Buying a house FAQs
How much will it cost to buy/sell my home?
Conveyancing fees vary and are dependent on where the property is located, how much the property is worth and also on the type of property involved in the transaction.
Aside from the legal costs involved in the purchase or sale of a property you will be required to pay for a number of disbursements which can vary in cost, such as :
- Charges and application fees payable to the land registry for them to transfer the title. This is charged dependent on the value of the property and the method used to apply for the transfer. Charges range from £20 to £910, and
- Stamp duty land tax when purchasing a new home in England or Northern Ireland. Stamp duty land tax is paid on residential properties over £125,000. Exemptions and discounts apply for first-time buyers. A higher rate of stamp duty land tax is payable when acquiring second homes.
There may also be additional charges if the property involved is leasehold, or if the transaction involves non-standard activities, such as extending leases, rectifying defects in titles, missing deeds. We can provide you with a free, no obligation quote – use our quote calculator to get an estimate of all the costs you will need to cover. There are at times other costs that arise during the process which cannot be foreseen.
In addition to receiving instructions direct from buyers and sellers, we also work alongside brokers, referrers and property agents who refer clients to us. Many of these will provide fixed pricing on their websites and literature, the pricing that they advertise in many cases will include our fixed legal costs.
How long will the process take?
Unfortunately nobody can say how long the process will take. The length of the chain, the type of transaction and the speed at which other parties involved in the transaction work and reply to queries and paperwork can all affect the length of the process. For a straightforward transaction, completion should take place within 8-12 weeks of instructing a solicitor when not subject to any major hold ups.
For a property bought at auction the completion date is fixed and the transaction must usually be completed with 28 days.
What are the key stages of the conveyancing purchase process?
Once you have had an offer accepted, made a mortgage application and instructed your solicitor there are several steps which must be completed before you can get the keys and move into your new home. The key stages are:
- Contract pack obtained from the seller’s solicitors which is then checked and any pre-contract enquiries are raised.
- The necessary conveyancing searches and checks are carried out, including you arranging household insurances.
- Pre-contract enquiries are answered by the seller’s solicitors and returned.
- Your solicitor reviews the pre-contact enquiry answers, the results of any surveys and the mortgage documents and feedbacks to you so that you can raise any issues that you might have.
- Once you are happy with everything you will be asked to pay the deposit in preparation for the exchange of contracts.
- A completion date is agreed between you and the seller and the contracts are exchanged. Once contracts are exchanged you are legally obliged to go through with the purchase.
- A transfer deed and completion form will be sent to the seller’s solicitor. Once these are approved by the seller’s solicitor and signed by all parties a completion statement will be prepared by your solicitor.
- Your solicitor will then carry out pre-completion searches and obtain the mortgage funds from your mortgage provider. Once complete you will officially be the owners of your new home and will be able to collect the keys at a time and place as agreed with the seller.
- Once the purchase is complete your solicitor will register the property in your name and you will receive a copy of the title and proof of ownership from The Land Registry.
What will I need to do after my purchase is complete?
Unfortunately, once your house purchase is complete the paperwork doesn't stop there. You will need to contact all of your utility companies to notify them of your change of address and provide them with meter readings, as well as your bank and any other businesses who may correspond with you by post or need to know your address to provide you with their service. You will also need to notify the DVLA who will change the address on your driving licence free of charge, if you do not do this you could be fined up to £1,000.