Our fees and disbursements

We do not operate a standard fixed price for all residential property transactions and instead we quote for individual matters on a transaction by transaction basis.  This is because each property and the circumstances of sale are different which means that there is no such thing as a “standard” transaction.

We are able to give an indication of our fees for certain purchases.  The level of fees that we would charge will depend on the facts of each particular transaction. It will also depend on the hourly rate of the fee earner(s) involved.  We will assign fee earners to a transaction based on the availability of different members of our team, the appropriate level of qualification of the fee earner for the transaction and your requests or wishes.

In calculating our fees we will have regard to the time spent on the transaction and the hourly rates of the member of the team who will deal with it.  We will provide you with an estimate of the likely overall costs before we start work on the transaction.

Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the purchase of your property, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry and the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax, are as follows:-

Value of Property Lower Range Upper Range
£0 – £1,500,000 £1,750 £3,250
£1,500,000 – £3,000,000 £3,250 £4,500
£3,000,000 – £10,000,000+ £4,500 £9,000+
  • Additional fees for photocopying and scanning will vary and are often between £40 and £75
  • All fees are exclusive of VAT which will be charged, where appropriate, at the prevailing rate (currently 20%)

Our estimated fees are based on certain assumptions including:

  • the parties are individuals based in the UK
  • no unforeseen matters arise including for example a defect in title which requires perfecting to completion or the preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction
  • the transaction is concluded in a timely manner (and without short deadlines) and no unforeseen complication arises
  • the transaction is not being purchased with the assistance of Help to Buy scheme
  • all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation
  • (where a mortgage is required) the bank is a member of the UK Finance Mortgage Lenders and its instructions to us and requirements are standard
  • the parties complete on the due date and no notice to complete is served
  • the contract is not conditional
  • the property has a single Land Registry registered title which is not unusually complex
  • the transaction does not involve any unregistered land
  • the transaction involves the purchase of the whole of a legal title
  • the transaction does not involve a lease extension
  • the property is not being purchased off-plan
  • the property is not newly built
  • no supplemental documents are required such as exclusivity agreements, deeds of variations, tenancies, licences
  • the property will be vacant at completion
  • the property is not  a listed building
  • the property does not involve any agricultural land
  • the property will be your primary residence
  • the landlord does not require security from the buyer such as a service charge deposit
  • the Stamp Duty Land Tax calculation and liability is straightforward and no tax advice is required

Where any of the assumptions above do not apply the fees set out in the table could be affected and may be increased in which case we shall inform you as soon as possible.  Any involvement from other service sectors/teams (such as construction, corporate) will be charged on an hourly rate basis unless otherwise agreed with you at the outset of the instruction.

Services not covered by the fixed fees

The pricing information above does not apply to transactions involving a shared ownership scheme, a help to buy scheme, equity release, purchase under a right to buy or a purchase at auction.

Abortive work

If the purchase transaction does not proceed, we will charge a proportion of our fee commensurate with the work carried out.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as search fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. The disbursements which we anticipate will apply are set out below. This list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may apply depending on the nature of the transaction:

  • Search fees: estimated at between £400 and £850 (the cost will depend on the search providers and the particular local authority where the Property is situate)
  • Electronic money transfer fee: £25 for each transfer, usually three transfers will be necessary
  • Land Registry fees: registration fees as noted separately below plus fees for copies of the title documents downloaded from the Land Registry usually in the region of £20 – £30
  • Stamp Duty Land tax: as referred to in the separate note below
  • All disbursements are exclusive of VAT which will be charged, where appropriate, at the prevailing rate (currently 20%)

Where any of the assumptions above do not apply the fees set out on the table could be affected and may be increased.

Additional anticipated disbursements for leasehold properties*

There are certain additional disbursements which may apply where the property is leasehold including:

  • Landlords fee for a service charge deposit – the fee is usually between £500 and £1,200 plus VAT
  • Notice of Transfer fee – the fee is usually between £60 and £100 plus VAT.
  • Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – the fee is usually between £60 and £100 plus VAT.
  • Deed of Covenant fee – the fee is usually between £75 and £300 plus VAT.
  • Certificate of Compliance fee – the fee is usually between £75 and £300 plus VAT.

*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 the property documents.

Land Registry Fees

This depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC’s website.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

This depends on various factors such as the purchase price of your property and whether you own any other residential property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using Scale 1 at HMRC’s website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website.

Transaction Stages

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. Some of the key stages include:

  • Initial: take your instructions and give you initial advice; satisfy Law Society statutory requirements and regulations for client identification;
  • Pre-exchange: negotiate and advise on draft contract; review property title and supporting documents; where the property is leasehold, consider management information; commission and review results of property searches; raise any necessary additional enquiries of the seller’s solicitors and consider their responses; report to you on all documents and information received; send final contract to you for signature; agree a completion date (being the date when from which you own the property);  obtain the  deposit; where a mortgage is required, consider the bank’s instructions and legal requirements for making the loan and go through the conditions of the mortgage offer;
  • On your authority exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened;
  • Pre-completion: draft the transfer and send to you for signature; (if applicable) report to the bank and request mortgage funds; arrange for the balance of monies needed from you; carry out pre-completion search; where leasehold, approve landlord’s formal licence to transfer the lease and any deed of covenant; provide a cash statement; complete Stamp Duty Land Tax form SDLT 1 in accordance with your instructions;
  • Complete purchase and notify you that this has happened;
  • Post-completion: deal with payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax and submit SDLT 1 to HMRC; register transfer and any charge at Land Registry; (if applicable) give notices of transfer and charge to landlord; notify you on completion of registration.

How long will the purchase take?

The average process from the buyer’s offer being accepted until you complete the purchase takes between 4 to 8 weeks with an exchange of contracts usually within 3 to 4 weeks from receipt of a complete pack of contract papers.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on a range of factors such as dealing with landlord consent to the sale (where leasehold), whether the transaction is part of a chain, your financial arrangements being in order and, the individual requirements of the parties in the transaction.

If you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension to the lease term this can significantly delay the transaction.