Ten conveyancing terms explained

When you’re new to conveyancing it can seem difficult to get to grips with the terminology involved. Here are some of the most important that you’ll hear property lawyers using when they are either buying or selling property on their client’s behalf.

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Completion date

This is the day upon which the property sale and purchase will be finalised. To receive the keys to the property from the estate agent, the buyer will pay the purchase price balance, and the property deeds will be transferred to them directly, or their solicitor. All the legal work this entails is known as convenyancing.


These are fees that need to be paid during the process, such as VAT and search fees, land registry fees and stamp duty.

Exchange of contracts

This is when the purchase process becomes legally binding. Any withdrawal from the purchase at this point would incur hefty financial penalties – https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-buying/conveyancing-made-easy-for-buyers/.

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Fixtures and fittings form

The seller completes this form to explain which items will be included in the property’s sale, such as fitted furniture, carpets and any appliances.


The freeholder owns the property fully and takes on responsibility for all repairs and maintenance. Conveyancing solicitors London wide offer further advice on these topics. Find out more at https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/conveyancing-solicitors/conveyancing-solicitors-London. A leasehold is where you own the property for a specified period, sometime up to 999 years, after which the property reverts to the freeholder at that time.


The basic survey is the valuation – also known as a homebuyer’s survey – but there are other types of survey available to inspect the property before an offer is made.


When the seller accepts another – higher – offer from a new buyer just before the contract exchange process takes place with the first buyer. Gazundering happens when the buyer demands a price reduction just before the contract exchange.

Local authority search

This is done to find out information that will affect the property, such as new road building or planning applications for local property development

Stamp Duty Land Tax

Buyers pay this to the government when the property transaction completes and it is determined by the property’s value

Title deeds

These documents show who owns the property. When the sale occurs, transfer deeds are sent to the Land Registry to update records.