The Taylor&Emmet Blog

Getting to grips with the conveyancing process…

First Time Buyers homeGET IT RIGHT FIRST TIME: We’re kicking off the new year with a new face in our property hot seat. Sarah is here to help first time buyers get to grips with the conveyancing process…

 How long will my conveyancing take?

This is probably the most common question I am asked by clients, but it is impossible to answer!

Buyers and sellers often agree a date on which they want to move between themselves, but that doesn’t mean it is achievable. Every conveyancing case is different and the problem with setting a timescale is there are too many factors outside your control or mine to make it happen.

Each situation can vary substantially – one transaction may go through in less than a month, whereas another may take seven months, or longer depending on the issues involved.

Why do you need to see my identification documents?

Solicitors are strictly regulated by the Proceeds of Crime Act for money laundering purposes.

Before a case can begin, we have an obligation to take reasonable action to ensure the purpose of the transaction is not to launder money. The penalties for firms that do not take due care can be as harsh as imprisonment.

This is why we ask you to supply one form of photo identification and some evidence that you reside at the property you have given us as your correspondence address.

Will I qualify for First Time Buyers’ Stamp Duty Tax Relief?

In November last year, the chancellor removed much of the burden of stamp duty from first time buyers.

If you are purchasing a property for £300,000 or less and it will be your main residence, there is now no stamp duty to pay. For homes worth up to £500,000, stamp duty is payable at 5% on the amount over £300,000.

This relief covers all residential properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as long as they are single dwellings.

In order to qualify as a first time buyer, you must not have had an interest in another home or equivalent land situated anywhere in the country, either alone or with others. If there is more than one purchaser, they must be individuals, not a company and all meet these conditions.

If you are a first time buyer with a question about moving home, our residential property expert, Sarah Gaunt, would love to hear from you. Email:



Taylor&Emmet LLP is one of the leading and most successful law firms in the South Yorkshire region, a position it has held for nearly 150 years. This success has been achieved by delivering the highest quality legal advice to business and private clients, many of whom have remained with the firm for generations.

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