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The process of buying a property can seem really daunting, however we are here to make the process as easy and stress free as possible. Abigail Marsh is a Paralegal in the Wollens property team and explains the process. 

One of your questions as a first-time buyer is probably, ‘when do I need to instruct a solicitor?’ Once you have put in an offer on a property you love, and the Seller has accepted this, you can pick up the phone or e-mail your solicitor and make an enquiry regarding fees. If you are happy with the estimate provided, you can formally instruct your solicitor to carry out the conveyancing work on your behalf.

What happens next?

  1. Instruct your solicitor and an initial Letter of Engagement will be sent to you.
  2. Draft Contract documentation is received by your solicitor and we will action your searches.
  3. Your solicitor will raise additional enquiries with the Seller’s solicitor based upon the draft Contract documentation. While this process is going on, your solicitor will also report to you on the findings of your searches as well as your mortgage offer.
  4. Once all enquiries have been satisfied your solicitor will prepare a Report on Title with the Contract, Transfer Deed, Mortgage Deed and Stamp Duty Land Tax to sign and return. Your solicitor will also request your deposit funds be transferred in readiness for exchange.
  5. Once your solicitor has received the signed documents and your deposit you are ready to exchange contracts. Exchange of contracts sets in stone your completion date.
  6. Completion day! This is the day which funds are sent to the Seller’s solicitor and once received you can collect the keys to your new home!

Our helpful glossary of terms might help you to understand some of the language being used during your transaction:


Letter of engagement: This letter formally sets out our instructions and the work we will and will not be carrying out on your behalf.

Draft Contract documentation: The Seller’s solicitor will send the draft Contract document as well as the Title Deeds and any other relevant information in relation to the property for us to consider.

Additional Enquiries: These are specific questions posed to the Seller’s solicitor about the property. You can also request your own questions to be added.

Searches: Searches often include a chancel repair search, drainage and water search, and environmental search and a local authority search. These are required by your lender.

Exchange of contracts: This is where the transaction becomes legally binding and will confirm your completion date.

Completion: Completion involves the transfer of money between solicitors and once the funds have been received your solicitor will inform you that you can pick up the keys from the estate agent.

Mark Iddles 6

How we can help

At Wollens we have committed teams in each of our offices who will work closely with you and guide you through the property process step by step. While it may seem a streamlined process to us, we know how daunting it can be and are on hand to help, each step of the way.

For further information, please contact our conveyancing team. Call us on 01803 225118



Abigail Marsh, Paralegal 

Email us : [email protected]

call one of our offices:

South Devon     01803 213251

Exeter                01392 274006

North Devon      01271 342268

You can also complete an online enquiry form. One of the Wollens team will contact you as soon as they are available.

Residential property