What does a conveyancing solicitor do?

1 November 2023
Buying or selling a property is a significant life event for most individuals and businesses. Many people turn to a conveyancing solicitor. But what exactly does a conveyancing solicitor do, and why are they essential in property transactions? In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the role and responsibilities of conveyancing solicitors.
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Buying or selling a property is a significant life event for most individuals and businesses. It involves complex legal processes, paperwork, and potential risks. To navigate these intricacies and ensure a smooth transfer of property ownership, many people turn to a conveyancing solicitor. But what exactly does a conveyancing solicitor do, and why are they essential in property transactions? In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the role and responsibilities of conveyancing solicitors.

Understanding Conveyancing

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring ownership of property from one party to another. It encompasses various tasks and legal obligations that must be fulfilled to ensure a valid and legally binding property transaction. Conveyancing can be divided into two main phases:


This phase includes all the activities leading up to the exchange of contracts. It involves drafting and reviewing legal documents, conducting property searches, and negotiating terms between the buyer and seller.


Once the contracts are exchanged, the post-contract phase begins. During this stage, the conveyancing solicitor ensures that all conditions and obligations outlined in the contract are met, prepares the final documents for transfer, and completes the registration of the property with the appropriate authorities.

The Role of a Conveyancing Solicitor

A conveyancing solicitor, also known as a conveyancer, is a legal professional who specialises in property law and handles the legal aspects of property transactions. Here is a breakdown of their primary roles and responsibilities:

1. Legal Advice and Guidance

One of the primary roles of a conveyancing solicitor is to provide legal advice and guidance to their clients (both buyers and sellers) throughout the property transaction process. They help clients understand their rights, obligations, and the legal implications of the transaction.

2. Document Preparation and Review

Conveyancing solicitors draft, review, and modify legal documents essential to the property transaction. These documents may include contracts, transfer deeds, and mortgage agreements. Ensuring that these documents are accurate and legally sound is crucial to the transaction's success.

3. Property Searches

Conveyancers conduct various property searches to gather important information about the property being bought or sold. These searches may include local authority searches, environmental searches, and land registry searches. The goal is to uncover any potential issues or restrictions that could affect the property.

4. Title Investigation

Conveyancing solicitors investigate the property's title to verify the legal ownership and to ensure there are no undisclosed claims or disputes that could impact the transaction. They also check for any restrictions on the property, such as easements or covenants.

5. Negotiations

In some cases, conveyancers may be involved in negotiating the terms of the sale or purchase on behalf of their clients. This can include negotiating the purchase price, conditions, and any special requests or adjustments.

6. Financial Management

Conveyancing solicitors manage the financial aspects of the transaction, including holding and transferring funds in a secure and regulated manner. They handle the payment of fees, taxes, and disbursements related to the property transfer.

7. Exchange of Contracts

The exchange of contracts is a crucial step in a property transaction. Conveyancers ensure that contracts are properly executed, and they coordinate the exchange of contracts between the buyer and seller. Once contracts are exchanged, the transaction becomes legally binding.

8. Finalising the Transaction

After the exchange of contracts, conveyancers work diligently to complete all necessary tasks to finalise the transaction. This includes ensuring that all conditions in the contract are met, conducting a final title search, and preparing the transfer deed for signature.

9. Registration

Conveyancing solicitors are responsible for registering the change of ownership with the appropriate land registry or government authority. This step officially transfers legal ownership of the property to the buyer.

10. Post-Completion Matters

Even after the property transaction is complete, conveyancing solicitors handle post-completion matters, such as paying Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), ensuring any mortgages are registered, and providing the buyer with the title deeds.

Why Hire a Conveyancing Solicitor?

Hiring a conveyancing solicitor is highly recommended for several reasons:

1. Expertise

Conveyancing solicitors are specialists in property law and transactions. They have the knowledge and experience to navigate the legal complexities involved in buying or selling property.

2. Legal Protection

A conveyancer's role is to protect your legal interests throughout the process. They identify potential issues, provide legal advice, and ensure that the transaction is conducted in accordance with the law.

3. Risk Management

Property transactions can involve significant financial investments. Conveyancers help mitigate risks by conducting thorough searches and due diligence to identify any issues that could impact the property's value or legal status.

4. Peace of Mind

Having a conveyancing solicitor on your side provides peace of mind. You can trust that a qualified professional is handling all legal aspects of the transaction, reducing the stress and uncertainty associated with property transactions.

5. Time and Efficiency

Conveyancers streamline the process and ensure that deadlines are met. This can help expedite the transaction and prevent unnecessary delays.

How to Choose a Conveyancing Solicitor

Selecting the right conveyancing solicitor is essential for a successful property transaction. Here are some tips for choosing the right professional:


Look for a conveyancing solicitor or firm with a proven track record of handling property transactions similar to yours.


Seek recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have had positive experiences with conveyancers.


Read online reviews and testimonials to gauge the satisfaction of previous clients.


Inquire about the conveyancing fees and any additional costs upfront. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of the costs involved.


Choose a conveyancer who communicates effectively and keeps you informed throughout the process.


Verify that the conveyancing solicitor is regulated by a relevant professional body or authority.

A conveyancing solicitor plays a pivotal role in property transactions by providing legal advice, drafting documents, conducting searches, and ensuring that the transaction is executed correctly and legally. Their expertise, attention to detail, and risk management skills are vital in helping buyers and sellers navigate the complexities of property transactions. Hiring a qualified conveyancing solicitor can provide peace of mind and contribute to a successful and hassle-free property transfer. Whether you are buying your dream home or selling a property, having a conveyancing solicitor by your side is a wise decision to protect your legal interests and ensure a smooth transaction.