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Residential Property

From buying or selling your home to investing in rental property, remortgaging, buying land for development or building a property portfolio, our specialist team of lawyers can give offer advice and guidance every step of the way.

Buying a Property

Buying a Property

From buying or selling your home to investing in rental property, remortgaging, buying land for development or building a property portfolio, our specialist team of lawyers can give advice and guidance every step of the way.

The profiles of the lawyers in our Residential Property Team (along with details of when they qualified and their areas of expertise) can be found here.

Below is a breakdown of our fees and third party fees you will incur when selling a property……

Property Value

(£)

 

Our Legal Fees (£)

 

1

200,000

1200.00 plus VAT

 

200,001

300,000

1200.00 plus VAT

 

300,001

400,000

1250.00 - 1300 plus VAT

 

400,001

500,000

1350.00 plus VAT

 

500,001

750,000

1350.00 - £1500.00 plus VAT

 

750,001

999,999

1500.00 - 1750.00 plus VAT

 

1,000,000+

 

0.25% of the price

 

You will also incur a one off bank transfer fee of £30 + VAT

The following charges will also apply if relevant to the property you are buying:

New Build Property  - £200.00 + VAT

Listed Building  - £200.00 + VAT

Help to Buy Equity Loan - £300 + VAT

Shared Ownership  - £200.00 + VAT

Leasehold  - £200.00 + VAT

You will also incur the following payments to third parties (Disbursements):

Searches (approx.)  - £300- £400 + VAT

Stamp Duty Land Tax:

You must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if you buy a property or land over £125,000 in England and Northern Ireland.

The amount you will pay will depend on the value of the property and your personal circumstances

You can use HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) Stamp Duty Land Tax calculator to work out approximately how much tax you will need to pay.

Land Registry fees:

All property purchases need to be registered at the Land Registry and they charge a fee for doing this. Their fee is dependent on the value of the property. You are able to work out the exact amount you will be charged via this link to the Land Registry’s fees calculator.

Note; please be aware that fees and disbursements may be subject to change during the course of the transaction as more information becomes available. This is unlikely; however, we will inform you if any work becomes necessary due to unforeseen complexities or a change in your requirements or circumstances. We will confirm to you the charges for such extra work before incurring the extra costs. Please note that such extra charges may apply even where a fixed fee has been agreed.

The Key Stages of Buying a Property:

There are various stages to the conveyancing process and as a guide we set each stage out as follows together with details of what we will do throughout each stage:

Stage One: Instructions

Once an offer has been accepted we would encourage you to formalise instructions with us and with the agent (if any) to reduce delay.

Once you have confirmed your instructions with us, we will proceed to open a file and write to you confirming our instructions, an estimate of fees and disbursements and our terms and conditions of business. We will also send our Client Information Form to you for completion to collate information specific to the transaction such as details of any finance you are obtaining either by way of mortgage or gift, details of any adult occupiers who will reside at the property, and any deadlines imposed on the transaction either by you due to your circumstances or the chain. It is at this stage you will be informed of the name and status of the person who will carry out the work, together with details of their regulated supervisor. Details of the team can be found via the Bios link which will provide full details of each fee earner, their experience, qualifications and their regulated supervisor.

Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”) - we will not however be providing any taxation advice save in relation to payment of SDLT on the purchase price. If this is a joint purchase, we will provide you with information on the different types of ownership.

The law now requires solicitors, as well as banks, building societies and others, to obtain satisfactory evidence of identity of their clients. In order to comply with the law on money laundering, we will need 1 form of photographic ID (driving licence or passport) and 2 utility bills/bank statements no more than 3 months old for proof of address (these must be originals and not printed from the Internet). We will need to see original documents. If these are sent by post please send them recorded delivery and we will return them using the same method. Alternatively you can bring these to our offices and we can arrange for the documents to be copied and handed back to you straight away. Please do call us first to make an appointment to ensure someone is available to see you. We can only accept photocopies if they have been certified by a solicitor, chartered accountant, FCA registered individual or at the Post Office.

We ask for £300 on account at the outset to cover searches on your purchase and then everything else is payable at completion save for 10% deposit payable at exchange.

Solicitors are obliged by the Law Society to verify the source of all funds received into their Client Account. We will ask you to provide documentation evidencing the source of your deposit funds and purchase monies. If any financial contribution is to be made by a third party we will contact them and advise them to take independent legal and financial advice.

They will also need to provide us with evidence as to how the funds have been accumulated and over what period of time. We will also require their identification documents in the same way we requested yours at the outset. The position regarding the gift will need to be reported to any lender you may have for their authority to proceed. Please ensure your financial advisor has already made your lender aware of any gift or third party financial contribution at the application stage.

Stage Two: Pre exchange

Once you have returned the signed Terms and Conditions and Client Information Form formalising your instructions we will contact the seller’s solicitors to confirm instructions, the name of the conveyancer and their regulated supervisor, provide your full name(s), agreed price and confirm whether there is any related transaction (remortgage or sale).

Upon hearing from us, the seller’s solicitors will issue draft contract documentation to include full title details of the property. At this stage we will review the title documents to ensure a marketable title and review the costs estimate and revise if necessary providing you with updated information regarding any fees or disbursements in line with any changes we may have to make. You will be notified that the documents have been received from the seller’s solicitors and, subject to your authority to any change in our fee estimate, we will apply for the standard (and any recommended) conveyancing searches.

Enquiries will be raised on the seller in relation to the property. We will check the property has the benefit of any planning permission(s) to enable your proposed use of the property (but please note we are not responsible for reviewing or reporting on any planning application or drawings).

