NORRIE WAITE & SLATER SOLICITORS
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Conveyancing frequently asked questions (FAQ)


What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the term for transferring ownership of property from one person to another. This can be much more complex than other types of transactions as your lawyer will have to carry out a number of checks in relation to the property and the land it is on.

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For example, does anyone have right of access or rights of way through the land? Does the owner of the property have existing obligations to adhere to, such as a lease or chancel repair liabilities? What restrictions does the lease place on the property owner? The property may be in a conservation area or have tree preservation orders which would restrict what you can do with the land.

A specialist conveyancer will check all these things and many more to ensure that you are fully aware of the legal implications of buying a property and protect you from any nasty surprises later on.

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How long will my transaction take?

The time taken to complete a Conveyancing transaction depends on a number of factors. One of the main factors is how long the chain of other people who are involved in the move is. The longer the chain, the more difficult it is to co-ordinate and the more opportunity there is for a problem to arise in one of the links.

As a general guide, a straight forward transaction with no major problems should complete in 4 to 6 weeks. However, many transactions are completed more quickly than this when circumstances allow.

Please contact us to discuss your circumstances and we will be able to give you an idea of a timescale for your move.

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I need to complete quickly – can you guarantee me a timescale?

We will always try to accommodate quick completions where circumstances allow. A quick completion depends on the willingness of all parties involved to work towards this together. This means your buyer or the person who is buying your property, their solicitors and also any mortgage companies involved as well as others.

Norrie Waite and Slater will always endeavour to meet challenging timescales, but because of the involvement of third parties we cannot guarantee a timescale. No solicitor can guarantee you a timescale for the same reason; they are not wholly in control of the transaction. We will never over promise or guarantee a timescale just to get your business, beware of solicitors who do. Also, unlike some solicitors, we do not charge extra for quick completions.

Contact us with your request and we will honestly tell you if we think it is achievable.

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To request a conveyancing quote online please click on one of the buttons below.

I’ve had a quote from you. Are there any hidden charges?

We want to provide transparent pricing and will always quote you honestly. A quote for Conveyancing is made up of two parts, the legal fee (our fee for doing the work) and the disbursements (expenses incurred on your behalf, such as searches).

We will quote you a fixed legal fee to cover the work. We will also quote you all the standard disbursements for your transaction based on the information we have at the time.

Fees and disbursements will only ever change if something comes to light during the Conveyancing process which was unforeseen at the time the quote was given. We will always contact you before incurring additional expenses on your behalf.

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Some other quotes on the internet look cheaper than yours – why is this?

There are many firms of conveyancers offering what appear to be very low prices. Many of them list a low fee as a headline but hide additional costs in the small print. Norrie Waite & Slater will never do this; we will always give you an honest and inclusive quote. We offer a strict ‘No hidden fees’ policy

Typical examples of these hidden costs to look out for are:

  • Additional fees for leasehold properties
  • Fees for completing standard forms such as the SDLT form
  • Additional charges if you have a mortgage
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What will I be charged if my transaction falls through?

If your transaction falls through we will charge a proportion of our fee which relates to the amount of work we have carried out, therefore the cost to you will depend on what stage the transaction failed. Any expenses (disbursements) already incurred on your behalf will also be payable.

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I cannot get into your office to sign documents – is this a problem?

No. We can deal with Conveyancing transactions anywhere in England or Wales, for clients who are based anywhere.

It is not necessary for you to be able to visit our offices. We can deal with everything using post, email, telephone and fax.
If you prefer to visit us you can use any of our offices for conveyancing in Sheffield, Rotherham or Killamarsh.

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Will I be able to easily contact the lawyer dealing with my transaction?

Customer care is very important to us at Norrie Waite & Slater. When you instruct us to act for you we will give you the direct contact details of the person who will be dealing with your transaction. You will be able to contact your conveyancer by telephone or email when it is convenient to you.

In addition you will be given the contact details of a second person in case of absence. We have a team of experienced conveyancers so you will always be able to speak to someone about your transaction.

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What are disbursements?

Disbursements are expenses which are incurred during the Conveyancing process. These range from searches on the property you are buying, aimed at uncovering any potential problems or things you should know about, to fees such as Land Registry charges. Here is a list describing common disbursements.

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What is a transfer of equity?

A transfer of equity is a transfer in share of a property. It usually involves someone being removed from or added to the ownership of a property.

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The most common circumstances giving rise to the need for a transfer of equity are:

Divorce or separation: following divorce or separation one partner may wish to be removed from the ownership of a house. Depending on the agreed settlement this may involve a cash payment by the other partner.

In cases involving the removal of a party from ownership of a property where a mortgage exists the mortgage company will first need to give consent.

Marriage or living together: this is when a party takes part ownership of a property and possibly takes out a joint mortgage.

In both cases you will need a lawyer to handle the legal work. This will involve preparing the legal documents (the transfer deed), updating Land Registry records and assessing the transaction for Stamp Duty Land Tax implications.

If you require a transfer of equity contact us now for a quote for the legal work.

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I am selling my property – do I need a Home Information Pack (HIP) or Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

The government has suspended the use of Home Information Packs with effect from 21 May 2010. Homes marketed for sale on or after 21 May 2010 will no longer need a Home Information Pack (HIP).

Suspending HIPs will reduce the cost of selling a home, remove a layer of regulation from the process and provide a welcome help to the housing market during the recovery.

The Energy Performance Certificate (a smaller and less expensive element of the HIPs) will be retained. This ranks the energy efficiency of a home with A to G ratings. Sellers will have to produce an EPC within 28 days of putting a home on the market.

* The Information above was taken from the Governments Direct.gov.uk website *

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Read a magazine article about the Top 5 Conveyancing FAQ's

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Norrie Waite & Slater has secured membership to the Law Society's Conveyancing Quality Scheme - the mark of excellence for the home buying process.

We underwent rigorous assessment by the Law Society in order to secure CQS status, which marks the firm out as meeting high standards in the residential conveyancing process.

To request a conveyancing quote online please click on one of the buttons below.

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Our lawyers offer legal advice and representation at court or the police station on a private or legal aid basis. Legal aid is available in some areas of law only. Please see our pages on legal aid for more advice. We offer a free initial consultation in some areas of law. Personal Injury compensation claims can be conducted on a 'no win no fee' basis.