+44 20 7851 0100

Residential conveyancing services and fees

Residential conveyancing is often perceived as simple – it is not and it is often the largest investment that most of us will make.  We take the care and the time always to find out the context of the transaction and our clients aims, objectives, needs and timescales. Each matter is unique with its own requirements and we provide the level of service and expertise required to match them in each case.

Services

There are three stages to all sales and purchases:

  1. Pre contract, when the investigations are carried out, usually 4 – 6 weeks
  2. Exchange of contracts when buyer and seller become committed to proceed with the sale and purchase and  a deposit  (usually 10% of the purchase price) is paid by the buyer and the date to complete the sale and purchase is set
  3. Completion – usually 4 weeks after exchange- when the balance of the price and any additional monies are paid, any mortgages owed by the seller are repaid and the property is legally transferred to the buyer.

Our approach is thorough; if there is a problem, we want to find it and have it resolved before you purchase.

On all purchases, pre contract we will investigate the title register of the property at the Land Registry, submit property searches, raise enquiries on the information supplied and our search results and prepare a report for you. We will agree the contract with the sellers’ conveyancers for your signature.

We will exchange contracts when the seller and you are ready and you instruct us to do so, fixing the completion date which is agreed and confirmed with you before exchange takes place.

After exchange of contracts, we will provide you with a statement of the money required to complete, deal with and agree the document for legal transfer of the property to you and arrange for you to sign,  carry out final pre-completion  enquiries and the searches at the Land Registry to protect your purchase pending registration of your title,  prepare the Stamp Duty Land Tax Return  for your approval, calculate the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) due (*) and attend to completion of your purchase on the completion date.

After completion we submit the SDLT return to HM Revenue & Customs on your behalf, make payment of the SDLT monies you have given to us and attend to the registration of your title at the Land Registry.

*We will calculate the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) payable applying the criteria set by HMRC for the assessment of this tax based on the information you supply to us. It is very important that the information you give is correct.  We do not advise on or deal with schemes for mitigation or avoidance of SDLT.

On sales, again our approach is thorough and part of our communication is to ascertain if there are any issues that need to be taken into account.

Pre-contract we will prepare a legal pack for the property, including official copies of the registers of title, title plan and any documents on the title, the sale contract and with your assistance we shall replies to the relevant Property Information forms and deal with any enquiries arising from the buyer’s investigations.

We will exchange contracts when the buyer and you are ready and you instruct us to do so, fixing the completion date which is agreed and confirmed with you before exchange takes place.

After exchange we will provide you with a statement of the money that will be due to you on completion, deal with the pre-completion formalities and provide the buyers conveyancers with a statement of the money required on completion, arrange for you to sign the document for legal transfer of the property. We will attend to completion, receive in the completion monies, arrange release of the keys and account to you for the monies due to you.

In all cases, both buying and selling, we shall advise you and report to you with regular updates.

If you have a mortgage lender there is additional work on a purchase in respect of the mortgage offer and mortgage deed, reporting to the mortgage lender and carrying out additional searches. On a sale , the mortgage must be repaid on or before completion and additional work is involved in liaising with the lender  as regards the amounts due to be repaid,  making repayment and evidence of the repayment and discharge of the mortgage at the land Registry. Generally we will be acting for the lender in both these circumstances but it may be the case that the lender is represented by a different firm, in which case additional fees will be incurred.

Our residential conveyancing services do not include  advice on tax (except for the SDLT payable on completion of the purchase),  the laws of any jurisdiction other than England, any commercial or strategic decisions which you may make, accountancy or other financial aspects or any environmental matters affecting the property.

We carry out all appropriate identity and residence checks against our clients in accordance with applicable regulations to satisfy necessary Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Client requirements and require that the  conveyancers acting for a seller do so too to protect against fraud.

Fees

Our expertise and the time involved are key elements of the services we provide. Each matter is unique with its own requirements and we provide the level of service and expertise required to match them. In most cases our fees are calculated by reference to the time spent by and the hourly rates of the legal personnel who deal with the matter, which vary according to their seniority and experience.

Please refer to our fees for details of charges and hourly rates.

In relation to property matters, our fees are not based purely on  our hourly rates  and also take into account value, complexity and timings.

A guide to our basic fees is set out below.

Buying: Not less than
£500,000 or under £750 to £1250
£500,001 – £1,000,000 £1250 to £1750
£1,000,001 – £1,500,000 £1750 to £2000
£1,500,001 – £2,000,000 £2000 to £2250
Above £2,000,000 £2250 upwards

 

Selling: Not less than
£500,000 or under £750 -£1000
£500,001 – £1,000,000 £1000 to £1500
£1,000,001 – £1,500,000 £1500 to £1750
£1,500,001 – £2,000,000 £1750 to £2000
Above £2,000,000 £2000 upwards

However we strongly suggest that you contact us to obtain a bespoke estimate based on the circumstances of your particular matter. Please email us using the Contact Form and note that:-

  • Additional work and advice is involved in both buying and selling where a property is leasehold or common hold, where there are arrangements with neighbouring properties, for example in respect of management and common or access areas or where there is a separate company or association that deals with any facilities or common areas or the ownership of such areas or the freehold of a building and such like.
  • The circumstances of joint purchases may require additional work and advice to reflect the needs and requirements of the buyers, shares in the property and future arrangements, such as a declaration of trust. The same applies to family arrangements and any gifts or other assistance for buying a property.

Disbursements

On purchase, the single largest disbursement is usually Stamp Duty Land Tax “SDLT”.  This varies from time to time and will be discussed with you once instructions have been confirmed.   It is charged in bands of value at increasing rates and the usual rates are:-

Price/value Rate
Up to £125,000 0%
The next £125,000 (the portion from £125,001 to £250,000) 2%
The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000) 5%
The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million) 10%
The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million) 12%

If you are a first time buyer you are fortunate to not have to pay SDLT where   the price is under £500,000.

If you or your spouse or civil partner own or have any (even a minor) interest in any other residential property anywhere in the world, you have to pay an additional rate of 3% over the usual rates (so 3% instead of 0%, 5% instead of 2% and so on).

There are different rules and rates for various circumstances so once you have instructed us and passed our Anti Money laundering procedures we ask you to give us the fullest possible details in order that we can work out your liability.

On purchases there will be search fees for the usual conveyancing searches. These can vary according to the location of the property but are usually in the region of £250 to £500 approximately.

Land registry fees for registration of title are payable and are charged by the Land Registry in bands of value at increasing rates. We have a Land Registry portal facility   to deal with registrations which halves the rates applying to registrations by post.

The usual rates for dealings with whole titles are:-

Price/value Post Portal
0 to £80,000 £40 £20
£80,001 to £100,000 £80 £40
£100,001 to £200,000 £190 £95
£200,001 to £500,000 £270 £135
£500,001 to £1,000,000 £540 £270
£1,000,001 and over £910 £455

However, there may be additional land Registry fees depending on the circumstances of your transaction.

Pre-completion searches do not normally cost more than £10 per buyer in usual circumstances.

On sales or purchases, there may also be fees relating to compliance with the requirements of the lease or other administrative arrangements relating to the property you are buying or selling which we will be able to ascertain in the course of the transaction and report to you.

 

 

 

More information

Telephone: +44 20 7851 0100
Email: hb@lsga.co.uk

CONTACT FORM