Residential Conveyancing

Specialist solicitors in the residential conveyancing process.

Moving house can be an enormously stressful experience.  Whether you are buying, selling or both, there are a multitude of potentially frustrating problems involved in the Conveyancing process – dealing with your mortgage lender, your buyer or seller or even the estate agent.

Do I need a survey?  What about a House Buyers Report? How much Stamp Duty will I have to pay?  And there is the added complication of EPCs or Energy Performance Certificates.

Hawkins Ryan specialist conveyancing team is led by solicitor and senior partner Paul Sheerin and comprises three dedicated conveyancers with a wealth of experience to guide you through the minefield and ensure that the whole process is perfectly streamlined. We can advise you about the whole conveyancing process whether you are buying, selling or just re-mortgaging. We can put you in touch with estate agents, surveyors or financial advisers. We have contacts with many of the banks and other lending institutions.

Our conveyancers have experience of acting for house buyers and sellers all over the country and not just in West Norfolk. We offer value for money, attention to detail and a dedicated and caring service.

For more information about what is involved in buying or selling, check out the links below. If you would like us to provide you with a quote, please click here and provide the information requested and one of our conveyancers will get back to you within one working day either by telephone or email, whichever your prefer.


Legal Guides & Articles PDFs

Guide to Conveyancing Searches

The Conveyancing Process Made Simple

Property Purchase Information Sheet


Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a local Search?
A local Search is completed by the Local Authority who will provide us with information such as:-

  • Is the road adopted by the Local Authority?
  • Are there any Planning Permissions or Building Regulations approvals registered?
  • Is the property affected by an Improvement Grant?
  • Are there any Notices or Orders registered against the property?
  • Are there any road or traffic proposals in the area which could affect the enjoyment of the property etc.?

If you are obtaining a mortgage then your Lender will require a Local Search to be carried out. We advise that you should have a local search even if you do not require a mortgage

Why do I need a drainage Search?
To check that the property is connected for foul and surface water and connected for mains water. The search will also reveal whether there are any public or private sewers which run through or under the property which could cause future problems.

Should I have a survey done?
You must consider carefully whether you should have a survey.  Talk to us before you make a decision. If you move into a property and discover any problems it is very unlikely that you will be able to go back to the Seller and ask them to put it right. If you need a mortgage to buy a property then your Lender will insist that either a survey or at least a valuation is carried out. It is not however advisable to rely upon a valuation report alone because the condition of the property is not considered in detail. It is however possible, for an extra fee, to arrange for your valuer to carry out a more detailed inspection called a “Home Buyers Report and Survey” or even a full Structural Survey. Talk to us about whether that is advisable in your case.

Is a written mortgage offer so important?
It is absolutely vital. Before we commit you to buy the property we need written confirmation that your Lender will provide the funds you require and upon what terms. There are often many conditions in the written offer that need to be satisfied before the funds are released, such as work to be carried out to the property, or details of new life insurance policies being supplied.

Do I have to insure the Property?
A property should be insured by you from exchange of contracts. The Seller is under no obligation to insure the property from exchange of contracts. Houses should be insured not necessarily for the price paid but for the anticipated cost of rebuilding which will be estimated by your valuer. This will cover, for example, the cost of rebuilding following a fire, to include cleaning away the damage and architect fees etc. Your Lender may arrange your insurance or alternatively you will need to make your own arrangements as quickly as possible and preferably you should ensure that you can obtain building insurance on the property before exchange of contracts.

How long does the Conveyancing process take?
How long is a piece of string?  How long it will take depends upon a number of issues such as whether you need a mortgage, whether there is a long “chain” and so on.  We can advise you on the basis of the facts applicable to your own case.  Don’t be afraid to ask!

Is a deposit really necessary?
When contracts are exchanged a 10% or less deposit is normally paid to the Seller’s Conveyancer as part payment of the purchase price. If you decide to pull out of the transaction between exchange and completion then the Seller has a right to keep whatever deposit you have paid. If less than 10% they may sue you for the balance up to 10% and then sell the property to someone else.  If you are obtaining a 100% mortgage we may be able to negotiate the amount of your deposit or alternatively arrange short term finance for you.

Does completion have to take place on a working day?
Yes.  When the purchase monies are paid over for the property to the Sellers Conveyancer, the Buyer and their Lender expect to get vacant possession of the property in return, on the same day. At present, the banks only transfer money electronically on a working day, and therefore completion cannot take place at a weekend.

What about keys?
On the completion date we will find out where you can collect your keys. These will probably be with the Estate Agents or from the Sellers direct. If you are selling then you can hand them to the Buyer direct once we inform you we have received the purchase monies from the Buyers or you can hand them in to the Agents and we will release the keys with the Agents upon receipt of the purchase monies.

What is the Land Registry?
The Land Registry is a Government agency which keeps details of all property transfers in England and Wales.  All transfers of property (including some leases) must be registered at the land Registry which maintains an electronic register of all relevant details of any property.  There are, however, still some properties which are not registered.  For more information contact Land Registry On-line.

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