New Build Conveyancing

We are one of the largest property law firms in the South East with a specialist new build team dedicated to the new build housing market.

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New Build Solicitors

Buying a new build home is more complex than the standard legal conveyancing process. We have a specialist New Build team at Herrington Carmichael with a wealth of experience across a range of different transactions. 

The new build team deal regularly with schemes like Help to Buy, Shared Ownership and other incentivised new build schemes.

Herrington Carmichael is one of the largest property law firms in the South East. We have been providing conveyancing services for many many years. We have specialists across Residential, New Build, Construction, Disputes and Real Estate.

Our New Build Experience
Recommended Solicitors
What is the cost?
Declaration of Ownership
Cohabitation Agreements

Our New Build Experience

Our team has built a reputation as a leading provider of new build conveyancing as we have been appointed as panel solicitors for the likes of:

  • Ashberry Homes
  • Bellway
  • Berkeley
  • Bovis
  • Barratt
  • Cala Homes
  • Croudace
  • David Wilson Homes
  • Elivia Homes
  • Jaspar Group
  • Legal & General Homes
  • Linden Homes
  • Radian
  • Redrow and many more.

Once you have reserved your property (paid your reservation fee and signed the  reservation form with the developer) and instructed your solicitor (returned your completed inception form), we will send you some initial paperwork for you to complete and return. This will cover all the information we require surrounding your personal details and source of funds. Once all of this is completed, we can start legal work and begin to progress towards exchange – we would order searches, check through your mortgage offer, prepare your report, post your paperwork and eventually exchange.

At the point of exchange, your file will be passed to our completion and registration teams. These teams arrange setting up anything required for completion and ensure you make it to completion successfully and smoothly. Following this they will ensure any disbursements are paid (the estate agent’s commission invoice for example) and arrange for an application to be lodged at land registry to register you as the new owner of the property.

Recommended Solicitors

Generally, a new build specific or recommended solicitor will be familiar with the time frames that are expected by the developer and they will be able to prioritise the work to meet or even surpass the deadlines in question. At Herrington Carmichael, typically your solicitor will have dealt with the site previously which means we can ensure as fast a turn around as possible. Overall, this means the transaction should progress smoothly and efficiently.

Is it beneficial to use the recommended solicitor for my related sale?
It is useful to instruct a recommended or new build solicitor for any related sale as they will be better equipped to deal with the time pressures that come with having a developer at the end of a chain. 

This means that we can better prioritise files to fit with the expectations of the chain and keep all parties well informed throughout the entire transaction.

What is the cost?

Our New Build Solicitor fees are a fixed rate, meaning the legal fees will not change throughout your transaction. However, should a situation arise where an additional cost is incurred we would discuss this with you accordingly. 

Our legal fees should also not be confused with disbursements. Disbursements are third party fees which are out of our control and would be charged regardless of which solicitor you instruct. Disbursements can be subject to change slightly over the course of your transaction but we give our best estimation. 

Please note that our fees are heavily discounted for sites upon which the developers recommend us i.e. we are their ‘panel solicitors’.  We can do this due to our extensive knowledge of the site, the developer and their legal teams. 

Declaration of Ownership

A Declaration of Ownership (also known as a “Declaration of Trust”) is a legal document commonly used to set out the interests of individual parties where an asset is held in joint names with others. When a couple, for example, purchase their home, they may decide to put in place a Declaration of Ownership to set out their property interests. They could, for instance, decide that the property should be held equally or specify unequal proportions.

There are a number of benefits to putting in place a Declaration of Ownership. It not only clarifies the way in which the property is to be owned but also confirms the responsibilities of each of the co-owners, thereby avoiding complications from arising in the future.

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Cohabitation Agreements

You may need to think about a Cohabitation Agreement.

A Cohabitation Agreement records the arrangements between two or more people who have agreed to live together. It records each parties’ rights and responsibilities in relation to the property, financial arrangements during the relationship and any arrangements to be made if they decide that they no longer want to live together.

Cohabitation Agreements


How long does the transaction typically take?

Typically, new build transactions will have deadlines (i.e. to exchange within 28 days of reservation) and so they are dealt with as quickly as possible. It is possible to complete the transaction within a couple of weeks in cases where for example there is no chain, the property is already ‘build complete’ and we receive all the necessary information and documents in a timely manner.

Sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances which mean transactions are delayed possibly for a couple of months – usually due to issues in a chain or leasehold sale requirements. It is hard to give an exact time frame, however we will be sure to update you throughout the process and the site office should be available to provide you with specific build updates at any point.

What is the stamp duty rate?

To calculate your Stamp Duty payable on your purchase, please visit the following link:

Is the deposit always 10%?

As standard, the deposit requested at the point of exchange is 10% of the purchase price less your

reservation fee, however in some situations the developer may agree to lower deposits. It would
be beneficial to discuss or mention this first at the point of reservation, but we can also discuss this
prior to exchange as necessary.
How do new build incentives work?

Incentives offered by the developer will be deducted from your balance due at the point of

completion, so you effectively pay less rather than having any money transferred from the developer to you.
The deposit noted in my mortgage offer is different/larger to the deposit you have asked for at the
point of exchange – why is this different?
The deposit amount referred to in your mortgage offer relates to the entire amount of funds being
put towards your purchase by you, aside from your mortgage. The deposit that we ask for prior to
exchange of contracts (the contractual deposit) relates to 10% of your purchase price, less your
reservation fee.
What are the lender requirements / why do we need to report to your lender?

All lender requirements vary slightly and we may have to report certain points to them to ensure

they are happy i.e. incentives or gifts. This is not uncommon and is not something you should be
concerned about. Any special conditions of your lender will be laid out in your offer.
What do I need consent for, from the developer?

Each developer will have slightly different requirements when it comes to needing consent for

various things. Some examples of things you may need consent for are:

  • Pets
  • Sheds / summerhouses
What is a local search?

A local search gathers information from the local authority to provide you with important information about your property and the surrounding area. It typically includes information on

planning permissions, building regulations, conservation areas, tree preservation orders, proposed developments and enforcement notices.

What is an environmental search?

An environmental search provides information about any potential environmental risks that could affect your property. It typically includes information on contaminated land, flood risk, radon gas and ground stability, amongst other issues.

How long do searches take?

The lead time for searches varies depending on which search is ordered and the demand that our search providers are experiencing. When we get to the point of ordering searches, we will be able to provide a more accurate time scale but a rough estimate is 1 – 10 days.

When must I insure a new build property?

The developer is responsible for insuring the property until the point of completion. After this point it is your responsibility and is a requirement of your lender (if you have a mortgage). At completion we will require evidence this is in place when you have a lender and cannot complete with out it.

If you are purchasing a leasehold property, insurance will be the responsibility of the landlord.
How do we deal with snagging on new builds?

Snagging will not delay your completion in any way. You can upon checking the property before

completion compile a list and request confirmation from the developer when these will be dealt
with. In addition, if you notice any snagging issues with your property once you have completed you
can compile a list and liaise with the site / customer care team, who will arrange for these to be fixed accordingly.

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