a mortgage;
  • Whether you are buying with someone else;
  • Whether you have a property to sell;

Survey Advice

If you are applying for a mortgage, your mortgage lender will usually appoint their nominated surveyor to carry out a valuation of the property, this will be paid for by yourself. Please note, that this is a valuation for mortgage purposes and not a survey.

If you do not need a mortgage to purchase a property, then you may wish to consider instructing your own surveyor to confirm the valuation of the property.

What your solicitor will do

Once you have chosen your solicitor he or she will contact Kirk Hallam Homes solicitor who will then forward your solicitor a draft Contract along with a pack of other information relating to the property including copies of planning documents and NHBC details.

Your solicitor will then send off the required searches, including enquiries of the Local Authority, the Coal Authority (if the property is in a mining area) and Drainage Authority. These searches will reveal information about your new property. If any of them show matters of concern, your solicitor will give advise you on this.

Mortgage Offer and Terms

If you are taking out a mortgage to buy your new home you will usually need a satisfactory offer of a mortgage before exchange of Contracts. You should be sure that you can meet any conditions in the offer. You should read the offer letter and mortgage conditions very carefully. Your solicitor will explain them to you. Mortgage advise is available through:- The Mortgage Zone - email Becky at or phone 01773535354

Signing the Contract

Once your solicitor has completed his or her searches and raised any further enquiries which he or she considers is necessary with Kirk Hallam Homes solicitor, then your solicitor will discuss with you on all investigations he or she has made for you so far. If you are still happy to go ahead, your solicitor will finalise the terms of the Contract and explain it to you. You then need to sign the Contract and provide the deposit money, usually between 5% and 10% of the purchase price.

Exchanging Contracts

This is the important part between you and Kirk Hallam. Your solicitor and Kirk Hallam’s solicitor will exchange Contracts so that you have the Contract that Kirk Hallam has signed and Kirk Hallam has the Contract you have signed. When all of this is in place, the date for completing the sale will be discussed. This is usually 10 working days following structural completion of the property, and the NHBC cover note being issued. When Contracts have been exchanged this becomes a binding legal contract.

Please note. If you do not proceed to completion of the property after signing the contract you will lose your deposit.

Final Balance

Between exchange of Contracts and completion, your solicitor will obtain the mortgage money from your lender and any remaining monies from you. This will include the legal costs and disbursements referred to above. Your solicitor will then carry out final Land Registry searches and send the Transfer Deed to Kirk Hallam Homes solicitors for signing.


This is the final stage in the conveyancing process when your solicitor hands over the money to Kirk Hallam’s solicitor. The same day, the keys will be handed over to you by the site manger. He will then show you around your new property and explain how everything works. Your solicitor will then pay the stamp duty land tax (if any) and Land Registry fees on your behalf and will register the interest of your mortgage lender and record you as the new legal owner of the property at the Land Registry.

Related Legal Matters

Buying a property may introduce other related legal matters;
  • If husband and wife are buying the new home in joint names they should consider how the property will be owned if one of them dies;
  • If you are buying the home with someone you are not married to, you may need to enter into a “Deed of Trust” to set out what share of the property each person owns;
  • If you do not have a Will, you should consider making one;
  • If you do have a Will, you may need to update it;

In all the above your solicitor will be able to offer you legal advice as part of a complete professional service.