Thank you for looking at our property services. Whether you are a first-time buyer or an investor, we are here to take the stress out of buying and selling residential property.
We will guide you through each step of your transaction and offer a service that that fits your exact requirements. Where necessary we can recommend other professionals such as Surveyors, Independent Financial Advisors and property valuers.
At a time where money really matters, we always provide a quality service at a fair price. We will keep you up-to-date with all of the relevant information so you can make informed decisions and have complete confidence that every detail has been properly taken care of.
We have an experienced team who understand the stress involved in buying, selling or re-mortgaging your property. Our approach is simple; we provide a first-class service from our expert team who make the difference by removing confusion and uncertainty, dealing with all of the legal details of a property transaction on your behalf.
Our team is made up of highly qualified Solicitors and Conveyancers who have the legal and technical “know how” to resolve any issues as they arise in a professional and efficient manner. We understand that communication is key, so will make sure we are always available to answer your questions in plain English and ensure you are kept up-to-date with everything you need to know.
You will have the confidence that you are our priority, with our aim being that any member of the team is available to speak with you when you need some clarity and certainty at any stage in the process. We feel this provides reassurance and gives you an outlet for any concerns that you may have. Potentially this is the biggest investment of your life and we not only want to provide that first-class service, but value for money and no hidden fees.
We are proud to hold Lexcel and CQS Accreditations, issued by the Law Society. This involves the firm undergoing a rigorous audit process which ensures we maintain high levels of client care.
The fees involved in any transaction are important and we review our fees on a regular basis, considering clients’ feedback so we can make sure we always offer the best value for your money.
We typically work on a fixed fee basis, ensuring that you know what the fees will be for your transaction from the outset. If, during the transaction, there is a new development, we will discuss the change in fees with you and agree a way forward.
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 (known as Stamp Duty) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (known as Land Tax) if the property you wish to buy is in Wales.
To make the process of buying as convenient as possible for you we have installed a Conveyancing Quote Calculator on our website which will allow you to input your purchase details to generate an instant conveyancing estimate. Please note that so we can generate an instant and accurate conveyancing quote you will need to input all the information requested on the calculator. Once you have input the requested information our conveyancing calculator will generate a quote which includes the following information;
HM Land Registry fee
Electronic money transfer fee
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.
These fees may be subject to change if further information relating to your property becomes available, for example, if you require additional searches such as a Water and Drainage Search, which typically costs £26.40. Our conveyancing calculator will provide you with an estimate of the cost of disbursements that we would routinely expect to apply to the purchase of your new home.
Stamp Duty Land Tax
The amount of stamp duty payable will depend 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.
Our conveyancing calculator will also generate a figure payable for stamp duty, please note however that the figure will be generated based on information you input on the calculator so you must ensure that the information you supply is accurate.
Our conveyancing team are not tax advisors but we can obtain tax advice from other in-house staff should this be required. If you request us to do so fees will apply.
Our fees are fixed, however there may be factors which would typically increase the cost of the fees estimated above. Where there is likely to be any additional cost, we will make sure you are informed of this at the earliest opportunity and a clear estimate of those extra costs will be provided.
Factors that may lead to an increase in cost include:
Standard additional fees for residential property
Stamp Duty Land Tax
Lenders fee (if obtaining a mortgage)
Retention - Monies are retained normally in respect of a leasehold property, service charges tend to be estimated and once the end of the financial year has been concluded, actual accounts are issued and a deficit or surplus will be advised. Any deficit will be apportioned accordingly between the seller & buyer for their period of ownership.
Rectification of title issue – statutory declaration - This is a correction/alteration of a mistake that may affect the title of a registered owner. The Statutory Declaration is a formal Statement made affirming that something is true to the best knowledge of the person making the declaration.
Rectification of title issue – indemnity insurance. If a correction/alteration of a mistake that may affect the title of a registered owner cannot be resolved, a Legal Indemnity Policy is obtained to offer protection to a buyer (and lender) from any actual or potential losses due to the defect. The premium is paid only once and in most cases the Policy is automatically transferrable to successors in title.
