Residential Conveyancing FAQs
At Blunts, we pride ourselves on making it our priority to ensure your property move is as
smooth as possible.
Q. How long will it take?
This depends on several factors (sometimes out of our control) but the average time for many
transactions with no delays or complications will normally take around 10 – 12 weeks.
Q. What I.D. do I need to provide?
Identification is needed to complete any property transaction. This is to comply with Money
Laundering Regulations, which stipulate that we must obtain evidence of a client’s identity to
protect against mortgage fraud and money laundering. We will need to see a current signed
passport in order to carry out electronic ID verification confirming full name and date of birth AND
another document which verifies name and address. This has to have been issued within the last 3
months. If original documents are not being supplied directly to us, then the copies must be certified by a
professional whose identity can be verified from a professional register.
Q. What is gazumping?
This is where a seller accepts a higher bid from another buyer prior to exchanging contracts.
There is little that can be done unfortunately because the matter will only become legally
binding once exchange of contracts has taken place.
Q. Why do I need a Local Search?
A Local Search is a set of enquiries that are raised with the local council. The enquiries
relate to the property itself. For example, it could show you that the extension which has
added a lot of value to the property, has been built without the adequate planning
permission or building regulations approval and the Council want it to be removed. Or it
could show you that the road is not adopted and therefore may become the responsibility
of the nearby householders. By carrying out the search you can find out lots of information
about the property before you become committed to buy.
Q. What is the difference between a Leasehold and Freehold Property?
Freehold is when you own the property and the land on which it is situated.
Leasehold means that you own the property but the land on which the property is built is
owned by the freeholder. You have the right to occupy the property for as long as the lease
Leasehold ownership of a flat, is simply a long tenancy, the right to occupy and use of the
flat for a long period of time – the ‘term’ of the lease. The flat can be bought and sold during
The ownership of a flat usually relates to everything within the four walls of the flat and
excludes the external and structural walls. The exterior, the structure and common parts of
the building + the land it stands on are owned by the freeholder (the landlord) who is usually
responsible for the upkeep, maintenance and repair of these.
Q. Should I have a survey?
If you are getting a mortgage your Lender will carry out a mortgage valuation of the property, but
this is for their own benefit. We would recommend it is always sensible to obtain your own
Q. What is the difference between exchange and completion?
An exchange is when the buyer and seller enter into a legally binding agreement to buy and sell
on a set date. Once an exchange has taken place, both parties are committed to the
sale/purchase, and cannot pull out of the transaction without legal penalties. The buyer must pay
a deposit on exchange of contracts, usually 10%. Completion refers to the day on which all
payments have been made/received, that the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer;
the day that you get your keys to your new home.
Q. When can I collect the keys to my new property?
You will be able to collect your keys once completion has taken place. If there is an Estate Agent
involved, you can usually collect these from the Agents, or it is possible that the keys will be
handed to you directly by the Seller. Your conveyancer will let you know on the day of
completion as soon as you can collect the keys. Usually this is around 2pm on completion day.