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:
0% of Purchase Price
Up to £125,000
£125,001 to £250,000
£250,001 to £925,000
£925,001 to £1.5million
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:
Amount To Pay
0% on the first £125,000
2% on the next £125,000 (£125,001 – £250,000)
5% on the last £35,000 (£250,001 – £285,000)
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.
Please click on any of the links below to see our client’s testimonials.
"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."
"Amanda Cowley is very professional and knowledgeable. She was most helpful and courteous. If I buy/sell again I would hope to use Amanda's expertise, many thanks".
Neil & Bev Burgess
"Wake Smith supported the legal work of our house sale and subsequent purchase of a challenging property to buy. Amanda and her team were amazing, so professional, responsive and solution focused, I can’t recommend them highly enough. I received regular updates, was fully informed throughout the process and Amanda seemed to work all hours and respond to any queries without delay. This team are the best we have dealt with and we have bought many properties in our time. Thank you all at Wake Smith a pleasure to deal with you."
Kate and Luke Beardon
"I have no complaints with regard to the excellent service I received from your conveyancing team. All the questions I raised via email were answered quickly and thoroughly. The staff I contacted via the phone answered politely and always treated me with respect.”
J M Cooke
"In the event of the sale of my property, Amanda Cowley kept me informed throughout. She would inform me step by step as to the progress of the sale and informed me promptly of the final stages of the sale procedure. She made it possible for a stress free sale, it was almost enjoyable. I wish her every success in the future."
Ms Shamala Balasubramaniam
"Amanda Cowley and her colleagues oversaw a sale and purchase for our parents in early 2016. For them downsizing was a scary process but the team managed everything smoothly. As a result when we wanted to move in early 2017 we had no hesitation going back to Wake Smith, asking Amanda to manage both our sale and purchase. The process was again extremely straightforward and we felt confident throughout. We would have no hesitation in recommending Wake Smith to our friends and family."
Jon and Joanne Sawyer
"Julie provided excellent service during the sale of my property, all queries were answered quickly and I was kept informed at all times. The process went smoothly with no issues. All the hard work and support from Julie was much appreciated at what can be a very stressful time. Thank you."
"Absolutely perfect service from the Conveyancing Team at Wake Smith. Julie managed to get our house purchase through in just over 2 months and was an absolute pleasure to work with! Very good correspondence and always so polite and helpful when I phoned. Very good service, I would recommend Wake Smith's Conveyancing services to anyone buying or selling and I would definitely use this solicitors again. Thank you to Julie and her team."
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