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Frequently asked questions

The expert link in the chain

Residential conveyancing is the process by which the legal ownership of a residential property is transferred from one person to another.

Movus Law is a firm of conveyancing solicitors who specialise in residential transactions such as buying, selling, sale and purchase as well as part exchange. Our activities are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) giving you peace of mind.

To ensure there are no risks to your home move purchase or sale, it is important to use a regulated conveyancer who can undertake all the necessary steps to ensure you are secure and that your home is marketable. A conveyancer will undertake the following tasks on your behalf:

  • Obtain a copy of your title and support you in filling in necessary questionnaires.
  • Prepare and distribute the contract for sale.
  • Request a settlement figure for your mortgage.
  • Liaise with the parties acting on behalf of the buyer to negotiate the terms of the sale and moving date.
  • Act as the recipient of the house deposit.
  • Organise the final accounts and prepare final settlement figures.
  • Approve the deed of transfer.
  • Pay off the mortgage.
  • Hand over all papers relating to the property.
  • Send any remaining balance to you.

The short answer to this is “no”. Here at Movus Law our conveyancing service is provided to you online, so it doesn’t matter where you live. We use the most up to date digital platform for the fastest possible delivery of our service to you. You can view all of your paperwork online and can even upload documents.

This does not mean we are faceless. You will have a dedicated conveyancer assigned to your case who you can contact over the telephone, through secure messaging and even video if the need arises.

The Quality Conveyancing Scheme (QCS) is a special program for conveyancing solicitors regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Membership of the scheme means that a solicitor is committed to following the best possible conveyancing practices and is a quality mark trusted by many of the top mortgage lenders.

Movus Law is a fully accredited member of QCS which demonstrates our commitment to the highest practice standards.

It takes approximately 8 – 12 weeks from starting the conveyancing process to moving house. Sometimes it can be longer particularly if you are part of a long chain of transactions.

If you are buying a new house, we aim to exchange contracts within 28 days – which is a requirement of many developers. If the house you are buying is still being built, completion will depend on when it is ready for occupation. This can sometimes take several months if the build is still in its early stages.

Please get a quote to get a free and instant conveyancing quote for your home move. Our quotes are comprehensive and include:

  • our fees which are fixed;
  • disbursements such as search fees; and
  • money that has to be paid to others such as Stamp Duty Land Tax and Land Registry fees

We will not charge a conveyancing fee if your transaction does not exchange contracts although you will have to cover the cost of any disbursements paid out on your behalf such as search fees.

We will only ever charge an additional fee if we encounter something during a transaction that is out of the ordinary and unforeseen. In the unlikely event this happens we will discuss it with you first before incurring any additional fees.

The law requires all solicitors to verify the identity of their clients in order to comply with Anti-Money Laundering Regulations – often referred to as AML. As we need to do this before we can start the conveyancing process, it is essential we have evidence of your identity as soon as possible.

At Movus Law we use electronic identity verification which is a simple, fast and cost effective way to check your details. All you need is a mobile phone and a few minutes of your time.

If a property is freehold, it means that the ownership of it together with any land upon which it is built is absolute or outright. The ownership is not limited in time, the owner does not have to pay rent but will be responsible for maintaining all of the property. Most houses tend to be owned freehold.

Freehold ownership does not however lend itself to flats which are generally leasehold. Here ownership is limited in time to the length of the lease – 125 years is common. The leaseholder will pay a nominal ground rent and a service charge to the landlord. In return the Landlord will maintain all parts of the property which are used in common by all the flats. For example, the structure of the building in which the flats are located, communal accessways and grounds.

Carrying out searches is a way of finding out more information on a property and any potential impact that could have on a buyer.

Is the property in an area liable to flooding? Is the drainage system privately maintained? Have works to the property been carried out in breach of planning law? These are just a few questions that searches can help to answer.

The most common searches that are made are:

  • Local Authority Search
  • Drainage and Water Search
  • Environmental and Flooding Search

Sometimes location specific searches need to be made such as a mining search if the property is in an area with historic mining activity.

Exchange of contracts is an important part of the conveyancing process as it marks the point where the buyer and the seller are legally committed to the transaction.

When the terms of the contract have been agreed and both the buyer and seller are ready to go ahead, their conveyancers will insert the agreed completion date into the contract, date it and the buyer’s conveyancer will pay the deposit. The seller’s signed contract is physically “exchanged” for the buyer’s signed contract so that each conveyancer will hold the part signed by the other’s client.

From a legal point of view, there is no reason why exchange of contracts and completion cannot take place at the same time. From a practical point of view however, things are very different for most transactions – particularly where there is a chain involved. The reason for this is that until contracts are exchanged, the completion date is not fixed and legally binding. This makes it impossible:

  • to book removals without the risk of having to cancel. Cancellation would almost certainly incur additional charges not to mention the inconvenience and practical difficulties it will cause; and
  • for the buyer’s conveyancer to make sure any mortgage monies are available without the risk of having to return them – which will result in additional expense for the buyer.

Generally, it is simply not worth all the stress and anxiety for those involved!