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Conveyancing services selected on price alone may not always provide the thoroughness and attention to detail required.

Residential Property

When embarking upon what, for most people, is their most significant investment you need to ensure that your property transaction progresses speedily to a satisfactory conclusion, with all the ‘loose ends’ taken care of along the way.

Our role is to bring the differing interests and timetables of all parties involved in the transaction to a swift and satisfactory conclusion, reducing the stress and strain of moving home as much as possible.

Our fees are realistic, competitive and represent excellent value in terms of the quality of service and expertise we provide.

We can also assist with negotiating or renewing residential leases from either the landlord or tenant perspective and have well-known and high profile Chi Collins on our team.  Chi is the Head of Property Disputes and is recognised as one of the UK’s leading experts in leasehold enfranchisement.

Re-mortgages

We may in some circumstances be able to act for you on a re-mortgage of your home, in which case we can provide a fee estimate based on your lender’s requirements.

Help to buy schemes/shared ownership/equity releases

If you are buying a property using one of the Government Help to Buy Schemes, a shared ownership property or an equity release scheme, we will not be able to act for you as we do not specialise in these areas.

Fees

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, 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.

We are required by law to identify and verify our clients before we undertake any work.  If you are providing funds for the transaction, we must also obtain source of funds and source of wealth information.  This may also apply to third party individuals if they are providing funds by way of gift or loan.  This is known as client due diligence and any fees, disbursements and other charges incurred in complying with this will be charged to you.

The fees are currently:

  • £14.95 plus VAT per person for Standard ID check (which satisfies the higher Land Registry digital ID standard) or £9.95 plus VAT for Original ID check
  • £9.95 plus VAT per transaction for purchaser or giftor source of funds checks

Where indicated, VAT is charged at a rate of 20% (as at 3 May 2022).

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

LEGAL FEES AND DISBURSEMENTS

Fees

The amount of our fees will depend on the type of property you are buying and whether it is freehold or leasehold.  Leasehold purchases tend to be more complicated and therefore our fees will be higher.  VAT at a rate of 20% (as at 3 May 2022) is payable on all our fees.

STAMP DUTY LAND TAX (SDLT) OR LAND TRANSACTION TAX (LTT)

As well as the legal costs and disbursements outlined above, you may also have to pay SDLT or LTT, depending on the purchase price of your property.  SDLT and LTT are charged at different rates depending on the portion of the purchase price that falls into each rate band, the type of purchaser, and whether the property is freehold or leasehold.  There are different rules if you are buying your first home or own other properties.  You will get a discount if you are a first-time buyer and the purchase price is £500,000 or less.  If you own any other residential property anywhere in the world, then you will have to pay 3% on top of the normal SDLT rates, unless certain conditions apply.  You can calculate the amount of SDLT or LTT you will need to pay by using the calculator on HMRC’s website: https://www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax or if the property is in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website: https://gov.wales/land-transaction-tax-calculator
STAGES OF THE PURCHASE PROCESS
The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances but the key stages that are included are as follows:

  • Negotiating the sale contract and transfer deed with the seller’s solicitors
  • Carrying out property searches
  • Investigating the title to the property
  • Raising pre-contract enquiries with the seller’s solicitors
  • Reviewing the enquiries and results of the searches
  • For leasehold property, reviewing the lease and landlord’s management pack
  • Preparing a report on title and advising you of all relevant issues
  • Reviewing your lender’s requirements and reporting to them if you are taking out a mortgage
  • Exchanging contracts
  • Requesting and receiving monies in from you, transmitting the purchase monies to the seller’s solicitors and completing the purchase;
  • For leasehold property, if applicable, liaising with the seller’s solicitors to obtain landlord’s consent to the purchase and completing the Deed of Covenant if required by the landlord
  • Dealing with post-completion formalities including preparing and submitting the SDLT/LTT return to HMRC
  • Preparing and submitting the Land Registry title application and reviewing the completed registration once it is received back from the Land Registry
  • Sending title documents to you and/or your lender
  • Taking your instructions and reporting to you throughout the transaction

HOW LONG WILL MY HOUSE PURCHASE TAKE?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move into your home will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 8 – 12 weeks. However, it can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain and whether the property is freehold or leasehold.  If you are a cash buyer purchasing a freehold property with no title issues, it can usually be done very quickly. However, if the property is leasehold, and/or you are in a chain with several buyers and sellers and there are issues with the survey, searches or mortgage, this could take significantly longer, at least 3 to 4 months.  In such a situation, additional fees may apply.*
* OUR FEES ASSUME THAT:
a. the matter does not become unusually protracted or complicated;
b. our investigation of title and the results of our searches do not reveal any major issues;
c. the purchase price does not significantly change;
d. if there is a mortgagee involved, we are instructed to act for it; and
e. the property is not a help to buy – shared ownership/equity loan purchase.Anything else involved which is untypical in residential purchases would need to be considered and estimated separately.Information correct as at 3 May 2022.

