Price and Service Information for Residential Conveyancing

posted on 04.12.2018 by Peter Scholl

Background

This guidance on fees is provided in compliance with the Solicitors Regulation Authority Transparency Rules contained in the SRA Roll, Registers and Publication Regulations made by the SRA Board on 30 May 2018 .

Explanation and scope

It relates only the provision by this practice of residential conveyancing services, which means the conveyance of residential real property or real estate which comprise freehold or leasehold sales or purchases. We do not generally undertake remortgage work.

To be clear, it does not apply to our enfranchisement and lease extension work under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. We are happy to provide fee quotes for that and any other kinds of work undertaken by this practice.

In relation to residential conveyancing, those who might wish to instruct us are welcome to contact us to seek other terms or to discuss the particular circumstances of their own sale or purchase..

We are not bulk Conveyancers dealing with a substantial number of transactions. We are a small, highly personal practice which has in the past carefully considered each proposed transaction and set a fee according to the anticipated number of hours and likely ease or difficulty of the matter. Setting a price according to one-size-fits-all is problematic but please be assured that if approached we will quickly consider your proposed matter and provide a clear fee quote in writing.

Any information on this web page may be varied at any time and without notice.

The experience and qualifications of the person carrying out the work

All work is carried out by Peter Scholl, a Solicitor admitted in 1982 who established this practice in 1992. Peter Scholl specialises in residential and commercial conveyancing, leasehold enfranchisements and lease extensions, landlord and tenant matters and other property matters. Clients have direct access to Peter Scholl by telephone and email and if required in meetings. Clients are also given access to a shared (but confidential) drive on which information relating to their transactions is available for reference and downloading. That includes title documents, local searches and others.

Anticipated costs

This information does not create an agreement by this practice to provide services at the cost stated below or all all. An agreement to act for a client will only come into being when we issue and the client accepts an engagement letter.

These are guidelines and each matter will be considered on the basis of its own circumstances.

Sales – Freehold and Leasehold

Price £ From £ To
Under £500,000 975 1,750
£500,000 to £2m 1,500 2,500
£2m to £5m 2,500 5,000
over £5m 3,500 6,000 plus £1,000 per £1m

 

Purchases – Freehold

Price £ From £ To
Under £500,000 1,250 1,750
£500,000 to £2m 1,500 2,750
£2m to £5m 3,000 5,750
over £5m 4,500 7,000 plus £1,000 per £1m

 

Purchases – Leasehold

Price £ From £ To
Under £500,000 1,500 2,000
£500,000 to £2m 2,500 4,750
£2m to £5m 3,750 6,000
over £5m 5,000 7,000 plus £1,000 per £1m

 

Leasehold sale and purchases: where a licence to assign or deed of covenant is required we may charge an additional fee of £450 to £750 according to complexity and time spent. We may also add a fee of £200 to £400 in relation to dealing with the transfer of a buyer’s or seller’s shareholding in a company which owns or manages the building

New builds and new leases: where the transaction involves the negotiation of bespoke documentation such as a new lease or newly built house there may be an additional charge of between £750 and £1,750 plus VAT.

Value Added Tax will be added to the above figures at the applicable rate. At present that rate is 20%.

Where additional time is required to be spent on a matter because of unusual circumstances or a deferred completion is required and that is agreed by a client, it is charged at £275 per hour plus VAT.

Anticipated disbursements

Typical transactions incur the following expenses which are payable by clients. All of these expenses may be varied according to the amount we are charged. But we recharge these at cost without markup.

 Disbursement / Expenseaverage or typical cost
Buying Local searches£400 plus VAT
Land Registry information and searches£3 per document. Typically 2 are needed for a freehold property and 5 are needed for a leasehold property plus VAT
Land Registry fee - set by the Land Registry Click here to see Land Registry fee calculator
(select Transfer of who for value. Enter the price. We charge the electronic fee, not the standard fee) No VAT is payable.
Stamp Duty Land TaxClick here to see HMRC Calculator
No VAT is payable.
Fee of landlord’s Solicitor or Managing Agent to receive notice of purchase of a leasehold propertytypically £100 plus VAT
SellingLand Registry documentscurrently £6 for a title and its plan and £3 per document. VAT may be added.
Landlord’s information pack and replies for leasehold propertiestypically £350-£700 plus VAT
Landlord’s licence to assign for a leasehold propertytypically £350-£700 plus VAT
BothBanks CHAPS fees charged at cost plus VATcurrently £16 plus VAT

In addition, where client identification or money laundering compliance procedures incur unusual expenses we may recharge those at cost. Such expenses may include where applicable, overseas company searches, legal opinions and otherwise.

