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Purchase of a residential property

What services are included and key stages 

Steps involved

  • Considering all information sent by the seller’s conveyancer and raising any additional pre-contract enquiries Agreeing the form of the contract
  • Raising searches and checking all results
  • Attending to all related correspondence, telephone calls, faxes and emails
  • Preparing a report to you on matters of title, contract, pre-contract searches and enquiries relating to the property
  • Reporting to you on your mortgage offer
  • Sending contract, mortgage deed and Stamp Duty Land Transaction Return form to you for execution
  • Confirming your instructions for exchange of contracts and completion including receiving the deposit payable on exchange
  • Arranging for exchange of contracts
  • Preparing the purchase deed to transfer ownership of the property to you and raising pre-completion searches and enquiries
  • Preparing a completion statement
  • Completing the transaction
  • Attending to formalities relating to stamp duty land tax
  • Registering the transaction at the Land Registry

Estimated fees and disbursements

  • Legal fees – our standard fees for a typical house purchase range from around £1,100.00 plus VAT (@ 20%) for a simple transaction to around £7,000 plus VAT (@ 20%) for a substantial historic building on unregistered land. There is an extra charge for dealing with a leasehold title, ranging from £250.00 to £350.00 plus VAT (@ 20%), in addition to the standard fee and administration fees for submitting the stamp duty land transactions form online, and the Land Registry application via the portal. These figures may vary in cases with special complications. This is why we will always give you an individual cost estimate at the start of the transaction, taking into account the actual features of your purchase
  • Approximate search fees (these vary from one local authority to another) – £250.00
  • Electronic money transfer fee – £42.00
  • Pre-completion searches – approximately £11.00
  • Land Registry fee – see below
  • Stamp duty – see below
  • On a limited number of transactions, we pay a fee to a third party (normally an estate agent) for referral of that business. – You will be informed of this, if applicable, in our initial correspondence at the beginning of the transaction.

Additional anticipated disbursements for leasehold purchase*

  • Notice of Transfer fee – this fee if chargeable is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £50.00 and £200.00 plus VAT (@ 20%)
  • Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – this fee is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £10.00 and £100.00
  • Deed of Covenant fee – this fee is provided by the management company for the property and can be difficult to estimate. Often it is between £100.00 and £350.00 plus VAT (@ 20%)
  • Certificate of Compliance fee – to be confirmed upon receipt of the lease, as it can range between £30.00 and £150.00 plus VAT (@ 20%)

Legal fees are fixed fees which will be based on the property and complexity of the transaction. 

*These fees vary from property to property and can, on occasion, be significantly more than the ranges given above. We can give you an accurate figure once we have sight of your specific documents. 

You should also be aware that ground rent and service charge are likely to apply throughout your ownership of the property. We will confirm the ground rent and the anticipated service charge as soon as we receive this  information.

Disbursements 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.

  • Stamp Duty or Land Tax (on purchase) – this depends on the purchase price of your property. 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.
  • Land Registry registration fee – you can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using Land Registry’s website.

For example, for the purchase of a registered freehold residential property at £250,000 with no complications and no mortgage:

  • Pre-exchange searches – £250.00
  • Post exchange/pre-completion searches – £11.00
  • Electronic bank transfer fee – £42.00 inc VAT
  • Administration fee re submitting Stamp Duty Return online – £42.00
  • Administration fee re submitting Land Registry application online – £60.00
  • Legal Fee – £1,100.00
  • VAT on Legal Fee – £160.00
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax – £2,500.00
  • Land Registry Fee – £135.00
  • Estimated total – £4,300.00

Our estimates do not include any advice about the following aspects:

  • Taxation issues
  • Matters relating to survey or the state and condition of the property
  • Checking the identity of your seller
  • The validity or enforceability of any guarantees relating to work done at the property
  • Affordability, suitability or otherwise of any mortgage or loan you are obtaining

We reserve the ability to charge extra if the transaction becomes out of the ordinary, and demands additional time to resolve any problems. These could include:

  • Defective title
  • Lengthy chain
  • Lack of planning documentation from the seller
  • Very short interval between exchange and completion or simultaneous exchange  and completion
  • Dealing with unregistered title
  • Dealing with more than one registered title
  • Tenanted buy to let property
  • Dealing with third party lawyers
  • Arranging conveyancing indemnity policy
  • Drafting statutory declaration
  • Drafting declaration of trust
  • Advising adult occupier required to sign consent form for lender
  • Acting on behalf of the mortgage lender
  • Shared ownership lease
  • Help to buy aspects
  • Leasehold Properties only
  • Dealing with deed of variation of Lease
  • Purchase/Transfer of freehold
  • Dealing with Deed of Covenant/Licence to Assign
  • Dealing with service charge retention

We will always advise you immediately about any complications, and discuss the potential impact on price before any additional charges are incurred.

How long will my house purchase take?

The time it takes 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 8 and 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 a new build property with a mortgage in principle, it could take 8 weeks. However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between 3 and 4 months. In such, a situation additional charges would apply.

Contact us today without obligation. Call 01803 213251 or complete the enquiry form on our contact page.

For details of the property team members click here 

Residential property