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Avery Walters Ellis Solicitors

27 & 41 Harrogate Road




Tel: 0113 2007480 or

      0113 2284000

Alternatively, use our contact form.



Residential Conveyancing Specialists

Every year thousands of people buy and sell properties, which is often the single most expensive purchase of their lives.

Whether you are buying for investment or simply buying or selling your own home, Avery Walters offer a high quality cost effective conveyancing service with straightforward advice.

Avery Walters take the stress out of buying and selling property. You choose the property, agree the sale price, instruct us and we'll do the rest.

Call us on 0113 228 4000 or 0113 2007480 or use the online form and we'll call you back. Our conveyancing team has over 70 years experience of buying and selling houses in Leeds and across the country

Procedure when buying a property?

There are five main stages of conveyancing for a buyer:

  1. Pre-contractual stage
  2. Exchange of contracts
  3. Between exchange and completion
  4. Completion
  5. After completion


Buying a home typically takes around two to three months.

Detailed look at each step


1. Pre-contractual stage

Once you’ve made an offer, legal documents are prepared to transfer ownership from the seller to you.

The seller draws up a contract – we will then negotiate its terms for you.

The contract details include:

  • the selling price
  • the property’s boundaries
  • what fixtures and fittings, like carpets, are included
  • legal restrictions or rights on the property
  • planning restrictions
  • a description of the services to the property, for example drainage and gas
  • the date for completing the purchase (called ‘completion’)

Before you sign and exchange the contract, we will find out as much as possible about the property. The seller doesn’t have to voluntarily tell you about problems with the property or neighbourhood. The seller should, however, reply truthfully to enquiries. We will then carry out a number of searches and checks including:

  • checking the ‘title’ – the legal document that proves the seller’s ownership
  • asking the local authority about planned works, like roadworks or new developments, that might affect the property
  • enquiries to the seller’s solicitor or licensed conveyancer about the contract details

There may be other searches depending on the type of property. For example, if your property is in an area where there have been mines, we will need to do a mining check.

You are usually responsible for insuring the property as soon as contracts are exchanged.

You should get a property survey before the exchange of contracts, to uncover any problems with the building.

If you’re using a mortgage, you’ll need a formal mortgage offer from your lender before you sign the contract. The lender will send documents for you or your solicitor or conveyancer to sign. 

2. Exchange of contracts

When the buyer and seller are happy with the contract, they sign final copies and send them to each other. This is called the exchange of contracts.

Once contracts are exchanged, the agreement to sell and buy is legally binding and usually neither party can pull out without paying compensation.

Buyers usually pay the seller a deposit (normally ten per cent of the purchase price) at the exchange of contracts stage. 

3. Between exchange and completion

There are often a few further checks to be done at this stage. We will deal with these for you and will:

  • prepare the legal documents to transfer ownership
  • check mortgage documents
  • make sure they have all the necessary funds, including their own fees
  • arrange for the transfer of funds to the seller
  • do final Land Registry checks
  • check all agreed tasks set out in the contract have been done
  • check that fixtures and fittings have been left as agreed 

4. Completion

Once all matters between exchange and completion are dealt with, the money for the property is transferred from buyer to seller. The sale is now completed and the keys are handed over. The property now belongs to the buyer.

At this stage, you will:

  • receive the keys on the agreed date
  • pay the seller the remainder of the property cost via us
  • receive the legal documents that prove ownership 

5. After completion

At this stage, we will need to:

  • register the change of ownership with Land Registry
  • pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty)

You’ll also need to tell your insurers that completion has taken place.