Where there are legal or planning problems which cannot be fully resolved a seller or buyer may be asked to obtain an insurance policy covering the risk of loss arising from any such problem. A single premium is payable.

What services are included for the quoted price

The acquisition or sale of a residential property, whether freehold or leasehold or commonhold including reporting to the client throughout the transaction and providing each main document to the client directly or on a shared drive.

Services not included within the price

We do not like niggling over extras. At the outset of a matter we write an engagement letter setting out what we expect to charge and we try really hard, as a matter or principle and pride, to stick to it. We reserve the right to depart from that estimate only in unusual circumstances including, but not limited to:

  • unusual or problematic issues relating to client identification or money laundering compliance procedures;
  • when a transaction goes wrong such as due to the death or incapacity of a party to it, the failure of a party to perform their obligations and similar problems beyond our control;
  • legal complications or other matters which could not reasonably have been foreseen, such as may arise from defects in title or planning history;
  • discussions about co-ownership and the preparation of a co-ownership agreement;
  • seeking separate representation for a lender where we are not on the lender’s panel of conveyancing Solicitors or where there is or may be a conflict of interest between a buyer and their lender;
  • abortives – when the transaction does not proceed, we still charge for work done;
  • providing valuation, tax and accountancy advice (apart from in relation to Stamp Duty Land Tax for the specific transaction);
  • unusual or problematic Stamp Duty Land Tax issues relating to a transaction

Our fees do not include the cost of any disbursement

Key stages and typical timescales of these

Residential conveyancing typically proceeds in two main stages, each typically taking a month. This is not a hard and fast rule and the timescale can be curtailed by agreement and co-operation of the parties or increased by agreement or as a result of the processes taking longer than anticipated.

The stages can be merged so that on an date targeted by mutual agreement, which is not legally binding, the seller gives and the buyer pays for and takes possession of the property.

As a preliminary, the Conveyancers acting for the buyer and the seller will identify their respective clients and carry out checks for the purposes of complying with legislation relating to the prevention of money laundering. Each will supply their clients with an engagement letter setting out the terms upon which they will act for their clients in the matter.

In the first main stage, the investigations are carried out on behalf of the buyer such as obtaining information from the seller, local searches and other similar matters. The Seller’s Solicitor will provide a draft contract, copy of the title and that information. A buyer will need to get tie up their financial arrangements. A contract is negotiated with the Conveyancer acting for the other party to the transaction. When the seller and the buyer are ready to enter into a binding contract they agree a date for completion (closure) of the transaction when the buyer must be given possession of the property.

At this stage there is no recourse against a party withdrawing or seeking to change the terms of a transaction up to this point. If that happens we will charge a proportion of the fee quoted based on the time incurred to that point.

When acting for a buyer, if we do not consider that a mainstream lender would be prepared to fund the purchase we will recommend against proceeding. A contract is then entered into between the seller and buyer as effected by their Conveyancers. Only at this point does a binding contract exist. There is no recourse against a party withdrawing or seeking to change the terms of a transaction up to this point.

In the second main stage, after exchange of contracts, the seller prepares to move out and the buyer prepares to move in. Their Conveyancers deal with various formalities including getting the documents signed up which will change the title and (if applicable) reporting to any lender or their Conveyancers and arranging for the draw-down of mortgage finance. The sale and purchase is then completed by the prescribed time on the agreed date.

Following completion the buyer’s Conveyancer deals with submission of a tax return dealing with Stamp Duty Land Tax as authorised by the buyer and pays the tax from funds supplied by the buyer. The buyer’s Conveyancer registers the buyer’s title and (if applicable) new mortgage at the Land Registry.