Are you buying a house and need to instruct a solicitor for the conveyancing? We have a specialist team of conveyancing solicitors with years of experience helping clients buy their dream houses. Contact our solicitors for buying a house today!
What to consider when buying a house
Buying a house, whether for the first time or third, fourth, sixth, it is an exciting and important moment in your life. However, the process for buying a house can be a stressful experience and is often considered one of the most stressful things a person can do. That is why an experienced solicitor is essential to help make this often complicated process run as smoothly as possible for all parties involved.
Our conveyancing experts assist buyers with their legal requirements when buying a house, from start to finish. You can learn more about our conveyancing legal fees, as well as timeframes and the stage of buying a house below. Alternatively, you can fill out our online form to receive a conveyancing quote or contact the team for more information.
Get in touch with our specialist solicitors for buying a house.
We are very proud to be able to say that our residential property team have WON the award for Residential Property of the Year at the Yorkshire Legal Awards 2022, acknowledging us being a market leader and providing a high quality conveyancing service for clients.
Legal lees when buying a house
Our legal fees when buying a house estimates* cover all of the work required to complete the process of buying, including 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, or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property you wish to buy is in Wales (with or without a mortgage).
*These fees vary from property to property and on occasion can be significantly more than the ranges given below. For this type of work we charge an overall fixed fee. If our fixed fee work needs to be discussed with you dependent on your circumstances we will do this with you.
Conveyancing legal fees
Our legal fee range is typically : £1,050 – £2,400 (plus VAT at 20% (£210-£480) for a property with a value of £1,000,000 or less. For properties with a value in excess of £1,000,000 we will provide you with a bespoke quote based on your circumstances. These figures may however vary in cases with special complications or where you have particular requirements. For example, you might need to pay an additional:
£850 legal fee (plus VAT at 20% (£170)) for a leasehold property
£550 legal fee (plus VAT at 20% (£110)) for a new plot
£300 legal fee (plus VAT at 20% (£60)) for a shared ownership property
- Fee you pay us for acting on behalf of the mortgage lender, where relevant, range is : £0-£150 (plus VAT at 20% £0-£30))
- Electronic money transfer fee** £30 (plus VAT at 20% (£6))
- Single purchaser:
- Digital conveyancing fee*** £16 (plus VAT at 20% (£3.20))
- Digital completion fee*** £10 (plus VAT at 20% (£2)) or
- Joint purchaser:
- Digital conveyancing fee*** £32 (plus VAT at 20% (£6.40))
- Digital completion fee*** £10 (plus VAT at 20% (£2))
- Lawyer Checker fee (to verify the account details we will send the purchase monies to on completion are correct) is £22 (which includes our handling charge of £10) (plus VAT at 20% (£4.40))
The subtotal is £1,373.60 - £3,192.80 (inclusive of VAT at 20%) with an additional £850 legal fee (plus VAT at 20% (£170)) for a leasehold property, an additional £550 legal fee (plus VAT at 20% (£110)) for a new plot and an additional £300 legal fee (plus VAT at 20% (£60)) for a shared ownership property.
**In addition to our legal fees, we charge a fee for transferring money electronically.
*** In addition to our legal fees, where a client chooses to use our digital conveyancing tools package as part of their conveyancing instruction, (this will include using our App, online portal and secure digital conveyancing services) our digital conveyancing fee will be charged.
Referral fee (if any)
If our firm pays a referral fee, the maximum we pay is £125 (plus VAT at 20% (£25)). If we pay a referral fee, this will be detailed in your Client Care Letter so that you know how much and who we have paid the referral fee to on your matter. A referral fee is not payable by you as the property purchaser.
Estimated total : £1373.60 - £3192.80 (inclusive of VAT at 20%) with an additional £850 legal fee (plus VAT at 20% (£170)) for a leasehold property, an additional £550 legal fee (plus VAT at 20% (£110)) for a new plot and an additional £300 legal fee (plus VAT at 20% (£60)) for a shared ownership property.
For more information on our fees, contact our conveyancing solicitors here.
Payments to others in all cases
Payments to others (also known as "disbursements") are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as search fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. The disbursements which we anticipate will apply are set out below.
Where applicable, these fees include VAT as stated below
- HM Land Registry fee range is : £20-£1105 (no VAT)
- Search fees range is : £174.50 - £200 (inclusive of VAT at 20% where applicable (£34.90-£40))
- Land Registry search (pre-completion search) is £3 per title number (plus VAT at 20% (£0.60))
- Land Charge search (pre-completion search) is £2 per person (plus VAT at 20% (£0.40))
- Final Lenders Handbook search is £4.80 inclusive of VAT at 20%
Subtotal excluding Stamp Duty : £1578.90 - £4508.60 (inclusive of VAT at 20%) with an additional £850 legal fee (plus VAT at 20% (£170))for a leasehold property, an additional £550 legal fee (plus VAT at 20% (£110)) for a new plot and an additional £300 legal fee (plus VAT at 20% (£60)) for a shared ownership property.
