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Instructing residential property lawyers on price alone will rarely provide the thoroughness and attention to detail required.

Residential Property

Moving home is typically one of the most important financial and emotional investments you will make, and so you need residential property lawyers on your side who are approachable, available and an expert in the field.

Our role is to give you detailed legal advice that is jargon-free and easily understandable.  It will be pragmatic, rooted in common sense, and bespoke to your transaction.  Our many years of experience in residential property means that we will not let minor issues get in the way of you achieving your ultimate aim – completion as quickly and painlessly as possible.

We will involve you in the process as much or as little as you would like, and we will bear as much of the strain for you as possible.  Where we need your input, we will guide you through what is required of you and set out your options as and when they arise.

We will never be cheap, but our fees are realistic, competitive and represent excellent value in terms of the quality of service and expertise we provide.

We have full-service residential property lawyers working closely, where necessary, with our colleagues in our Wealth Preservation team, so can provide you with advice on remortgages, transfers of equity, property trusts, easements, covenants, and inter-family loan arrangements.

The residential property offering is complimented by a comprehensive Property Disputes team, headed by Chi Collins, a high-profile lawyer who is recognised as a leading expert in leasehold enfranchisement.  Chi’s team can provide advice on lease extensions, enfranchisement, all landlord and tenant issues, as well as the full range of property related disputes.

A picture of a front door to highlight our residential property lawyers


In accordance with SRA Transparency Rules 2018, we have provided information below on our approach to fees and service for the sale and purchase of residential freehold or leasehold properties, mortgages and re-mortgages. For information about other areas of work not covered by the SRA Transparency Rules 2018 please get in touch.

We take pride in offering a bespoke service to our clients to meet your needs and expectations.  Our residential property lawyers are specialists in their field and will always act in your best interests. Greenwoods and its lawyers are regulated by an independent regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We do not offer bulk conveyancing work; we do not pay referral fees and will ensure you are given a clear estimate of fees and disbursements at the outset of your matter to enable you to make informed decisions about the transaction.

This guide has been put together to give you an understanding as to how we price residential property work, whether a sale, purchase or a remortgage, and whether freehold or leasehold (a ‘Transaction’). It is only intended as a guide, and so you should speak to us directly if you would like an estimate for your actual transaction – each transaction is different, and so too will each quote be different.

    • After taking the time to understand your Transaction as fully as we are able to, we will give you an estimate for our professional fees (‘Fees’) and the associated additional costs (‘Disbursements’) so that you know what we think the total likely cost will be (an ‘Estimate’). The Fees element of the estimate will always exclude VAT (which needs to be added, in all but the most unusual circumstances), and will always be a range (because we do not offer fixed fee work).


    • If you instruct us to act on your behalf, we will record our time throughout the Transaction against the time ledger associated with it, so that you (and we) can see the time spent on your matter at any point. Throughout the Transaction we will update you as to the level of recorded time (and this the likely Fees) if it becomes apparent that we will exceed the Estimate. We will also explain to you what is causing us to spend additional time on your Transaction, and we will give you a further Estimate of the likely additional Fees required to resolve it, where possible.


    • Where the Transaction completes and we have not exceeded the range given in the Estimate, we will charge you a figure within that range. Where chargeable time recorded exceeds the upper range in the Estimate, we will charge you for the work done over and above that range in accordance with the hourly rate of the lawyer working on your Transaction.


    • Our minimum Fee for a Transaction is £1,750 + VAT and we expect that an average Transaction will require around ten hours of chargeable time to cover all of the work required from start to finish, although there is a huge number of reasons why a Transaction will require more chargeable time being spent on it than that. Some of these examples are given below. Our lawyers charge by the hour, and in accordance with the following approximate hourly rates based on experience and seniority: partner – £395-£525 + VAT; legal executive – £190-£250 + VAT; senior paralegal – £190-£200 + VAT; and paralegal £125-£150 + VAT (together ‘Lawyers). A typical Transaction will usually require a blend of  Lawyers to be involved so that the work done at each stage is done by someone appropriately qualified.


    • The estimate of Fees provided to you will be based on the Lawyer carrying out the work, the complexity (see below), and to a lesser extent, the value of the property. Although there is no direct correlation between price and complexity (but there is a general association) we need to increase the level of Fees we charge to account for the additional professional risk associated with dealing with higher value properties. For this purpose, we classify properties as ‘Typical Value’ (below £1m), ‘High Value’ (£1m – £3m) and ‘Very High Value’ (above £3m).