Arranging indemnity insurance (chancel, environmental, lack of building regulations approvals). A Chancel Indemnity Policy will be obtained to protect a landowner from paying for the repair of the Chancel (the part of the Church containing the altar and the choir) of an Anglican Parish Church. Chancel Repair Liability goes back hundreds of years to medieval times and some houses/flats stand upon land that is still subject to a perpetual liability to contribute to repairs. There are a number of other Indemnity Policies that can be obtained regarding issues at the property, due to lack of documentation the seller can produce, works carried out at the property without relevant building consent etc, and each Policy obtained offers protection to the buyer for any actual or potential losses.
Dealing with 3rd party solicitors - Some Lenders instruct their own solicitors to act, matrimonial solicitors may be involved
Deed of postponement - Required when one party (normally a Lender) agrees to postpone their right in order for another party (again a lender) to have a first Charge on the title. Consent is required from the first Mortgagee to the postponement and is registered at the Land Registry.
Deed of covenant - May be required when purchasing a leasehold property or a freehold property. The buyer agrees and enters into the Deed of Covenant by signing the same to confirm that they will comply with the terms under the Lease and to pay the relevant maintenance charges on a freehold property normally for communal areas and service charges for a leasehold property.
Deed of variation - To extend the Lease term or to correct or alter a defect in the Lease.
Declaration of Trust (individual price to be confirmed by Private Client Department)
Deed of Easement - This is a binding document which gives rights for another party to use the property or enter upon the land to carry out repairs and check services which is not theirs. The owner gives their consent but does not give up ownership of the property/land.
Licence to Assign - This is a document entered into by the Landlord and the tenant to transfer/assign the obligations under the Lease to another party (new buyer). The Landlord's consent is required.
Protect your property restriction - This is normally required when the property is being purchased as a buy to let, will be left empty for periods of time as the owner lives overseas or not mortgaged. The Land Registry will notify the owner if someone applies to change the register in any way.
Arranging 2nd charges /loans (per loan/charge)
Arranging simultaneous exchange of contracts and completion
Expedition fee – A Fee charged when there is less than 5 working days between exchange and completion
Retrieval of files from archiving
Issuing additional contract (contract race) when there are two separate buyers trying to purchase the same property.
Approval of new build documents
Help to Buy Equity Loan
Gifted Deposit - This applies if the buyer is obtaining monies from a third party and not a lender. Normally this is a family member who will be giving the buyer a "gift of money" to purchase the property but will not require the monies to be repaid or to have their interest noted on the property.
Help to buy ISA Fee - Applying for the Government bonus to be released and paid towards the purchase of a property on behalf of the client.
All fees are subject to VAT.
For any transaction, the timescales are subject to change depending on when your offer is accepted and factors involved such as:
- Number of parties in the chain.
- Whether you have a mortgage in place.
- Whether you are buying a new build property.
A typical freehold transaction will take between six to eight weeks. However you will appreciate that due to many circumstances the actual length of time which it takes may vary from this estimate. We would then discuss with you any significant departure from the estimate as your transaction proceeds.
With every transaction there are key milestones, which may vary according to individual circumstances. They may be as follows:
- Taking your instructions and give initial advice based on the information you have provided.
- Checking finances are in place to fund the purchase and contacting the lender’s solicitors if needed.
- Receiving and advising on contract documents.
- Undertaking searches.
- Obtaining further planning documentation if required.
- Making any necessary enquiries of the seller’s solicitor.
- Providing advice on all documents and information received.
- Advising you of the mortgage offer conditions (if applicable).
- Finalising contracts and sending to you for signature.
- Agreeing a completion date (the date from which you will legally own the property).
- Exchanging contracts and notifying you that this has happened.
- Ensuring all monies have been received from you and the lender(s).
- Completing the purchase.
- Dealing with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax.
- Completing and submitting an application for registration at the Land Registry.
If you have any immediate questions on this topic please do not hesitate to contact us using the enquiry page at geppsolicitors.co.uk or call us on 01245 493939.