Finding your dream home is just the start of the process – here are some wise words from a conveyancing solicitor that we have worked with many times.


So you have found your dream home, here are some important tips to help you get started.


1.         How to find a trustworthy reputable firm of solicitors to deal with your property purchase

There are numerous firms offering conveyancing services, trying to find the right firm can be daunting.  It is important that the firm of solicitors you choose are part of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS).  The CQS provides recognised quality standards for residential conveyancers and by being part of the CQS, it establishes a level of credibility for members based upon the integrity of the conveyancing staff and the firms commitments to adhere to good practice standards.  Details of CQS members can be found at


2.         Contact your lawyer and ask for a quote

Most firms offer a fixed fee quote but this will depend on the complexity of the matter and the value of the property concerned.  Conveyancing quotes vary from firm to firm; do not be fooled into accepting the lowest quote as it does not mean you will get the best service!  Buying a house can be stressful, therefore, the last thing you want is to be faced with poor client service.  Also ensure any quote you receive contains all figures as sometimes there can be “hidden extras” especially with some of the large, yet seemingly cheaper firms.


3.         Once you have chosen your lawyer, be prepared to be asked for money up front and evidence of your identity

Most people think that all of the costs to purchase a property are paid at the end of the transaction.  The lawyers own costs associated with asssiting you throughout the process are paid at the end, however, funds are requested up front for third party costs associated with applying for searches, such as the Local Search.  In addition to this, all law firms have to abide by the strict laws associated with Money Laundering and they must obtain evidence of identification before they are able to open a file and work on your matter.  There are two types of ID required for each person buying a property.  You must provide in date photographic evidence, which can be a driving license or passport; and something to prove your address, such as a utility bill or bank statement (which must be within 3 months old).


4.         If you are buying jointly with another person, think carefully about how you wish to own your property

This is very important especially if one of you is contributing more than the other party perhaps due to owning assets prior to your relationship or as a result of receiving an inheritance or gift.  There are two types of ownership, you can either purchase a property as Joint Tenants which means you will own the property in equal shares despite the contributions towards the purchase price, or you can own the property as Tenants in Common in unequal shares to demonstrate the different contributions towards the purchase.  If you have contributed more than the other buyer and you do not protect your contribution, you could lose what you have put in.  Although we naturally hope that people will never ‘split up’ disputes can arise at a later stage as to who is entitled to what from the proceeds of sale of the property. This can result in costly legal proceedings. Therefore, before you have committed yourself to a purchase of a property it is important that you know the various options available as how you can own a property.  For further information on joint ownership, please visit


5.         Your deposit

In a purchase only matter, once the legal enquiries and other legal elements have been satisfied your solicitor will request a deposit sum from you, usually 10% of the purchase price, in order to enable matters to proceed to “exchange of contracts”.  Exchange is the term used to describe the point where the contract becomes binding on all parties and the move date fixed.  Therefore, you should ensure you have any funds in place and ready to use well in advance of the request from your solicitors to avoid any later delay.  In a “chain” transaction – where you are both buying and selling – you will not need to provide a deposit.


Should you have any questions or queries concerning the house move process, or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Paul Davies, Owner and Head of Property at AWD Law LLP on 01329 232314 or contact us via email –



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