First Time Buyer: Guide to Conveyancing

Table of Contents

Save thousands with our 95% success rate
compared to a 39.8%* failure rate nationally.

* according to OnTheMarket data (OTM is one of the top 3 UK property portals alongside Rightmove and Zoopla)

First Time Buyer: Guide to Conveyancing

Purchasing your first home constitutes a major life milestone. However, as an initial property buyer, the legal conveyancing component often appears bewildering. This extensive guide breaks down key conveyancing basics to alleviate first time buyer stress. Learn essential tenure and pricing knowledge plus crucial questions to ask conveyancers to assure your purchase completes swiftly and securely.


Table of Contents

  1. Conveyancing Definition & Role
  2. Freehold vs Leasehold: Key Differences
  3. The Conveyancing Process Step-By-Step
  4. How Long Does Conveyancing Take?
  5. Conveyancer Options: Solicitors vs Licensed Conveyancers
  6. Online Conveyancers vs High Street Firms
  7. Conveyancing Fees Breakdown
  8. 5 Questions To Ask Conveyancers
  9. Ensuring Smooth Conveyancing
  10. Conclusion
  11. FAQs


Conveyancing Definition & Role

Firstly, what constitutes conveyancing? In essence, it refers to the legal transfer of property ownership from the seller to the buyer. This includes vital administrative tasks like the below:

  • – Carrying out legal ownership searches
  • – Checking planning permissions
  • – Confirming fixture fittings being included
  • – Preparing sales contracts
  • – Liaising between estate agents, lenders and buyers
  • – Submitting paperwork to Land Registry

Without these procedural gears turning seamlessly behind the scenes, thousands of sales collapse annually. So smooth conveyancing proves instrumental when buying houses as a first time buyer.

While estate agents market properties plus lenders provide mortgages, conveyancers handle the gritty legal necessities to officially shift ownership from seller to buyer.


Freehold vs Leasehold: Key Differences

Understanding freehold vs leasehold distinctions also helps navigate initial conveyancing complexities.

Freehold means outright ownership of the home and land it stands on. This contrast with leasehold meaning purchasing rights to live in the property for an agreed period whilst the land itself remains owned by a third party.

Freehold Leasehold
Own land and property indefinitely Granted fixed term occupation rights
Fully your asset to sell or modify Land itself still owned by freeholder
No ongoing ground rent payments Usually pay annual ground rent to freeholder
Full control over property exterior/interior More restrictions over modification permissions

So while freeholds enable greatest freedoms, leaseholds require additional administrative intricacies that first time conveyancing should unravel.

The Conveyancing Process Step-By-Step

Whilst varyingly slightly between purchases and sales, core conveyancing stages comprise:

Searches – Conveyancer inspects legal ownership, planning permissions plus local authority data to flag risks

Contracts – Sales agreement confirming fixtures, fittings and responsibilities

Mortgage – Liaising with lender to secure loan approvals if buying

Transfer deed – Legal document transferring property ownership

Exchange – The point both parties legally commit to the transaction

Completion – Day ownership switches from seller to buyer upon full payment

Understand these key checkpoints to track transaction progression satisfactorily.


How Long Does Conveyancing Take?

Another common first time buyer question regards conveyancing duration. The average conveyancing process takes around 20 weeks to complete. However, with AVRillo, it takes approximately 8 to 10 weeks, but we are most awarded conveyancing firm  

Be aware delays frequently happen awaiting local authority paperwork like:

  • – Search outcomes
  • – Planning permissions
  • – Building regulation sign offs

Proactivity chasing councils curbs delays. Experienced conveyancers also issue preliminary notices ahead minimising response lags once searches formally commence. This accelerates completion times.


Conveyancer Options: Solicitors vs Licensed Conveyancers

First Time Buyer

First home buyers also get confused between solicitor and licensed conveyancer terminology. Solicitors complete relevant legal practice law degrees plus a year’s training contract before specialising if desired. They fall under Solicitors Regulation Authority governance.

Whereas licensed conveyancers undergo bespoke academic courses focusing specifically on property before a 12 month training period. The Council of Licensed Conveyancers regulates their practices instead.

In essence, solicitors study broader legal principles making them more generalist. Licensed conveyancers gain targeted property training and usually cost less. However, both meet requisite standards to perform sound conveyancing.

Some key considerations when choosing between the two:

Solicitors Licensed Conveyancers
Typically cost more Usually price competitively
Wider general legal knowledge Specialised property transaction expertise
Potentially juggling multiple legal fields Focused conveyancing-only model
Governed by Solicitors Regulation Authority Regulated by Council of Licensed Conveyancers instead

Online Conveyancers vs High Street Firms

Today’s tech-powered world increasingly enables conducting conveyancing digitally via online platforms. These online conveyancers allow submitting documents, communicating and tracking sales progression remotely without traditional visits to physical offices.

Benefits this route offers first timers include:

Convenience – Manage transactions via laptop without trips to offices

Transparency – Clear online quotes rather than vague estimates

Communication – Message conveyancers through instant chat functions

Value – Reduced overheads reflects in lower average fees

However, risks around online-only conveyancers centre on potential corner-cutting from boosting case volumes. Opting for hybrid conveyancers blending human and digital elements optimises assurance. Leading firm AVRillo typifies this balance. Our 500 award-winning conveyancing experts support seamless user-friendly online portals capturing upstream infrastructure edges missing from basic online counterparts.

