De-mystifying Conveyancing


We, as legal professionals, can sometimes take for granted that some of the terminology we deal with every day can sound a little confusing and opaque, but we also realise the importance of clear communication throughout the legal process being the cornerstone to a successful and painless transaction.

This is why we’ve compiled a list of terms you will more than likely come across throughout a Conveyancing transaction, whether you are buying, selling, transferring equity or re-financing


                                      The DWS Conveyancing Jargon-Buster

10% Deposit The balance payable and sent upon exchange under the terms of the contract which makes the contract enforceable. The contract deposit is usually, and favourably, 10% but is often varied depending on the circumstances of chain transactions or the buyers’ own financial situation
Bankrupty Search A search at Land Registry to confirm that the potential buyer is not declared bankrupt and has not had legal action taken against them for outstanding debts
Completion The point where the Buyer becomes legal owner of the Property
Contract The document agreeing the terms of the sale, counterparts of which the Buyer and Seller will sign
Conveyancing The legal process of buying and selling property
Enquiries Questions that the Buyer’s Conveyancer will ask of the Seller where the contract is not clear or further information is required
Exchange The point at which the contract becomes enforceable and both parties are legally committed to the transaction
ID Check The verification of an individual’s photo ID and proofs of address we carry out as part of our commitments to our regulatory bodies
Mortgage Deed The bank’s legal charge securing the mortgage on the Property
Mortgage Redemption Figure The figure we obtain, during a sale, which details the amount outstanding on an individual’s mortgage. As we are required to pay off all charges held on a Property upon completion, it is vital that the bank gives us the accurate figure calculated correctly until that date
Official Copy Entries The electronic copies of deeds that the Land Registry holds from previous registrations
Searches Enquiries made of the Local Authority – namely the Council – which searches their records for information relating to a Property which a more structural survey may not pick up on
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) Government tax on property purchases in England and Northern Ireland. The Buyer’s circumstances and the purchase price will determine how much is paid. The Scottish equivalent is Land and Building Transaction Tax (LBTT)
Transfer Deed The document transferring ownership from Seller to Buyer at Land Registry


No doubt there will be many that haven’t been covered so if you require any further information at any stage during your process, please contact the office on 0116 2999 199 or e-mail on