Save Money - Cheap Conveyancing Quotes from UK Solicitors and Licensed Conveyancers

Save yourself hundreds of £££s! FREE instant online conveyancing quotes & fees for you to compare now

No hidden fees. Fully transparent, detailed conveyancing quotes

Fully transparent quotes - no hidden fees. Full breakdown, all inclusive, fixed fee conveyancing quotes

Save Time and Money and Compare Conveyancing Quotes Online Instantly

Saving YOU time when looking to calculate your conveyancing fees. Compare prices from nationwide property solicitors instantly!

UK Nationwide Solicitor and Conveyancer Coverage

UK Nationwide Coverage from Solicitors & Licensed Conveyancers based in England, Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland

Fully Regulated Conveyancing Professionals

All of our online conveyancing quotes are provided by SRA Regulated Solicitors & Licensed Conveyaners across the UK. You are safe knowing your property Sale, Purchase or Remortgage is being handled by a Residential Conveyancing Expert.

Buying a property can be exciting, but it can also be a complex and stressful process. One of the most important transaction stages is the contract exchange.

If you're new to the property market, you may wonder what this entails and why it's such a crucial step. Understanding this process can help alleviate some of the stress and ensure a smooth journey to homeownership.

In this article, we'll take an in-depth look at what the exchange of contracts means, its significance, and how it works.

What Is the Exchange of Contracts?

In simple terms

the exchange of contracts is the point at which both the buyer and the property seller become legally bound to complete the transaction.

Once contracts are exchanged, the buyer is committed to purchasing the property, and the seller is committed to selling it.

The exchange of contracts is the point at which the property transaction becomes legally binding, and it usually takes place between four and 12 weeks after an offer has been accepted.

Why Is the Exchange of Contracts Important?

The exchange of contracts is a critical milestone in the property-buying process because it marks the point of no return for both parties. At this stage, the buyer and the seller are legally obligated to complete the transaction, and backing out can lead to serious financial and legal consequences.

Before contracts are exchanged, either party can withdraw from the transaction without penalties.

However, after the exchange, the buyer will lose their deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) if they decide not to proceed. Similarly, the seller can be sued for breach of contract if they decide not to sell the property after the exchange.

The exchange of contracts is a significant moment in the property transaction process for several reasons:

1. Legal Commitment

As mentioned, the exchange of contracts legally binds the buyer and the seller to the transaction. This means that, after this point, parties must avoid facing potential financial penalties to pull out of the deal.

2. Certainty

The exchange of contracts provides certainty for both parties, as it confirms that the transaction will go ahead as agreed. This can provide peace of mind, especially for first-time buyers concerned about the possibility of being gazumped (a situation where a seller accepts a higher offer from another buyer after having already accepted a lower offer).

3. Protection

The legally binding nature of the contract exchange also protects both parties. For example, if the buyer were to pull out the transaction after exchanging contracts, the seller would be entitled to keep the buyer's deposit as compensation.

Conversely, if the seller pulled out after exchanging contracts, the buyer would be entitled to sue for damages.

4. Completion Date

The exchange of contracts also sets the completion date when the buyer can take ownership of the property. This date is agreed upon by both parties and is typically set for a few weeks after the exchange of contracts, allowing time for the necessary arrangements and preparations.

How Does the Exchange of Contracts Work?

The exchange of contracts is typically handled by the solicitors or conveyancers representing the buyer and the seller. Here's a step-by-step guide to the process:

1. Drafting the Contract

The first step in the exchange of contracts process involves the seller's solicitor or conveyancer drafting a contract.

This document contains essential information about the property, such as the agreed price, property boundaries, and any rights or restrictions. It also includes the terms and conditions of the sale, including any agreed fixtures and fittings and other relevant details.

2. Review and Negotiations

Once the draft contract has been prepared, it is sent to the buyer's solicitor or conveyancer for review. They will thoroughly examine the document to ensure it accurately reflects the agreed terms and conditions of the sale and that there are no legal issues that could affect the buyer's ownership or use of the property.

