Each sale and purchase is different so please call us to get a free estimate tailored to your personal circumstances. These fees are only guidelines and very many factors can mean your estimated fee will vary. We treat all our clients as individuals to give best advice so please do ring 01782 339 200 and ask for conveyancing.
Our estimated fees cover all the work required for you to buy your new home including registering your names at HM Land Registry; registering any mortgage; dealing with the completion of your Inland Revenue Tax Return and paying your Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) if any (for England), Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if you buy in Wales.
The solicitor’s total charge is made up of the three things, the conveyancers fee which is money which the solicitor’s firm is paid for doing the work, VAT on this fee, which is fixed by the government at 20% at present and a list of payments called disbursements. This is money which you give to us but which we pay out to buy information or for registration. Disbursements include payments to Local Authority, to the Land Registry, your Stamp Duty (if any). Many firms pay referral fees to Estate Agents or others to get their work. We do not need to do this because work is referred to us without us paying fees and clients come back to us and recommend us to their friends and family. At the end of every file, we ask our clients for feedback on our services and in nearly every single case we are told that our services have been excellent. Set out below are details of how the total charge adds up: –
Estimate of fees:
Our Fee (excluding VAT)
Each area of the country is different, so we tailor the searches and enquiries we raise accordingly. The money we pay out on your behalf to buy the information is set out below. This example is for a normal residential purchase in Stoke on Trent: –
|Type of disbursement|
|Stoke on Trent local authority search|
|Coal authority mining report (covers 50m from the property)|
|Severn Trent water drainage search|
|Priority searches, Bankruptcy searches, Index map, Land charges searches (unregistered land)|
Land Registry Fee
This depends on the price of the property and the nature of the transaction. The Land Registry fees can be found on the Land Registry website. If you telephone us, we can tell you the fee for your particular transaction depending.
Stamp Duty/Land Tax
This depends upon the price and your circumstances for example, if it is a second property in some circumstances it may be the higher rate. If you telephone us, we can advise you and you can look on the website of HMRC where there is an online calculator.
Example – overall payment to your solicitor for fees, VAT and disbursements:
To give you an example, we have calculated a total amount of money that you would give to us for the purchase of a freehold terrace home in Fenton with registered title at the Land Registry and a mortgage for the sum of £82,000.00, on the basis that our client owns no other property: –
|Type of fees||Legal fees|
|Local authority search||£95.32|
|Coal authority mining report (covers 50m from the property)||£43.60|
|Administration Fee re internal CHAPS transfer||£16.75|
|Lloyds TSB charge||£14.40|
|Land registration fee||£80.00|
How long does an average house purchase take?
We start work once we have received from you satisfactory ID, sufficient information about your purchase and an upfront payment of £320.00. This is spent approximately £200.00 on searches and £100.00 for the solicitor’s fee plus £20.00 VAT. We can then start the legal process. This usually takes 3-4 weeks up to the point when we have all the answers and can report to you and we can make a binding contract. Completion can be one week after this if everyone else in the chain is also ready. Everyone in the chain has to wait for the last person in the chain to be ready to make the contract. When the contract is made that is when the moving date, (when keys and money changes hands) is fixed. The process can be quicker or slower depending on circumstances.
If for example, you are a cash buyer and you decide not to have any searches the property you are buying empty and there is no chain then completion could take place far quicker. If any of the complications arise, examples of these are set out under the heading “extra factors” which could increase costs or cause delays for example, if you are buying a newly built property there would be lots of extra questions about planning permission, building regulation, guarantees, unadopted sewers, roads etc., which could take longer if all this paperwork is not ready available. If you are buying a leasehold property and we need information from the management company or the landlord as well as the seller this could cause a delay.
