On the 6th December 2018 the SRA introduced pricing transparency rules for certain areas of law, where law firms now have to publish some of their prices online. One of those areas is residential conveyancing.
We have thought long and hard about how to present this information to our clients and to potential clients who may wish to use us. Firstly, we wish to remain competitive on price whilst still providing a service that meets your particular needs as a client. We recognise that residential conveyancing work and the way in which it is priced depends heavily on a number of key factors such as (to name but a few) the agreed price or property value, whether you are purchasing as an individual or a distinct corporate entity, the volume of instructions you send to us, whether the transaction is a sale, purchase, re-mortgage, first registration, transfer of equity, the type of property, whether the property is registered or unregistered at Land Registry, what financing arrangements are in place. Therefore, we strongly suggest that if you are interested in our services you speak to us to see what bespoke service we can offer you rather than relying solely on the information below.
Specifically, we are placed under a professional obligation, to tell you the following at this stage:-
1) We must tell you about our people who will be providing you with these services.
2 ) We must tell you the range of prices for certain things and how long it will take to complete each of these steps. We must provide details of the prices we will charge you for:-
Please note that due to the difficulties in costing certain parts of our services the SRA do not currently place us under any professional obligation to publish on our website the cost of any transfer of equity matters, assents or first registrations. However, notwithstanding this, once we understand your specific requirements we will be able to confirm our hourly rates.
We must tell you the likely disbursements that will be incurred during the above transactions.
If you choose DWF to represent you
We have a residential conveyancing team supervised and led by Partner Julie Simms with the day to day work undertaken by our specialist paralegal team, including, Christopher Walsh and Irene Roche who both have over 12 years' experience in dealing with residential property transactions and a number of other specialist real estate paralegals who deliver different aspects of the transactions. The team has particular expertise in high value property and high net worth clients, along with acting for companies acquiring buy to let residential property.
All of our people are fully trained and supervised.
Our fees and possible timescales
Our fees for standard transactions are based on either the agreed property price or property value. Our basic fee assumes that:
a) 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;
b) where the property is leasehold it is the assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease;
c) the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complications arise or the matter becomes unduly protracted;
d) all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation;
e) no indemnity insurance policies are required;
f) DWF will advise only on matters of English Law and not the laws of any other jurisdiction which may be relevant to the transaction;
g) There are no Third Party consents required;
h) There are no contracts to be novated;
i) There are no planning or listed building consent issues.
Please note we are on a limited number of mortgage lender panels and as such please contact us to ascertain if we are able to act. A number of panels also have specific rates for our transactions.
Additional costs may become payable depending on the circumstances of the transaction. These could include but are not limited to:
Please note that this list is not exhaustive and we will make you aware of any additional fees if and when they are brought to our attention.
The exact scope of our retainer will be set out in our engagement letter to you.
Please note that the following disbursements may also be payable:
Stamp Duty or Land Tax (on purchase or transfer)
This depends on the purchase price of your property or value attributed to the transaction in accordance with HMRCs requirements. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC's website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority's website here..
Land Registry Registration Fee (on purchase and re-mortgage)
The fees charged by Land Registry for registering the property transactions are set by Land Registry. The fee payable will depend on the transaction type and the property value/purchase price.
Land Registry provide a Fee Calculator that will determine the sum payable.
We can confirm what fee would be payable and if the online portal and Business Gateway discount applies if you contact us directly.
Land Registry documents (on sale and mortgage/re-mortgage matters)
To progress transactions we will need to obtain details of the legal title from Land Registry (where the property is registered). The cost of documents are set by Land Registry and VAT is payable on all documents obtained. The following costs are likely to be incurred on the following transactions, however please note that an exact figure cannot be obtained without the title being investigated and will be subject to current fees charged by Land Registry.
Land Registry Searches
Depending on the type of transaction there are various disbursements payable to Land Registry. Details of the most common charges are set out below.
Where the property is not registered at Land Registry a specific search of Land Registry records will need to be undertaken. The cost of the search known as a Search of the Index Map is set by Land Registry as follows:
(a) where not more than five registered titles are disclosed - £4.00 plus £0.80 VAT*
(b) where more than five registered titles are disclosed:
Additional Land Charges searches against previous owners or interested parties will need to be undertaken. The cost of these searches is £2.00 plus £0.40 VAT is payable per name searched. The exact number of searches required cannot be ascertained without first reviewing the title documents in full.
Where the property is registered at Land Registry on the completion of the purchase, mortgage or re-mortgage a Land Registry Priority search will be undertaken against each applicable title. The cost of the search is £3.00 plus £0.60 VAT* per title affected.
Land Charges Search:
These searches are undertaken at the Land Charges department via Land Registry. The searches are used to identify if any party involved in the transaction may be subject to bankruptcy proceedings. They are carried out on purchase and mortgage transactions. The cost of the search is £2.00 plus £0.40 VAT* per name searched against.
Search Fees (on purchase and certain mortgage matters)
Most purchase and mortgage/re-mortgage matters will require a suite of searches to be undertaken. The cost of the searches varies by area and as such we are only able to provide an indication of the costs that would be payable if you contact us directly. These can include bit are not limited to local search, environmental search, utilities searches, highways searches, Commons searches. Please note that VAT is payable on all searches undertaken
Leasehold property disbursements
There are certain disbursements which will be set out in the individual lease relating to the Property. The disbursements which we anticipate will apply are set out below. This list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may apply depending on the provisions of the lease. We will update you on the specific fees upon receipt and review of the lease from the seller's solicitors.
These fees vary from property to property and can on occasion be significantly more than the ranges given above. In addition, if duplicate Notices need to be served on Landlords, Management Companies or Tenants Association, additional charges may be payable. VAT may also be payable on the sum charged by the Landlord depending on whether they are VAT registered or not. We can give you an accurate figure once we have sight of your specific documents.
How long will my transaction take?
How long it will take from the point of instructing a lawyer until you can complete the transaction will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 8-12 weeks for a freehold house purchase and can be longer for a leasehold property.
It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain and the circumstances such as requirements for mortgage financing, searches and the title.
The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However below is a guide on the basic process:
The precise stages involved in the sale of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However below is a guide on the basic process:
The precise stages involved in the mortgage or re-mortgage of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However below is a guide on the basic process:
*Please note that the VAT figures quoted are calculated at the standard 20% rate. Should the VAT rate change, the amount payable is subject to change accordingly.