Residential Conveyancing

The process and what it costs

Whether you are buying, selling or re-mortgaging your property, we can assist you. 

For many people, such a transaction is the largest financial commitment they ever enter into.  We understand that your property transaction is personal to you and that you will have specific needs and requirements of your own.  

Our aim is to provide each and every client with a personal accessible service to make the process as quick and smooth as possible.   We consider our role is to support and guide you through the legal aspects.

Why choose us?

At Hodge Halsall we believe in creating long lasting relationships.  Only qualified Solicitors (assisted by their legal secretaries) handle your conveyancing matter.  As a specialist and experienced conveyancing solicitors team, we understand the sensitivities attached to property transactions and are ideally placed to assist you with your sale and purchase.   

Our fees

There are many factors which may affect the fees payable for your purchase, sale or re-mortgage.  These may include:-

  • the price of the property;
  • whether you are buying freehold or leasehold property and whether the leasehold property is a house or flat;
  • whether there is mortgage finance involved;
  • whether the property is a new build;
  • the level of urgency required;
  • whether there are issues that require detailed investigation e.g. use of adjoining land;
  • whether you are buying at auction;
  • whether there is a Help to Buy involvement;
  • whether the property is registered or not at the Land Registry

Indicative fees

We will provide an individual quote on each sale/purchase considered on its own merits.    Fees for conveyancing start from £600.00 (plus VAT).    Typically, our fees for a standard freehold purchase involving a mortgage, without complications, will be £750.00 (plus VAT).

Fee range, when acting on the purchase of a freehold residential property is as follows:-

  • £50,000 to £500,000 – from £600.00 to £1250.00 plus VAT and disbursements
  • £500,000 to £1m – from £1250.00 to £1750.00 plus VAT and disbursements
  • £1m upwards – please speak to us for a detailed estimate

These fees assume that:-

  1. The property is not of high value – see indicative fee scale above
  2. The transaction is straight forward and that no unusual or unforeseen issues arise such as:-
  • a defective legal title;
  • part or the whole of the property is unregistered;
  • building regulations or planning permissions required have not been obtained;
  • multiple registered titles;
  • drafting declarations of trust;
  • shared ownership;
  • variations of lease;
  • contract races
  1. No unforeseen delay or other complications arise;
  2. No indemnity policies are required;
  3. You are not buying a tenanted buy to let property 
  4. Other parties in the chain are co-operative.

There will be an extra charge for dealing with a leasehold title beginning at £250.00 (plus VAT) although this figure may vary in cases with special complications. 

Our fees for acting on a re-mortgage start from £400.00 (plus VAT).

Our standard practice is to give you an individual quote depending on the particular circumstances of your sale, purchase or re-mortgage.  Each transaction will be considered on its own merits and a specific quote given to you once full details have been disclosed.  The fee scales outlined apply only to properties purchased and sold in England and Wales.

Misleading quotes

Some businesses offering conveyancing services provide conveyancing quotes which may appear at first glance to be low but which when broken down reveal additional costs in the small print.  Typical examples of such additional costs may include:-

  • referral fees; 
  • fees for submission of Land Registry applications;
  • fees for completion of SDLT forms;
  • fees for handling mortgage papers;
  • fees for checking your identity papers;
  • fees for checking “conveyancer’s” bank details

Hodge Halsall will not hide costs in this way.  We will always provide you with a transparent and inclusive fee quote.  

Average time scales

The national average for the time taken from Solicitors being instructed to completion of a sale/purchase is 10 to 12 weeks.  We aim to complete your transaction within that time scale and to manage your expectations accordingly.  On occasions matters outside of our/your control arise which can lengthen the transaction including:-

  • the length of the chain;
  • the willingness/ability of other people in the chain to move at the same pace you hope to;
  • arrangement of finance;
  • search results;
  • individual events and people in the chain (e.g. sickness, holiday, family events)

We are realistic about time scales but will always do our best to work to your choice of dates and keep you informed as your transaction progresses.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable by us to third parties such as search fees.  We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.  Typical disbursements which we anticipate may apply are set out below.  The list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may arise dependent upon your transaction.

  • Local Authority search
  • Drainage and water search
  • Environmental search
  • Coal mining search (in certain areas)
  • Land Registry copy document fees
  • Land Registry search fees
  • Land Registry registration fees
  • Companies House fees
  • Management company fees (flat sales and purchases)
  • Freeholder’s fees
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax/Land Transaction Tax (if your property is in Wales)

Disbursements vary from property to property and differ in many local authority areas.  We can give you a more accurate breakdown once we know your specific requirements.

