Purchase of a freehold residential property

The timescale for completing the purchase of is never a fixed length of time. This is because it depends on so many factors that can be outside both the purchaser’s and vendor’s control. The usual length of time that is quoted is 6-8 weeks from formally agreeing to purchase the property to completing and registering the transaction and moving in.

The process can be lengthened by variants such as buyer or seller being in a chain and awaiting third parties to complete sales of their own. There may be mortgages required by other parties which may slow the process down for one reason or another. There may be work required as a result of a survey or searches (environmental, local, coal and drainage searches as examples) which can delay the mortgage company releasing funds.

We will of course discharge any disbursements on your behalf. These are the statutory payments to others that are not covered by our own legal fees and the primary reason why we request the money from you from the outset. As solicitors, we are not permitted to pay these on your behalf from other sources, and not having the funds to pay them could also potentially cause extra delay in reaching the purchase completion.

The level of Stamp Duty or Stamp Duty Land Tax will also very much depend on both the purchase price of your property as well as your status, as the rules are different for first time buyers compared to someone purchasing an additional property.

How it all works in detail

If you request that we act on your behalf, we will start by offering initial advice.

We will then seek ID and identification details.

We will then check that finances are in place and we than may contact the seller (or vendors) solicitors.

We take receipt of the purchase contract and advise you accordingly

Carry out the required statutory searches prior to exchange. This includes the local authority search

Advise the need, if required, for further planning documentation and obtain same

Offer you full advice on all related documents

Offer advise if joint ownership is required

Examine and then detail the conditions of your mortgage offer with you

Send you the relevant final contract documentation for your signature

Agree a completion date and agree exchange of contracts with the seller’s solicitors

Arrange for the purchase money to be transferred from and to the relevant parties

Carry out the final statutory searches required prior to completion

Transfer the purchase funds to the seller’s solicitors on completion day. This completes the transfer and we will then inform you of the time and place for the release of keys to your new property.

We will pay the government Stamp Duty

We will register the title with the Land Registry

We will then send you a copy of the new title together with any other relevant accompanying papers and wish you well in your new home.

The following is an approximate example (individual sums subject to confirmation, dependent on location and other factors such as extra required searches) based on the purchase of a £300,000 residential property.

Fixed legal service fees £1,000 + VAT of £200 totalling £1641.76

Disbursements (see below*):          £441.76

Stamp Duty Land Tax £3,000.00

In this case the amount to budget for is: £

The breakdown of charges is as follows:

Our fixed fee for the above property example would be £1,000 + VAT of £200 totalling £1641.76. This covers all of the basic legal work that is necessary in connection with completing your purchase. We handle all the necessary stages and help you at all times with the process.

In addition, there are statutory extras termed as ‘disbursements’ that are not included in our legal fees. These are fixed costs you have to pay to third parties such as the search providers, the Land Registry and the UK Government. For this particular example, the disbursements are (these will differ throughout England and Wales depending upon location):


Searches prior to exchange                   £251.16

Searches prior to completion                £7.00

Land Registry fee                                  £135.00

Electronic money transfer fee                £21.00

Case management fee                           £27.60

Total cost of disbursements                   £441.76

Stamp Duty Land Tax                             £3,000

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