    • Because they tend to me more complicated, a Transaction involving a leasehold title is highly likely to be more time-intensive than a Transaction involving a freehold title, and so you would generally expect more chargeable time to be recorded on a leasehold Transaction (at least three additional hours as a guide).


  • A non-exhaustive list of examples (together or alone, ‘Complications’) of other reasons why a Transaction (leasehold or freehold) would require more than ten hours chargeable time being spent on it is set out below, each of which would likely add a further one to two hours of chargeable time, as a minimum:
    • The Transaction becomes unduly protracted / involving, and requires a higher than anticipated level of client care (for you) or chasing and progressing (of another party);
    • Unduly complex or cumbersome source of funds being provided by you;
    • You would like to complete the Transaction within a month (for a sale or purchase) or two weeks (for a remortgage);
    • The property does not comprise a single registered title;
    • The title to the property being defective or requires rectification of any kind;
    • Help to Buy or shared ownership schemes;
    • The title to the property being burdened by restrictions requiring third party consents;
    • The property is in the course of being built or converted, or it has been built or converted within the last ten years;
    • The property does not benefit from all necessary rights required for its full use and enjoyment;
    • The property is subject to unusual or onerous reservations or covenants;
    • Instructions are being given by any party pursuant to any kind of power of attorney;
    • There have been breaches of covenants, planning permission, listed building control or Building Regulations;
    • We are required to arrange indemnity insurance;
    • The property is listed, affected by Japanese Knotweed, has radon readings above the ‘action level’, suffers flooding, or issues relating to mines & minerals;
    • The purchaser or the other party are not ‘natural persons’ or perhaps based abroad;
    • Any mortgage finance is being provided by a UK Finance registered lender, and is not a ‘buy to let’ (or ‘let to buy’) product;
    • Any mortgage finance provider is legally represented by another law firm;
    • The Transaction become unduly protracted and requires any site meetings, or face to face appointments.
    • You require additional legal advice from us, for areas of law such as (but not limited to) tax, planning, landlord & tenant, and disputes/property litigation.

    • A straightforward freehold property with a Typical Value being handled by a senior paralegal would likely be £2,000 – £2,250 + VAT and Disbursements (based on 10 to 11 hours of chargeable time).


    • A straightforward freehold property with a Typical Value being handled by a legal executive would likely be £2,370 – £2,530 + VAT and Disbursements (based on 10 to 11 hours of chargeable time).


    • A straightforward leasehold property with a Typical Value being handled by a legal executive would likely be £2,530 – £2,990 + VAT and Disbursements (based on 13 to 15 hours of chargeable time).


    • A freehold property with a High Value and one or two Complications being handled by a partner would likely be £3,850 – £4,200 + VAT and Disbursements (based on 11 to 12 hours of chargeable time).


  • A leasehold property with a Very High Value that has several Complications and is handled by a partner would likely be £7,000 – £8,750 + VAT and Disbursements (based on 20 – 25 hours of chargeable time).

The following table sets out the approximate likely Disbursements associated with a purchase, most of which are payable to third parties such as HM Land Registry or HM Revenue and Customs. The actual cost of searches will vary in accordance with the location of the property:

Stamp Duty Land Tax Calculator
Land Registry Application Fees

The following table sets out the approximate likely Disbursements associated with a sale, most of which are payable to third parties such as HM Land Registry. The actual cost of Land Registry documents will depend on the complexity of the title:

The Fee part of any estimate provided to you will cover all of the steps required to complete the Transaction (excluding any Fees chargeable with respect to Complications), and including registration at the Land Registry for a purchase or remortgage. In general terms, those steps include:

The lifespan of a Transaction can be anything from six weeks to six months, depending on the facts. A typical timeframe would be eight – ten weeks, which covers the period from receiving the contract papers on a purchase to completion (when you receive the keys). Just as it is possible to complete a Transaction within a few days with the right conditions, it is equally true that it is not possible to say with any certainty whether a transaction will be unduly protracted, but the number of Complications present and the length of the transaction ‘chain’ will typically be the most significant factors in causing delays.

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