Buying Property Solicitors | Conveyancing | Howells Solicitors
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Buying Property

Buying Property

Our property & conveyancing specialists have helped thousands of people to buy a new home. We are with you every step of the way when buying property, from pre-contract right through to completion and it’s our job to make the whole process as smooth as possible.

We’ve supported our clients buying everything from rural, urban, leasehold, freehold and new builds to listed properties, and we can make that experience work for you.

We are also a full service law firm, meaning that our specialists can support with mortgages, transfer of property and even creating a Will. Whatever you need, we are here to help.

Our Fees

The precise stages involved in the process of purchasing residential property vary according to the circumstances.

Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the purchase of your new home, including dealing with the registration at the Land Registry and dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property you wish to buy is in Wales.

Your fixed fee includes the normal legal work involved in a standard purchase transaction. The precise stages involved in the process of purchasing residential property, included in your fixed fee, are:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender’s solicitors if needed
  • Obtaining evidence of each buyer’s evidence of identity and address;
  • One telegraphic transfer fee of £25.00 + VAT (£5.00) Total £30.00
  • Receive and advise on contract documents
  • Carry out searches
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required
  • Make any necessary enquiries of seller’s solicitor
  • Give you advice on all documents and information received
  • Advise you on joint ownership
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you
  • Send final contract to you for signature
  • Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
  • Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
  • Obtain pre-completion searches
  • Complete purchase
  • Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry

Potential Additional Fees

The fixed fees we have outlined above is based on a standard freehold property transaction.  Occasionally, due to the nature of the transaction or unexpected complexities, it is necessary for us to charge an additional fixed fee to cover the extra work involved.  This may include one or more of the following:

Leasehold House

£50.00 + VAT (£10.00) Total £60.00 – this will cover the additional work involved in communicating with your landlord, the management company or their agents.

Leasehold flats

£150.00 + VAT (£30.00) Total £180.00 – this will cover the additional work involved in communicating with your landlord, the management company or their agents.

Unregistered Title

£50.00 + VAT (£10.00) Total £60.00 – It is a requirement that all property purchases or re-mortgages are registered with HM Land Registry.  If the property you are buying or mortgaging has not previously been registered, we charge an additional fee for this.

Voluntary First Registration – £350.00 + VAT (£70.00) Total £420.00.

Help to Buy ISA

£50.00 + VAT (£10.00) Total £60.00 – where there is an existing or new Help to Buy ISA we charge an additional fee to cover the work involved in communicating with the Help to Buy Agency.

Help to Buy Scheme

£175.00 + VAT (£35.00) Total £210.00 – where there is an existing or proposed loan using the Help to Buy Scheme we charge an additional fee to cover the work involved in communicating with the Help to Buy Agency.

Lifetime ISA

£75.00 + VAT (£15.00) Total £90.00 – where there is an existing or new Lifetime ISA we charge an additional fee to cover the work involved in communicating with the lender

Shared Ownership

£275.00 + VAT (£55.00) Total £330.00 – if the property you are buying is part of a shared ownership scheme we charge an additional fee to cover our communications with the Housing Association or their solicitors.

Declaration of Trust (non-bespoke)

£75.00 + VAT (£15.00) Total £90.00 – Where you require an agreement to protect your interest or share in a property you are buying, we charge an additional fee to prepare, complete and register the documentation.  There may also be an additional Land Registry fee to pay as outlined below.

Declaration of Trust (bespoke)

£400.00 + VAT (£80.00) Total £480.00 – Where you require a bespoke agreement to protect your interest or share in a property you are buying, we charge an additional fee to prepare, complete and register the documentation.  There may also be an additional Land Registry fee to pay as outlined below.

Insurance Indemnity Policy

£50.00 + VAT (£10.00) Total £60.00 – If a policy is required we charge an additional fee to obtain and advise you on the terms of the policy.  This cost is in addition to the cost of the policy premium.

Gifted Deposits

£50.00 + VAT (£10.00) Total £60.00 per gift – if you are being gifted monies towards the purchase of your property we charge a fee to cover the additional work in communicating with the giftor.  This will be in addition to a fee to obtain the giftor’s evidence of identity and a bankruptcy search against that person as detailed in the disbursements section below.

Mortgage Administration fee

£25.00 + VAT (£5.00) Total £30.00 – this is to cover the additional work involved in liaising with your lender and obtaining the mortgage offer through the lender’s portal.

Consent to Mortgage

£100.00 + VAT (£20.00) Total £120.00 – if you are purchasing a property jointly but only one person is taking out a mortgage, the lender will often require us to obtain the consent of the other purchaser.  This fee is to cover our work in contacting and obtaining the consent of the other joint purchaser.

Assumptions

Our fees highlighted above are based on the following assumptions:

– This is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise including for example (but not limited to) a defect in title which requires remedying prior to completion or the preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction

– In relation to a leasehold purchase, it is in relation to the assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease

– The transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complications arise

– All parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation

– No indemnity policies are required. The additional fees outline above will apply if indemnity policies are required.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as search fees.

These can cover:

Searches – Mortgage lenders require us to carry out searches which are appropriate to the particular property.  The search facility will indicate which searches are appropriate taking into account the location of the property and any unusual feature.  Although it is not strictly necessary, we advise cash purchasers to also obtain searches to protect their interests.  The searches typically cost £170.83 + VAT (£34.17) – Total £205.00.  The searches covered by this price are usually satisfactory for the majority of properties.  However, additional searches may be required depending on whether there are any unusual features in either the location of or the actual property itself.

