Whatever your reason for buying or selling a home, we understand what a stressful and uncertain time it can be. We want you to feel as though one of the most important transactions of your life is in good hands. Our experienced and approachable solicitors, Robert Wilson, Claire Speake and Andrew Maxwell, will help you to navigate the legal landscape and advise you in the decisions you need to make.
The legal fees associated with selling or purchasing a property are made up of two elements. The first is our fees and the second is disbursements, which are payments for services which are necessary in the legal process, but which are not provided by us. For purchases disbursements will normally include search fees, Land Registry fees and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). For sales, disbursements will normally include Land Registry office copy fees and in the case of a flat a fee is often payable to the management company/managing agents for a sale information pack (currently approximately £300).
We have provided an illustration of the total costs of a house sale or purchase for £400,000. We have also set out our scale of fees for transactions of different values and types in a Costs Table. Disbursements for any sale or purchase transaction will be similar to those described in our example costings. In repsect of all of our estimates, please note:
- Our fees are generally linked to the value of the property. This reflects the fact that our level of risk and responsibility increases in line with the value of the transaction. Land Registry fees and SDLT also increase with the value of the property purchased.
- The costs set out in our illustrations and the Costs Table are only estimates. They represent a genuine attempt to calculate the amount of time that we will spend on your transaction. If time taken on a matter is greater than the time anticipated, this will be charged at £100 plus VAT per hour in addition to our initial estimate. If it becomes apparent that we will exceed our estimate, we will make every effort to discuss that with you in advance. However, there may be some circumstances where we will not be able to do this, such as when complications arise or where there is an urgency to the transaction. If we exceed our estimate and haven’t discussed that with you ahead of time, we will seek to agree the amount of our fees with you before an invoice is issued.
- The costs set out in our illustrations are for a straightforward sale or purchase of a freehold house. The following types of property will involve increased costs:
- Flats – Typically, there is more work involved in the sale, purchase or remortgage of a flat than in the sale, purchase or remortgage of a house of an equivalent value as we will be looking to ensure that the lease provisions are acceptable, that any management company has been correctly set up and that service charges are being charged appropriately.
- New build properties – For a new build property we have to investigate the title of the entire development site in order to understand what interests will flow down onto the individual plot titles. We also need to undertake careful due diligence to ensure that the property has the proper permissions and approvals, that you will have the benefit of an appropriate structural defects warranty and that the paperwork to transfer title to you has been properly drafted.
- Shared ownership – These transactions invariably involve advising you on a range of documents and complying with the extensive requirements of the lender which include giving you careful advice on the nature and effect of the legal arrangement you will be entering.
- Joint Purchasers – If you are purchasing the property jointly with another, and you wish to have specified shares in the property we will advise you to have a Declaration of Trust setting out respective ownership shares. Our charges for a standard Declaration of Trust are £150 plus VAT. If additional issues are considered such as setting out responsibilities for repair/maintenance/payment of bills and mortgage repayments/whether the survivor should be allowed to stay in occupation after the death of the other, we will charge by reference to time spent at an hourly rate of £100 plus VAT.