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Purchase of a residential property (Freehold & Leasehold)

Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the purchase of your new home, including dealing with 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 is in Wales.

To talk through your exact requirements and to receive a full itemised quote please call our quotes team on 01246 560 560 or send in an enquiry form.

1. Our Legal Fee

Our fixed fees for purchasing a property range between £600 - £1000 + VAT, based on property values between £0 and £1,000,000. For properties valued above please call our quotes team.

The fixed fee includes all of the normal legal work involved in a standard purchase transaction, such as:

    • Checking the title and agreeing the contract
    • Production of the Stamp Duty Land Tax Documents
    • Dealing with the seller’s solicitor and any mortgage lender
    • Bankruptcy Searches
    • Land Registry Searches
    • Exchanging contracts and completing your purchase
    • One electronic bank transfer. All of our legal fees include a single electronic bank transfer which is sufficient for most standard purchases, if additional transfers are required, we make a charge of £30 + VAT (£36.00) to cover each additional transfer.

2. Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Searches

Mortgage lenders require us to carry out searches which are appropriate to the particular property, taking into account its locality and other features.  Cash purchasers are also advised to carry out searches.  The first thing we do is an initial check to see what searches are recommended for the property you are buying.  The search software identifies potential issues within that postcode that may require further investigation and assigns a package of searches which range between £225-£325.  No VAT is payable on searches.

Please note that, whilst these packages will be sufficient for the majority of properties, additional searches may be required depending upon the nature of the property and the area in which you are buying.

Land Registry registration fee

This fee is set by the government and is calculated based on the property value.  Please note that if the property has not been registered previously (for example a new build) the fee will be higher.  You can calculate your land registry fee here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hm-land-registry-registration-services-fees#scale-1-fees

Stamp Duty Land Tax

This depends on the purchase price of your property and varies depending on whether you are a first time buyer or own any additional properties. You can calculate the amount you will 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. https://www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax/residential-property-rates

Leasehold

If you are buying a leasehold property there are certain disbursements which will be set out in the individual lease relating to the Property. The disbursements which we anticipate will apply are set out separately below. This list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may apply. We will update you on the specific fees upon receipt and review of the lease from the seller's solicitors.

  • Notice of Transfer fee – This fee if chargeable is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £50-£250
  • Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) - This fee is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £50-£150
  • Deed of Covenant fee – This fee is provided by the management company for the property and can be difficult to estimate. Often it is between £50 - £250.
  • Certificate of Compliance fee - To be confirmed upon receipt of the lease, as can range between £50- £150.

These fees vary from property to property and can on occasion be significantly more than the ranges given above. We can give you an accurate figure once we have sight of your specific documents.

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

Indemnity Policy Premium

You may require an insurance indemnity to cover a risk that has been identified with the property. There will be a premium payable. If the seller does not accept responsibility for payment, these premiums vary according to the type of risk being insured. We will advise you separately of the cost.

3. Our Supplemental Legal Fees

The range of legal fees in section 1 is based on a standard freehold property transaction and in some instances there will be a supplemental fee to carry out additional works. These may include one or more of the following:

Leasehold House £50 + VAT (£60.00)

If the property you are buying is leasehold, we make a charge to cover the additional communications between the landlord, their agent, any management company or their respective agents and to deal with any requirements of the lease.

Leasehold Apartment/Flat £150 + VAT (£180.00)

If you are buying is a leasehold apartment/flat as part of a housing complex, we make a charge to cover the additional communications between the landlord, their agent, any management company or their respective agents and to deal with any requirements of the lease.

Unregistered Title £50 + VAT (£60.00)

All properties now have to be registered with the Government Land Registry in England and Wales when they change hands and are mortgaged. If the property you are buying has not yet been registered and ownership must be proved by Title Deeds, we make a charge to cover the additional work involved.

Shared Ownership £150 + VAT (£180.00)

If the property you are buying is held under a Shared Ownership Scheme, we make a charge to cover the additional communications between the Housing Association and their solicitor.

