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Solicitor for Buying a House

Martha Lott

Written by

27th Jul 2022 (Last updated on 24th Nov 2022) 8 minute read

There are many things you have to consider when buying a new home, especially if you are a first-time buyer. One of the most important decisions is choosing a solicitor or conveyancer to guide you through the conveyancing process.

However, finding a solicitor can be a challenge if you have never gone through the process before. This is why Compare My Move has compiled this guide on everything you need to know about hiring a solicitor for buying a property. We've also included the top 10 rated solicitors for buying a house.

This article will cover the following:
  1. Top 10 Solicitors For Buying a House
  2. Do you Need a Solicitor to Buy a House?
  3. How to Find a Solicitor to Buy a House
  4. Do you Need to Hire a Local Solicitor?
  5. When Should you Look to Hire a Solicitor?
  6. What Does a Solicitor do During the House Buying Process?
  7. How Much Does a Solicitor Charge When Buying a House?
  8. Does my Solicitor Pay the Stamp Duty?
  9. How Long Does it Take?
  10. Finding a Solicitor
Solicitors for Buying a House

The table below displays our top 10 best solicitors for buying a house.

RankingConveyancerBased

1

Bishopsgate Law

London, Hertfordshire, Northampton

2

My Home Move Conveyancing

Leicester

3

Juno Property Lawyers

Online - UK wide

4

Attwells

Colchester, Ipswich, and North London,

5

Alexander Grace Law

Burnley

6

GD Property Solicitors

Manchester

7

Lanarkshire Law Practice

Scotland

8

Muve Conveyancers

UK wide
9
Spencer Lockwood Solicitors
East London, Romford
10

Mancini Legal Limited

Horsham, Haywards Heath, and Crawley


Top 10 Solicitors For Buying a House

Below are our top 10 best solicitors for buying a house.

1. Bishopsgate Law

A partner since November 2018, Bishopsgate Law are our top-rated solicitor for buying a house. Regulated by the SRA and accredited by the Law Society, they hold a 5-star rating with Compare My Move reviews. They have offices in London and Hertfordshire and pride themselves on having the systems and talent of a city firm, without being overpriced and impersonal.

Bishopsgate Law


2. My Home Move Conveyancing

Another 5-star solicitor for buying a house is My Home Move Conveyancing. Regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, My Home Move Conveyancing are based in Leicester and offer their services across many areas of the UK.

My Home Move Conveyancing


3. Juno Property Lawyers

Juno Property Lawyers hold a 5 star review rating with Compare My Move and can help when you’re buying a house. They pride themselves on their fully remote online conveyancing service and offer their conveyancing services across all parts of the UK.

Juno Property Lawyers


4. Attwells Solicitors LLP

With offices in Colchester, Ipswich, and North London, Attwells Solicitors also hold a 5-star rating as one of our best solicitors for buying. A partner since 2020, Attwells Solicitors offer a no move, no fee conveyancing service.

Attwells


5. Alexander Grace Law

Based in Burnley, Alexander Grace Law have been a partner since February 2020. They are rated one of our best solicitors for buying a house and can offer their expert services across many UK locations including London, Cardiff, Leeds and Southampton.

Alexander Grace Law


6. GD Property Solicitors

GD Property Solicitors are another of our 5-star rated buying solicitors. Based in Manchester, GD Property Solicitors have been partnered with Compare My Move since 2019. Regulated by the SRA, they’re here to ensure a smooth conveyancing process for those buying property.

GD Property Solicitors


7. Lanarkshire Law Practice

Regulated by the LSS, Lanarkshire Law Practice can help those buying property across Scotland. They make our top 10 best solicitors for buying with their 5-star Compare My Move rating. They pride themselves on meeting your legal needs efficiently and effectively.

Lanarkshire


8. Muve Conveyancers

Based on their reviews, Muve Conveyancers come in as our 8th best-rated solicitor for buying a house. Regulated by the CLC, Muve Conveyancers offer their conveyancing services for buying a house across England and Wales.

Muve


9. Spencer Lockwood Solicitors

Regulated by the SRA, Spencer Lockwood Solicitors are based in London and have been partnered with Compare My Move since 2018. They go above and beyond to avoid legal jargon and aim to provide an easy and reliable conveyancing service.

Spencer Lockwood


10. Mancini Legal Limited

Offering their legal help to those buying property across Croydon, Guildford, Kingston-upon-Thames and Redhill, Mancini Legal Limited complete our best solicitors for buying. A partner since May 2019, Mancini Legal Limited go the extra mile for every conveyancing case they take on.

Mancini Legal

Do you Need a Solicitor to Buy a House?

It is not the law to hire a solicitor, but it is highly recommended. First time buyers should seriously consider hiring a solicitor or conveyancer. This is because first-time buyers have not been through the house-buying process.