Example process for a freehold purchase of registered land: –
Key stages: –
Give to you an estimate of fee, VAT and payments to third parties (disbursements) and take your verbal instructions to proceed
- Give initial advice
- Receive from you evidence of ID and money on account
- Obtain a plan from the Land Registry and apply for searches
- Take details from you as to how you are funding your purchase and receive proof of funds from you if needed
- Request contract, fixtures fittings form, property information form, planning permissions, guarantees, plan and copy deeds plus other documents making up the contract pack and receive this from the seller’s solicitors
- Check the deeds and contract pack, raise enquiries, report to you on progress
- Receive further information from the seller’s solicitors and receive search results and report to you on progress and give to you advice on the information we have
- Receive mortgage offer, check the conditions and report to you
- Make arrangements for you to sign
- Negotiate a completion date i.e. when money and keys change hands and make a binding contract (exchange) and report to you
- Draft final figures, order monies from the lender and make arrangements for you to let us have any money that you are paying
- On the day of completion, send your monies electronically and ensure keys are released to you
- After completion deal with payment of stamp duty/land tax if any and ensure registration of your names and any mortgage at Land Registry
Electronic Bank Transfers
Whenever we are instructed to do an electronic bank transfer there is a solicitors fee of £16.75 with VAT of £3.35 and charge by the bank of £12.00 plus £2.40 VAT, this overall means an extra £34.50 on your bill for each CHAPS/Electronic Payment. In a purchase, we would usually make one electronic payment, sending the money on the day of completion unless you instruct us to do anymore. In connection with a sale, there would usually be one electronic payment to redeem the one mortgage and one electronic payment to you with the funds unless you ask us to send a cheque. You may also agree an electronic payment to the estate agents. If there are two owners and you are splitting the proceeds you may ask for an electronic payment each. For every payment there is an extra charge on your bill of £34.50 made up as explained above.
Note – Every case is different so please read section E extra factors for examples of circumstance that can lead to extra legal work and extra fees. Please call us to discuss your individual case and get an estimate tailored to your circumstances.
The fees are the same as those given for a freehold purchase plus an estimated additional £200.00 plus VAT for dealing with the extra work because the property is leasehold. The additional work covers obtaining information and extra correspondence with the landlord and/or any management company, sorting out any consents or deeds of covenant or the transfer of share certificates and the registration of the transaction after completion with the landlord/management company. If any problems arise (because leasehold’s are generally more complicated than freeholds) eg there is a long lease and the landlord cannot be found, the lease has not been drafted properly, there are several restrictions in favour of different parties on the title deeds, we have difficulty getting rent/ground rent/service charge information, then we explain to you the problem and any likely increase in our fee to cover the extra work. Sometimes the provisions of the lease do not match the provisions that the lender’s insist upon as part of your mortgage. Leasehold work often involves third parties who have no interest in your transaction, e.g.: the management company or landlord so they are not always helpful and often charge for any information. Their charges vary.
The fees, VAT and disbursements would be the same as a freehold purchase plus the following likely additional costs to you: –
- Additional disbursements to you £10
- Additional £200.00 plus VAT for the legal fees
- Additional anticipated disbursements e.g.; the management company/landlord may charge for information; this varies
- Charge for Deed of Covenant – you may need to enter into the new covenant i.e. legal promise with the landlord/management company and this is set by the lease or the company, so it is variable.
- Notice to landlord/management company of the transfer into your name or a new mortgage – this fee is often set out in the lease and again is variable.
- You may be asked to pay ground rent/rent or service charge in advance particularly if you are the first person to take up the lease, we will find out for you how much the rent and service charge are and if they are likely to increase in the next few years and then report to you
Example process for purchasing
Please refer to the example for purchasing a freehold. In addition to this process there will be extra work in checking the wording of the lease, the landlord’s deeds as well as the deeds for the seller of the lease, investigations with the management company and landlord. Drafting additional documents for example, Deed of Covenant, transfer of share certificate, if you are to be a member of the management company etc.
Estimate time as to how long my house purchase takes?
Please look at the explanation for time taken in connection with a freehold purchase (as usually a leasehold purchase can take a few weeks longer) and be delayed if all the information needed is not available straight away from the seller’s solicitors, landlord and management company.
