2. Overview of a conveyancing transaction.

A freehold conveyancing transaction typically comprises five distinct stages:


    (1)     pre-contract;


    (2)     contract;


    (3)     pre-completion (or post-contract);


    (4)     completion; and


    (5)     post-completion.

At the pre-contract stage no binding commitment exists between buyer and seller and either can withdraw from the negotiations without penalty or recourse to a remedy for wasted expenses1. After taking instructions from his client the main duties of the seller's solicitor at this stage are to prepare the draft contract2 which sets out the terms and conditions on which he is prepared to sell the property and to demonstrate to the buyer, through deduction of title3, that