Our fees cover all the work* required to complete the sale of your home, including redeeming your mortgage if you have one.

LEGAL FEES AND DISBURSEMENTS

Fees

The amount of our fees will depend on the type of property you are selling and whether it is freehold or leasehold.  Leasehold sales tend to be more complicated and therefore our fees will be higher. VAT at a rate of 20% (as at 3 May 2022) is payable on all our fees.

If your property is unregistered, more work will be required, therefore additional fees may apply, depending on the complexity of the title.  If there is a mortgage to repay then we will charge an additional £100 plus VAT at a rate of 20% (as at 3 May 2022) in respect of the work required in obtaining a redemption figure, repaying the mortgage and arranging for the lender to complete and file the discharge documentation at the Land Registry on receipt of full payment.

Disbursements

These are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. VAT will be payable on these costs at a rate of 20% (as at 3 May 2022). We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Before we send funds to a UK individual, we undertake checks to verify their bank account details, the fee for which is £2.50 plus VAT at a rate of 20% (as at 3 May 2022).  If we also need to check the bank account details provided by a firm of solicitors (so that we can receive the sale proceeds), the fee is £15.00 plus VAT at a rate of 20% (as at 3 May 2022).

If you are selling your freehold property the disbursements will be nominal, but will usually include Land Registry fees (to obtain up-to-date official copies of title) of £6.00 per title.  Depending on the amounts involved, we may also have to charge bank fees of £18 plus VAT at a rate of 20% (as at 3 May 2022) to send the sale proceeds to you/your lender on completion.

If you are selling your leasehold property, in addition to Land Registry fees of £6.00 per title, you will also have to pay the managing agents’ fees for providing a management pack.  This usually costs in the region of £400 – £700.  You may also have to pay your landlord’s fees for giving consent to the sale. These vary greatly depending on the landlord and the terms of the lease and can be anything from £750 plus VAT at a rate of 20% (as at 3 May 2022) to £2,500 plus VAT at a rate of 20% (as at 3 May 2022), occasionally more.

Please note that this total does not include any estate agency fees or other fees you may agree to pay to someone to advertise your house for sale and find a buyer.

STAGES OF THE SALE PROCESS

The precise stages involved in the sale of a residential property vary according to the circumstances but the key stages that are included are as follows:

  • Preparing the sale package of title information and other relevant paperwork
  • Drafting and negotiating the sale contract and transfer deed with the buyer’s solicitors
  • Replying to enquiries raised by the buyer’s solicitors
  • For leasehold property, if applicable, liaising with the landlord’s solicitors to obtain landlord’s consent to the sale
  • Exchanging contracts
  • If you have a mortgage to repay, obtaining a redemption figure from your mortgage company and liaising with them regarding repaying the loan
  • Completing the transaction, dealing with any post-completion formalities and sending the title documents to the buyer’s solicitors
  • Taking your instructions and keeping you updated throughout the transaction

HOW LONG WILL MY HOUSE SALE TAKE?

How long it will take from you accepting a buyer’s offer until your house sale completes will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 8–12 weeks.

However, it can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain and whether the property is freehold or leasehold.  If your buyer is a cash buyer and your property is a freehold property with no title issues, it can usually be done very quickly. However, if the property is leasehold and/or you are in a chain with several buyers and sellers and there are issues with the buyer’s survey, searches or mortgage arrangements, this could take significantly longer, at least 3 to 4 months.  In such a situation, additional fees may apply.

* OUR FEES ASSUME THAT:

  1. 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;
  2. The transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complications arise;
  3. All parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation;
  4. No title indemnity policies are required. Additional costs may apply if title indemnity policies are required;
  5. The title is registered at the Land Registry;
  6. Building regulations and planning permission have been obtained (where relevant);
  7. Crucial documents requested are provided in a timely manner and in a single bundle;
  8. If the property is leasehold, there are no provisions for a service charge retention.

Below is a link to the Legal Choices website which explains the house buying and selling process in more detail: https://www.legalchoices.org.uk/legal-choices/got-a-legal-issue/houses/im-buying-or-selling-a-house

Information correct as at 3 May 2022.




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      By completing and submitting this form, you consent to Greenwoods Legal LLP processing your personal data to provide you with the email update services you have selected and any other materials and information about our services that Greenwoods Legal LLP reasonably believes will be of interest to you. You are free to withdraw your consent at any time by emailing mailinglists@greenwoods.co.uk