Residential Property Sales and Purchases

We will always endeavour to provide an estimate of our legal fees for the sale or purchase of a residential property with a registered title.

Our fees cover the work usually required to complete the purchase, or sale of your residential property. This includes, in the case of a purchase, dealing with registration at the Land Registry and with payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property you are buying is in Wales.

Disbursements refers to money we will be expected to pay on your behalf to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. We ask you to pay the money to us, to make the payment on your behalf.

A house will usually be a freehold property; a flat will have a leasehold title, even if the flat owner also has a share in the ownership of the freehold of the building.

Our fees are set out on the table attached, together with indicative fees for some additional factors which may be encountered, and which take the transaction outside the scope of the basic fee.

We provide a personal service from qualified solicitors, whose post qualification experience ranges from 3 - 33 years, assisted by a paralegal.

As part of the personal service we expect to arrange to meet with you at our office at an early stage in order to obtain from you identity and address verification information so that we can comply with our duties under the Money Laundering Regulations.

Typical disbursements are:

Search fees – generally between £300 - £600 but depends on what is appropriate to the property you are buying and which local authority

Land Registry fees – official copies on sale £6.00 for freehold sale, £12.00 on leasehold sale (freehold title recommended as well as leasehold); additional fees for documents referred to in the title

Land Registry fees – registering purchase – depending on value £20 - £455

Pre-completion searches - £5 - £7

Registration of lease transfer with freeholder – typically £40-£60 plus vat

Stamp Duty Land Tax – depending on value & additional property ownership – see

https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/calculate-stamp-duty-land-tax/#/intro

We also charge a fee of £25.00 plus vat for each electronic same day payment we make on your behalf.

The base fee for a freehold sale covers the following (which is not an exhaustive list of all the steps):

  • Take your instructions and carry out ID checking
  • Obtain Land Registry title information
  • Ask you to complete Transaction forms with information about the property, and review these
  • Prepare draft contract documents
  • Collate a sales information pack to send to the buyer’s solicitors
  • Respond, with your assistance, to questions raised by the buyer
  • Send agreed form of contract to you for signature
  • Agree with other parties in the chain target dates for exchange of contracts and completion
  • Obtain mortgage redemption figures from your lender
  • Exchange contracts, deal with the deposit, and notify when this has happened
  • Approve form of transfer and get you to sign this
  • Confirm completion arrangements with buyer’s solicitor
  • Receive purchase price from seller and arrange completion
  • Make payment to discharge your mortgage
  • Account to you for the balance of the proceeds of sale, or apply these to a related purchase

If the property you are selling is leasehold, we will in addition need to:

  • Consider the terms of the lease and whether any consents are needed for the sale
  • Obtain information from the freeholder about the rent, service charges, insurance arrangements and possible future work to the building
  • Consider the length of the lease and any potential enfranchisement issues
  • Agree apportionments of service charges and rent

If you are buying a freehold property, the base fee covers the following (which is not an exhaustive list of all the steps):

  • Take your instructions and carry out ID checking
  • Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender's solicitors if needed
  • Receive and consider and then advise on contract documents
  • Carry out searches, cross-referring to any mortgage lender requirements
  • Review the lender’s valuation report and ensure any points raised are covered
  • Review the result of any survey or housebuyer valuation you have obtained and ensure any points raised are covered
  • Make any necessary additional enquiries of seller's solicitor, including seeking any further planning documentation
  • Report to you on the results of searches and on the documents from the seller
  • Advise you on the forms of joint ownership
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer and advise you on these
  • Agree the form of contract with the seller’s solicitor and then send this to you for signature
  • Prepare indicative financial statement including mortgage finance
  • Agree with other parties in the chain target dates for exchange of contracts and completion
  • Report to your mortgage lender
  • Exchange contracts, pay the deposit on your behalf, and notify when this has happened
  • Approve form of transfer and get you to sign this
  • Carry out pre-completion searches, including bankruptcy search on you
  • Prepare a draft Stamp Duty Land Tax Return on your behalf and obtain your approval to it
  • Confirm completion arrangements with seller’s solicitor
  • Check account details and send purchase price to seller’s solicitor and arrange completion
  • Finalise and lodge Stamp Duty Land Tax Return and pay the tax
  • Prepare and lodge application to the Land Registry to register the purchase and pay the registration fee on your behalf
  • Check completed registration and report to you and your mortgage lender

If you are buying a leasehold property, we will in addition need to:

  • Consider the terms of the lease and whether any consents are needed for the sale to you
  • Check that consent has been obtained for any alteration to the property
  • Obtain and consider information from the freeholder about the rent, service charges, insurance arrangements and possible future work to the building
  • Consider the length of the lease and any potential enfranchisement issues
  • Agree apportionments of service charges and rent

We do not pay referral fees. However, we do make a charge if you withdraw from the transaction, which will reflect the work we have carried out on your behalf by that date.

How long will it take?

This depends on a number of factors. As a rough estimate you should expect it to take between 8 & 16 weeks. A long chain will take longer to co-ordinate than a sale with no related purchase, where the buyer also has no related sale. Some searches can take a few weeks for the results to be received, others may be available 48 hours after being ordered.

* Our fee assumes that:

  1. this is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise, such as, for example (but not limited to) a defect in title which requires remedying prior to completion or the preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction
  2. the land has a registered title
  3. this is the assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease
  4. the existing lease meets the requirements of the Council of Mortgage Lenders
  5. there is no lease extension needed
  6. the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complications arise
  7. all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation
  8. no indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements and fees may apply if indemnity policies are required.
  9. this is not an auction sale or purchase, or a repossession purchase
  10. this is not a buy to let
  11. the property is not a listed building
  12. l. the property is residential only, not mixed use
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