Timescales

These timescales are approximate as a large number of factors can affect the likely timescale. Transactions can proceed very quickly indeed under the right circumstances but there can be delays that are beyond your control. If you have any particular requirements please let us know.

The timescales given for sales and purchases are to the point to where contracts are exchanged (the point where the seller and buyer are contractually bound to the sale and purchase). The completion date (the date on which the property changes hands) is set by the parties by mutual agreement. It is usually a minimum of one week after the exchange of contracts but the parties can set any date they like provided they are agreed and provided it is a working day on which the office is open.

Sale only

  • Freehold: Six Weeks
  • Leasehold: Ten Weeks

Purchase only

  • Freehold: Six Weeks
  • Leasehold: Ten Weeks

Sale and Purchase Combined

This can take longer as a chain of transactions can only proceed at the pace of the slowest part.
If, for example, a buyer further down the chain is having difficulty in obtaining a mortgage, you will be unable to exchange contracts on your sale or purchase until the matter is resolved but you will not be able to influence the outcome.

Remortgage Timescales

Unless there are unforeseen circumstances, it is usually possible to complete a remortgage with a normal high street bank within 3 weeks of receiving the formal written mortgage offer from your new lender.


Residential conveyancing process (sale)

Machin’s fees:

Sale Price BandMachins FeeVAT at 20%
£0 – £249,999£695£139
£250,000 – £499,999£850£170
£500,000 – £749,999£895£179
£750,000 – £999,999£995£199
£1m – £2m0.125%20% of Machins fee
Over £2m0.15%20% of Machins fee

Other Machin’s fees:

DescriptionMachins FeeVAT at 20%
Bank Transfer Fee (each)£30£6
If Property is Leasehold£200£40
If Property is a Retirement Property£400£80
If Property is Shared Ownership£100£20
Acting on behalf of a limited company£200£40
If there is a management company on a freehold purchase£200£40
Dealing with redemption of charge (fee per charge)£100£20

Other Expenses (often referred to as disbursements):

ItemEstimated CostVAT
Land Registry Documents£20£4

There may be other costs that might be payable. These are items payable to third parties who set their own fees. Common examples are:

ItemWhen Might it Arise?Payable ToTypical Cost
Management InformationWhere you have a management company or freeholder (landlord)Management Company or Freeholder£150-£400
Indemnity InsuranceWhere a title defect has been identifiedIndemnity Insurance Company£50-£500
Planning and Building Control DocumentsWhere the buyer has requested documents for worksLocal Council or Professional Trade Body such as GAS SAFE£6-£40

Services

Services that we provide as part of the sale process

  • Obtaining title documents from the Land Registry
  • Drafting legal documents such as the contract for sale and, in some instances, the transfer deed
  • Corresponding with your buyer’s solicitors or licensed conveyancers
  • Assisting with responding to additional enquiries where appropriate under the Conveyancing Quality Scheme
  • Obtaining certain information that a buyer reasonably requires from a seller such as planning and building control documents.
  • Where appropriate, assisting with obtaining information concerning the management of the building (in the case of flats) or the estate where there is an estate management company
  • Exchanging contracts with your buyer’s solicitors
  • Administering the completion process including the redemption of mortgages on the property
  • Verifying your identity as part of the sale

Services that we do not provide as part of the sale process

  • Marketing of your property
  • Assisting with disputes with other parties such as your buyer, mortgage lenders or estate agents
  • Negotiating the price or other terms for the property and its contents
  • Dealing with matters that relate to the physical condition of the property
  • Matters that fall outside of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme
  • Advising on tax issues such as income, inheritance or capital gains tax

Residential conveyancing process (purchase)

Machin’s fees

Sale Price BandMachins FeeVAT at 20%
£0-£249,999£695£139
£250,000-£499,999£850£170
£500,000-£749,999£895£179
£750,000-£999,999£995£199
£1m-£2m0.125%20% of Machins Fee
Over £2m0.15%20% of Machins Fee

Other Machins Fees that may apply depending on the circumstances:

Item DescriptionMachins FeeVAT @20%
Bank Transfer Fee (each)£30£6
If Property is Leasehold£200£40
If Property is a Retirement Property£400£80
If Property is a New Build£200£40
If Property is Shared Ownership£250£50
If Property is Help to Buy£350£70
Acting for Mortgage Lender£100£20
Submitting Stamp Duty Land Tax Return£50£10
Acting on behalf of a limited company£200£40
If there is a management company on a freehold purchase£200£40

Other Expenses (often referred to as disbursements):

ItemEstimated CostVAT
Land Registry Searches£7£1.40
Searches£350VAT Inclusive

Land Registry Fees

Purchase PriceOnline Registration (applies to most cases)Postal Registration, Transfer of Part or New Lease (Typically applies where property title is currently unregistered or a new property)
0 to £80,000£20£40
£80,001 to £100,000£40£80
£100,001 to £200,000£95£190
£200,001 to £500,000£135£270
£500,001 to £1,000,000£270£540
£1,000,001 and over£455£910

We will opt for online registration where this is possible.