According to customers:

“Buying our first home was made so easy and simple with AVRillo’s help. We were always kept up to date with the info and the process was smooth. Couldn’t have asked for better communication and we completed on time!! Would definitely recommend to anyone purchasing!”

So hybrid models promote ideal user experiences.


Conveyancing Fees Breakdown

As a first purchase planner, understanding average conveyancing costs also helps budgeting. Conveyancing fees primarily comprise:

– Basic legal fee – Charged by conveyancer for handling legal aspects smoothly. Usually £800-£1000.

– Search fees – Paid to local authorities releasing property data. Approximately £250-£300.

– Additional fees – Further charges if complexities manifest necessitating extra legal work. These vary case-by-case.

The costs for this process usually range between £850 and £1750. Additional fees apply dealing with unexpected complexities.

Upfront transparency around pricing stands paramount when appointing conveyancers. Avoid those refusing to detail full costs. AVRillo excels here issuing clear online quotes at the start allowing customers to only pay for services utilised. This aids financial clarity assisting first time buyer tremendously.


5 Questions To Ask Conveyancers

When hunting conveyancers as a first timer, get clear answers regarding:

1. Are you conveyancing specialists or handling other legal work too?

Focused specialists develop deeper field expertise which breeds efficiency.

2. What additional qualifications and awards do you hold demonstrating excellence?

Verify any accolades evidencing outstanding customer service and innovation.

3. How does my quoted conveyancing fee break down?

Assess transparency on pricing components avoiding nasty surprises.

4. How quickly have you completed similar transactions recently?

Provides indication of speed assurance you can expect.

5. What communication modes and frequency do you offer clients?

Confirms if you can expect SMS/emails/calls plus response times for your queries.

Analysing these responses roots out customer-centric reliable conveyancers committed to guiding first time buyer through unfamiliar process hurdles.

Ensuring Smooth Conveyancing

To assure your first property purchase conveyancing flows efficiently:

– Gather documents ASAP – The faster you supply ID certificates, pay slips and paperwork demonstrating deposit sources, the quicker vital checks proceed.

– Stay Responsive -Promptly answer conveyancer queries chasing missing details. Even small delays replying accumulate into frustrating bottlenecks.

– Communicate Changes – Inform conveyancer about any employment, income or mortgage shifts which could impact transaction viability.

Adopting a highly collaborative approach keeps cases progressing optimally.


According to customers:

“AVRillo solicitors was recommended to us by the estate agents we bought from and we are so glad we went with them. As first time buyers it can be quite daunting buying your first home but AVRillo have been amasing with all their help.”



In conclusion, AVRillo is not just a conveyancing firm; we are your dedicated partner in the journey to homeownership. With our unmatched expertise, transparent pricing, and unwavering commitment to your success, AVRillo transforms the traditionally lengthy and complex conveyancing process into a seamless and efficient experience.

We are not just another law firm; we are specialists, like a heart surgeon in the world of law. AVRillo’s specialisation in conveyancing means we’ve encountered and resolved thousands of diverse issues, benefiting both sellers and buyers. Our success rate of 95% stands as a testament to their excellence, far surpassing the 39.8% average failure rate elsewhere.

AVRillo’s founders, the Piccirillo brothers, specialist solicitors and estate agents, have always put “People Over Profit.” Their mission is clear: prioritise client needs over profits, offer top conveyancers, innovate conveyancing procedures, and employ award-winning technology to ensure almost every client’s move is a success.

So, why choose AVRillo? Because we offer more than just conveyancing; we offer peace of mind. With a 60-day free trial and a 100% money-back guarantee, AVRillo’s quality assurance is unparalleled. We’ve received industry recognition with awards from The Sunday Times and thousands of positive Google and Trustpilot reviews. Our advanced communication portal keeps you informed every step of the way, and our efficiency and risk management ensure a faster, smoother transaction.

Don’t let the complexities of property transactions overwhelm you. Choose AVRillo, the conveyancing experts who prioritise your interests, ensure transparent pricing, and deliver unparalleled success. Make your first property purchase a success with AVRillo!


Also See: 

  1. What is conveyancing? 
  2. What is staircasing in conveyancing? 
  3. What is residential conveyancing? 
  4. What is a licensed conveyancer? 
  5. What searches do conveyancers do? 



What percentage of transactions face delays or collapse?

Industry data shows 39% of sales fall through annually due to conveyancing delays or unresolved issues. However, specialist conveyancers like AVRillo achieve over 95% completion rates.

How much should I budget for conveyancer fees as a first time buyer?

Allow between £1000-£1300 for typical costs. Additional fees depend on any complexities. Clear quotes assist financial planning like those AVRillo provides.

What qualification levels should conveyancers hold?

Well-regarded conveyancers boast industry recognised qualifications demonstrating their expertise pedigree. All AVRillo conveyancers bring such concentrated credentials.

You’re 8x times more likely to move with us than with other conveyancers.