Acting For The Buyer

Buying a house for the first time, moving home or adding a property to your portfolio can all be equally stressful and exciting. It’s a big move with huge financial consequences, and you need to know that you have an experienced solicitor working for you, properly handling all the legal issues.

Our conveyancing experts have helped thousands of people buying a new home. We’re with you every step of the way, from pre-contract right through to completion and it’s our job to make the whole process as smooth as possible. We’ve supported our clients buying everything from rural, urban, leasehold, freehold and new builds to listed properties, and we can make that experience work for you.

We’re also a full service law firm, meaning that our conveyancing specialists can access other expert teams across the firm like Real Estate, Tax and Trusts to make sure that, whatever you need, we can help. 

To speak to one of our expert property solicitors, you can either call us on +44 0203 475 4545 or fill in our contact form and we will call you back.

In the UK, property is sold on the principle of caveat emptor, which translates as buyer beware. This means that you, the buyer, are ultimately responsible for checking the quality for the property you’re looking to buy.

Once you’ve found the property you want to buy, and have agreed a price through the estate agent, certain procedures have to be followed before the legal ownership of the property can be transferred. Searches have to be carried out to make sure that the property you’re buying is in good order and contracts have to be drafted and reviewed.

Your conveyancing solicitor will make sure that these procedures are properly followed and will not only look after your interests, but the interests of any mortgage lender involved too.

You just pay a fixed fee for our conveyancing services, which is based on the value of the property being purchased. We promise to always discuss the fee with you at the outset of your case, as well as sending you the list of terms and conditions, so that we’re completely transparent at every step.

As well as our fixed fee, and in line with normal conveyancing practice, we require a first payment to keep on account to cover the cost of any initial searches. If the matter doesn’t get to completion then we will refund any money held on account that hasn’t already been used for searches.


Every transaction is different and each can take a different amount of time. The average time period is between 6-12 weeks depending on the speed of searches and mortgage offers, the other parties in the chain, the complexity of the transaction and more.

We understand how important it is to resolve property matters quickly, especially when your family home is concerned. Our expert property solicitors will always endeavour to complete your transaction as quickly as possible. With a full service available via post, phone and email, you can take care of everything when it’s convenient for your conveyancing process.

We are one of the leading national property firms and we are passionate about delivering excellent results for our clients. Our property and conveyancing team is made up of highly experienced expert solicitors who will ensure you receive a prompt and reliable service.

We will keep you up to date, in plain English, at each step of the sale or purchase. In the unfortunate event that a dispute arises, we are here to deal with it on your behalf, seeking a swift and favourable resolution.

Our conveyancing service is competitively and simply priced with all costs laid out upfront so there are no nasty surprises later on. You can manage the entire process by post, phone or email but we also have conveyancing solicitors based in offices around the country for when a personal touch is required.

Regardless of whether you’re buying your next home or adding to your portfolio, the process for buying property is exactly the same from a legal point of view. Once you’ve made an offer and had it accepted, your next step should then be to instruct a solicitor.


We will carry out all the due diligence to give you a full picture of the property before you legally commit yourself to the purchase. We will request contract papers for the transaction and undertake surveys, searches and enquiries on the property. This is also the time to make sure that all finances are arranged.

We will send you all the information once it’s ready and we’ll ask you to sign the contract if you are happy with the details. You will need to send us the agreed deposit at this stage (usually 10% of the purchase price). 

You will also need to agree a completion date with the seller. This is when payment must be made and you will legally become the new owner of the property.

Exchange of Contracts

The transaction becomes legally binding when buyer and seller exchange contracts. Once the exchange has been made, you will be committed to completing the transaction on the date agreed.

Between exchange and completion we will send you a completion statement, showing the total payment we will require in order to complete the transaction. We will also request your mortgage advance (if any) from your lender.


On the agreed completion date, we will send the funds to the seller’s solicitor. When the seller’s solicitor has received them and the seller has vacated the property, the keys will be released to you by the estate agents. We will then attend to any post-completion registration formalities such as the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax and the registration at the Land Registry.

A chain happens when your purchase has to be financed from the sale of your current home. This means that the transactions must be organised to complete on the same day so that you aren’t left with either two houses or none.

Chains of transactions can be long or short. The buyer of your current home or the seller of your new home might also have their own transactions to organise on the same day – this means several separate transactions all get chained together.

This is entirely normal. 

Since each person in the chain will want to exchange contracts simultaneously there can often be a frustrating delay if one person isn’t ready to proceed. It is a common misconception that solicitors are to blame for these delays but there is usually a reasonable explanation. For example, one person in the chain might not have received their mortgage offer or is waiting for the result of a search. 

Although chains are common, they can cause problems for everyone involved. For example, if one person withdraws from their transaction due to a survey or legal issue, then the chain breaks and neither transaction can complete.

Situations like this can be resolved. One person in the chain might agree to go into rented accommodation instead of proceeding with their purchase so that the rest of the chain stays intact. Whether or not a chain can be salvaged largely depends on where the break in the chain happens and whether people in the chain are able to adapt to it.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax payable to HM Revenue and Customs in certain property transactions. SDLT is payable on increasing portions of the property price above £125,000.

From 22nd November 2017, if you are a first time buyer and you are buying a property for £300,000 or less in England or Wales, you will not need to pay Stamp Duty. If the property price is between £300,000 and £500,000, you will only pay stamp duty on the amount between £300,001 and £500,000, at a rate of 5%.

Since April 2016, an additional 3% liability must be paid on top of standard rates for second homes. It is payable on completion of the purchase and we will include the amount payable in our completion statement.

In Scotland, Stamp Duty Land Tax is known as the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax but, in practice, very little has changed other than the thresholds it uses are at different rates. Read more about the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax on our Conveyancing in Scotland page.


Briton Solicitors are highly experienced team of solicitors in the heart of London. We will always be happy to assist you and answer any of your queries every step of the way. We provide tailored and unique advice to each of our clients. We make sure you are well informed of every aspect of your case and time frames where possible.

*This is subject to entering into a CFA agreement in accordance with our policy and complying with your responsibilities under the agreement.


Briton Solicitors is registered trade mark of BS Solicitors Ltd and we currently hold an exclusive right to trademark number UK00003299310.


Briton Solicitors is trading name of BS Solicitors Ltd company number 09357933 (Registered in England & Wales. Briton Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under SRA number 621594


Address: 170 Cranbrook Rd,
Ilford, London, IG1 4LX

Phone: +44 0203 475 4545
Fax: +44 0203 475 4040

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