Quick guide to buying and selling legals


Checklist provided by 


The Society of Licensed Conveyancers

Why we work with the SLC


The worst way to choose a legal company is based on headline price, so make sure you check your quote includes ALL of the costs.
Ideally don’t go on holiday during the legals of buying and selling – all sorts of things can happen at this time.
If you are sure you are selling, consider instructing a legal company when the property goes up for sale. This should save time in the process and let you concentrate on your purchase transaction if you have one.
  Be wary of companies recommended by mortgage providers, developers or property investment companies, secure additional quotes first as sometimes they can be overrun with work.
  If you are buying a buy to let, a new build or a leasehold property, make sure the legal company you use has specialist knowledge of this type of work.
  Check the following three things are offered by your legal/conveyancing company:
  1. Offer fixed fee, no sale, no fee conveyancing
  2. Make sure they are willing to meet you face to face
  3. Are easy to call or email, ideally not just office hours.
  If you receive quotes, check they include ALL of the following so you can compare them:
  1. Legal fees
  2. Searches
  3. Bank or money transfer fees
  4. Stamp duty
  5. VAT charged
Other charges might include identification fees, mortgage redemption or extra costs for dealing with leasehold properties.
Once you have chosen a company, keep their contact details to hand as you will need them as soon as your offer is accepted.
Have your identity details ready such as passport/driving licence and last three months’ utility bills to give/post recorded to instruct the legal company.
Check you have their bank details to transfer money into prior to exchanging.
If buying, alert the legal company to any queries you have e.g. about parking and send a copy of your independent survey.
When selling, fill in your property information & fixtures and fitting forms carefully and quickly to get them back by return to avoid delays.
Check the property prices agreed on the selling and buying contracts are correct.
Check what it would cost to include a will to ensure your property, or your share of the property goes to the person/people you want it to.


All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner OBE, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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