Help to Buy Scheme £150 +VAT (£180.00)

Where there is an existing or proposed loan under the Government Help to Buy Scheme we make an additional charge to deal with the Help to Buy agency.

Help to Buy ISA £50 + VAT (£60.00)

Where there is an existing or proposed Help to Buy ISA we make an additional charge to deal with the Help to Buy agency.

Declaration of Trust £150 +VAT (£180.00)

Where you require a bespoke arrangement to deal with and protect your share in a property we make an additional charge to prepare, complete and register the documentation. You should note there may be an additional Land Registry registration fee (see section 2).

Insurance Indemnity Policy £25 + VAT (£30.00)

If a policy is required we make a charge for obtaining and advising on the policy in addition to the disbursement cost of the premium (see section 2).

4. Our Legal Fees for other Types of Purchase

The range of legal fees in section 1 is based on a standard freehold property transaction and in some instances there will be a different fee based on the particular type of purchase you are making. Examples are:

Buying at auction.  

We charge £100 + VAT (£120.00) to review the auction pack prior to an auction.   If you are successful at auction then our standard legal fees apply as detailed at sections 1, 2 and 3 except there will be no search fees as they are covered by the seller, unless the auction contract requires you to reimburse the seller for search fees.

New build developments. 

We work closely with several housing developers and will often fix a fee specific to that particular site.  Please mention the site you are buying at to our quotes team.

Right to buy

If you are buying your property under a Government Right to Buy from your landlord then we charge a fixed fee of £495 + VAT (£594.00), plus the standard disbursements as detailed at section 2.

Leaseholder purchasing the Freehold.  

Where there is a separate leaseholder,  the process of purchasing your Freehold is essentially split into two ‘halves’ - the initial negotiation with the Freeholder in order to agree the sale, along with the price, and then the onward legal purchase of the Freehold itself.

  • For approaching the Freeholder and negotiating the purchase on your behalf with them, we would charge a fee of £350 + VAT (£420.00).
  • For the actual purchase of the Freehold itself, our fees would be then be an additional £350 + VAT (£420.00) plus Land Registry registration fee (see section 2).

You should note that the Freeholder will also require their own legal representation, with a solicitors firm separate to ourselves. It is not uncommon for them to request that you pay their legal costs as part of the sale, though we can of course factor this in to our negotiations with them.

Staircasing.

When you own part of a shared ownership property and wish to purchase another share, this is called Staircasing.  Our fee would be £600 + VAT (£720.00) plus a Land Registry registration fee (see section 2). Depending on any mortgage lender’s requirements, we may also be required to take out an Insurance Indemnity Policy in lieu of a set of Searches at a cost of £30.54.

5. Example of a Typical Freehold Purchase at £170,000

Our legal fee £625 + VAT = £750.00

Land registry fee = £95.00

Searches = £225.00

Total cost = £1070.00

6. Referral fees

In some instances referral fees may be paid to third parties, such as estate agents, for the introduction of your business. These range from £50-£150.  This is not an additional cost to yourself and will not affect the price quoted to you.

7. Assumptions

Our standard legal fees assumes that:

    • 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.
    • Where it is a leasehold property, this is 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 complication arise.
    • All parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation.

8. How long will my purchase take?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you take ownership of the property will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 8-12 weeks.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on the type of transaction and the parties in the chain.

Please see watch our video which takes you through the conveyancing process https://www.bannerjones.co.uk/for-you-your-family/services/residential-property/buying

9. Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. Our guide outlines the key stages that are involved.

Please see our guide: https://www.bannerjones.co.uk/for-you-your-family/services/buying/resources/buying-your-house

10. Our Teams

Our conveyancers work in teams of 2 or 3 to ensure that there will always be someone available to deal with your matter.    The teams are led by experienced conveyancers to help ensure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to the property you are buying.  

Our team members all have a detailed profile which can be found here : https://www.bannerjones.co.uk/team-members

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