Buying a House or Flat

The stages involved in buying a house or flat vary according to the circumstances. However, below we have suggested some key stages:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender’s solicitors if needed
  • Receive and advise on contract documents
  • Carry out searches
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required
  • Make any necessary enquiries of seller’s solicitor
  • Give you advice on all documents and information received
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer
  • Obtain your signature to the purchase contract
  • Draft Transfer
  • Advise you on joint ownership
  • Obtain pre-completion searches
  • Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
  • Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
  • Complete purchase
  • Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry

How long will my house purchase take?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 8-12 weeks. It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you are a first-time buyer, with a mortgage agreed in principle and a seller with no related purchase, it could take 8 weeks. However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer. In such, a situation additional charges would apply.

Our fees assume that:

  1. 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
  2. if you are buying a leasehold property, this involves the assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease
  3. the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complications arise
  4. all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation
  5. no indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if such policies are required.

How much does it cost?

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 (SDLT) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (LT) if the property you wish to buy is in Wales.

Conveyancer’s fees and disbursements

  • Our fee 0.6% of the price being paid plus VAT (subject to a minimum fee of £850 plus VAT (£1,020 incl. VAT)).  We will charge an additional fee of £500.00 plus VAT (£600 incl. VAT) where we are dealing with the purchase of a flat. 
  •  Search fees £400.00
  •  HM Land Registry fee Set by the Land Registry depending upon the value of the property. See HM Land Registry Fees
  • Electronic money transfer fee £26 plus VAT (£31.20 incl. VAT)

In certain circumstances it may be beneficial to you for us to charge on an alternative basis.  The fee would be calculated by reference to an hourly charging rate. The range of rates is currently £175 to £275 per hour plus VAT (£210 to £330 incl. VAT) depending on the purchase price. In our experience the average purchase takes between 10 and 15 hours’ work.

Please note that any work we do in ascertaining whether clients involved in the purchase of a flat are Qualifying Leaseholders (as defined in the Building Safety Act 2022) will not be covered by the fixed fee that we normally charge.

The question of whether purchasers are Qualifying Leaseholders is relevant where a flat is within a block which is at least 11 metres or 5 storeys in height.  Our fees will be based on an hourly rate, the range being currently £175.00 – £275.00 per hour plus VAT (£210 to £330 incl. VAT) .

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

SDLT or LT (on purchase)

This depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC’s website or if the property is located in Wales, using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website.

In addition – When purchasing a leasehold residential property

There are certain disbursements which will be set out in the individual lease relating to the Property. The additional disbursements which we anticipate will apply are set out separately below. This list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may apply depending on the term of the lease. 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- £100 plus VAT £60-£120 incl. VAT).
  • 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 and £100 plus VAT (between £60 and £120 incl. VAT).
  • 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 £100 and £200 plus VAT (between £120 and £240 incl. VAT).
  • Certificate of Compliance fee – To be confirmed upon receipt of the lease, and we estimate that this will be approx. £100.

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 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 we receive this information.

For more information on buying a house or a flat, you can contact us by calling 0114 272 9721, sending an email to Residential-property@lfbbsolicitors.co.uk or clicking here.

How can we help you?

Contact us at LFBB Solicitors for more information or submit an inquiry online.