Our typical prices for dealing with the purchase of a freehold or leasehold residential property are as follows:
The figures quoted above assume a straightforward transaction. The simplest purchase of freehold properties will attract the lowest fees. Because of the additional work required when dealing with lease issues with Freeholders and Managing Agents, the price for dealing with a leasehold property will be at the higher end of each range.
Due to Government regulations, we must confirm the identity of all our clients. Where possible we use an on-line service for this, the cost of which is currently £11.00 including VAT for each individual client and £30.00 including VAT for a company. There are additional charges for overseas clients and in certain other circumstances; full details will be given if these apply.
“Disbursements” are expenses related to your transaction which are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. These will be the same regardless of which legal firm handles your matter. We arrange payment of these expenses on your behalf.
As part of the purchase process we carry out a number of searches with organisations such as the Local Authority, the Water Company, Land Registry and other similar agencies to make sure there are no issues affecting the property for example, with planning, water supply and drainage or environmental contamination. The price of searches varies according to location of the property but the typical cost for the recommended searches lies between £250 and £350 including VAT.
Once the purchase is complete, your ownership must be registered at HM Land Registry. The fee payable varies according to the value of the property. A list of the fees is available on the Land Registry website. We submit our registrations via the Land Registry Portal which incurs the lowest possible fee. The fees are not vatable.
Stamp Duty Land Tax is usually payable when a property is purchased. The exact amount of tax due depends on a variety of factors. An SDLT calculator is available on the HMRC website.
The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances however the following is a guide to the key stages involved:
- You make an offer on the property, which is accepted by the seller
- We take your instructions and give you initial advice
- You arrange a survey on the property, and make an application for a mortgage (if required)
- We contact the seller’s Conveyancer to obtain the contract pack
- We check the contract pack, raise pre-contract enquiries, carry out the necessary searches and obtain a copy of the mortgage offer
- The seller answers the pre-contract enquiries and returns these to us
- We report to you on the contents of the contract pack, pre-contract enquiries, the result of the searches and mortgage offer. You then consider this report and raise questions on anything that is unclear
- When you happy to proceed, arrangements are made for you to pay the deposit to us in readiness for Exchange of Contracts
- You and the seller agree on a Completion Date (the date from which you own the property)
- We exchange contracts with the seller’s Conveyancer which means both parties are then legally committed to the transaction
- We prepare a completion statement, carry out pre-completion searches and apply to your mortgage lender for the mortgage loan
- On completion the seller vacates the property by the agreed time
- We send the purchase price to the seller’s Conveyancer
- You collect the keys and move in to your new home
- We send the stamp duty land tax payable to HMRC
- We register the property in your name at HM Land Registry
The average time for a transaction to complete is between 6 and 8 weeks however it can take more or less time depending for example on the number of other parties in the chain. For leasehold properties a time of 8 to 12 weeks is to be expected. In cases that become unusually complex then a timescale of 3 to 4 months or even longer would not be uncommon. In such situations additional charges may apply, examples of which include (but are not limited to):
- Transactions involving shared ownership
- Leasehold transactions which involve the extension of the lease, purchase of a share of the freehold, obtaining freeholder consent or the grant of new lease
- Where your mortgage lender instructs their own solicitor
- Where a defect in title is identified
- Missing or absentee landlords
- Recovering Higher rate SDLT where there is a delay selling your main residence
- Expedited transactions
We will always inform you if any unforeseen additional work becomes necessary and detail its estimated cost in writing before any extra charges or expenses are incurred.