Pre Contract Enquiries (sometimes known as property enquiries or conveyancing enquiries) are generally the last piece of the jigsaw as you ready yourself for exchange of contracts. It is the formal process whereby the buyers solicitors will raise written questions/queries/enquiries of the seller. The seller (via their solicitor) must answer those question honestly and to the best of their knowledge. If they don’t, and a problem arises later, they (the seller) can technically be held responsible if they misled the buyer in relation to a problem they knew about.
Enquiries can relate to any number of things ranging from issues in the survey, to what items are staying and going (fixtures and fittings forms), to the contract pack, to complex historical legal issues in the property’s ‘title’. When (and only when) your conveyancer is happy with all ‘replies to enquiries’ will you be able to proceed to exchange of contracts. Unfortunately, because of the way property chains work, even if your own pre contract enquiries are completed, you will only be able to actually move to exchange and completion once everyone else in your ‘chain’ have completed their own enquiries too.