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Once you've accepted an offer on your property and found a new place to move to, you'll need to find a solicitor or conveyancer to carry out the legal work for you. In this mortgage guide we explain what solicitors are, what they do and what to look for when choosing a mortgage solicitor or licensed conveyancer to handle the legal part of buying/selling a property.

To help your move run smoothly, it's essential to use a reliable, experienced professional who won't let you down. Getting recommendations from friends and family, reading reviews online, and having an initial chat with prospective firms are all good ways of finding a solicitor.

Below are the main factors you should consider when choosing the best conveyancer for you.

Choosing a good solicitor

Before instructing a solicitor or conveyancer, there are some key things to bear in mind:

Solicitor or conveyancer?

Mortgage Solicitors are qualified lawyers who can offer a wide range of legal services. If you choose to use a solicitor, make sure they have plenty of experience (and preferably specialise) in property law.

Licensed conveyancers only offer conveyancer and/or probate services but specialise in property law.

How much should I pay for a good solicitor?

When you're moving home, you'll be able to use the same conveyancer for both the sale of your current house and the purchase of your new one.

In this situation, conveyancing typically costs between £500 and £5,500. However, fees can vary depending on a number of factors including the firm you choose, the type and price of property you're buying and where it's situated. It's important to remember that cheapest is not always best: more experienced practitioners with good reputations will often cost a bit more. Moving home is likely to be one of the biggest financial transactions you ever make, so paying a little extra for a decent, reputable conveyancer or solicitor is generally money well spent. You can find some solicitors advertising fees quite low, but be wary as they will often carry hidden extra charges which mean you could end up paying more in the long run. Look for one who offers a fixed, upfront fee to avoid costs mounting unexpectedly throughout the process.

For extra security, choose a firm offering a 'no-move, no-fee' arrangement, which means you won't pay your conveyancing fees if your move falls through. It's important to be aware, though, that any searches that have been carried out or other disbursements may still have to be paid for.

Do I need a local Mortgage Solicitor?

There is a popular belief that choosing a local mortgage solicitor or conveyancer will make it quicker and easier to iron out problems and hand over documents, but it's much more important to opt for someone who's efficient, communicative, and has the capacity to deal with your purchase. If you use a conveyancer based in a different area, documents can be posted or, sometimes, scanned and emailed.

Do I want a dedicated case handler?

Having a consistent point of contact throughout the conveyancing journey can be a godsend when it comes to conveyancing. You won't have to spend time explaining things multiple times to different people and, if you do have a query, you'll know exactly who to speak to.

We'd recommend looking for a firm that promises a dedicated solicitor to handle your case from start to finish.

Dos and Don'ts


  1. Choose a conveyancer or mortgage solicitor offering fixed fees - this will help to keep costs under control.
  2. Look for a 'no-move, no-fee' deal - this means if the purchase falls through, you won't have to pay your conveyancing fees.
  3. Be clear about costs from the start - use our conveyancing fees guide to help you.


  1. Assume you need to use a local firm - someone who is efficient and keeps in touch will do the job just as well.
  2. Just choose the cheapest option - paying a little extra for an experienced conveyancer is money well spent.
  3. Be fooled by extremely low quotes - there are likely to be hidden fees that will cost you more in the long run.

Conveyancing for home movers

Moving house is exciting but it can be stressful, too, especially when you're selling your house and buying a new one at the same time. This guide is here to help.

The conveyancing stage of moving home is complex and, at times, frustrating and confusing. When you're buying and selling at the same time, coordinating with your vendors and buyer is crucial, and understanding what's involved can make doing so easier.

Conveyancing explained

Conveyancing is the legal process you have to go through when you buy or sell a property, and is usually carried out by a solicitor or licensed conveyancer. It begins when you've had an offer accepted and finishes on completion - when you collect the keys to your new home.

There are four main stages to conveyancing when you're moving home:

  1. Appointing a Conveyancer - you'll need to choose a licensed conveyancer or property solicitor to carry out the legal work.
  2. Preparing to Exchange - your conveyancer carries out all the relevant checks on the property you're buying, while providing essential information to your buyer about your current home.
  3. Exchange - when everyone is happy to proceed, all parties will sign and exchange contracts via your conveyancers to make the deals legally binding.
  4. Completing and Moving - once all money has changed hands you'll hand over your old keys to your own estate agent and pick up your new ones from your seller's estate agent.

You can use our Mortgage Fees Calculator to gauge what you can expect to pay out when buying/selling a property including solicitor's fees.

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