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Buying & Selling Property

Residential Property

Buying and selling your home can be a very stressful and anxious period of your life with large sums of money changing hands and uncertainty as to when you can finalise your moving arrangements.

Our team are experienced in dealing with freehold and leasehold properties. We understand your worries and offer a bespoke and personal service to meet your personal requirements and remain contactable throughout the transaction.

We act for a wide spectrum of clients from busy city workers who often prefer us to email them with regular updates to fit around their working schedules to first time buyers and elderly clients who favour lengthy telephone calls or face to face meetings to discuss their questions and better understand the next stages and likely time frames.

New build property

We have a specialist team who deal regularly with the acquisition of brand new properties either newly constructed or off-plan.

Many developers will give a strict time frame of approximately 28 days from receipt of paperwork to achieve the exchange of contracts. We pride ourselves on being able to deal with such matters expediently so that the time frame can be met.

We also take care to ensure that the development paperwork has been set up properly so that you do not face problems when you come to sell the property in the future and to ensure that the Home Build Warranty has been properly documented.

Auction property

A purchase at auction is binding as soon as the winning bid is accepted, with all the benefits and drawbacks that come along with it.

Before even considering buying at auction, it is important to know what you’re getting into and the potential pitfalls.

Our team has extensive knowledge in reviewing pre-auction contract packs and providing you with a comprehensive report on all available documentation ahead of the auction taking place. This allows you to commence bidding for your desired property with confidence and knowledge of any issues which may be present with the title to the Property.

Right to Buy and Shared Ownership

Right to Buy allows most council tenants to buy their council home at a discount.

You can apply to buy your council home if:

  • it is your only or main home
  • it is self-contained
  • you are a secure tenant
  • you have had a public sector landlord (for example, a council, housing association or NHS trust) for 3 years - it does not have to be 3 years in a row.
Buying and selling land for development

Our Commercial Property team is highly experienced in this area and acts for landowners and private sector developers on all aspects of the development process from land assembly and acquisition through to site set up and plot sales.

Easements and Covenants

An easement is the right of one landowner to make use of another nearby piece of land for the benefit of his own land. An easement may take many forms, however the most commonly encountered easements are as follows: A right of way; A right to light; A right of support.

It is important that careful consideration is paid to the creation of any rights which will materially impact upon your use and enjoyment of the property as these matters often give rise to a neighbour dispute.

We have a specialist team of Property Lawyers who are able to assist with the production of a Deed of Easement to formally document any such rights as may be required from time to time.

Our fees and timescales

Our charges are made up of:

  1. Our fees for the legal work
  2. ‘Disbursements’ - disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to other people, such as Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process
  3. For property purchases, Stamp Duty Land Tax (see below).
  4. Where VAT is referred to below please note that this will be charged at the applicable rate.

Our fees

Our fixed fees depend upon the value of the property you are buying or selling and are listed below:

Property Value

Our Fee (ex. VAT)

Up to £500,000

From £1,000.00 to £1,500.00

£500,001 - £1,000,000

From £1,500.00 to £1,750.00

£1,000,001 and above

From £1,750.00 to £10,000.00

There are a number of factors which can affect the complexity of a conveyancing transaction and the quotation you will be given, such as the value and nature of the property, the number of proposed buyers/sellers and how they intend to hold the property between them, whether the property is leasehold or freehold, and geographical location.

Every transaction is different and in order to provide you with a fixed fee quotation we will take detailed information from you about the proposed transaction. To give you an understanding of our pricing the following are examples of quotations for transactions of varying size and complexity. These examples are for illustrative purposes only and are not a guarantee of the fixed fee quotation which you will receive as this will be tailored to your specific situation:

Example 1 – The purchase or sale of an unregistered Freehold property as an investment subject to a lease. Value £500,000.00. Our fee would be £1,650.00 (excluding VAT and disbursements).

Example 2 – The purchase or sale of a piece of land to use as garden land. Value £5,000.00. No complicating factors. Our fee would be £1,000.00 (excluding VAT and disbursements).

Example 3 – The purchase or sale of a registered Freehold property. Value £250,000. Two purchasers to hold the property as Tenants in Common in equal shares. Our fee would be £1,000.00 (excluding VAT and disbursements).

If you are buying and selling a property then a charge would be made for both the sale and the purchase. If you are simply re-mortgaging your property then we charge a fixed fee from £650.00 (excluding VAT and disbursements).

If you are buying, selling or re-mortgaging a ‘leasehold’ property (rather than a ‘freehold’) our legal fee will take in to account the additional time taken in considering the lease terms.

Please note that VAT at the applicable rate is also charged on all of our fees or legal work.

Disbursements

The ‘disbursements’ which you pay will depend upon whether you are buying or selling property or both, whether you are buying a freehold or leasehold property and the location and type of property concerned. Properties in certain locations for example need more searches and checks than others.

