The Ultimate New Build Conveyancing Guide

The Complete 2023 Edition

new build conveyancing

As the UK housing market continues to evolve, new build homes are becoming an increasingly popular choice for many homebuyers. So, if you’re considering buying a new build home in the UK, you’re not alone. With the increasing demand for modern, energy-efficient homes and customisable living spaces, many homebuyers are opting for new builds. And fair enough!

Regardless of the type of home you’re planning to buy, you’re going to need to do some conveyancing. Not to worry, though! We’ve got your back. 😉

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of new build conveyancing, helping you navigate this essential part of the property purchasing process. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced property guru, our friendly guide will give you the information and confidence you need to make your new build home journey a smooth one.

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What is conveyancing?

conveyancing guide new build

If you’ve been searching for a new home, you’ve probably come across the term “conveyancing”. But what exactly does conveyancing mean

In a nutshell, conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property ownership from one person to another. It’s a crucial part of buying or selling a home, ensuring everything is done by the book and everyone’s rights are protected. 🏠

Conveyancing involves a range of tasks, such as preparing, reviewing, and signing legal documents, conducting necessary searches, and ensuring all financial obligations are met. There are two main types of conveyancing: residential and commercial. In this guide, we’ll focus on residential conveyancing, which deals with the purchase and sale of homes, like the new build you’ve got your eye on!

So, whether you’re moving up the property ladder or just starting your journey, it’s essential to understand the conveyancing process and how it affects your home purchase. Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into the world of new build conveyancing and explore what sets it apart from any other type.

What Does New Build Conveyancing Mean?

So, you’re probably wondering how new build conveyancing is different from the regular conveyancing process. Great question! 🤔 

New build conveyancing is a specialised area of conveyancing that deals specifically with newly constructed properties. Although it shares similarities with the conveyancing process for older or pre-owned properties, it also comes with its own set of unique challenges and considerations.

For instance, new build properties often have stricter timelines to follow, as developers want to keep the construction and sales process moving along efficiently. Additionally, you might come across various developer incentives and warranties that can add extra layers of complexity to your home purchase.

But worry not! We’re here to help you understand the ins and outs of new build conveyancing so that you can navigate this exciting journey with confidence. Let’s take a closer look at how new build conveyancing works and the steps you’ll need to take when buying your dream home. 🚀

How Does New Build Conveyancing Work?

Now that you know what new build conveyancing is, let’s dive deeper into how the process actually works. While each property transaction can vary, there are some common stages that you’ll typically encounter when buying a new build home. 

Once you’ve decided on a new build home that you like, you’ve pretty much kicked off the process. We’ve broken these down into easy-to-understand steps:

Step 1: Reservation

First things first, you’ll need to reserve your new build property by paying a reservation fee. This fee ensures the property is taken off the market and secured for you for a specific period, usually around 28 days. Make sure to mark your calendar, as you’ll need to exchange contracts before the reservation period ends!

On the other hand, licensed conveyancers are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) and hold a professional qualification in property law and conveyancing.

Step 2: Instructing a conveyancing solicitor

Once you’ve reserved your property, it’s time to choose a conveyancing solicitor to represent your interests and guide you through the legal process. Look for a solicitor with experience in new build conveyancing to ensure they’re familiar with the unique aspects of these transactions.

Step 3: Conducting searches and enquiries

Your solicitor will carry out a series of searches and enquiries to gather essential information about the property. This may include local authority searches, environmental searches, and drainage and water searches, among others. They’ll also review the property’s title and planning permissions to ensure there are no hidden surprises.

Step 4: Reviewing contracts and warranties

Your solicitor will carefully review the contracts, warranties, and any developer incentives provided by the builder. They’ll make sure everything is in order and negotiate any necessary amendments to protect your interests.

Step 5: Exchange of contracts

Once the contracts are reviewed and all conditions are met, you’ll sign and exchange them with the developer. This stage is crucial, as it’s when you become legally committed to the purchase. You’ll also need to pay a deposit, which is usually around 10% of the property’s value.

Step 6: Mortgage and insurance

If you’re using a mortgage to finance your new build home, you’ll need to ensure your lender is ready to release the funds. It’s also a good idea to arrange insurance for your new property at this point, as you’ll be responsible for it once contracts are exchanged.

Step 7: Completion

The big day has arrived — Completion Day! Once the property is built and ready for occupancy, you’ll pay the remaining balance, and your solicitor will register the property in your name at the Land Registry. Now it’s time to pick up the keys and start enjoying your brand-new home. 🎉

6 Reasons Why You Need a Conveyancing Solicitor

You might be wondering if it’s really necessary to find a conveyancing solicitor when buying a new build home. The answer is a resounding yes! 

