Solicitor for Buying a House

Solicitor for House Purchase

When you are buying a house, it is important to have a solicitor who can help guide you through the process. It's a big investment with a lot of legal paperwork, and you need to know that a good solicitor is looking out for your best interests.

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Do you need a solicitor to buy a house?

It isn’t a legal obligation to hire a solicitor. However, a property purchase has many moving parts and it is rarely a good idea to attempt to do it yourself. An experienced solicitor will handle matters such as title investigations, searches, contracts and Stamp Duty Land Tax, and will liaise with estate agents, mortgage providers, the local authority, the Land Registry and other third parties. Hiring a solicitor not only takes away the hassle, but it also gives you peace of mind that you have identified any hidden legal issues and are getting the best deal out of the purchase.

If you are buying a property with the help of a mortgage, then the lender will usually require you to have a conveyancing solicitor in place.

What’s the legal process for buying a property?

The legal process for buying a property can vary slightly depending on the type of property you are buying, but generally follows this order:

  • Carry out property searches and investigate any issues
  • Check that the seller has good title to sell to you
  • Raise any questions with the seller that need to be answered
  • Report to you on the legal aspects of the purchase, including the mortgage offer
  • Report to your lender
  • Negotiate and exchange the contract
  • Arrange for you to sign the transfer deed and mortgage documents
  • Carry out pre-completion searches to verify the seller’s title has not changed
  • Coordinate the completion of the purchase and deal with the transfer of mortgage funds
  • Complete a Stamp Duty Land Tax return and pay any SDLT triggered by your purchase
  • Register you as the new legal owner with the Land Registry.

As you can see, there are many steps involved in buying a property. It is important to get the advice of an experienced solicitor who can make sure that everything goes smoothly.

What costs are involved with buying a property?

The most obvious cost is the price of the property itself but there are other costs that will need to be taken into account. These costs can include legal fees, surveyor’s fees, mortgage fees, search fees, Land Registry fees and Stamp Duty Land Tax.

Our fixed conveyancing fees cover all the work needed to purchase a freehold property or a leasehold property. We will give you a full breakdown of the costs involved in the purchase at our initial meeting, so you can be sure there will be no hidden charges.

Once we know the value of your property, we are happy to provide you with a bespoke quote, talk you through the process and answer any questions that you might have. Most of this can be done over the telephone and by email, however, if you would like to meet your property lawyer, a face-to-face appointment can be arranged at our Camden or Hampstead Office.

In order to satisfy mandatory money laundering checks, you will need to attend our office so we can certify your documents.

How long will buying a property take?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move into your house will depend on a number of factors including whether you are part of a chain. There are often external factors which can delay the process and often the major issue is that exchange of Contracts cannot take place until all parties in the chain are ready. Obviously, the time it takes will depend on the complexity of the matter and the number of parties involved.

Speak to a Conveyancing Solicitor Today

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you


    What are the stages involved when buying a leasehold property?

    The stages involved in buying a leasehold property will vary according to the circumstances and your property lawyer will advise you of this when all the facts are known to them. We will also be in contact with providing regular updates on the progress of your property purchase.

    Below are the standard stages of buying a leasehold property:

    1. Take your instructions and give you initial advice.
    2. Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact Lender’s solicitors if needed.
    3. Receive and advise on Contract documents.
    4. Carry out searches.
    5. Obtain further planning documentation if required.
    6. Make any necessary enquiries of Seller’s solicitor.
    7. Give you advice on all documents and information received.
    8. Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you.
    9. Send final Contract to you for signature.
    10. Draft Transfer.
    11. Advise you on joint ownership.
    12. Obtain pre-completion searches.
    13. Agree completion date (date from which you own the property).
    14. Exchange Contracts and notify you that this has happened.
    15. Arrange for all monies needed to be received from Lender and you.
    16. Complete purchase.
    17. Deal with payment of Stamp Duty / Land Tax.
    18. Deal with application for registration at the Land Registry.


    • I've recently used Osbornes for my home purchase and an equity transfer. Rachael was fantastic all the way through, keeping me informed and up to speed as to the purchase progress.

      Nicky I, Google Review

    • We hope not to move again for a long time, but when we do we will choose Osbornes for the conveyancing. Thank you.

      Mike B, Trustpilot

    • Buying and selling a house can often be a challenging process, but communication and service I received from Osbornes was second to none. I would recommend them without hesitation - 5 stars

      Michelle B, Trustpilot

    • I have used Osbornes a few times and I’m really happy with the service provided. They provide a very professional, polite and efficient service and I would highly recommend them.

      Sam, Trustpilot

    • Osbornes team was great with the sale of our property, everything went smoothly and very responsive

      Rachel, Trustpilot

    • Osbornes are really thorough, professional & friendly. They were aware of the need for haste in my sale & they did everything they could to achieve the results of completing before the end of the SDLT holiday.

      Laurence H, Trustpilot

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