Purchases

Purchase of a freehold or leasehold residential property

We have been awarded Best Regional Conveyancing Firm of the Year North East & Yorkshire at the 2019 LFS Conveyancing national Awards, acknowledging our high quality conveyancing service for clients.

Our fees estimates* 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 (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).

Point to note re Stamp Duty (SDLT) - many people will benefit from the SDLT holiday introduced by the government which will end on 30th June 2021 (originally 31st March 2021), but this doesn’t apply to all clients (for instance those who already own other property may still be liable to pay SDLT). SDLT will therefore be calculated based on a clients personal circumstances once we have all information to hand.
The SDLT holiday is being phased out after 30th June 2021, and for those purchasers who are buying a property for £250,000 or under, the holiday will be extended to 30th September 2021.

Update as of 3 March 2021 - It is of the utmost importance to us to deliver the best service to our clients and to be open and honest about what we can deliver. This is set out in our Service Pledge. However, due to the reasons below, we unfortunately cannot guarantee that your sale or purchase will be completed before 30 June 2021.
 
The government decision to provide a stamp duty land tax holiday up to £500,000 until 30th June 2021 (originally 31st March 2021) means that the property industry as a whole is facing unprecedented demand. We have seen the average time of a transaction increase significantly due to matters outside of our control. The impact of coronavirus nationwide restrictions and the requirement for all to work from home as much as possible means that we are seeing both solicitors and their clients experiencing delays with obtaining things such as:
• surveys
• mortgage offers
• local authority searches
 
Whilst some of these matters may or may not impact you directly, please remember that other people involved in your transaction chain may be impacted by such matters. 
 
With this in mind, we are now warning all of our clients that there is a real risk that completion of their sale or purchase before 30 June 2021 cannot be guaranteed, despite our best efforts. The SDLT holiday is being phased out after 30th June, and for those purchasers who are buying a property for £250,000 or under, the holiday will be extended to 30th September 2021.
If you have any questions about this, please contact a member of our Residential Conveyancing team.

*These fees vary from property to property and on occasion can be significantly more than the ranges given above. 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.

The legal fees

  • Legal fee range is typically : £875 – £2000 (plus VAT at 20%) with an additional £500 (plus VAT at 20%) for a leasehold property
  • Fee for acting on behalf of the mortgage lender range is : £0-£150 (plus VAT at 20%)
  • Electronic money transfer fee**, per transfer is : £30 (which includes our handling charge of £21) + £6 VAT
  • Lawyer Checker fee (to verify the account details we will send the purchase monies to on completion are correct):  £22 (which includes our handling charge of £10) + £4.40 VAT
  • VAT payable : £175 - £400 with an additional £100 for a leasehold property
  • Subtotal :    £1112.40 - £2642.40  inclusive of VAT with an additional £500 legal fee and £100 (VAT at 20%) for a leasehold property

**In addition to our legal fees, we charge a fee for transferring money electronically. Our handling fee for this varies but will be no more than £21 plus VAT at 20%, meaning the total for the money transfer will be no more than £30 + £6 VAT.

Referral fee (if any)

If our firm pays a referral fee, the maximum we pay is £125 (plus VAT at 20%).  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.

Estimated total : £1112.40 - £2642.40 inclusive of VAT with an additional £500 legal fee and £100 (VAT at 20%) for a leasehold property

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-£910 (no VAT)
  • Search fees range is : £170 - £250 (inclusive of VAT at 20% where applicable)
  • Land Registry search (pre-completion search) is £3 per title number (plus VAT at 20%)
  • Land Charge search (pre-completion search) is £2 per person (plus VAT at 20%)
  • Subtotal excluding Stamp Duty : £1308.40 - £3808.40 inclusive of VAT with an additional £500 legal fee and £100 (VAT at 20%) for a leasehold 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%), 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%)
  • 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%). 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%).

*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 : £1308.40 - £3808.40 inclusive of VAT (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).

Worked Example:

Mr and Mrs Boyes are purchasing a registered freehold house in Pickering, for a price of £275,000, and will be taking a mortgage with a high street bank.  They are not first time buyers but do not currently own any other properties.  

Legal fees

£1200.00

VAT applicable

£240.00

Bank transfer fee (which includes our handling charge of £21)

£30.00

VAT applicable

£6.00

Lawyer checker fee (which includes our handling charge of £10)

£22.00

VAT applicable

£4.40

 

Disbursements

Pre-contract search pack

£180.00

Land Registry search fee

VAT applicable

£3.00

£0.60

Land Charge search fee

VAT applicable

£4.00

£0.80

Land Registration fee

£135.00

SDLT

£3,750.00

 

Total inclusive of VAT

£5,575.80

 

Stages of the process

Update as of 12 November 2020 - We aim to complete your matter in accordance with your instructions and circumstances. 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, we cannot guarantee these timescales and refer you to our comments towards the top of this page above regarding the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday. The timeframes 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.

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.
  • Draft Transfer.
  • 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.

Pre-completion matters

  • Obtain pre-completion searches.
  • Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you.
  • Complete purchase.

This stage will usually be complete within 2 weeks.

Post-completion formalities

  • 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. 

How long will my property 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 here. 

You can see the legal advisers who work in our Property Team here.

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.