Top Tips for a Smooth Property Exchange Process

Engage a professional conveyancer or solicitor

One of the first and most important steps in the conveyancing process is to engage a professional conveyancer or solicitor. They will handle all the legal aspects of the transaction, ensuring that all necessary documents are drafted, reviewed, and signed correctly. A competent conveyancer will also conduct thorough searches to uncover any potential issues, such as outstanding debts or disputes, that may affect the property’s title. Their expertise will provide you with peace of mind and protect your interests throughout the entire process.

Understand the contract of sale

The contract of sale is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions of the property transaction. To protect yourself, it is essential to read and understand all the clauses and conditions stated in the contract. Pay close attention to details such as the purchase price, included fixtures and fittings, settlement date, and any special conditions. Seek clarification from your conveyancer or solicitor on any ambiguous or confusing clauses to ensure you are fully aware of your rights and obligations as a buyer or seller.

Communicate effectively and be proactive

Effective communication is key to a successful conveyancing process. Maintain  regular contact with your conveyancer, solicitor, real estate agent, and lender to  stay informed about the progress of the transaction. Promptly respond to any  requests for information or documentation to avoid delays. Being proactive  throughout the process will help identify and address any potential issues early on,  preventing complications later. Clear and open communication ensures that all  parties involved are on the same page, leading to a smoother and more efficient  conveyancing experience. 

 

Purchasing a property, whether as a seasoned buyer or for the first time, can be a  very exciting yet overwhelming experience. For most people, it is one of the biggest  investments they will ever make. Therefore, ensuring that the process runs as  smoothly as possible will not only help to ensure that you have peace of mind but  also that you are not faced with any financially straining delays. 

 

 

Alongside the necessary financial arrangements, several legal and administrative  tasks must be undertaken throughout the conveyancing process. Doing so on your  own, without the guidance of a trusted legal professional, can very easily lead to  expensive mistakes. However, properly researching the process ahead of your  transaction and instructing a professional and reliable conveyancer can significantly  benefit the process. 

 

 

In this article, Bowsers Solicitors dedicated residential property department shares  some ‘top tips’ for you to consider that will help ensure your conveyancing  transaction runs smoothly. 

 

Tip 1: Ask for recommendations

Although, for many people, the most apparent research method is online, we suggest speaking to family and friends about their recommendations, too. That is not to say that you should not read about the firm online, too, but a personal endorsement from someone you trust will yield a better result than Google.

 
It is important to remember that your solicitor will play a pivotal role in your sale or purchase, and you will speak to them several times throughout the transaction. You will save money, time and stress by instructing an experienced conveyancer from the outset.


One of the major advantages of working with a trusted professional is the assurance of clear communication, which greatly contributes to a seamless and successful process.

Tip 2: Always get a survey

The conveyancing process can be costly, and it can be tempting to save on some additional costs where possible. However, it is never advisable to avoid getting a survey. In all cases, knowing precisely what you are getting when you purchase a property is essential.


A property survey is a detailed and comprehensive inspection of a property’s condition carried out by a chartered professional. The survey results will alert the buyer(s) to any defect or structural risks associated with the building.

The type of survey you require will depend on the age and condition of the building:

  • Full Building Survey (Level 3): Also known as a Full Structural Survey. This comprehensive survey thoroughly examines the property’s condition, providing detailed insight into any defects, necessary repairs and maintenance recommendations.
 
  • Home Buyer Survey (Level 2): This survey identifies any urgent or significant issues or defects within the property, offering valuable information for buyers.
 
  • Condition Survey (Level 1): A surface-level survey that primarily assesses the physical condition of the building, providing an overview of its overall condition.

Tip 3: Speak to your solicitor about the property searches

Searches play a critical role in the conveyancing process. Ultimately, they can impact the success of a property sale. Thoroughly reviewing the search results is vital, and it is essential to communicate any concerns or queries to your solicitor. Where necessary, they can request additional information, if needed, from the seller and their solicitor to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the property’s status.

Three main searches will be undertaken during a conveyancing transaction, including:

  • Local Authority Search: The local authority alerts buyers to any issues directly affecting the property, including any legal restrictions the property could face in future. This might include whether the property is listed or is in a tree preservation zone.
 
  • Environmental Search: Gives information about flood risk, subsidence, landslips and information regarding potential land contamination.
 
  • Water and Drainage Search: Establishes whether a public sewer is within the property’s boundaries and where the water mains are located.

Tip 4: Take out indemnity insurance

In the unfortunate eventuality that the seller in your transaction pulls out of the deal before you exchange contracts, you will not have the legal right to recover any costs if you have not taken out an indemnity insurance policy. Indemnity insurance will also protect you from some other key risks associated with a property purchase. To find out more, speaking to your solicitor in the early stages of your matter is essential.
Exchanging contracts is a vital stage of the conveyancing transaction as it legalises the property purchase. Until this point, either you, as the buyer, or the seller can pull out of the deal without incurring significant financial costs or penalties.

Tip 5: Plan ahead for completion

Completion is the point of the conveyancing transaction whereby the money is transferred, and you, as the buyer, can move into your new home.

 
Leading up to this point, your solicitor will have checked that several conditions and requirements have been checked. In addition, they will ensure that all funds and paperwork are to avoid any last-minute issues.

 
To ensure that completion runs smoothly, you should discuss your preferred date (and inconvenient dates) with your solicitor to ensure that all parties, including the seller and their solicitor, are on the same page.