Our fees: Residential conveyancing

Our fees: Residential conveyancing

This page sets out our fees, and gives an overview of what's involved in the process of purchasing or selling residential property. 

Purchase of a residential property

 

Our fees cover all of the work* required to complete the purchase of your new home, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry and dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property you wish to buy is in Wales.

 

Our fees

 

  • Willans' fees for legal work –  from £750 plus VAT , depending upon the value and nature of the property and whether it is freehold or leasehold. Click here to see a scale of our typical charges.
  • Willans' fee for same day electronic money transfer fee - £40 plus VAT
  • Willans' fees for electronic verification of your identity (in accordance with anti-money laundering requirements) - £6 plus VAT per person.

 

Charges payable to other parties on your behalf (disbursements)

 

  • Preliminary (pre-contract) search fees £232.80 including VAT  (typical fee based on a property within the Cheltenham Borough Council area. Fees will vary depending upon the local authority)
  • Pre-completion search fees : £3 per each registered title (occasionally, a single property consists of more than one registered title) plus £2 per individual (bankruptcy search – required if you are purchasing with a mortgage).
  • HM Land Registry fee – Variable depending on purchase price and whether the property is subject to a first registration. Click here for details (select ‘transfer of whole for value’).
  • SDLT or Land Tax (on purchase) – Variable depending upon the value of the property and your circumstances (whether you own other property). You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC's website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority's website.
  • If you are purchasing a leasehold property, additional fees (charged by the freeholder or their agent) are likely to apply upon completion. These may include the following:
    • a fee for dealing with a deed of covenant,
    • a fee for giving notice of the transfer of the property and the mortgage of it
    • a fee for obtaining a certificate of compliance with the lease.
    • These fees will vary from one lease to another and one freeholder or managing agent to another. Typically, they might be £150 plus VAT each, but could be more.

*These fees vary from property to property and can on occasion be significantly more than the ranges given above. We can give you an accurate figure once we have sight of your specific documents.

 

How long will my house or flat purchase take?

 

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 4 and 12 weeks.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you are a first time buyer, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage in principle, it could take 4 weeks. However, if you are buying a leasehold property and you are in a lengthy chain, this can take significantly longer, between 3 and 6 months. 

 

Stages of the process

 

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. The following stages are representative of a typical transaction:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender's solicitors if needed
  • Receive and review the draft contract and title documents
  • Carry out searches
  • Obtain further planning documentation or other title documents as required
  • Make any necessary enquiries of seller's solicitor
  • Give you advice on all documents and information received
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you
  • Prepare a report for you
  • Prepare your SDLT form (provided we are satisfied that specialist tax advice is not require because of your circumstances or the features of the property. If specialist advise is required, we will let you know at the earliest opportunity and advise you further about how to proceed and the likely cost).
  • Meet with you to ensure that you understand all the relevant issues and for you to sign the documentation.
  • Agree a completion date with you (date from which you own the property)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
  • Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
  • Obtain replies to “Requisitions on Title” from the purchaser’s solicitors and check these to ensure that the property will be transferred free of any mortgages.
  • Complete purchase
  • Deal with payment of SDLT/Land Tax
  • Deal with any leasehold requirements and notices to the freeholder
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry

 

 


 

Sale of a residential property

 

Our fees cover all of the work* required to complete the sale of your new home.

 

Our fees

 

  • Willans' fee for same day electronic money transfer fee £40 plus VAT  for each such payment (this is required for repayment of each mortgage or secured loan. Also applicable if you require the proceeds of sale to be sent to your account by same day transfer)
  • Willans' fees for electronic verification of your identity (in accordance with anti-money laundering requirements) £6 plus VAT per person.