Normally all clients who are buying a freehold property will need to pay the following disbursements:

  • Search fees £350.00 excluding VAT (estimate)
  • HM Land Registry fee from £135.00
  • Land Registry Priority Search - £4.50
  • Bankruptcy Search £3.30 per client

When selling a property you will ordinarily need to pay the following disbursements:

  • Land Registry Office Copy Entries and Title Plan £4.50 per entry

If the property is a leasehold’ property then the disbursements will be different and normally consist of:

  • Notice of Transfer fee – This fee if chargeable is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £50.00 - £200.00
  • Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – This fee is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £50.00 - £200.00
  • 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 £50.00 - £200.00
  • Certificate of Compliance fee - To be confirmed upon receipt of the lease, as can range between £50.00 - £200.00
  • Leasehold Management Pack – This fee is chargeable when selling a leasehold property. Often it is between £150.00 - £600.00

Stamp Duty Land Tax.

If you are buying a property you will also need to pay stamp duty land tax. The amount which you need to pay to the government depends on the price of the property. To provide an accurate estimate of the SDLT you will need to pay – we will need to know the purchase price of the property, whether you are a first time buyer, whether you own multiple properties and the purpose for which you will own the property and whether you have lived overseas in the last year.

Other costs to consider

If you have a mortgage on the property or have incurred an estate agent’s fee, we would also typically need to pay the money owed directly to your lender and agent as needed from the sale money we receive for you.

You should also be aware that if you are purchasing a leasehold property then ground rent and service charges 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.

How long will my house sale / purchase take?

After we have received your instructions, your completed questionnaire, payment, and the appropriate forms of identity, we will begin work on your behalf.

The average time for a conveyancing transaction from instruction to completion is about two months, or one month for a re-mortgage. However, the time an individual case takes to complete can vary greatly from this average, depending on the circumstances; largely the result of the readiness and willingness of all parties to proceed.

We will always do our best to be proactive at all times and at no stage in the process become the reason for delay.

Here are some examples of factors which can affect a conveyancing transaction time:

  • Delays in completing the property information forms.
  • Delays in responses or actions from third parties e.g. the other side’s solicitor
  • Delays elsewhere in a chain of transactions
  • Where the resolution or conclusion of a matter is dependent on probate or divorce proceedings
  • Unforeseen factors e.g. demands of existing tenants in the property or obtaining planning and building regulation consents for works undertaken

The precise stages involved vary according to the circumstances. However typically in a property sale we need to do the following:

  • Liaise with your estate agent and request the memorandum of sale
  • Request your title deeds or obtain a duplicate of your legal title (if registered) from the Land Registry
  • Prepare and issue a draft contract to the buyer’s solicitor
  • Answer any standard enquiries raised by the buyer’s solicitor relating to the sale of the property
  • Request a redemption statement from your lender(s)
  • Keep you updated at regular intervals
  • Prepare a completion statement and bill in accordance with your Terms and Conditions
  • Complete the transaction and transfer the completion monies in accordance with the contract and completion statement.

In a property purchase we need to do the following:

  • Investigate the title to the property, including carrying out title and local government searches, and reviewing replies given by the seller to pre-contract enquiries
  • Summarise the information about the property in a report on title
  • Agree a purchase contract with the seller, advise you on its provisions and arrange for you to sign it and pay the deposit
  • Prepare and agree with the seller the document which will transfer ownership to you
  • Advise you about your mortgage (if any) and arrange for you to sign the mortgage deed
  • Complete the purchase for you and transfer funds by bank transfer to the seller’s solicitors
  • Prepare your Stamp Duty Land Tax Return and arrange payment to HM Revenue & Customs
  • Register your purchase and mortgage (if any) at the Land Registry
  • Keep you updated at regular intervals.

If we are simply helping you to re-mortgage your property then we would generally speaking only need to:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Carry out searches on the property you are buying where appropriate
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you.
  • Send final documents to you for signature
  • Apply for mortgage advance.
  • Redeem any previous mortgages
  • Deal with application for registration at the Land Registry.

Who will be dealing with my matter?

Your conveyancing transaction will be handled by a trusted member of our experienced property team. Once we know who will be handling your case for you we will introduce you to them and provide you with full details of their background and qualifications.

Our Residential Property specialists are available at Ashford, Canterbury and Herne Bay. They are all experts in their field, dedicated to excellent client care, outstanding legal performance and to making the process as stress free as possible.

For a free quotation on your move or for any other property enquiry, please contact a member of our team who will be happy to help.

Our Experts

Gemma Bath

Head of Department
Residential Property

Paul Boucher

Partner
Residential Property

Chris Dewhurst

Partner
Residential Property

Louise Farrow

Partner
Residential Property

Julie Smith

Chartered Legal Executive
Residential Property

Laura Foster

Licensed Conveyancer
Residential Property

Shehaam Van Twest

Licensed Conveyancer
Residential Property

Thomas Picknell

Trainee Solicitor
Residential Property

Related Pages

LOUISE FARROW PROFILE

Conveyancing at Girlings