A knowledgeable and experienced conveyancing solicitor is crucial for guiding you through the complex process and ensuring a smooth transaction. Here are six reasons why you need a conveyancing solicitor on your side:

1. Navigating the complex legal process

Conveyancing involves a myriad of legal documents, searches, and enquiries. A conveyancing solicitor will expertly navigate this process on your behalf, ensuring that all necessary paperwork is completed accurately and on time. They’ll also interpret any legal jargon and keep you informed every step of the way so you have a clear understanding of your obligations and rights.

2. Ensuring the protection of your interests

Your conveyancing solicitor will act as your advocate, making sure your interests are protected throughout the transaction. This includes reviewing contracts, negotiating amendments on your behalf, and ensuring that any developer incentives, warranties, or planning permissions are favourable to you. They’ll also verify that there are no hidden surprises or potential issues that could impact your enjoyment of the property.

3. Handling communication with developers and other parties

Buying a new build property means dealing with developers, lenders, and other parties involved in the transaction. Your solicitor will handle these communications on your behalf, keeping you informed of any developments, ensuring your voice is heard, and coordinating efforts to keep the process moving along smoothly.

4. Reviewing contracts and warranties

A skilled conveyancing solicitor will be able to spot potential problems, such as planning permission issues, restrictive covenants, or title defects, before they become deal-breakers. They’ll work proactively to resolve any issues that arise, liaising with the relevant parties and providing you with practical solutions to save you time, stress, and potentially costly disputes.

5. Identifying and resolving potential issues

New build properties often come with additional legal obligations, such as the requirement to comply with building regulations, environmental standards, and warranty schemes like the NHBC Buildmark or Premier Guarantee. Your solicitor will make sure you’re aware of these obligations, help you meet them, and verify that the developer has fulfilled their responsibilities.

Or you might have had a personal recommendation given to you by a trusted family member or a friend, so you might want to go with them instead!

6. Providing peace of mind during the property purchase process

New build properties often come with additional legal obligations, such as the requirement to comply with building regulations, environmental standards, and warranty schemes like the NHBC Buildmark or Premier Guarantee. Your solicitor will make sure you’re aware of these obligations, help you meet them, and verify that the developer has fulfilled their responsibilities.

Or you might have had a personal recommendation given to you by a trusted family member or a friend, so you might want to go with them instead!


How long does new build conveyancing take?

The conveyancing process for a new build property can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on factors such as the developer’s construction schedule, the complexity of the transaction, and the efficiency of your conveyancing solicitor. Typically, new-build conveyancing can take longer than the process for an existing property due to the additional steps involved.

How much does it cost?

The cost of new-build conveyancing can vary depending on the complexity of the transaction, the solicitor’s fees, and any additional searches or enquiries required. Generally, new-build conveyancing fees can range from £1,000 to £2,000 or more. It’s essential to get a detailed quote from your conveyancing solicitor, so you know exactly what’s included in the cost.

What should I look for in a conveyancing solicitor?

When choosing a conveyancing solicitor for your new build property, look for someone with experience in new build conveyancing, a solid reputation, and clear communication skills. It’s also important to consider their fees, availability, and the level of support they provide throughout the process. Don’t be afraid to shop around and ask for recommendations from friends, family, or your estate agent.

Can I do new build conveyancing without a solicitor?

While it’s technically possible to handle new-build conveyancing without a solicitor, it’s generally not recommended. New build conveyancing is a complex process with unique challenges, and having a knowledgeable and experienced conveyancing solicitor on your side can save you time, stress, and potential legal issues down the road. In addition, many mortgage lenders require you to have a solicitor to ensure the legal process is completed accurately and professionally.

What happens if I miss the completion deadline?

If you miss the completion deadline for your new build home, there could be several consequences. The developer may impose penalty fees, or in some cases, they might have the right to terminate the contract and keep your deposit. It’s essential to stay in close communication with your conveyancing solicitor and work diligently to meet all deadlines to avoid these risks. If you’re concerned about meeting a deadline, discuss the situation with your solicitor to explore possible solutions and ensure a successful outcome.

The Bottom Line

And there you have it – the Ultimate New Build Conveyancing Guide! We hope this comprehensive guide has provided you with valuable insights and the confidence to navigate the conveyancing process for your new build home. Remember, having a skilled and experienced conveyancing solicitor on your side is crucial for ensuring a smooth and successful property transaction.

As you embark on this exciting journey and get ready to move into your dream home, don’t forget to update your address with all relevant companies and government organisations. This includes utility providers, banks, the electoral roll, and more. A little organisation goes a long way in making your move as stress-free as possible!

We wish you the best of luck on your new build home adventure, and we’re confident that with the right support and knowledge, you’ll soon be settling into your beautiful new home. Happy moving! 📦🚚


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