Upon completion of our due diligence and once we consider the property is good and marketable and suitable security for your lender (if applicable) we will report to you on title, replies to enquiries and the results of our search applications.

You will be asked to review our report and raise any enquiries which you may have as soon as possible. Once you are satisfied and happy to proceed, you will need to sign the contract and any other documents required for signature and return these together with a 10% deposit in order for us to effect exchange of contracts once the chain (if any) is ready and a completion date has been agreed.

Stage Three: Exchange of Contracts

We will advise you to put in place your own buildings insurance, which will usually take effect from the date of exchange of contracts (and not from the later completion date). Upon reporting to you, we will advise on the conditions of the contract in terms of insurance and specifically advise at that stage whether you are obliged to insure from the point of exchange of completion. It is usually only the latter if the property is a new build and more often than not, you will need to insure from exchange of contracts. The sum insured should be a sum equal to the full rebuild cost of the property plus the usual fees (architects etc.) i.e. not necessarily the purchase price. Please ensure you comply with the requirements of your lender in its offer of mortgage in respect of buildings insurance (if applicable). We will require a copy of the building insurance schedule before contracts are exchanged.

Any mortgage monies will be requested from your lender and we will also prepare final statements showing the balance due from you to complete. We will require funds to be in our account no later than 4pm on the working day prior to completion. You should discuss with your bank the best, and most efficient way of transferring your funds to us. Please note, we will not contact you by email to inform you that our bank details have changed. Prior to transferring funds, we would always recommend that you contact our office using the number at the top of our letter-headed paper to confirm bank details prior to making any funds transfer.

To ensure the day of completion runs as smoothly as possible, especially where there are particularly long chains, we will request the money to come in from your lender the day prior to completion. This is so that we are in a position to make the funds transfer to your seller’s solicitors as early as possible to avoid any delays with completion. This does not necessarily mean keys will be available any earlier than the time stated on the contract (usually 2pm) but it keeps the delays to a minimum should there be an issue with the banking system or should the bank take a particularly long time to transfer the monies to the account of the seller’s solicitors.

Stage Four: Completion

On the day of completion, funds will be transferred to your seller’s as early as we are able to and upon receipt of the funds, the seller’s solicitors shall telephone the agents (if any) to confirm keys can be released to you as the new home owner. The seller’s solicitors will telephone our office to confirm keys have been released and we shall in turn contact you to confirm completion has taken place and keys are available for collection. Under the terms of the contract, you are usually entitled to take possession of the property between 12pm and 12am. However, please be prepared to be a little flexible as co-operation between sellers and buyers means everything on completion day!

Please note however that we have only limited control over the precise timing of key availability and the giving of vacant possession. We will do everything we can to achieve a smooth hand-over but for example funds transmission is by no means instant especially on a Friday or at month end.

Keys are usually collected from the agents. If this is a private sale, then we will ensure arrangements are in place for key handover prior to completion.

Stage Five: Post Completion

Once completion has taken place we will submit your SDLT return to HMRC and make any payment for SDLT which you may be liable for.

On the day of completion the seller’s solicitors will send to us the transfer deed signed by their client which is the document effecting the transfer of ownership of the property from your sellers to you. Upon receipt of the transfer we will arrange for it to be sent to the Land Registry electronically where they will in turn register the transfer of ownership and update the title. Once registration formalities have been completed the Land Registry will send to us evidence of this which we will send on to you.

If you have purchased with the aid of a mortgage, we will also have sent to the Land Registry, with the transfer, the mortgage deed which would have been signed by you prior to exchange of contracts. This will secure the mortgage monies against the property on behalf of your lender.

Your file will then be closed which will be held for 15 years. We will arrange for any deeds to be held in storage if requested by you. This service is free of charge.

 

We have taken all reasonable steps to ensure the price information set out on our website provides an accurate and realistic indication of the costs of obtaining certain legal advice today, but we may update the information at any time in the future.

Whilst we hope this information is helpful as an initial guide, we will provide you with a specific fee proposal and a copy of our standard terms of business when you instruct us to undertake work.

Buying a second home

If you're looking for a second home, there are a few details you'll need to consider. A purpose-built holiday home may not have planning permission as a year-round residence, so if you're thinking about your second home becoming a retirement option this is something you'll need to consider.

If you're planning to rent out your second home, you may also be liable for tax on any rental income and any profit you receive when you sell will be subject to capital gains tax depending on your income.

We have a great deal of experience in supporting buyers with second properties and can talk you through all the options. 

Purchasing a buy to let property

We can help you through every stage of the buy to let process.

  • Initial property acquisition 
  • Tenancy agreements 
  • Disputes 
  • Tax implications 
  • Refinancing

Our experienced conveyancing team has a wealth of experience working with landlords and make the journey as smooth as possible from start to finish.

Can you act for me if I'm buying a home out of the area

We can support you with buying or selling a home anywhere in the UK. However you may prefer to use a Solicitor located within the area you are purchasing as they'll have a good knowledge of any laws or issues particular to that location. 

Although most of the process will be handled via phone or email, being able to drop into an office to hand over paperwork or check on things can speed the process up.

Buying a home with your partner and want to protect your investment?

If you're buying a property jointly with someone else but each of you is contributing different amounts, it's worth drawing up a Declaration of Trust. This is a legal document which details how the proceeds of any future sale should be divided. This safeguards both parties interests. If you have already bought a property, a Declaration of Trust can still be prepared provided that your co-owner agrees. 

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