Merritts Solicitors

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Residential Property Fees

Purchase of a Freehold Residential Property

Our fees cover all the work required to complete the purchase of your new home, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry and dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property you wish to buy is in Wales.

Conveyancer’s Fees and Disbursements

• Legal fees: £300.00 to £695.00 for purchasing a property up to the value of £550,000. Purchases above £550,000 will need to be quoted on a bespoke basis.

• Search fees estimated at £90 (£59 for a local search and £31 for a water and drainage search)

• HM Land Registry fee £20 to £455 for a registered property depending on price and £40 to £910 for an unregistered property (i.e. new build property)

• Electronic money transfer fee £43.20 per transfer

• Final Searches – priority search £3 per title

• Final Searches – bankruptcy search £3 per name

• VAT payable on legal fees at 20%

Please note that the above fees are exclusive of any referral fees (if any) payable to third parties which depend entirely on the individual circumstances.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Stamp Duty or Land Tax (on purchase)

This depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC’s website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website here.

How long will my house purchase take?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 8-12 weeks.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you are a cash buyer, it could take 8 weeks. However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between 3 and 6 months. In such, a situation additional charges would apply.

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, below we have suggested some key stages:

• Take your instructions and give you initial advice
• Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender’s solicitors if needed
• Receive and advise on contract documents
• Carry out searches
• Obtain further planning documentation if required
• Make any necessary enquiries of seller’s solicitor
• Give you advice on all documents and information received
• Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you
• Send final contract to you for signature
• Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
• Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
• Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
• Complete purchase
• Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax
• Deal with application for registration at Land Registry

Purchase of a Leasehold Residential Property

In addition to the fees, disbursements and stamp duty quoted above if the property you are purchasing is a leasehold property we charge an additional £100 plus VAT

Anticipated Disbursements – Leasehold

In addition to the disbursements quoted above, for leasehold properties the following additional disbursements may be payable:-

• Notice of Transfer fee – This fee if chargeable is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £50 and £300.
• Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – This fee is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £50 and £300.
• Deed of Covenant fee – This fee is provided by the management company for the property and can be difficult to estimate. Often it is between £50 and £300.
• Certificate of Compliance fee – To be confirmed upon receipt of the lease, as can range between £50 and £300.

These fees vary from property to property and can on occasion be significantly more than the ranges given above. We can give you an accurate figure once we have sight of your specific documents.

You should also be aware that ground rent and service charge are likely to apply throughout your ownership of the property. We will confirm the ground rent and the anticipated service charge as soon as this we receive this information.

Our fee assumes that:

a. this is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise including for example (but not limited to) a defect in title which requires remedying prior to completion or the preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction
b. this is the assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease
c. the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complication arise
d. all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation
e. no indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.

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