CONVEYANCING DEPARTMENT

Conveyancing is the process of buying or selling your property or land.   The term ‘conveyancing’ refers to all the legal and administrative work associated with transferring the ownership of land or buildings from one person to another.

There are many pieces to the conveyancing puzzle and we act as a co-ordinator of all these different pieces.  The conveyancing process begins with the acceptance of an offer and ends (for the client) when contracts have exchanged and money transferred to complete the transaction.  However for us as solicitors, the process only ends when we have dealt with all post-completion requirements which can range from putting in force indemnity policies to serving notice of transfer/certificates of compliance and ultimately registration at HM Land Registry in the case of a purchase or a transfer.

We can only move as fast as the slowest party in the chain.  We understand that the process can be seen as very frustrating, but rest assured – we are working busily in the background!

HOW LONG WILL THE TRANSACTION TAKE?

Most transactions will take approximately 10-12 weeks, but this timescale can be affected by different external circumstances which are beyond our control.  Therefore the time taken could be much less or indeed, much longer!

STEPS REQUIRED – PURCHASE TRANSACTION

  • client instructs lawyer, pays the amount requested on account for searches and confirms identity for Anti Money Laundering (AML) Regulations;
  • lawyer sends client information forms to complete and return;
  • lawyer obtains and checks contract pack from sellers’ lawyer, makes appropriate searches, raises enquiries on the title and sends contract to client to sign and return;

unless a cash buyer, mortgage offer and valuation report received by lawyer.  Lawyer then sends mortgage paperwork to client to sign and return;

  • lawyer checks replies to enquiries and search results, raises any appropriate additional enquiries, deals with any legal requirements arising from mortgage offer and survey;
  • lawyer will report to client and request deposit and a suggested date for completion;
  • pre-exchange checks and searches undertaken by lawyer;
  • contracts are exchanged and completion date fixed;
  • lawyer sends a certificate of title (COT) to the lender to confirm their legal requirements are satisfied and requests the mortgage advance for completion, together with any balance required from the client including legal fees;
  • mortgage money received from lender and client;
  • COMPLETION! – moving date when keys are released and client moves in; and
  • post-completion – payment of stamp duty, filing of land transaction return, service of notice of transfer if applicable and also registration at HM Land Registry.

A house purchase is not legally binding until contracts have been exchanged between buyer and seller.  A deposit, typically 10% of the purchase price, must be paid at exchange of contracts.  Upon exchange of contracts the buyer and seller are both legally committed to the transaction and the agreed terms of sale.  If you do decide to pull out of the agreement at this stage, you will automatically lose the deposit you paid upon exchange.

 

STEPS REQUIRED – SALE TRANSACTION

  • client instructs lawyer, pays the amount requested on account in order to request Land Registry documents and confirm identity;
  • lawyer issues property questionnaires for client to complete and obtains copy deeds.  If your property is leasehold, a payment to your management company will be required in order to obtain the LPE1 ‘Management Pack’ required by your buyer’s lawyer;
  • upon receipt of completed property questionnaires your lawyer will check all the title documents and relevant documents. A redemption statement will also be requested for information at this stage;
  • lawyer prepares the contract pack and submits to the buyer’s lawyer;
  • lawyer deals with any enquiries raised by the buyer’s lawyer, and liaise with client if needed;
  • when the client’s buyers are ready, they will contact your lawyer with a suggested completion date unless this has already been agreed. A completion statement will be sent to you setting out the balance due to or from the client;
  • contracts exchanged and completion date fixed;
  • lawyer requests repayment (redemption) figures on all mortgages, obtains estate agents account and other payments to be made from the proceeds of sale;
  • net proceeds of sale calculated;
  • COMPLETION! - moving date when keys are handed over; and
  • from the proceeds of sale lawyer will redeem all mortgages, pay the estate agent, and account to client for the balance – or carry it over to any related purchase.

WHAT DO WE DO?

Some of the transactions our Residential Conveyancing Department undertake are:

  • sales and purchases of property and land;
  • transfer of equity;
  • re-mortgage;
  • HTB and ISAs;
  • deed of trust;
  • assured shorthold tenancy;
  • new-build purchase;
  • buy-to-let and investment purchases;
  • equity release;
  • swearing of documents;
  • ID1 forms for Land Registry purposes;
  • private mortgage; and
  • lease extension/deed of variation.

