Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the purchase of your new freehold home, including reviewing the title to the property, acting for the lender, if any, dealing with registration at the Land Registry and dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) if the property is in England.
Disbursements, as referred to below, are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
The details set out below are for an “average” £500,000 freehold purchase. The actual fees and disbursements may be higher or lower depending on the purchase price, lender’s requirements and the complexity of the matter. (A garage cannot give you a fixed price to repair your car until it has looked under your bonnet and seen any problems. It is the same for us with your property purchase- we do not know what problems there may be with the property (if any) until we have seen and considered the papers)
Our legal fees and disbursements
Legal fee £1000
Acting for lender (if there is one): £250
Completion of SDLT return: £85*
Miscellaneous costs charge: £100
Electronic money transfer fee: £35
Search fees: £300
HM Land Registry fees: £150
Estimated total (for an average £500,000 transaction): £15,589
*Stamp Duty or Land Tax (on purchase)
We have to make a return to HMRC for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). The amount of SDLT depends on the purchase price of your property and your circumstances (e.g. there might be less SDLT or none at all if you are a first time buyer). You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC's website .
How long will my house 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 4-6 weeks.
It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain and type of freehold property you are purchasing. Quicker if, for example, you are a first time buyer, purchasing an existing property with a mortgage agreed in principle. Longer, if you are also selling and there is a long chain of similar transactions or if you are buying a new build property because of the additional work required. And longer (with additional charges) if there are problems, for example if legal title is defective, part of the property is unregistered, we discover building regulations or planning permission has not been obtained or if crucial documents are missing.
Stages of the process
The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, below are some key stages in an average 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, review and advise on contract documents
Carry out searches
Obtain further planning documentation if required
Make any necessary enquiries of seller's solicitor
Give you advice on all documents and information received
Send final contract to you for signature
Advise you on joint ownership
Obtain pre-completion searches
Agree completion date (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
Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax
Deal with application for registration at Land Registry