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Conveyancing FAQ's

How long does the conveyancing process take?

There is unfortunately no one answer to this question.   It all depends on the type of property transaction and the length of the chain involved.  As a rule of thumb most transactions will take between 8 – 12 weeks.  Please remember we are only one part of what will be at least a 2- way process.  We will ensure you are provided with regular updates on not only your progress and paperwork but also to help you understand any issues the remainder of the chain are dealing with which could have an impact on the timing of the transaction

What is “exchange of contracts” and “completion”?

The exchange is when all parties in the chain, having already signed their contracts enter into an exchange which has the effect of making the contracts legally binding and fixes the complete date on a specific date, which all parties in the chain will have previously agreed is acceptable and achievable by them.

Completion is the actual date you must move out of your old property and receive the keys for the new property.   The timing for this is generally around lunchtime once the funds have been transferred by the solicitors via the banking system.

How much Stamp Duty will I have to pay?

Stamp Duty Land Tax needs paying upon completion and will have been collected by your solicitors along with your deposit and/or balance of purchase money.     This is a payment to HMRC and the rate is dependent on whether you own one or more properties at the time of completion.   It is a progressive tax levied on all property transaction above £125,000.    The bands are as follows:

Price Band

0% of Purchase Price

Up to £125,000

0%

£125,001 to £250,000

2%

£250,001 to £925,000

5%

£925,001 to £1.5million

10%

Over £1.5million

12%

For example, if you bought your property for £285,000, the amount of Stamp Duty you would have to pay would work out as follows:

Price Band

Amount To Pay

0% on the first £125,000

£0

2% on the next £125,000 (£125,001 – £250,000)

£2,500

5% on the last £35,000 (£250,001 – £285,000)

£1,750

Resulting in a grand total of £4,250.

If you are buying a property additional to one you already own, there is a surcharge of 3% added to each band, applicable to all property transactions above £40,000.

What are searches and do I need to have them carried out?

Search Pack contains an important collection of information relating to the property you wish to purchase from external authorities such as local Authority which will provide details of roads and highway, planning and building regulation consent and permission and any enforcement notices served. Water and Drainage undertaking, Environmental Agency and Coal Authority.

These are always required if you are taking out a mortgage for your purchase, however it would be your decision to undertake the same if you are a cash buyer.   The results generally take 3 to 4 weeks to be received from our search providers.

Will I need to pay a Deposit?

If you are at the bottom of the chain, you will be required to put your solicitors in funds with the deposit amount at the time you sign the Contract.   If you are in the middle of a chain, it is generally the value of the deposit at the bottom of the chain which is utilised all the way up the chain for the Exchange, as your equity is within your sale value.

Who pays the Estate Agents?

Your sale Agents Fee/Invoice on your sale will generally be paid by your solicitors out of your sale proceeds upon completion provided you have previously approved the same and there are sufficient funds to enable your solicitors to make the payment.

What are “disbursements”?

You will have this term referred to when your solicitors provides you with the quote for your conveyancing, essentially disbursements refer to payments to third parties that you solicitors has to make payment o on your behalf i.e., Search Pack, Stamp Duty, Land Registry Fees and bank telegraphic transfer fees.    They will always be separately itemised on your bill/completion statement and the term does not refer to any legal fees.

Do I need a Will now I am buying a property?

It is always a good idea that once you own your first property or you have upsized/downsized that it is an excellent time to think about or revisit obtaining good legal advice in connection with your Will, Power of Attorney or Trust Deeds.    Our Private Client Department can guide you easily through this process.

What will I need to provide you with before you can act?

As part of you placing your property on the market and/or making an offer on a new property, you will have already been asked to provide your ID documentation.  We are afraid we will also need to be request to see the originals of these documents from you to to ensure our compliance under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.

These can be provided by us seeing the originals and taking certified copies of them, or by you getting a local firm of solicitors to take and provide to us certified copies or by you using the Post Office ID Checking Service.

On a purchase, we will ask for a payment on account of the Search Pack at the start of the transaction, generally in the region of £250 - £275 dependant on the local authority the property falls within.

Will I need to attend any appointments personally during the transaction?

If you are local to us, we would always be pleased to meet you in person and we will only need to arrange one appointment when all the contract and mortgage documentation and search results are ready.   Alternatively, if it is more convenient to you we can deal with the whole transaction by post, email and telephone calls.

Can a completion take place on a Saturday or Sunday?

Unfortunately not. Completion must take place between Mondays to Friday, as the funds are sent via the bank transfer system which requires the bank to be open to process the transfer immediately and deal with any enquiries in relation to it on the same day. We don’t work at weekends either

When should I book my removal company?

We would not recommend formally booking until contracts are actually exchanged and the transaction is legally binding for the completion date agreed and fixed.   Should you make a booking prior to the exchange you may be charged a cancellation fee by the removal firm. Most removal companies will accept provisional bookings however which is useful because a number of transactions do not exchange until shortly before completion.

Conveyancing Team

Neil Salter
Director and Head of Commercial Property

Anne Emmerson
Director (FCILEx) & Conveyancer Practitioner

Amanda Cowley
Director (FCILEx)

Sarah Smedley
Residential Conveyancer

Emma Ford
Conveyancing Executive

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"If you could give Ten Stars for this organisation I would. I cannot speak highly enough of their customer service and Amanda Cowley in particular who is an outstanding solicitor. If you need good service use these people - you will not regret it."

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