Conveyancing solicitors – what are they and what do they do?

Carr Berman Crichton are conveyancing solicitors based in Rutherglen, Glasgow. At its most basic, conveyancing is the process of transferring title from one person or organisation to another. It can also involve raising finance or re-mortgaging your house or discharging the loan held over your house. However, that doesn’t really explain what conveyancing solicitors are or what they do.

We deal with the legal requirements to enable our clients to move or re-mortgage a house. In this article, we’ll focus on the sale and purchase process. There are a number of steps in those processes. The purchase process is more or less a mirror image of the sale process. Let’s deal with the sale process first. Whilst we mostly deal with property in Rutherglen and Glasgow, we frequently deal with purchase and sale much further afield.

 The Sale Process

When we act for a seller, we’ll order up their title to show they own the property and the extent of the seller’s ownership. We then await the offer from a suitable purchaser.

 The Missives

Once an offer arrives, we’ll discuss its content with the seller and send an acceptance to the purchaser’s solicitor. This will indicate which conditions of the offer are acceptable, which are not and which need changed. The purchaser’s solicitor will review this and respond. Again, the purchaser’s solicitor might simply provide an acceptance of the conditions, reject them or change them. This process can go back and forward for a time until there is a clear and concluded contract between the seller and the buyer. This exchange of letters that make up the contract are called “missives” in legal circles. The important thing is that a clear and binding contract is agreed.

Regrettably, nowadays, we’re finding it’s taking longer to conclude missives. Purchasers might wait until they’ve received their mortgage offer or until they’ve sold their existing house before concluding!

Because of this situation, we find that we usually proceed with the conveyancing. We do this because most transactions actually do proceed to settlement.

 The Conveyancing

This is the part of the process that deals with the transfer of the title. As conveyancing solicitors for the seller, we send the title to the purchaser’s solicitor. The purchaser’s solicitor checks the title and asks questions about it. They’ll also prepare the deed that ultimately transfers ownership of the title to the purchaser. Normally, this is a disposition.

As the seller’s solicitor, we have to provide searches. The property searches will confirm that the seller continues to own the property. The personal searches will confirm that there is nothing preventing the seller from selling it. Local authority reports will confirm the planning, building control, roads and sewers position and whether there are any issues. If we’re dealing with a sale, perhaps in Glasgow where there are many tenement buildings, we’ll advise the factors of the sale.

Whilst awaiting the reports, we’ll ask the seller to sign the disposition – but we hold onto it until we receive the purchase price.

If there’s a mortgage held over the property, we’ll prepare a deed called a discharge that’ll remove the charge held over the property.


On the date of entry, the purchaser’s solicitor will pay the purchase price. In exchange, we will authorise release of the keys and send the titles and disposition to the purchaser’s solicitor.

If the seller has a loan, we’ll arrange to repay it for them. We’ll then prepare a note of our fees and expenses. The balance can then be sent to the seller or used as a deposit for their new purchase.

 The purchase process

As we said at the outset, this is mainly a mirror image of the sale process. There may be an additional step if the purchaser is using a mortgage to buy the property. As conveyancing solicitors, here’s what we do in a purchase:

 The Missives

We start off this process by preparing an offer and sending it to the seller’s solicitor or estate agent. We then go through the process of exchanging contract letters with the seller’s solicitor until we have a concluded contract.

 The Conveyancing

This part of the transaction is a mirror image of the steps described in the Seller’s process. We examine the seller’s title to make sure it’s valid. We’ll then tell you what the title says. Frequently, we’ll send you a copy of the title and any title plan. We’ll also prepare the disposition that’ll transfer ownership to the purchaser.

We’ll raise a number of questions about the title and review the searches we receive. If the property is a tenement in Rutherglen or Glasgow or further afield, we’ll need a factor’s report.

If the purchaser is taking out a mortgage to help buy the property, we’ll then have an additional step.

 The Mortgage

If the purchaser is taking out a mortgage, there’s some additional documents to prepare. We prepare a Standard Security for the purchaser to sign. After settlement, this document is registered along with the title to the property. The lender uses this to repossess and sell the property if the purchaser fails to pay the mortgage or breaches the mortgage conditions.


We advise the lender that the title is in order and they send us the mortgage funds. Then we put these with the purchaser’s deposit. After that, we send the full purchase price to the seller’s solicitor. We advise the purchaser where they can collect the keys.

Also, in exchange for the price, we’ll receive the titles from the seller’s solicitor. We arrange to pay any Land & Buildings Transaction Tax and send the disposition and any standard security to the Registers of Scotland. This will register the purchaser’s interest as proprietor in the Land Register.

As conveyancing solicitors, we go through this process for thousands of clients every year. We deal with conveyancing in Rutherglen and Glasgow and throughout the west of Scotland and beyond.

It’s stressful when you buy or sell your house – we understand that! We do everything we possibly can to deal with the process and keep you advised throughout.

So, if  you’re thinking about selling or buying in Rutherglen or Glasgow or further afield, please get in touch today.

You can find more information on the following pages of our websitte:

Property Law

Buying a house

Selling a house