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Buying your first property is an exciting yet daunting experience. It is likely to be one of the biggest investments you will make. We have put this guide together to help you choose your solicitor and understand some of the processes involved in buying your first property.

When choosing a Solicitor to deal with your purchase here are some things to consider:

  • Are they registered with the Law Society and a member of its Quality Conveyancing Scheme? If so, they will be experienced in property transactions and follow strict standards.
  • Compare quotes like for like. Does the price allow for VAT? Does it include extra charges (relevant searches, bank transfers, land registry fees, stamp duty etc.) and costs for any additional work required?
  • Consider the type of property you are purchasing. City based and online firms may not be familiar with some types of rural properties or local ‘oddities’ and may charge more to deal with those issues.
  • Do you feel confident that you will be able to contact your solicitor when you need to? Knowing what is happening and when can ease some of the stress that comes with purchasing your first property.
  • Estate agents will sometimes recommend solicitors, usually because they have a financial agreement in place with them. Often that solicitor will be out of town and their fees can be significantly higher than a local solicitor. It can also cause delays in the purchase due to their lack of local knowledge. Compare them to some local solicitors before agreeing to instruct them.

 What does the solicitor do?

  • Checks contract, legal title and other paperwork
  • Raises enquiries on the property with seller’s solicitor
  • Submits searches
  • Checks mortgage offer
  • Receives replies to enquiries
  • Reports to buyer on enquiries and searches
  • Arranges for buyer to sign contract and stamp duty forms
  • Prepares Transfer Deed and requests mortgage advance
  • Carries out final Land Registry and Bankruptcy searches
  • Registers property with Land Registry
  • Pays Stamp Duty fees
  • Collects funds from buyer

How long will it take to complete?

It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of how long it will take to conclude, especially in the initial stages.  In many cases the time taken and the costs incurred can be greatly affected by how quickly the sellers provide the relevant information and the receipt of any mortgage offer. We usually estimate between 8 and 12 weeks. The process can be frustrating but it exists to protect both sellers and purchasers by making sure there are no hidden problems that could cause an issue after completion or in a future sale.


There are a number of costs to consider on top of the purchase of the property such as:

  • Solicitors costs
  • Land Registry
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax
  • Search fees

At Pinkney Grunwells we like to make the experience as easy and efficient as possible, making you feel relaxed in the knowledge that our local dedicated team are here to help every step of the way.  We understand how complicated the process can seem and are happy to answer any questions you may have during the process.

Our charges are a fixed fee which is calculated on the price of the property. We do not have any hidden fees.  You can use our conveyancing calculator to find out how much our fees would be. 

If you would like more information about buying your first property please contact us .