Our nationwide Conveyancing team of 43 staff includes Conveyancers and Conveyancing Solicitors who can help you with all aspects of Conveyancing and property law from remortgaging, buying, selling, investor purchases, transfers of equity, shared ownership, help to buy, Probate sales and lease extensions.
Whether you’re a first-time buyer, you’ve found your perfect home or you’re making an investment, it’s our aim to ensure your property transaction proceeds as quickly and as smoothly as possible.
Our national team of qualified and experienced Conveyancers and Conveyancing Solicitors offer clear and practical advice on all legal aspects of buying or selling a house, a flat or land, and can guide you through the often confusing procedures that need to be followed.
Our service is accredited by the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme which is a recognised quality standard for Conveyancing law firms.
Fixed Fee Conveyancing Quote
Our Conveyancers deliver a high quality fixed fee Conveyancing service without charging you a high fee. Our Conveyancing fees are transparent, there are no hidden costs.
The Conveyancing quote you receive is the Conveyancing fee you pay. If additional work is required due to unforeseen circumstances we will discuss this with you. We won’t add on hidden costs.
At Simpson Millar we recognise the importance of budgeting. Unlike other Conveyancers we do not provide you with a quote and then levy hidden fees after you have instructed. Many firms charge fees such as ‘acting for lender’ if you are buying with a mortgage. This is a legal fee, not a disbursement and can range from £75 to £150.
We do not charge this fee, our quote is transparent which enables you to make an informed choice when instructing a Conveyancing Solicitor.
No Sale No Fee Conveyancing
We operate a ‘No Sale No Fee’ Conveyancing service which means if you do not exchange and complete on your property purchase or property sale we will not charge you a legal fee for the work completed to date. You will only be responsible for the disbursements you have incurred, such as paying for property searches.
Dedicated Conveyancing Experts
Our Conveyancing Solicitors will work closely with you. Each Conveyancer has dedicated support staff, who’ll provide updates on the progress of your transaction.
We pride ourselves on providing a professional and friendly service and our Conveyancers aim to exceed customer expectations with every single client.
‘We’re a dedicated high performing team processing Conveyancing over five of our eleven offices. We’re committed to deliver an excellent service and support you through the Conveyancing process.
Our job is to ensure we support you through your transaction and to help you understand all aspects of your property sale, buy or remortgage. We are not a bulk volume Conveyancing operation, we take time to understand your personal circumstances and tailor our service to your needs.
If you’d like a face to face meeting we can arrange this at one of our offices, or you can instruct us electronically, whichever you prefer.
Our flexible approach means we work to your requirements, not the other way around.
It’s important you can discuss any concerns or queries with the right people. Our Conveyancers are experts, we will not pass your case from one person to the next. Your dedicated Conveyancer will be responsible for your matter with support from an assistant from the start through to the completion date.
Conveyancing can be a minefield, it can be confusing and stressful. We use clear language to ensure you understand each stage before you progress to the next. We do not bombard you with volumes of paper or push you to deadlines. We will work with you, for you and at your pace to your deadlines.
Exchange of Contracts
We aim for certainty in your property purchase or sale which is why we aim on achieving exchange of contracts as quickly as possible. Until contracts are exchanged in England and Wales, either party can still change their minds and pull out of the deal.
It's only once you've exchanged contracts that you are protected and have confidence in completion. This is the outcome we work to.
At Simpson Millar we will support you every step of the way.
My mother recently moved and Helen Martin from Simpson Millar acted for her in both the sale and the purchase. It was not the smoothest of moves, but Helen was a pleasure to deal with. At every point I was confident that she was giving us the best advice to make decisions on and was always at the end of the phone when we needed her. Helen’s calm and reassuring manner put even the most stressful times into perspective. We are very pleased with the work Helen did on our behalf and felt well looked after. I would happily recommend Simpson Millar. Miss S Charles, client
Fast, efficient and smooth conveyancing service all the way through. We were kept up to date during the entire process and were able to get answers to questions as we needed them. Mandeep, client
Can’t thank you enough for the exemplary service you provide during a very long and complex conveyancing period. Sean’s attention to detail and communication have been fantastic. Highly recommend. Jennifer, client
I've used Simpson Millar previously for a sale and a purchase. This time we were selling and our conveyancer was Jamuna and she was excellent. We felt she was prompt, proactive, hard-working and really easy to talk to. I would and already have recommended Simpson Millar to friends. Matthew, client
- How Long Does Conveyancing Take?
There’s no hard and fast timeframe for the conveyancing process, although the period from the issue of contracts to completion is generally between 8 and 10 weeks.
Depending upon the complexity of the transaction, this period can increase. If the timings do change, there are usually good reasons for this and we’ll keep you posted if that happens.
This is when the person you intend to buy a property from, having accepted a verbal offer, accepts a higher offer from somebody else. The term gazumping also applies when a seller decides to increase the asking price just before the exchange of contracts.
Unfortunately, without contracts being exchanged, the seller isn’t obliged to sell to you on the basis of a verbal agreement.
One solution is to ask the seller, as a condition of your offer, to remove the house from the market.
Although this provides some hope that the property will not attract a higher offer, it isn’t binding and the seller can just as easily place the property back on the market.