 

Charges payable to other parties on your behalf

 

  • Land Registry fees for obtaining copies of title entries and plans for each registered title and for documents referred to in the registered title:  £3 per copy.  For a registered title, a minimum of two  such charges will apply (title and plan) so the fee would be a minimum of £6, but could be more if multiple documents are required.
  • If you are selling a leasehold property, a fee will be usually be charged by the freeholder or their agent for providing leasehold and service charge information necessary for the sale. This will depend upon who the agent is, and could typically be between about £50 and £350 plus VAT.

*These fees vary from property to property and can on occasion be significantly more than the ranges given above. We can give you an accurate figure once we have sight of your specific documents.

 

How long will my house or flat sale take?

 

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 4 and 12 weeks.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain, how motivated your purchaser is, and whether they require a mortgage. If you are selling a freehold property with a straightforward title to a cash purchase who has nothing to sell and does not require a mortgage, the process would take a little as a few days (depending upon how quickly searches are obtained). If you are in a chain where parties require mortgages, and leasehold properties are involved, the process could take a number of months.

 

Stages of the process

 

The precise stages involved in the sale of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. The following stages are representative of a typical transaction:

  • Take your instructions and provide you with “protocol” forms for you to complete.
  • Obtain title documents from the Land Registry
  • Gather together other relevant document, such as copy planning consents.
  • Prepare contract and send pack of documents to the purchaser’s solicitors. Carry out searches
  • Request a leasehold information pack from the freeholder or their agent (if your property is leasehold)
  • Obtain a redemption figure (for guidance purposed) from your mortgage lender and ensure that you are aware of any redemption penalties that may apply.
  • Respond to any preliminary enquiries raised by the purchaser’s solicitors (with input from you and relevant agencies as needed).
  • Arrange for you to sign the contract, once this has been agreed by your purchaser’s solicitors.
  • Agree completion date (date by which you must vacate the property)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
  • Obtain a final mortgage redemption statement and your estate agent’s account and confirm these figures with you
  • Calculate any apportionments in respect of service charge and provide the purchaser’s solicitors with a completion statement (of your property is leasehold)
  • Provide the purchaser’s solicitors with replies to their “Requisitions on Title”.
  • Complete the sale.
  • Repay the outstanding mortgage, settle your estate agents’ invoice and accounts to you for the balance of the sale proceeds.

 


 

Our fees set out above for dealing with sales and purchases assume that :

 

a. the transaction is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise including 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 (such as a declaration of trust setting out an agreement between joint purchasers).

b.  if leasehold, the transaction if the sale or purchase of an existing lease (an “assignment”) and is not the grant of a new lease

c. the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complication arise

d. all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation

e. no indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.

Where we identify any issue that will result in an increase in the fees that you will have to pay, we will let you know this as soon as possible, and at that stage will provide you with a revised fee estimate. Additional fees will be calculated according to the additional time spent dealing with the transaction for you, with reference to the hourly charging rate of members of the residential property team. Please click here for details of hourly rates.

Details of the experience and qualification of each member of our team can be found on our Who's Who page. As part of the firm's membership of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme, all of our conveyancing lawyers complete the mandatory Law Society training each year.

In the event that your transaction does not proceed to completion, we will normally charge you a fee for the work carried out up to the point that the transaction became abortive. This will be a proportion of what our fee would have been had the matter proceeded to completion, depending upon the stage at which the transaction aborted. For example, if the transaction aborted just prior to exchange of contracts, it is likely that the majority of the legal work (about 80%)  would have been done and to reflect this, our fee could typically be about 80% of the fee that we would have charged had the matter completed. We may discount this in certain circumstances, such as if a sale falls though, but then you subsequently go on to complete a sale of the property.

 

Can we help you?

 

We appreciate that we have set out a lot of information, as we are required to do by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.  We are always happy to provide a detailed, bespoke fee estimate for you, after we have discussed the transaction with you, with no obligation upon you to subsequently instruct us. If you would like to find out more or would like to instruct us, please click here to request an estimate.

Conveyancing fees

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Our hourly rates

Hourly rates - residential property

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