You will need to decide whether you wish to hire a licensed conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor. They provide guidance and advice, assisting you with tasks such as property transactions.

Solicitors and conveyancers are both qualified to assist you with the conveyancing process. However, solicitors are qualified to carry out other legal services outside of conveyancing.

Your solicitor or conveyancer should be regulated by one of the following regulatory bodies:

Bear in mind that solicitors charge higher legal fees because they are more qualified than conveyancers.

How to Find a Solicitor to Buy a House

Finding a conveyancer and solicitor that is best for you will ensure that there are minimal delays. This will provide a smooth experience. Here are some ways to help you find a conveyancing solicitor:

  1. Using Compare My Move to compare solicitors in your local area
  2. Asking friends and family for recommendations
  3. Your estate agents may provide a recommendation, but bear in mind that they may receive a commission
  4. Look at reviews online for local solicitors

Using one or a combination of these methods will help you find a solicitor that is best for your needs and requirements.

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Do you Need to Hire a Local Solicitor?

You don’t have to hire a local solicitor. However, local solicitors have the advantage of knowing the local area well, which can be hugely beneficial and useful in your sale. You may find that a lot of conveyancers and solicitors will work nationwide. This is beneficial as they will have a larger number of sales under their belts.

If you are moving to another area, it may be worth hiring a solicitor local to that area. This is because they may be able to provide information that you may not be aware of yet. However, if you are moving locally, you may already have a breadth of knowledge and feel confident in hiring a solicitor who is not local.

When Should you Look to Hire a Solicitor?

The best time to start your solicitor search is during the property viewing stage. The sooner you find your solicitor, the smoother your moving process will be. When your offer has been accepted, you will be able to instruct your solicitor and they can begin the conveyancing process.

It takes between 8 and 12 weeks to find a solicitor from the point the sale is agreed on. This is why it is better to start the search sooner rather than later. Since your solicitor will be carrying out legal practices, you want to make sure that they are verified and regulated by SRA.

First-time buyers should have an easier time finding a suitable solicitor as they will not be part of a property chain. This is because first-time buyers will not be selling a property. The conveyancing process begins when the offer has been accepted and ends on completion day.

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What Does a Solicitor do During the House Buying Process?

Your solicitor will be responsible for various jobs throughout the conveyancing process. These include, but are not restricted to:

  • Staying in touch with you through the process and updating you on any progress
  • Ensuring that you are provided with all cost data
  • Conducting conveyancing searches
  • Carrying out the exchange of contracts
  • Making various disbursement payments on the buyer’s behalf such as Stamp Duty Land Tax
  • Arranging the completion date
  • Registering the new owners of the property with the Land Registry

This list is not exhaustive. However, there are some additional services that may carry an extra charge. Always check this with your solicitor to ensure that you stay on top of your conveyancing fees.

How Much Does a Solicitor Charge When Buying a House?

A solicitor will charge you their legal fees and the relevant conveyancing disbursements on top. Their legal fee will depend on the value of the property, whether you’re buying freehold or leasehold, and the complexity of the sale. Below are the average solicitor fees for buying a house.

Property ValueFreehold Solicitor FeesLeasehold Solicitor Fees

Up to £100,000

£1,090

£1,270

£100,001 to £200,000

£1,190

£1,370

£200,001 to £300,000

£1,320

£1,490

£300,001 to £400,000

£1,390

£1,560

£400,001 to £500,000

£1,490

£1,650

£500,001 to £600,000

£1,750

£1,860

£600,001 to £700,000

£1,800

£1,960

Average taken from the fees page of 46 Conveyancers from across the UK. 20% VAT is included.

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Does my Solicitor Pay the Stamp Duty?

As previously mentioned, your solicitor will make conveyancing disbursement payments on your behalf. These disbursements include Stamp Duty Land Tax. How much you pay in Stamp Duty is dependent on the value of the property. Here are the Stamp Duty thresholds you should bear in mind:

Portion of House PriceStamp Duty Rate
Up to £250,0000%
£250,001 to £925,0005%
£925,001 to £1.5 million10%
£1.5 million+12%

You can use our Stamp Duty Calculator to find out how much Stamp Duty you will owe.

How Long Does it Take?

The average conveyancing process takes 8-12 weeks. This is the time from the point the sale is agreed upon up until completion day. Every conveyancing case will vary and the total time it takes will depend on a few factors:

  • In a property chain
  • Buying a leasehold
  • Buying with Shared Ownership or Help to Buy
  • The speed of your solicitor
  • If your property survey flags issues
  • Awaiting reply from seller’s solicitor

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Finding a Solicitor

At Compare My Move, we have a network of conveyancing solicitors ready to assist you with your purchase. Whether you are looking for a local solicitor or someone who operates nationwide, our partners are verified and regulated, so you can have peace of mind.

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having guest authored for many property websites, Martha now researches and writes articles for everything moving house related, from remortgages to conveyancing costs.

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