Informed Guidance

We are proud to say that our clients are continually recommending us to their friends and family and we also receive recommendations from local estate agents and financial advisers.

We act for clients on matters across England and Wales, from the purchases of houses in Swindon, to the sale of flats in London.

Our aim is, of course, to help you to get through the legal process – whether selling or buying – with the least possible stress. We will not make promises which we cannot keep, and we will communicate with you and keep you informed of progress throughout your conveyancing transaction.

As we specialise in all aspects of the law relating to property, wills and probate we are not side-tracked by other commitments and so can focus on providing our clients with the practical help and advice which they deserve.

All of our staff are highly experienced and will be able to help you with any queries or concerns which you may have. Our clients appreciate the personal service that we offer.  Our team is led by Iain Mason, a qualified solicitor who practised in property matters since 2001 – the team as a whole has over 50 years’ experience in property matters.

We do pride ourselves on being a small and friendly firm, that aims to provide the personal touch to all its clients and assist them as much as we can through their property transactions which can be stressful and confusing at times. We may not be the cheapest lawyers for conveyancing; however, we consider our rates to be competitive

 Our offices are open from 9.00 am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday and we have onsite parking for our clients to use, should you need to pop into our offices at any time during the transaction. 

Buying and selling a property

There are differences between buying and selling properties, let alone the differences between freehold houses and leasehold flats. Even the process of a buying a new-build house from a developer is a different to buying an existing house.

No two transactions are the same, but we have given examples below of the fees that would be involved in some typical matters. We would be happy to provide a no-obligation detailed estimate that addresses your particular scenario.

In addition, we can offer a fall-through guarantee, which covers your costs in the event that a transaction does not proceed to an exchange. You are not in way required to take out this, but some clients do like the comfort and security of knowing that this is available if a matter does not proceed for any reason.

Please use the links below for more detailed background information on the buying and selling process.

As you might expect, lawyers’ language can sometimes be confusing, so we set out below some of the common terms that are used.

Disbursements – These are costs payable to third parties that relate to your transaction.

ID Verification – In order to comply with the anti-money laundering regulations, we charge a small fee for verifying your identity using an online electronic service.

Local authority search– This is a list of standard questions dealing with matters such as planning, which are asked of the local authority.

Drainage, water and environmental searches – These are enquiries raised of the local water company to confirm whether the property is connected to mains drainage. An environmental search is to confirm that the property is not built on contaminated land.

Stamp duty land tax – If you are buying in England, you will need to consider whether stamp duty land tax (SDLT) will be applicable to the purchase. SDLT is calculated by reference to the purchase price, and other criteria. For instance, if you own more than one property, a higher rate of SDLT may be payable, but reliefs may be also be available.  SDLT needs to be paiod within 14 days of completion and an SDLT return must be made to HMRC even when if no SDLT is payable. We make a charge for preparing the return on your behalf

Telegraphic transfer fee– We are charged by the bank CHAPS (clearing house automated payment system) to transfer large sums of money on a same day basis, which is necessary for completion. Our bank charge us for each transfer and due to the VAT legislation, when we pass this charge on to you, we have to add VAT to that charge.

Land Registry – The Land Registry is the Government’s centrally maintained register of properties in England and Wales. The Land Registry charge fees for accessing their records, as well as for changes of ownership 

Land Registry Search/Entries – These are the charges made by the Land Registry for obtaining up to date copies of Deeds and the final search of their records we make before you complete your purchase.

Purchase of freehold Property for £265,000.00, first time buyers with mortgage

Description Costs VAT Total Fees
Our Fees £755.00 £151.00 £906.00
Telegraphic Transfer fee £39.00 £7.80 £46.80
Stamp Duty Land Tax Return £65.00 £13.00 £78.00
New mortgage fee £65.00 £13.00 £78.00
Fall through guarantee £100.00 £20.00 £120.00
Disbursements
ID Verification £12.00 £2.40 £14.40
Local, Water & Drainage & Environmental
Searches
£220.00 £220.00
Registration Fees £135.00 £135.00
Land Charges Search Fee £4.00 £4.00
Land Registry Search Fee £3.00 £3.00
Stamp Duty Land Tax – First Time Buyers £0.00 £0.00
Totals: £1,398.00 £207.20 £1,605.20

 

Sale of flat (leasehold)  for £125,000.00, with redemption of mortgage

DescriptionCostsVATTotal Fees
Our Fees£650.00£130.00£780.00
Telegraphic Transfer Fee on redemption£39.00£7.80£46.80
Mortgage redemption fee£65.00£13.00£78.00
Leasehold Supplement£150.00£30.00£180.00
Disbursements
ID Verification£6.00£1.20£7.20
Office Copy Entries£12.00£12.00
Totals:£922.00£182.00£1,104.00

On the sale of a leasehold property, there may be additional expenses for both the buyer and the seller. Landlords and property management companies typically charge the seller for providing information in respect of service charges and ground rent which are a necessary part of the conveyancing process. These costs vary from company to company, but can be between £150 and £300 plus VAT

The buyer of a flat may need to pay a notice of transfer fee to confirm their new ownership of the flat. Depending on the lease terms, these can be between £30 to £50 plus VAT.

Typically, we would notify you of these costs in advance, you would pay the monies to us on account and we would then pay these.

Timings

Timing tends to be a key concern for both buyers and sellers, regardless of the nature of the property in question.

It is a difficult question to answer, due to the number of factors involved, for instance, whether there is a chain of transactions, whether a mortgage is needed and an offer made by a lender. On average,  the process is between 2 – 3 months, from receipt of instructions, with 4 – 6 weeks for exchange of contracts, and then a further 2 weeks to completion.

On sales or purchases of leasehold properties, the process can take longer due to the need to obtain information packs from the landlord and management companies.

Please see the accompanying information sheets for further information.

Complaints

We are committed to providing you with a high quality service that is both efficient and effective. However, should there be any cause for complaint in relation to any aspect of our service, please bring it to our attention without delay and we can then take the appropriate action. You should write in the first instance to : Richard Mathews of Optimum Professional Services Limited, Vicarage Court, 160 Ermin Street, Stratton, Swindon SN3 4NE or telephone 01793 538198 or by email to: rmathews@nulloptps.co.uk

Once we have received your complaint we will write to you within 7 days to explain how this will be investigated, if a complete response has not been given to you by that time. You will be told the latest date by which a complete answer will be given to you (this should be no more than 28 days after we receive your complaint). If you have made a complaint verbally – either at a meeting or on the telephone – we will set out, in our full response, our understanding of the nature of your complaint.

The assessment of the complaint will be based upon sufficient and impartial investigation. We will explain in writing our findings, and where the complaint is upheld, we will offer remedial action or redress. This will be dealt with promptly.

If after following the review process you remain dissatisfied with any aspect of our handling of your complaint, you may refer your complaint to The Council for Licensed Conveyancers of WeWork, 131 Finsbury Pavement, London EC2A 1NT Tel: 0207 250 8465 (www.clc-uk.org)

Please note that the Council for Licensed Conveyancers will consider any conduct-related complaints only in relation to our legal services. For service-related complaints please contact the Legal Ombudsman of PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ Tel: 0300 555 0333 e: enquiries@nulllegalombudsman.org.uk (www.legalombudsman.org.uk).

In addition, you may request that the matter is referred for Alternative Dispute Resolution (‘ADR’) and we participate in the Ombudsman Services ADR Scheme http://www.ombudsman-services.org

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