For a clear indication of our charges for acting for you on purchase, a sale, or a sale and purchase, please visit our Get a Quote page. There you will find a detailed breakdown of our fees, and the likely disbursements (costs payable to third parties which we will handle on your behalf) that will be involved.
Whilst in our experience the majority of transactions can be conducted within our basic fee structure, our Get a Quote page sets out the circumstances in which additional costs may arise. We will be able to clarify costings for you as soon as we are aware of the specific nature of your transaction, and before you formally instruct us.
The profiles of all our Residential Property team are available on the Our People page.
Our fees are of course set out in our Get a Quote page. These fees (assuming that your transaction is straightforward and no unforeseen matters or delay arise) will cover all the work required to complete your sale or purchase, to include where necessary liaison with relevant third parties.
What We Will Do For You:
Below we have set out a simple guide on what happens at law when you buy or sell your home. Before we start let us explain what ‘conveyancing’means. The term conveyancing is the word used by estate agents, solicitors and others to describe the legal process of transferring ownership of a property from one person into the name of someone else. Set out below is the step by step procedure. However, this is meant to be only a brief and simple guide. When you let us know that you want us to act for you on the sale and/or purchase of your property, then we will send you detailed information packs on what happens and what we require from yourself. If at any time you are not sure what is happening in the process, or just require further explanation, then our friendly property team is always delighted to help on the phone or face to face. In the meantime it is not every day that any of us buys or sells our home, so hopefully this will help explain and guide you through the conveyancing process.
This is just the beginning-when an offer to buy a property has been accepted. Agreement on sale is normally negotiated through the Estate Agent acting for the person selling the property (the vendor). At this point the Estate Agent will need to know the name of the solicitor that you want to represent you on the matter and this information will be included on the Estate Agent’s Memorandum of Sale that will then be distributed to the seller, the purchaser and their respective solicitors. If appropriate, this will also be the time that you need to make sure that your mortgage arrangements are in place.
Before Your Sale or Purchase
We very often act for clients who are both buying and selling a property at the same time. Most of the properties that we deal with are freehold but if you are buying a flat then the property is likely to be leasehold (to be held for a certain number of years). At this stage, if you are buying the property jointly with someone else, then you will have to make the decision whether you are buying as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common (in the event of your death does your share in the property go to your co-owner or someone else named in your Will?). This is when we start the hard work to make sure that everything is in order for you-and that there are no nasty surprises that you find once you have moved in. The deeds to the property are obtained. We will deal with the Residential Sales and Purchase Questionnaires, Property Information Forms and Fittings & Fixtures Forms. These documents will include information about you, any mortgage together with all the information that the buyer will need to know about the property, from relevant warranties to whether the garden shed is to be left behind or not.
To ensure certainty, if you are buying a property we shall carry out a series of Enquiries Before Contract as well as conduct a series of Searches on your behalf. These Searches are essential and will include a Local Land Charges Search, Mining Search, Environment and Water Authority Search. You will want to purchase your property safe in the knowledge that the end of your garden will not disappear down an old mine shaft or be sacrificed to help build a new inner relief road. This is also the time when you will be arranging for a survey of the property you intend to buy to be carried out (all mortgage companies will insist on a survey).
Exchange of Contracts
Once all of the Enquiries Before Contracts, queries and searches have been answered satisfactorily, we are then ready to Exchange Contracts. The mortgage will be in place, the two parts of the contract will have been signed by the parties in readiness. We liaise with the other party’s solicitors for the contracts to be exchanged. At this stage, a deposit (normally 10%) is paid over to the seller’s solicitors. On exchange of contracts, a Completion Date is also agreed-usually a few weeks ahead. This is also the point of no return. There can be no going back. If you decide to back out of the deal following exchange of contracts, you stand to be sued by the other party.
Between Exchange & Completion
This is when the arrangements can start to be made for the removal van, ready for moving in on the agreed completion day. This is also the time that you will make sure that you have all your funds together to ensure that your solicitor has all the monies available to complete the purchase and pay off the professional fees. You will also be required to sign the Deed of Transfer, in readiness for completion.
The big day! This is when the keys are collected/deposited-usually from the Estate Agent. All the relevant legal documents regarding property ownership are handed over between the solicitors. If you are selling the property and have an outstanding mortgage, then as your solicitors we will also ensure that that mortgage is paid off.
Whilst you are in your new home starting to empty the packing boxes or opening the tins of new paint ready to re-decorate, as your solicitors we will be tying up all the loose ends of the process. This will include paying any Stamp Duty Land Tax, if appropriate. If you have a mortgage, then the title deeds will be sent off to the building society or bank. Approximately 3 or 4 weeks following your completion, you will receive your legal documents after your solicitor has sent the relevant paperwork to the Land Registry. Make sure that you keep all the papers from your Estate Agent and solicitor in a safe place-ready for when you next want to move house.
Remember, whether you are just thinking of moving home or are in the middle of the process and you have a query-then please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be delighted to help!
Based on our experience the average transaction takes between 8-10 weeks. The process can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties and the chain and their circumstances, or the nature of the property you are buying or selling. Leasehold or any involvement with a government-backed help scheme could lengthen the process. We will provide greater clarity on timescales when you instruct us.