There may be other costs that might be payable. These are items payable to third parties who set their own fees. Common examples are:

ItemPayable ToTypical Cost
Management Company FeesLandlord or Management Company£10-£250
Indemnity Insurance (where title defect identified)Indemnity Insurance Company£50-£500

Services

Services that we provide as part of the purchase process

  • Corresponding with the seller’s solicitors
  • Obtaining searches
  • Carrying out due diligence on the title, search results and contract papers
  • Acting on behalf of your mortgage lender in carrying out due diligence where the lender permits
  • Verifying your identity
  • Carrying out source of funds information checks
  • Verifying the identity of your seller’s solicitors
  • Exchanging contracts with your seller’s solicitors
  • Administering the completion process including obtaining mortgage advances
  • Registering the transfer of ownership of the property with the Land Registry

Services that we do not provide as part of the purchase process

  • Assisting with disputes with other parties such as your buyer, mortgage lenders or estate agents
  • Matters concerning the physical state of the property such as the condition of the buildings or appliances that form part of the property (e.g. gas boilers)
  • Negotiating the price or other terms for the property and its contents
  • Dealing with matters that relate to the physical condition of the property
  • Matters that fall outside of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme
  • Advising on tax issues such as income, inheritance or capital gains tax
  • Advising on the terms of your mortgage loan or buildings insurance

Residential conveyancing process (remortgage)

Machin’s Fees

0.125% of remortgage amount subject to a minimum charge of £495 + VAT

Other Machin’s Fees

Item DescriptionMachins FeeVAT @20%
Bank Transfer Fee (each)£30£6
If the property is a leasehold£200£40
Acting on behalf of a limited company£200£40

Other Expenses (often referred to as disbursements):

ItemEstimated CostVAT
Land Registry Searches£7£1.40
Search Insurance£15-£50VAT Free
Searches (only required if your lender doesn’t accept search insurance)£200VAT Inclusive

Land Registry Fees

Value or amount of remortgageOnline Registration (applies to most cases)Postal Registration, Transfer of Part or New Lease (Typically applies where property title is currently unregistered or a new property)
0 to £100,000£20£40
£100,001 to £200,000£30£60
£200,001 to £500,000£40£80
£500,001 to £1,000,000£60£120
£1,000,001 and over£125£250

We will opt for online registration where this is possible.

Services

Services that we provide as part of the remortgage process:

  • Obtaining searches
  • Acting on behalf of your mortgage lender in carrying out due diligence where the lender permits
  • Verifying your identity
  • Administering the completion process including obtaining mortgage advances and redeeming your existing mortgage
  • Registering the mortgage with the Land Registry

Services that we do not provide as part of the remortgage process:

  • Assisting with disputes with other parties such as your mortgage lenders
  • Advising on tax issues such as income, inheritance or capital gains tax
  • Advising on the terms of your mortgage loan or buildings insurance

Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty Land Tax on Purchases of Residential Property

When you complete the purchase of your property, you will be liable to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). As well as different rates applying depending on the value of the property, your own circumstances will also dictate the rate that you pay or whether you have to pay at all.

The main residential rate of stamp duty payable by individuals are calculated as follows:

Property or lease premium or transfer valueSDLT rate
Up to £125,000Zero
The next £125,000 (the portion from £125,001 to £250,000)2%
The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000)5%
The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)10%
The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million)12%

Broadly there are two situations that might change the amount of stamp duty you must pay:

  1. You Are a First Time Buyer If you are first-time buyers purchasing for £500,000 or less, the first £300,000 of the purchase price is free of stamp duty. This means that if you are buying for £300,000 or less, you will not have to pay any stamp duty. However, you will still have to submit a stamp duty land tax return. By “first-time buyer” HMRC means that none of the purchasers has ever owned or part-owned any residential property anywhere in the world. If, for example, you part-owned a residential property 30 years ago you would not qualify for this relief.
  2. You will own two or more properties after completion or if you are purchasing through a company and the purchase price is £40,000 or over. If on the day of completion, you, or your spouse or civil partner, will own more than one residential property you will be liable to a higher rate of stamp duty. The higher rate amounts to 3% of the entire purchase price and will be added to the normal rate of stamp duty that you will pay. The main exemption to this rule occurs if you are completing the sale of your current residence on the same day that you complete your purchase. In those circumstances, you will pay the standard rate. Properties bought in the name of companies almost always attract the higher rate except under special circumstances.

Exemptions may apply depending on your individual circumstances.

Note that this is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of the entire law on stamp duty. Further, rules and rates can be subject to change. Stamp Duty is a tax, not just a cost of moving.

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