The conveyancing process and guidance on costs when purchasing residential property

A guide to our standard legal fees

 

Conveyancing costs will always depend on the circumstances of each individual matter. Before we take your initial instruction we will provide you with a detailed estimate of costs taking into account the discrete elements of the transaction and the property involved.

Below is a guide to our fees for a straightforward standard freehold purchase. These fees are based on our standard hourly rates for the individuals who will be representing you in your property purchase and the list of assumptions that are set out below. Our current charge out rates for residential conveyancing solicitors range from £170 – £210 per hour plus VAT charged at the usual rate:

 

Purchase Price         £600,000 to £750,000                                 £1,950 plus VAT

Purchase Price         £750,001 – £1,000,000                                £2,500 plus VAT

Purchase Price         Above £1,000,000                                        Price on application

 

Not all factors will be obvious at the outset and often come to light on further investigation of the property. Where something arises that might affect our initial estimate, we will discuss this with you at an early stage to ensure that we are not working beyond the scope of your initial instruction.

 

Assumptions:

  • The matter is a standard transaction with no additional documents required such as (but not limited to) a Confidentiality Agreement, Overage Agreement, or Deed of Easement;
  • The property is being purchased with vacant possession and with residential use only;
  • There are no defects in the title to the property and there is no lack of planning, building regulation and/or listed building consents for any works that have been carried out. If any indemnity policies are required, we will obtain quotes and notify you of any additional fees at the time;
  • The purchase does not involve a mortgage and is not being purchased by way of auction;
  • The transaction is a purchase of the whole of the registered title;
  • Title to the property is registered and no application for first registration will be required;
  • You will not require planning, tax or financial advice;
  • All parties involved in the transaction are responsive, co-operative and the transaction proceeds in a timely manner.

 

Additional Costs:

 

In addition to our legal fees for progressing the transaction, there will be additional costs to be paid to third parties. These might include, but are not limited to, search fees, Land Registry fees and Stamp Duty Land Tax. A guide to those costs is set out below. Please note that VAT may be payable at the usual rate:

 

Disbursement Cost (excluding VAT)
Search fees TBC – the cost of the property searches will depend upon the size of the property and the extent of the searches required.   We will always provide you with an estimate for property search costs along with our fee estimate
Land Charges Search £4.00
Land Registry Priority Search £3.00
Telegraphic Transfer Fee £16.00
Recorded/Special Delivery Postage £5.00 – £10.00
Land Registry Registration Fee TBC – the fee for registration of the transfer on completion of the purchase will depend on the purchase price of the property.   Please click here for further information and guidance on Land Registry fees.
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) SDLT is payable on the purchase of a property.   The amount payable will depend on a number of factors. Please click here for further information and guidance on SDLT for residential property purchases.

 

As an additional service we are always happy to attend the property that you are purchasing to carry out a site visit. This can prove invaluable in identifying matters that may not be apparent from seller’s replies to enquiries or searches.

On receipt of your instruction we will provide you with a detailed summary setting out key information such as our cost and time estimate, details of the solicitor who will be dealing with your matter, and our understanding of the scope of your instructions.

 

Key Stages and Timescales of a Standard Property Purchase

 

Below we have outlined the key stages and the average timeline of a simple property purchase with no mortgage. The timeline can be shorter or longer depending on the bespoke elements of the transaction but the average timescale is between 4 and 12 weeks.

 

Action Average Timeline
Take your instructions, carry out anti-money laundering checks and provide you with out a Letter of Engagement, Terms of Business and Summary of Instruction Week 1
Raise enquiries of the seller in relation to the property, fixtures and fittings and commission property searches.

Carry out a review of the title to the property and raise any additional enquiries of the seller

Weeks 2 – 4

Please note that not all local authority search results take the same amount of time and some local authorities take longer than others. We will be able to advise in more detail once we have the address of the property.

Negotiate and settle the terms of the property sale contract and transfer documents Weeks 2 – 4
Report to you on the title to the property, replies to enquiries and search results Week 5
Deal with exchange of contracts Weeks 5 – 6
Deal with completion of the purchase Weeks 6 – 8 depending on how quickly the parties are able to proceed to completion
Draft SDLT return for approval by you and submit to HMRC with payment As soon as possible following completion and in any event within 10 days to avoid a late filing penalty
Apply to the Land Registry to register the legal transfer of the property to you as the new owner Following receipt of confirmation from HMRC that the SDLT has been paid and within the 30 day priority period at the Land Registry.   Registration by the Land Registry can take between 2 weeks and 6 months depending upon their workloads and the complexity of the transaction

 

How your transaction will be managed and what to do if you have concerns

 

Our residential team compromises of Tamsin Mann as Senior Associate, Anna Bevan as Property Legal Assistant and Louis Mathers as Consultant. Your transaction will be managed by Tamsin who will be your main point of contact throughout and assisted by Anna. You will be given their mobile telephone number, direct dial and email address.

 

Every transaction is supervised by a Partner in the Firm who will be responsible for ensuring that your matter is dealt with in line with regulatory requirements, whilst ensuring that you experience the best client care.

 

We pride ourselves on the fact that we don’t just provide a high level of service but we are able to build close professional relationships with our clients. We encourage feedback from our clients and strive to maintain a working relationship where clients are able to share and comment on any improvements that they think we can make. If you have any concerns or comments regarding the services being provided or the costs incurred, please see our Complaints Procedure.

 

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