If any issues or discrepancies are identified, the buyer's solicitor may request further information or propose amendments to the contract. This process may involve negotiation between the two parties until a final version of the contract is agreed upon.

3. Pre-Exchange Checks

Before the contract exchange can occur, both parties must complete a series of pre-exchange checks. These typically include:

  • Ensuring that the buyer has obtained a mortgage offer (if required)

  • Carrying out searches, such as local authority searches, drainage and water searches, and environmental searches, to identify any potential issues affecting the property

  • Checking that any necessary planning permissions or building regulations approvals have been obtained

  • Confirming that the seller has a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property

  • Verifying the identities of both the buyer and the seller to comply with anti-money laundering regulations

4. Signing the Contract

Once both parties are satisfied with the contract terms and have completed the necessary pre-exchange checks, they will each sign a copy of the contract. It is crucial to ensure that all details are correct and that both parties understand their obligations under the contract before signing.

5. Exchanging Contracts

The actual exchange of contracts usually takes place over the phone between the solicitors or conveyancers representing the buyer and the seller. They will confirm the contract details, agree on a completion date, and arrange to exchange the signed contracts, typically by post or email.

At this point, the buyer will also pay a deposit to the seller, usually around 10% of the purchase price. Once the contracts have been exchanged, both parties are legally bound to complete the transaction, and failure to do so can result in significant financial penalties.

6. Completion Date

The completion date is the date on which the property transaction is finalised, and the ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. This date is agreed upon during the exchange of contracts and is typically set for a few weeks later to allow both parties to make the necessary arrangements for moving.

On the completion date, the buyer's solicitor or conveyancer will transfer the remaining purchase price balance to the seller's solicitor, and the seller will hand over the keys to the property. The buyer's solicitor will also register the change of ownership with the Land Registry.


The exchange of contracts is a vital step in the property-buying process, marking the point where both parties become legally bound to complete the transaction. Understanding the process can help ensure a smooth transaction and avoid surprises.

If you need clarification on any aspect of the exchange of contracts, it's essential to consult with your solicitor or conveyancer. They can guide you through the process and ensure your interests are protected.

Conveyancing Calculator is an online residential conveyancing calculator. We use an accurate conveyancing fees calculator to ensure you get the best idea of the costs you are facing. If you need to compare conveyancing quotes in the UK, we’re here to help you.


Looking for Conveyancing Advice?

Feel free to give us a call ...

Phone 0330 043 1202

Or visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's).

Our Conveyancing Quotes

Conveyancing Calculator offers YOU choice and allows you to make an informed decision. You can compare conveyancing fees and costs from countrywide solicitors and conveyancers throughout England and Wales.

Conveyancing Calculator offers ...


Find a Conveyancer that is approved to work with your Mortgage Lender Panel

Find a Conveyancer that is Approved & Authorised to work with your Mortgage Lender

If you are looking for a mortgage lender conveyancing panel solicitor, Conveyancing Calculator, will search for a conveyancer that is authorised and approved to work with your lender. Make sure your conveyancer can work with your chosen mortgage lender.


Compare Now - Saving YOU time and money!

Conveyancing Calculator is here to save YOU time and money on your conveyancing costs and fees. We are constantly scanning the conveyancing market for good quality solicitors and licensed conveyancers that are ready to help you with your move!

  • FREE Quotes
  • Local Conveyancers to YOU
  • Nationwide Coverage
  • Fixed Fee Quotes
  • Fully Detailed Quotes
  • Compare Prices & Start Saving

Calculate your Conveyancing Fees with Solicitors & Conveyancers that are local to YOU

With nationwide coverage, we have solicitors situated throughout the UK in England, Wales, Northern Ireland & Scotland.

Find a Conveyancer & Get a Quote

Our Reviews

Why pay more for good quality conveyancing? Conveyancing Calculator have helped thousands of people saving time and money when looking for residential conveyancing quotes.

Don't just take our word for it, take a look at some of these reviews from our happy home buyers, sellers & remortgagers.