Common conveyancing 'myths' when selling your home - busted!

By Shelby Powell

We’ve put together some common conveyancing misconceptions about selling your home to help guide you through the process. 

Myth #1: “You cannot instruct a solicitor until you have found a buyer”

Not true. A prudent seller will approach their solicitor or conveyancer as soon as the property is placed on the market. This means that the legal title to your house can be investigated and the contract paperwork can be prepared without delay so that a complete contract pack is ready to be issued as soon as a buyer is found. You can also complete the standard property forms early too to save time. 

We advise starting as early as possible and this is particularly useful if you have a leasehold property or flat to sell. There are often delays when your solicitor or conveyancer applies for information from the Landlord or their managing agents. Finally your solicitor can also make sure you have the appropriate completed paperwork in place including such things as an up to date EPC, boiler service record, planning permissions and building regulations certificate (such as FENSA certificate for any replacement windows). 

Myth #2: “There will always be a two week gap between exchange and completion which must be a Friday”

Not true. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to wait two weeks between exchange (when you legally agree to sell) and completion (i.e. the day you move house). You can negotiate any completion date with your buyer, as long as it is a working week day. When you are in a position to exchange contracts your solicitor will ask you what completion date has been agreed, and this date will be inserted into the contract. Exchanging contracts and completing on the same day (simultaneous exchange and completion) is possible particularly when there is an empty property or no chain. 

Myth #3: “We can defer payment of Stamp Duty” 

Not true. The payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax on a property purchase cannot be deferred. It must be paid to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) within 14 days of the completion of the transaction. Generally your solicitor will do this on your behalf. 
You may find yourself in the situation where you have not been able to sell your main residence and have bought a new home in the interim. This type of transaction will attract a higher rate of stamp duty as you have effectively purchased a second home, but if you are able to sell your first home within 3 years, you can claim back the amount of the higher rate stamp duty from HMRC. 

Myth #4: “The cheapest conveyancing quote is the best!”

Not true. At Christopher Davidson Solicitors LLP we believe in value for money rather than cheapest. We don't do ‘cut-price conveyancing’ because our experience is that this often means a cut-price service and we don't cut corners with the service we provide to you. We believe, however, that for the prompt personal attention you and your matter will receive by local experts, you won't find better value.

To find out more about how Christopher Davidson Solicitors LLP can help you with Residential Conveyancing Services please call us on 01242 581481 or email