Buying

Anyone buying a property has to go through the conveyancing process. Conveyancing is the legal work that is carried out by the solicitors. For the buyer this can be an exciting but at the same time stressful period.

Our dedicated team will help you through the complex and sometime confusing stages of buying a house. We’re with you every step of the way, from pre-contract right through to completion and it’s our job to make the whole process as smooth as possible.

We will try our utmost to cut out the legal jargon and explain the process in plane and simple language.

Every house purchase is different; we always work with your best interests in mind and will deal with the land registry, stamp duty charges and payments, drawing up and assessing contracts, providing expert legal advice as well as excellent customer service.

We will keep you posted every step of the way.

Buying process

Upon instructing us we will contact the seller’s solicitors and inform they we have been instructed by you. We will ask them to forward the contract pack to for us to review. We’ll also apply for the searches you require.

We will check if there are other costs such as stamp duty and land transaction tax and advise you of such based on the instructions you provide.

We will liaise with any mortgage company/broker, management company or any other organisation if necessary

We then review the contract documents, any searches, any mortgage offer, information from the seller. We will advise you accordingly.

We will draft the necessary transfer documents.

 

Property searches

Searches are enquiries with public authorities that give you more information about the property you plan to buy. Carrying out a search is the only way to get all the information that might impact your decision to buy the property.  For example, searches might tell you about, planning application that affect the property, flood risk, access rights, or whether the property is affected by any planned developments.

If you are buying with a mortgage, your lender will almost certainly insist that you carry out searches before the transaction. The three most common conveyancing searches required by mortgage lenders are:

  • Local authority search – covers a number of issues including planning and building regulations
  • Water and drainage search – this will reveal the drainage and sewerage arrangements for the property
  • Environmental search – this will inform you of any environmental risks such as flooding, ground stability or contamination.

There are also additional searches that might be necessary which we may advise you off based on the location of your property and may be required based upon information we receive from the seller’s solicitors or may be highlighted as the results of the initial searches above. We will advise you of the searches we feel will be required however you may if you wish information us of a search you require.

For more information on the types of searches we may do and their likely costs, please click here.

 

Property survey

The property is usually sold to you as seen (unless new build) and therefore you accept the property condition on the date of contracts are exchanged.

Please be aware that a lender’s valuation is not a structural survey. It is just a limited inspection by the lender’s valuer for mortgage valuation purposes only.

As your home is likely to be your most valuable asset, we recommend arranging a full survey from an independent surveyor with experience in the local area.

 

Exchange of contracts

This is the part of the process where you become legally bound to buy the property. This exchange of contract is done formally through a telephone conversation between solicitors. It defines price, date and the particulars of completion.

It is important to know the following key points during a transaction:

Until the exchange of contracts, either party is free to withdraw from the transaction without penalty.

You will have to pay part of the purchase price to us as a deposit. Either we or the seller’s solicitors will hold this until completion. This can be forfeited, if you fail to complete the contract.

The law on property purchases says “buyer beware” so it is important that you have inspected the property before exchange of contracts to ensure that you are happy with its boundaries and physical condition, as you are unlikely to be able to claim any losses from the seller at a later date. This is another reason for you to do your due diligence. We assist in this by conducting the searches.

 

Completion date

If all goes as planned with the Conveyancing transaction, this is the happiest part of the process. It is the day on which you pay the rest of the money (having already paid the deposit) and receive the keys for your new property. If any stamp duty is due this will be will also be paid by you on completion.

 

Registration

This is simply the final administration process we conduct on your behalf which ensures you are registered as the legal owner of the property.

Estimated time frame

The average time for a conveyancing transaction is between 8- 12 weeks. Completion can often take place earlier or later than the average time frame specified. The time period to complete a transaction depends on a range of factors which can include:  –

  • If the transaction is a chain transaction and the number of parties in that chain.
  • Search’s: if there is a delay in optioning any search or if a search result shows something unexpected
  • If there is a delay in your mortgage offer being issued, the offer is incorrect or if a particular issue needs to be reported to the mortgage company
  • If the legal title to your property is complex
  • If there is a Management Company involved

We endeavour to keep you posted on the matter and will therefore keep you updated on any revised time period following our initial meeting.

Costs  

We offer a fixed fee for our conveyancing services which is based on the value of the property purchased. Our costs are broken down into legal costs and disbursements. Disbursements are third party costs, such as costs for any searches, land registry fees etc. The disbursements vary from case to case. We handle the payment of the disbursement on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Therefore, at the outset of the matter we will advise you of the fixed fee together with a breakdown of all disbursements, we will send you our terms and conditions so that we’re completely transparent at every step. Our quotes will give a breakdown of all charges and will then have a total figure, which is inclusive of VAT.

The legal costs on a conveyancing depends on the value of the property and the nature of the transaction.

The average legal cost for a property with a value between £50,000-£400,000 is between £350 – £950 plus vat. These figures may be higher if the transaction is complex.

On each transaction there are likely to be the following additional fees:

An explanation of the likely disbursements and addition cost that may arise can be found here. 

For further information please contact our offices for a free quotation. By contacting our offices, we will be able to provide you with a quote having discussed the potential features of the transaction.

 

What will our fees cover on a purchase?

The fees we quote will cover the costs to complete the transaction.  Advising you, liaising with the seller’s solicitors/mortgage provider, management company, searches, title checks, approving the contract and completing.

 

Stamp Duty or Land Tax (on purchase)

This depends on the purchase price of the property. You can calculate the amount you need to pay by using HMRC’s website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website here

CONTACT US

Contact us now directly on 0800 03 555 39 to discuss how we can help you or complete our no obligation online enquiry form and we will call you back.
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