> Price and service information > Residential estates > Purchase of freehold property

Purchase of freehold property

All the information you need on the services we offer in this area and our charges.

Our services

The precise stages of a transaction will vary, but in general terms the work involved will be as follows:

  • negotiating the terms of the contract
  • raising pre-contract enquiries with the seller’s solicitors
  • carrying out local authority searches and commissioning other relevant searches or third party reports.
  • Where third party reports are obtained we will send these to you for you to identify any areas of further investigation
  • reporting to you on title related matters
  • completing land transaction return/stamp duty land tax forms for you to sign
  • exchanging contracts
  • drafting the transfer deed
  • dealing with completion and the subsequent registration of the transfer with the Land Registry

Additional steps may be required in particular circumstances, eg if you are taking out a mortgage and security is to be given to the lender or if the property is a new build or a sale of part. If this happens, we will advise you as to the additional steps required and the likely costs involved.

Our charges

Our charges will cover all of the work necessary to complete the purchase of a property. We will provide an estimate of the likely overall costs before we proceed to act for you.

Our legal fees are calculated by reference to the total time spent on the transaction and the hourly rates of the member of the team who deal with it.

  • Partners – between £495 and £730 per hour
  • Special Counsel – £480 per hour
  • Associates – between £300 and £480 per hour
  • Chartered Legal Executives, Trainee Legal Executives and Paralegals – between £200 and £295 per hour
  • Trainee Solicitors – between £200 and £235 per hour

Please note that these rates do not include VAT and disbursements. Please also note that our hourly rates may be varied on 1 July of each year. VAT is applied at the rate of 20% on our fees and, where applicable, disbursements.

Our legal fees will always reflect this estimate unless new or unforeseen factors arise, eg if the legal title is defective or part of the property is unregistered, or if is discovered that building regulations or planning permission has not been obtained, or if key documents we request are not provided. Equally, if we instructed or required to do additional work which is outside the scope of work covered by our original estimate our legal fees will also increase. If this happens, we will provide you with a revised estimate of our total legal fees.

As well as our legal fees, our charges will also include additional costs that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of these additional costs on your behalf.

The additional costs that will normally be incurred are as follows:

  • Obtaining copy title documents – between £6 and £35, but can be more depending on the extent of the title and what is provided by the seller’s solicitor
  • Searches and Enquiries – between £500 and £5,000 plus VAT depending on the extent of the property and the searches required
  • Land Registry Registration Fees – between £20 and £91

  • For further information about the scale of the Land Registry’s registration fees for particular transactions, please click here.

    In additional to our legal fees and the other costs and expenses indicated above, Stamp Duty Land Tax will also be payable. The total amount payable will depend on a number of factors, including the purchase price. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using the HMRC’s website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website here.

    Our fees are dependent on many factors eg complexity, value and timescales. Our fees are upwards of £2,500 plus VAT and disbursements and we will provide you with a fee estimate for your proposed transaction once we have discussed your requirements with you.

How long will a transaction take?

The length of time required to exchange and complete on a property transaction depends on many factors. In our experience, in the majority of transactions exchange of contracts will take between 2 and 12 weeks from receipt of papers from the seller’s solicitors. Thereafter completion will be dependent on the dates agreed between the buyer and seller but is usually between 2 and 6 weeks from exchange of contracts. The exact lengths of time will depend on a number of factors such as how swiftly parties provide information, how long it takes to obtain search result, how long it takes to arrange finances and the number of parties in the chain.

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Our website will give you a flavour of the advice we provide - if you would like to talk to us for more information, please contact our client services team who will be happy to assist.

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