Gazumping can be extremely upsetting, as well as costly if you’ve already commissioned surveys.
We provide a No Sale, No Fee service, meaning you won’t have to pay the legal fees for the work we undertake if you’ve been gazumped. Any third party costs, such as searches, would still be passed to you for payment as usual.
Similar to gazumping, gazanging applies when the property owner cancels the sale and decides to stay. This is often for economic reasons, such as prices in the area going up and the vendor being tempted to sell a few months later.
Once again, this can be an unpleasant experience and our No Sale, No Fee policy means you won’t be charged our legal fees for any work that has already started.
If you’re applying for a mortgage, then your intended lender will carry out a mortgage valuation. If they decide that the amount you’ll be paying for the property is too much, they may decide not to lend you the funds required or, in some cases, a reduced amount.
When this happens, you can try and renegotiate the offer price with the seller or, if this fails, either cover the shortfall yourself as part of the deposit or seek a mortgage elsewhere.
Of course, the latter approach offers the possibility of the lender valuing the property likewise, leaving you with a choice of whether to continue with the purchase or recommence your house-hunting endeavours from the start.
- Survey problems
A professional property survey is required in order to highlight possible structural problems that might require attention, as well as help establish the true market value of the property.
It will also place you in a stronger negotiating position, allowing you the opportunity to either request the seller gets any issues fixed or reconsiders the asking price, taking the cost of repairs to you into account.
Typical problems that a surveyors report can reveal include damp, wet or dry rot, subsidence, electrical issues or knotweed on the property. Most can be easily remedied, without the sale falling through.
A mortgage lender may insist that any such problems are rectified before agreeing to loan you the funds to buy the house, delaying the process until the issues have been resolved.
- Delayed documents
Obtaining the documents from the various sources, whether it’s the local authority, the other party's Solicitor, mortgage lenders or the Land Registry, can affect the timings of a property transaction.
In these instances, the buyer and sellers can help maintain the momentum of the purchase or sale, as it’s in everyone’s interests that documents are completed and returned to the Solicitors as soon as possible.
- Breaking the housing chain
A housing chain is where the purchase of one or more properties depend upon the sale of others, creating a sequence of properties all requiring the preceding and succeeding purchases to complete successfully on the same day.
The number of variables present in multiple property transactions of this nature can give rise to complexities and issues that may cause stress and delays, with all parties facing the same challenges regarding surveys and documentation, while attempting to meet the same deadlines.
Communication between the Solicitors and their clients is important, in order to keep the transactions moving.
The worst case scenario for a housing chain is if one party pulls out, breaking the chain and causing the entire process to collapse. In such an event, your Conveyancing Solicitor will do everything in their power to keep your transaction alive, but sometimes things happen beyond their control and delays will occur.
- Getting your property to sell quickly
It can be frustrating when your expectations of a quick sale or purchase are thwarted by delays and inactivity.
To ensure your property transaction moves along as quickly as possible, it’s important that you respond to your Solicitor's questions and fill out and return any necessary paperwork when requested.
It’s also important that you have confidence in your Conveyancing Solicitor to look after your best interests. To this end, you should choose a law firm with a dedicated Conveyancing team, who’ll have the resources to deal more quickly with your transaction and keep you informed throughout.
- Changing your mind
Whether you are buying or selling a house, flat or bungalow, you can change your mind before the point at which contracts are exchanged.
If you’ve made or accepted an offer, you aren’t legally bound to follow it through until you and the other party have exchanged contracts.
- Will I have to visit the office?
It isn’t necessary for you to visit our offices at any time during the process, as we can send all documents by email or post and discuss any queries you have by email and phone.
- Negative equity?
Negative equity occurs when the value of your property falls to below that of the mortgage you have secured on it.
An example of this would be if you bought a house and obtained a mortgage for £175,000 but, due to events affecting the housing market, the value of the property later fell to £140,000.
This would leave you having to pay an extra £35,000 over what your house was now worth.
This can lead to problems in selling the house, which, unless you have the savings to cover the shortfall, you wouldn’t be able to do without the permission of your lender.
Even then, there’s every chance they would refuse your request until you have paid back the full cost of the mortgage.
There will also be difficulty remortgaging once your existing deal has runs its course, with most lenders refusing to allow you to switch to another favourable arrangement and instead moving you onto their standard variable rate.
If you’re determined to move while in negative equity, it’s worth talking to your mortgage lender to discuss the situation and, in some cases, find a solution. There are a number of lenders - not many, but some - who’ll offer a deal allowing you to transfer the deficit to a new mortgage.
These often come with additional costs and conditions, such as higher interest rates, early repayment charges on the existing mortgage, and eligibility limited to only those who have to move through necessity.
Making a Will isn’t a legal requirement for buying a house. It is, however, a sensible move when it comes to arranging how your assets should be distributed following your death.
As your home will probably be your biggest asset, ensuring it goes to your chosen Beneficiary or Beneficiaries is important.
If you own your home as part of a joint tenancy (with your spouse or civil partner, for instance), the property will automatically pass to your co-owner, overriding any bequest in a Will.
For more information, see Making a Will.
Simpson Millar is a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London - Euston, London - Fleet Street, London - Teddington, Manchester, Morecambe and Southport.