Cost information – Conveyancing
Our fees for conveyancing work will be charged on a time basis to include all work required to complete a sale or purchase and dealing with registration at the Land Registry and payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax, if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax if the property is in Wales. We do not deal with property outside these two jurisdictions. Time is charged at the following rates:-
|£318 per hour plus VAT
|£318 – £348 per hour plus VAT
|£260 – £278 per hour plus VAT
The higher rates will apply to commercial, agricultural or more complex residential properties where the value justifies the higher rate.
Disbursements on a purchase would normally be between £250 and £400 and would usually include a local authority search, water search, Land Registry searches and other searches. However, until we see the title to a property, it would not be possible to say precisely what the disbursements would be as we would want to make sure all relevant searches are carried out. Most searches now also attract VAT.
On a sale, disbursements would usually be less than £50 or £100 but again we cannot say until we have seen the title and dealt with the transaction.
Bank transfers are charged at £25 plus VAT.
Land Registry Fees
Land Registry fees on a purchase vary depending on the value of the property. Here is a link to the Land Registry fee scale –
Stamp Duty Land Tax or Land Transaction Tax (in Wales) are payable on most purchases. The amount again depends on the value but there are a number of possible changes to the standard rate that might apply including an additional 3% on second homes, an additional 2% for non-UK residents, multiple dwellings relief and mixed use rates. Please contact us to discuss any particular property and transaction so we can try to establish the figure. Sometimes it may require seeking advice from HMRC. Here is a link to HMRC’s website for calculation of Stamp Duty Land Tax and the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website for Land Transaction Tax –
As we charge on a time basis, it is very difficult for us to say how much any individual transaction might cost. Here, however, are some examples:-
- Mr and Mrs X sold a cottage (which they had recently refurbished and extended) at a price of under £500,000. Mr and Mrs X were able to produce the relevant planning and building regulations documents and the transaction went smoothly. The buyer raised various enquiries which were dealt with and needed to be chased to try and get exchange. Wilmots’ bill was £1,800 plus £6 disbursements, all plus VAT making a total of £2,167.20.
- Mr and Mrs Y purchased a large listed country home partly funded with a mortgage. Alterations had been made to the property over the years involving us in various investigations about planning permissions, building regulation approvals and listed building consents. The property had an annex which involved investigation for multiple dwellings relief. Our solicitor visited the property as there were a number of important issues to establish by inspection. Our bill was £5,500 plus VAT, plus disbursements making a total of approximately £7,290.
- Mr and Mrs Z purchased a small cottage subject to different titles. There were issues about the extent of the highway and the extent of the titles, a small mortgage and a gift from parents. Our bill was £2,750 plus VAT and disbursements making a total of approximately £3,750.
Matters that might increase or decrease overall costs
- Titles: titles to most properties are registered at the Land Registry, but others are unregistered meaning they are shown by a series of deeds. Either can have their own complications although unregistered can be time consuming in most cases. Leasehold are usually more time consuming than freehold.
- Newbuilds: newbuild properties involve investigation of the title, planning and lots of additional matters which can be very time consuming. Solicitors who act on the purchase of multiple houses on an estate and are referred by developers can often reduce this time by having to do the investigation only once for the estate and then split the cost amongst numerous buyers. We do not have the benefit of that as we do not act on referrals from developers.
- You: some clients want everything explained to them including all legal terminology whereas others just want to know “where do I sign”. We are very happy to deal with both types of clients although most people are somewhere in the middle. We want to help you achieve what you want to achieve. Having said that, with the people who just want to know where to sign, we still have to carry out a full investigation of title and explain matters so the client will not complain that we have not done our job properly or explained something important later.
- Site visits: site visits are not necessary in all transactions although can be very useful to make sense of the documents, boundaries and rights of way together with lots of other matters.
- Chasing: having to chase other parties to find out information and get a transaction through can be quite time consuming at times.
- Miscellaneous: there are many other factors that might influence the amount of time involved and it is not possible to list all here.
In our experience conveyancing transactions, usually take on average between 2 to 4 months from agreement of sale to legal completion. Some will go quickly, others will be delayed, particularly where long chains are involved. Our objective is to make sure that if there is delay, it is not caused by us, and we aim to make your transaction go to the speed that you want. The average time between exchange of contracts and completion nowadays is about 2 weeks, but in some transactions exchange and completion are simultaneous. In others, completion is delayed for perhaps 3 or more months. If you have specific requirements about dates or time scales, please make sure that you bring them to our intention and we can try and see if they can be achieved. However we often refer to the person who bought a Ferrari. They may have a car capable of doing 170 miles an hour but if they are on the M25 they are doing 20 miles an hour like everybody else. Effectively, although you and us can try and do our part as quickly as possible, we are generally dependent upon everybody else doing their parts quickly as well, all of whom we have little influence or control over.