Frequently Asked Questions About Conveyancing

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is an an umbrella term used to describe a variety of property transactions such as sales, purchases, transfers, and re-mortgages.

How long will it take?

It depends. A cash purchase of a vacant property can be completed in a matter of weeks if the parties cooperate. Where a property is being purchased with mortgage finance and/or there is a chain involved, matters will generally take longer.

Delays may be caused due to the time involved in waiting for mortgage offers to be issued (either to yourself or to others in your chain) and problems elsewhere in the chain. Problems which only emerge following a surveyor’s report can also delay matters.

As a general guide a standard transaction with no unforeseen complications or delays will normally take 6 to 8 weeks. However, your transaction may happen more quickly or slowly depending upon the individual circumstances and the behaviour of the other parties.

How much does it cost?

Please contact our conveyancing department on 0151 480 5777 for a free estimate.

What searches do I need?

Below are details of the compulsory and optional searches which may be carried our on your behalf when purchasing a property:

Local Authority Search – This search is compulsory when purchasing with the assistance of mortgage finance.  Lenders require there to be a search dated within six months of the completion date.  The search looks for planning proposals such as new roads, changes to road layouts, building developments in the vicinity and alterations to land use or public rights of way. The search may also warn of planning restrictions that may apply to the property in the future, such as a plan to designate the area as a conservation area.

Environmental Search – For your protection and the protection of your lender, we recommend that an environmental search is obtained. This examines whether the property is situated on or near land that might be contaminated by, for example, past industrial processes or waste disposal. The purpose of this search is to ensure that any current and potential contamination risks are identified prior to your purchase because you could be responsible for costs for cleaning up the site in the future. It will also identify any other environmental risks that could spoil the use or enjoyment of your new property such as whether the property lies in a flood plain. The cost of an environmental report is £52.44 inclusive of VAT.

Drainage and Water Search – we also recommend that you obtain a Drainage and Water search. The search fee varies depending on the area, but for areas served by United Utilities the fee is £43.63 inclusive of VAT.   However, although we recommend you to obtain this search we are mindful of the fact that most people choose not to and instead rely on the latest water utility bill in this regard.

Chancel Check – A Chancel Check will reveal whether the property is within the historical boundary of an ecclesiastical parish which continues to have a potential chancel repair liability. The cost of such a search amounts to £18.00 inclusive of VAT.

Flood Report – Although a standard environmental report does provide some flood information, a property-specific Flood Search will provide clear assessment and detailed flood risk information from leading data providers as well as providing an insurability rating and information on past insurance claims.  The cost of a Flood Report amounts to £22.80 inclusive of VAT.  Alternatively, you may wish to make use of the information available from the Environment Agency and the Land Registry’s Flood Risk Indicator.


Areas we cover include Huyton, Liverpool, Merseyside, North West, North Wales, Cheshire, Lancashire