- Stamp Duty or Land Tax – This amount depends on the purchase price of your property, and also upon your personal circumstances (for example, factors such as whether you, or your spouse, already own a property can affect the rate applied to this purchase). 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. However, we will confirm the exact amount payable once we have full details of your personal circumstances.
Anticipated disbursements for leasehold properties* :
With leasehold purchases, there are certain disbursements which will be set out in the individual lease relating to the property. This list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may apply depending on the terms of the lease and the requirements of the landlord of the property. We will update you on the specific fees upon receipt and review of the lease from the seller's solicitors, but examples of the sorts of fees to expect are set out below:
- Notice of Transfer fee – this fee if chargeable is set out in the Lease. Often the fee is between £30-£250 (plus VAT at 20% (£6-£50)), This fee is usually paid by the buyer of the property, but sometimes a charge is also made to the seller. This will be set out in the lease.
- Notice of Charge fee – (if the property is to be mortgaged) – this fee is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £50-£250 (plus VAT at 20% (£10-£50))
- Deed of Covenant fee – this fee is charged by the management company for the property and can be difficult to estimate. Often it is between £100-£500 (plus VAT at 20% (£20-£100)). Again, this fee is usually paid by the buyer of the property, but the terms of the lease will confirm the position.
- Certificate of Compliance fee – to be confirmed upon receipt of the lease, and can range between £100-£500 (plus VAT at 20% (£20-£100)).
*These fees vary from property to property as they are set by individual landlords and management companies. This means that on occasion they can be significantly more than the ranges given above. We can give you an accurate figure once we have sight of both the lease and the leasehold information pack provided by the landlord/management company.
You should also be aware that ground rent and service charge are likely to be charged throughout your ownership of the property. We will confirm the ground rent and the anticipated service charges payable for the property as soon as we receive this information.
Estimated grand total : £1578.90 - £4508.60 (inclusive of VAT at 20%) with an additional £850 legal fee (plus VAT at 20% (£170)) for a leasehold property, an additional £550 legal fee (plus VAT at 20% (£110)) for a new plot and an additional £300 legal fee (plus VAT at 20% (£60)) for a shared ownership property.
(Stamp Duty or Land Tax will be on top of this estimated grand total amount, as will any leasehold fees payable to a landlord or management company).
How long does it take to buy a house?
As a guide, we find that the average conveyancing transaction is currently taking approximately 12 – 14 weeks to complete from the day we receive your instructions, although this will depend on a number of factors and we cannot guarantee these timescales. At Crombie Wilkinson, we aim to complete your matter in accordance with your instructions and circumstances.
House buying time frames given below are likely to change given that we are seeing the average times of a transaction increase significantly due to matters outside of our control because of the impact of coronavirus nationwide. We will keep our clients updated as their transaction progresses to include providing them with any completion dates suggested by other parties involved in the transaction. If you have any questions about this, please contact a member of our Residential Conveyancing team.
It would not normally be necessary to undertake other work or incur other costs other than those described above. However, we would be very happy to provide you with a more tailored quote for all stages of your particular case once we know about your specific circumstances.
The stages of buying a house
Stage 1 – Instructions & Preparation
Take your instructions and give you initial advice, to include advice on SDLT/Land Tax liability tailored to your personal circumstances.
Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender’s solicitor if needed.
This stage will usually be complete within 2 weeks.
Stage 2 – Pre-exchange enquiries and title investigation
Receive and advise on contract documents.
Carry out pre-contract searches.
Obtain further planning documents if required.
Make any necessary enquiries of seller’s solicitors.
Give you advice on all documents and information received.
Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you – if applicable.
Send final contract to you for signature.
Advise you on joint ownership – if applicable.
Agree completion date (date from which you own the property).
- Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened.
This stage will usually be complete within 3 to 4 weeks, depending on how promptly the sellers conveyancer deals with our correspondence, how quickly your mortgage offer is issued by your lender, and how quickly the local authority return the search results to us.
This stage will usually be complete within 2 weeks.
- Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax.
- Deal with application for registration at Land Registry.
- Deal with any Lease requirements.
This stage will usually be complete within 3 weeks. However, for new titles (such as a newly built property, or a first registration of an older property) the Land Registry can take several months to complete our application for registration.
We’ll walk you through the process of buying a house, step-by-step. Get in touch with our conveyancing solicitors.
How long does a house purchase take?
How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move into your property will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 8-12 weeks. It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you are a first-time buyer, purchasing an empty freehold property with a mortgage in principle, it could take 6 weeks. However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between 3-6 months. In such a situation, additional charges would apply.
Our fee assumes that:
- This 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.
- The transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complications arise.
- All parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from the parties providing documentation.
- No indemnity insurance policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.
- In relation to leasehold – this is the assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease.
You can get an instant conveyancing fee estimate online using our Online Conveyancing Tool.
You can see the legal advisers who work in our Residential Conveyancing Team.
We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided, please inform us immediately so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.