What we do

Once an offer has been made and accepted on a property, the residential conveyancing process includes various stages designed to ensure that the interests of both parties are protected. 

Initial Stage:

  • the Seller will organise an Energy Performance Certificate; 
  • the Seller will complete a Property Information Form and Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form provided by their Solicitor, which will be sent to the Buyer’s Solicitor with the contract;
  • the Seller’s Solicitor will send, together with details of the title to the property, copies of any relevant documents relating to that title;
  • upon receipt of the contract and relevant forms, the Buyer’s Solicitors may raise specific enquiries arising from their review of the paperwork; 
  • if the Buyer is purchasing with mortgage finance, a written mortgage offer will be required by the Buyer’s Solicitors before exchange of contracts; 
  • the Buyer’s Solicitors will make searches with the local Authority in which the property is situate, searches with utility providers and other searches dependent upon where the property is located; 
  • once the Buyer’s Solicitors have received responses to their searches and answers to all enquiries raised of the Seller’s Solicitors, if no adverse issues have arisen the parties will be invited to sign contracts.   The Buyer will be requested to provide deposit monies prior to exchange of contracts usually representing 10% of the purchase price, although part of the deposit may be received upon any related sale.
  • if the transaction is part of a “chain” each party in the chain will follow a similar process and exchange of contracts cannot take place until all parties in the chain are ready to move forward; 

Exchange of contracts:

Before exchange of contracts all parties in the chain must agree a completion date.  If a client has a sale and purchase then exchange of contracts on both transactions is usually simultaneous and normally the same completion date is required on both.

Exchange of contracts and Completion is sometimes simultaneous.  Normally Completion may be between 2 and 4 weeks from the date of exchange of contracts.    Completion must occur on a week day and will normally be the date when the parties actually move. 

The Buyer’s Solicitors prepare the Transfer document (which is approved by the Seller’s Solicitors) and which is signed by the Sellers before completion.   

Where the Buyer is purchasing with a mortgage, the Buyer’s Solicitor submits a Report on Title to the mortgage provider confirming that the legal title to the property is satisfactory and requesting the mortgage advance before Completion.       

The Buyer’s Solicitor makes searches at the Land Registry and Land Charges Registry and requests any balance of monies required from the Buyer to complete the process. 

Completion:

On the day of Completion the Buyer’s Solicitor sends the balance of the purchase price to the Seller’s Solicitors who arranges for the Seller to release keys to the Buyer.     

In return for the purchase price the Seller’s Solicitors provide the signed Transfer Deed to the Buyer’s Solicitors and if the Seller had a mortgage on the property use part of the sale proceeds to discharge that mortgage.   

Post Completion:

The Buyer’s Solicitors pay any Stamp Duty Land Tax due and thereafter register ownership of the Buyer with the Land Registry.     

Upon completion of the registration process the Buyer’s Solicitor sends a copy of the registered title to any mortgage lender and to the Buyer. 

Our team

Our experienced property team specialises in residential conveyancing.  We offer a friendly, personal and sensitive service that we believe our clients prefer.  We are happy to meet you face to face to discuss the legal process and explain the documentation involved in your transaction.    You will have a single point of contact assigned to your transaction to ensure familiarity and continuity with the process.  Support from other members of the team is available when required. The team is headed by Paul Leadsom, partner and head of Property and includes our partner Gordon Hatton and Solicitor Andrea Cheesman.  Each member of the team is available by phone, email or face to face depending on your preference.

Contact one of our conveyancing solicitors today for fast and knowledgeable service relating to:

  • Buying and Selling a house; 
  • Buy-to-Let purchases; 
  • Flats and leasehold property; 
  • Re-mortgaging; 
  • Transfer of equity; 
  • Equity release; 
  • Bank of Mum and Dad; 
  • Right to Buy; 
  • Land transactions; 
  • Shared Ownership; 
  • First time buyers; 
  • Rural properties; 
  • Gifts of property. 

Quality assured

The conveyancing team at Hodge Halsall holds the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Standard (CQS) which provides you with the assurance that we work to the highest standards and our procedures are audited on a regular basis. We are also a member of Lender Exchange, a secure portal enabling member firms to exchange information with lenders and designed to reduce risk and combat fraud.  Hodge Halsall holds Lexcel accreditation, the Law Society’s legal practice quality mark for practice management and client care.  The firm is also an Investor in People.

Any questions?

If you would like further information about our services or have any additional questions about costs, timescales or the process generally, please contact Paul Leadsom (paulleadsom@hhlegal.co.uk), Andrea Cheesman (andreacheesman@hhlegal.co.uk) or phone 01704 531991 and ask to speak to any member of our residential property team.