Land Registry Registration fee

This fee is set by the Government and is based on the value of the property you are purchasing.  You can calculate the fee here: HM Land Registry: Registration Services fees – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).  Please note that if the property has not been registered previously, the fee will be higher.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty)

This fee is set by the Government and is calculated according to the value of the property and whether you own any other properties or are a first-time buyer.  You can calculate the amount of Stamp Duty you are likely to pay here: Stamp Duty Land Tax Calculator

Indemnity Policy Premium

If a risk has been identified with the property, you may need to obtain an indemnity policy if the seller doesn’t accept responsibility for payment.  The premiums vary according to the type and extent of the risk involved.  We will obtain a quote and advise you separately regarding this.

Leasehold

If you are buying a leasehold property, there will be additional third-party costs which are set out in the lease.  We have highlighted the usual fees below but please note that this list is not exhaustive and will depend on the terms of the lease.  The fees vary from property to property and can, on occasion, be significantly more than the ranges given below.  Once we have seen the lease documents, we will advise you of the specific costs involved

Notice of Transfer fee – estimated at between £50.00 – £250.00 exc VAT. In total £60.00 – £300.00 inc VAT.

Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – estimated at between £50.00 – £200.00 exc VAT. In total between £60.00 – £240.00 inc VAT.

Deed of Covenant fee – this is a fee that is set by the management company.  It is usually between £50 – £300 exc VAT. In total between £60.00 – £360.00 inc VAT.

Certificate of Compliance fee – this is required on completion and is usually between £50 – £200 exc VAT. In total £60.00 – £240.00 inc VAT.

You should also be aware that ground rent and service charges are likely to apply throughout the period of your ownership of the property.  We will confirm the ground rent and the anticipated service charge as soon as we receive this information.

Our Legal Fees for other types of Property Purchase

The fees outlined above are for atypical freehold or leasehold purchase.  Sometimes, there are different circumstances which would necessitate a different fee depending on the nature of the transaction.

Lease Extension

The fee for this is £600.00 + VAT (£120.00) Total £720.00 in addition to the Land Registration fee.

Staircasing

This is where you own part of a shared ownership property and wish to purchase an additional share.  Our fees are £600.00 + VAT (£120.00) Total £720.00 in addition to the Land Registration fee above.  If you are purchasing the additional share with the aid of a mortgage, the lender may require us to obtain searches too.

Purchasing or selling in a Company name

This is where you buy or sell a property in the name of a company rather than an individual.  Our additional fees to cover the cost of communicating and registering the charge at Companies House are £200.00 + VAT (£40.00) Total £240.00.

Referral fees

Sometimes a referral fee is paid to a third party for instance, an estate agent, for introducing your business to us.  The fees are usually between £100 – £150 + VAT.  This is not treated as an additional cost to you and we do not require you to pay us this additional amount.

Example of the Total Cost of a Typical Freehold Purchase

The following is an example of a typical freehold purchase of £180,000.

Legal fee: £745.00

Electronic Money transfer fee: £25.00

Online Identity fee: £44.00

VAT: £162.80

Disbursements

Search fees: £170.83

Bankruptcy search: £2.00

HM Land Registry fee: £100.00 VAT is not due on this disbursement

Copy title deeds: £3.00

VAT: £35.17

Total (excluding the amount of Stamp Duty payable as details above):  £1,287.80

How long will my purchase take?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of of factors. The average process takes between 8-12 weeks.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you are a first time buyer, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage in principle, it could take 8 – 12 weeks if the property is built. However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, and is difficult to estimate because depends on a number of variables, including for example whether the landlord has consented to the extension, but it could take between 3 and 6 months. In such a situation, additional charges would apply.

Overview of the process – Key stages

To understand the different stages in the process of buying a property please view our leaflet below:

The legal process of buying a property?

Why choose Howells to sell your property?

Competitive Prices

We aim to provide the best quality legal service at competitive prices meaning you will receive the best service no matter what the price you pay.

Professional Service

Our Property & Conveyancing specialists are highly regarded in the industry and receive fantastic feedback on their professionalism, whilst being down to earth and offering a personalised service to each client.

Guidance and Support

Our team are here for you. We aim to make the process stress free and easy. We’re with you every step of the way and we are there to offer advice to keep your mind at ease. We also communicate regularly, openly and sensitively. We are always ready to listen.

Transparency

What we quote for is what we do and we make sure you are fully aware of the mystery about the legal process, so you have no fears or worries.

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Instant Online Quote 

Our competitive prices are fixed fee based dependent on the value of the property you are buying and or selling. To obtain a free quote listing our fees, disbursements and VAT, please click on the free conveyancing quote button below. This will give you an instant quote. The quote can be obtained without leaving your contact details. Just press “Calculate”, but please leave your details if you want us to contact you:

How can we help? Contact us today

Contact us on 0114 2496666 and one of our advisors will be in touch to discuss your situation. We will take some initial information and if we can help, we will book you in for a consultation with a legal professional.

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Our experienced Conveyancing team enjoy nothing better than being recommended by your family and friends to use us for your conveyancing needs. They enjoy meeting clients on a face-to-face basis to give that support and reassurance at this stressful time. Our team are highly skilled and use the latest conveyancing technology but still offer the friendly and personal service that clients prefer. They understand that they’re not dealing with ‘cases’ but with people, not bound up in legal process but in real lives. This team is supervised by Lindsey Rawson.

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