Note – Every case is different so please read Section E extra factors for examples of circumstance that can lead to extra legal work and extra fees. Please call us to discuss your individual case and get an estimate tailored to your circumstances.
Our fees cover all the work listed in the “process for selling” (C4) required to complete the sale of your home including redeeming one mortgage only and ensuring this is removed from the register at HM Land Registry.
The monies that you will pay to us will be broken down into a legal fee which the solicitors firm receives for the work, VAT at 20% on that fee and payments made to others on your behalf for example, to pay your mortgage off. Payments to third parties include disbursements for example, we may do bankruptcy searches, index map or land charge search. We may pay the Land Registry for official copies of your deeds. These would usually amount to around £10.00.
Estimate of fees:
Our Fee (excluding VAT and disbursements)
An auction sale is a little bit different because you may pay for searches so that you provide information to all the potential buyers at the auction. You may pay for a local search, a mining search and drainage search and put these with the contract pack for any potential buyer to read. We will include a clause in the contract that says that you will be refunded the fees for the searches by the buyer when a property sells. For example in the Stoke on Trent area, a local authority search is £95.32, a mining search is £43.60 and a drainage search £56.40. it varies from area to area.
Example process for selling
The key stages usually in a sale (not an auction sale when you provide the searches upfront and the contract pack to the auctioneer) may be as follows: –
- You contact us for an estimate of fees and we take your initials instructions verbally and give you initial advice
- We take your ID and ask you to give written instructions, usually on standard forms
- We obtain copy deeds and plan, we check these and then we draft the contract for buyer’s solicitors
- We ask you to fill in a number of forms giving information about the property for example, fixtures fittings form
- If it is unregistered land we may carry out some searches (which usually cost us £10)
- We collect all relevant information from you and from any other sources.
- We send the sellers pack including the contract and all the information to the buyer’s solicitors
- The buyer’s solicitors may raise enquiries once they have gone through the seller’s pack and once they have obtained their search results
- We may ask you to sign the contract and transfer document in readiness
- If the buyer’s solicitors raise enquiries we will go through these with you to find out what extra information can be provided
- Once the buyers are ready to agree dates we will negotiate a date for completion i.e. when you receive your monies and you hand your keys over with vacant possession and we will then make a binding contract to fix the date (exchange) we report to you
- Once a date is agreed we obtain figures from any lenders as to exactly how much money they require to remove their mortgage at the Land Registry
- We complete the sale making electronic payment to the lender and electronic payment to you and sometimes electronic payment to the estate agent (with your authority) Each electronic payment costs £16.75 plus VAT, our fee and £12 is the bank fee plus VAT, total £34.50
How long will my house sale take?
We can start work once we have your ID and written instructions. We then estimate it usually takes 4 weeks or more for the buyers to be ready to start agreeing dates (once their searches and enquires have been made). We may ask you to sign before this in readiness. Everyone has to wait for the last one in the chain to be ready. Once the date is agreed and the contract made, completion can be one week later but often those in the chain want more time. If you have a purchase as well as a sale you might want more time to get organised for your move. If someone in the chain is buying or selling a leasehold property this can slow the whole chain.
Note – Every case is different so please read section E extra factors for examples of circumstance that can lead to extra legal work and extra fees. Please call us to discuss your individual case and get an estimate tailored to your circumstances – 01782 339200 and ask for conveyancing.
The fees are the same as those given for a freehold sale plus an estimated additional £200.00 plus VAT for dealing with the extra work because the property is leasehold. The additional work covers obtaining information and extra correspondence with the landlord and/or any management company, obtaining management company accounts, articles and memorandum for the company, sorting out any consents or deeds of covenant, the transfer of share certificates if you are to have a share in the management company and sorting out rent, service charge and apportionments on completion and dealing with any reserve the landlord or management company may have for future repairs. Problems can arise (because leaseholds are generally more complicated than freeholds) for example, you have a long lease and the landlord cannot be found; the lease has not been drafted properly; there are several restrictions in favour of different parties on your deeds; we have difficulty getting information relating to rent/ground rent/service charges then we will explain to you the problem and any likely increase in our fee to cover the extra time. Sometimes the provision of your lease will not match the provisions of the buyer’s lender. Leasehold work often involves third parties who have no interest in your transaction for example, the management company or the landlord, so they are not always helpful and often do charge for any information. The charge varies.
