Residential conveyancing is often perceived as simple – it is not and it is often the largest investment that most of us will make. We take the care and the time always to find out the context of the transaction and our clients aims, objectives, needs and timescales. Each matter is unique with its own requirements and we provide the level of service and expertise required to match them in each case.
There are three stages to all sales and purchases:
Pre contract, when the investigations are carried out, usually 4 – 6 weeks
Exchange of contracts when buyer and seller become committed to proceed with the sale and purchase and a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) is paid by the buyer and the date to complete the sale and purchase is set
Completion – usually 4 weeks after exchange- when the balance of the price and any additional monies are paid, any mortgages owed by the seller are repaid and the property is legally transferred to the buyer.
Our approach is thorough; if there is a problem, we want to find it and have it resolved before you purchase.
On all purchases, pre contract we will investigate the title register of the property at the Land Registry, submit property searches, raise enquiries on the information supplied and our search results and prepare a report for you. We will agree the contract with the sellers’ conveyancers for your signature.
We will exchange contracts when the seller and you are ready and you instruct us to do so, fixing the completion date which is agreed and confirmed with you before exchange takes place.
After exchange of contracts, we will provide you with a statement of the money required to complete, deal with and agree the document for legal transfer of the property to you and arrange for you to sign, carry out final pre-completion enquiries and the searches at the Land Registry to protect your purchase pending registration of your title, prepare the Stamp Duty Land Tax Return for your approval, calculate the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) due (*) and attend to completion of your purchase on the completion date.
After completion we submit the SDLT return to HM Revenue & Customs on your behalf, make payment of the SDLT monies you have given to us and attend to the registration of your title at the Land Registry.
*We will calculate the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) payable applying the criteria set by HMRC for the assessment of this tax based on the information you supply to us. It is very important that the information you give is correct. We do not advise on or deal with schemes for mitigation or avoidance of SDLT.
On sales, again our approach is thorough and part of our communication is to ascertain if there are any issues that need to be taken into account.
Pre-contract we will prepare a legal pack for the property, including official copies of the registers of title, title plan and any documents on the title, the sale contract and with your assistance we shall replies to the relevant Property Information forms and deal with any enquiries arising from the buyer’s investigations.
We will exchange contracts when the buyer and you are ready and you instruct us to do so, fixing the completion date which is agreed and confirmed with you before exchange takes place.
After exchange we will provide you with a statement of the money that will be due to you on completion, deal with the pre-completion formalities and provide the buyers conveyancers with a statement of the money required on completion, arrange for you to sign the document for legal transfer of the property. We will attend to completion, receive in the completion monies, arrange release of the keys and account to you for the monies due to you.
In all cases, both buying and selling, we shall advise you and report to you with regular updates.
If you have a mortgage lender there is additional work on a purchase in respect of the mortgage offer and mortgage deed, reporting to the mortgage lender and carrying out additional searches. On a sale , the mortgage must be repaid on or before completion and additional work is involved in liaising with the lender as regards the amounts due to be repaid, making repayment and evidence of the repayment and discharge of the mortgage at the land Registry. Generally we will be acting for the lender in both these circumstances but it may be the case that the lender is represented by a different firm, in which case additional fees will be incurred.
Our residential conveyancing services do not include advice on tax (except for the SDLT payable on completion of the purchase), the laws of any jurisdiction other than England, any commercial or strategic decisions which you may make, accountancy or other financial aspects or any environmental matters affecting the property.
We carry out all appropriate identity and residence checks against our clients in accordance with applicable regulations to satisfy necessary Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Client requirements and require that the conveyancers acting for a seller do so too to protect against fraud.