Freehold Purchase

Price transparency

Due to the numerous variables on a transaction it is difficult to predict what the legal fee will be as this is calculated on a time spent basis and dependent on a number of factors involved including the level of seniority of the fee earner allocated to your matter. However as a result of many years of experience we are usually able to deal with these matters quickly and efficiently and within budget. It would be preferable to have a quick call with you to discuss the transaction before submitting a personalised fee indication but below is a estimated fee range and expenses involved on a regular straightforward freehold purchase for the below property values.

 

Property Value Estimated fee range excluding VAT
£250,000 £1,100-£1,250
£500,000 £1,400-£1,700
£750,000 £1,900-£2,200
£1,000,000 £2,400-£2,700
£1,500,000 £2,800-£3,000

 

Disbursements (excluding VAT)

 

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties such as Land Registry fees. We handle payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

 

Disbursement Fees
Land Registry Fees £20-£455
Local Search (dependant on which Local Authority) £150-£350
Chancel £20
Drainage Search £50-£100
Environmental Search £50-£100
Land Registry Search £3
Bankruptcy Search £2
Bank Charges £20

 

Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”) or Land Tax

This depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC'S website (https://www.tax.service.gove.uk/calculate-stamp-duty-land-tax/#/intro) or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority's website here (https://beta.gov.wales/land-transaction-tax-calculator). We would however advise speaking with us with regards to the amount of SDLT payable as this is a complicated area and many variables can affect the amount of tax payable including but not limited to the purchase price and the capacity in which you are buying the property.

What are the stages of the purchasing process?

Your solicitor is an independent professional legal adviser acting solely on your behalf and, when contemplating the purchase of your home, which is probably your major asset, it is advisable to seek preliminary advice from your solicitor before proceeding.

  • Preliminary advice is free and readily available and will include answering your queries such as :-
    1. when considering making an offer, what factors should I take into account in order to reduce the ultimate purchase price?
    2. how do I phrase my offer and when should I make a verbal offer? NB. All offers must be expressed as “Subject to Contract”.
    3. is it necessary to have an independent structural survey carried out; if so when should the Surveyor be instructed?
    4. what costs am I likely to be involved with? These include search fees, Stamp Duty Land Tax, Land Registry fees, Surveyors' fees and legal fees.
  • Once your offer has been accepted by the seller we will receive all relevant details from either the seller or the seller's estate agents to allow us to write to them requesting a draft contract.
  • It is essential for us to submit all searches but particularly a Local Authority Search as soon as possible as the results can take up to four weeks.
  • It required, you should submit a mortgage application at the commencement of the transaction as this can also take four weeks or more before the lenders issue you with a letter of offer.
  • Your mortgage application should be accompanied by a cheque to cover the lender's valuers' fees.
  • Once we have examined the draft contract and the seller's title, we submit our enquiries to the seller's solicitors.
  • Upon receiving satisfactory replies to the enquiries raised as well as the Local Authority Search and other appropriate searches we can forward to you a full report. This report examines in detail pre-contract documentation together with a full explanation of your likely responsibilities and liabilities.
  • Providing the pre-contract documentation is in order and you have received a satisfactory letter of offer from your lender we can submit the contract to you for signature and request that you place us in funds for the 10% deposit monies payable upon exchange.
  • We act for all the major building societies and banks and should receive instructions to act on their behalf at the same time as you receive your letter of offer. This reduces your legal costs and allows us to expedite the transaction for you.
  • If you are unable to produce the 10% deposit, we may be able to negotiate a reduction in the deposit sum.
  • Prior to exchange you may wish to consider negotiating a reduction in the price dependent upon the outcome of your survey report and all or any other relevant factors. We always advise clients to have an independent structural survey carried out in addition to the lender's valuation (which may not be made available to you in any event).
  • It is preferable to include in the contract a clause to cover the additional purchase of any fixtures and fittings which you may have agreed upon direct with the seller to ensure that (a) there is a contractual liability on the seller to leave the items and (b) the sums for the said items are paid to the seller to leave the items and (c) the sums for these items are paid to the seller's solicitors on completion.
  • On exchange of contracts a completion date is agreed, on that date you obtain vacant possession providing the balance of the purchase monies are handed over to the Seller's Solicitors. The completion date is normally 10-14 days after exchange but this date can be brought forward or put back depending on the wishes of the parties.
  • Once exchange of contracts has taken place you are contractually obliged to proceed with the purchase unless there is a valid legal reason allowing withdrawal and the return of the 10% deposit monies.
  • After exchange and prior to completion it is necessary for you to sign the mortgage documentation and we will forward to you a completion statement setting out your financial position to include all or any Stamp Duty Land Tax, Land Registry fees and legal fees.
  • On the day of completion it is usual for us to forward to the seller's solicitors the balance of the purchase monies by bank transfer and these monies should be received by the seller's solicitor before 2.00 pm. You will not normally be given the keys to your new property until such time as the seller's solicitors receive the monies.
  • You can either make your own arrangements with the seller to hand over the keys or alternatively the keys will be left with the estate agents to be collected once the Seller's solicitors have authorised their release.
  • After completion has taken place it is necessary for us to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax and register your interest and that of your mortgage lender at the Land Registry. Once the transaction is registered we will send you a copy of the register for your information.
How long will your matter take?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move into your house will depend on a number of factors such as how quickly your lender deals with your mortgage application; how quickly you can instruct a valuation or building survey on the property and the length of the conveyancing process. The average process takes between 8-12 weeks. It can be quicker or slower depending on the cooperation and number of parties in the conveyancing chain.

Factors that can make your matter more complex and increase costs?

This list is not exhaustive but provides an indication of some of the issue that may arise:

  • Advice on a holding structure if you are an overseas entity buying in the UK.
  • Tax advice
  • Dealing with issues if the legal title is defective
  • Dealing with any issues arising from part of the land being unregistered
  • Where planning or building regulations have not been obtained and an indemnity policy or alternative action is needed
  • If documents requested from the client have not been provided and we are chasing for them
  • Preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction
  • Unforeseen complications arising
  • Dealing with parties to the transaction who are uncooperative
  • Drafting a declaration of trust as to how the beneficial interest in the property is to be held
  • Compliance with restrictions on the title
  • Where a mortgage is being used to fund the purchase and either we are instructed to act for the lender and you or the lender is separately represented.
  • Buying under any Government Schemes

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