The fees, VAT and disbursements would be the same as a freehold sale plus the following likely additional costs to you: –
- Additional £200.00 plus VAT for the legal fees
- Additional anticipated disbursements for example, the management company or landlord may charge for information – this varies
- Charge for Deed of Covenant – you may need to pay the legal fees for this to be arranged for the new buyer
- Any fees the landlord or management company charge for providing information
Example process for selling
Please refer to the example for selling a freehold. In additional to this process there will be extra work in getting information from the landlord and management company and getting their consents and dealing with any restrictions on the deeds, dealing with any covenants and we will try to obtain a copy of the landlord’s title. There would be additional work in drafting extra documents for example, deed of covenant, transfer of share certificates, if you are a member of the management company etc.
Estimate time as to how long my apartment sale takes?
Please look at the explanation for the time taken in connection with a freehold sale. Usually leasehold sale can take a few weeks longer and can be delayed if all the information needed is not available straight away from the landlord and management company.
Please refer to the details regarding the freehold sale and then bear in mind the factor that extra information is needed from persons who may or may not co-operate quickly, information is needed from the landlord/management company and this may add delays. Sometimes the information is not readily available and indemnity insurance may be needed. We will report to you if any problems such as this arise to delay the process. Usually leasehold sale could take an extra four weeks. It depends upon the third party co-operation.
Note – Every case is different so please read section E extra factors for examples of circumstance that can lead to extra legal work and extra fees. Please call us to discuss your individual case and get an estimate tailored to your circumstances – 01782 339 200 and ask for conveyancing
For all sales and purchases there are all sorts of extra factors which can arise which can increase costs or cause delays. This list is by no means exhaustive. If such an unforeseen matter arises which requires remedying usually prior to making a binding contract then this will take your solicitor more time and there may be an additional charge for the extra work. We will agree the additional charge with you on an individual basis. In each case if there are joint buyers we will give advice regarding the different ways to hold the property, whether jointly, in shares or perhaps with a trust deed which gives details of who has paid what.
A basic trust deed would usually cost £75 plus VAT.
Example of extra factors which could increase costs because your solicitor will need to spend more time on your file than normal and which may cause delay.
- Leasehold property, if the landlord or management company does not cooperate or is slow to cooperate
- On a purchase if the sellers solicitor fails to provide appropriate documentation
- If there is a problem with the title once this has been investigated for example, a missing deed
- If crucial information for example, on a new build is not provided
- If searches reveal issues for example, a mining search may show that a claim was made in respect of the property you are buying or against a property nearby. It might show a mine shaft at the property you want to buy or nearby. You can buy extra searches to find out more information, for example, an interpretive report to give more information if a mine shaft could affect your house costs £143.20 and a buffer report from the Coal Board giving more information as regards the claim on or near your house costs £24.60 per claim.
- If more than one parcel of land is involved
- If the title is unregistered because it has not changed hands recently, title will be harder to check we usually add an extra £150 plus VAT for the extra work
- If you are using money from the Help to Buy Scheme there is more paperwork for your solicitor to do and we usually charge £50 plus VAT for the extra work
- If there is more than one normal mortgage registered on the deeds
- If the property is shared ownership
- If your lender has particular requirements for example on a buy to let mortgage
- If the names on your mortgage offer or your deeds do not match or do not match the details on your ID
13. In every case where we receive money towards purchasing property we have to have up front proof as to where the funds come from. We can be personally prosecuted if we are careless as regards money laundering and you will be asked at the beginning of the case to give us proof as to where any money has come from, the source of the funds, this can cause delays if you do not provide clear proof at the beginning
- If you or the other party have more than one mortgage or any unusual entries on your title deeds