 AN EXAMPLE OF OUR CONVEYANCING COSTS AND DISBURSEMENTS IN A SALE AND PURCHASE ARE BELOW

DISBURSEMENT/FEE

COST

WHEN REQUIRED

Swear Fee – Statutory Declaration

£7.00 per item plus exhibit

£2.00 per additional exhibit

Cash only

If giving a Statutory Declaration in support of indemnity policy

ID1 Form

£75 plus VAT

In a Transfer of property where we are not instructed and the party requires identifying for Land Registry purposes

Land Registry Office Copies

£3.00 per register

In a sale – when preparing the contract papers

Land Registry Office Copy Filed Plan

£3.00 per register

In a sale – when preparing the contract papers

Land Registry Office copy document

£3.00 per document

In a sale – when preparing the contract papers

BACS Payment

£20.00 plus VAT

Sending monies post completion

CHAPS Payment

£30 plus VAT

Sending monies post completion

OS1/OS2 Priority Search

£3.00 per search

Prior to exchange with HMLR to give a protection window

Recorded Delivery Fee – any document sent out by recorded delivery

The cost charged by Royal Mail plus VAT

Date of Postage

Bankruptcy Search

£2.00 per name

Prior to exchange on sale and purchase

SIM – Search of Index Map

£5.00

If property unregistered – to determine if any parts are registered

Land Charges Act Search

£2.00 per name being searched

If property unregistered – to determine if any entries are revealed

Land Registry Fee – registered property

£20.00-£910.00  Depending on value of property and whether application can be submitted via portal.

Date of submission of Land Registry Application

Land Registry Fee – unregistered property

£30.00 to £680 Depending on value of property

Date of submission of Land Registry Application

Stamp Duty Land Tax

The cost on scale according to the value of property, whether first time buyer, or additional property

Within 28 days of completion

AML Search

£8.00 per client – to verify identity in accordance with Anti Money Laundering Legislation

Before undertaking work

Search Pack which includes; Local Search, Drainage and Water Search, Environmental Search, Plansearch Plus, Chancel Indemnity Insurance.

£181.80

On a purchase when clear funds received at the outset

                                            

DISBURSEMENT

COST

WHEN REQUIRED

Lender Fee

£150 plus VAT

Our fee for acting on behalf of your lender which is payable by the client

Help to Buy Fee/LSAP/Target

£50 plus VAT

For liaising with Help to Buy/LSAP/Target and complying with their requirements to enable release of monies for completion

Help to Buy ISA Fee

£50 plus VAT

For liaising with Help to Buy ISA to enable documentary proof to be lodged and bonus released in time for completion

Leasehold Information Pack/LPE1

Price on application as varies with every Management Company

Pack required on a Leasehold Sale. Obtained from Management Company who charge the fee to supply LPE1 pack

Survey (Home Buyers Survey) – not to be confused with ‘Valuation Survey’

Price on application to Surveyor

Survey is highly recommended to purchasers as ‘Caveat Emptor’ applies which is ‘Let the Buyer Beware’.  This means that the buyer should carry out their own ‘due diligence’ and make all prudent searches/enquiries during the course of the transaction. It is not a legal requirement, but is very strongly recommended.   A Survey would highlight any minor or major flaws in the property ie. Structural, damp, condition, whether major repairs were needed, roof repairs etc.

Energy Performance Certificate

£70 - £100 (approx.)

This must be obtained on sales

 

Shared Ownership Fee

£85 plus VAT

Our fee for liaising with the Housing Association and complying with their requirements

Leasehold fee

£150 plus VAT

A charge for acting in a leasehold matter as paperwork is more extensive

Unregistered Fee

£150 plus VAT

Our fee for preparing Epitome of Title and associated documents which is required to prove the current legal owner’s entitlement to deal with the property

 

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

WORD/TERM

MEANING

Swear (to swear a document)

To give a declaration on oath for which a fee is payable.  Usually a Statutory Declaration as to use of access or land.  Also used for Executors Oaths

BACS

3 day bank payment

CHAPS

Immediate/same day bank payment

Priority Search

Search made at Land Registry to give a ‘window of protection’ within which to register your clients transaction.  Protects Lender/Client

Bankruptcy Search

Search made to enquire whether any bankruptcy entries against client or parties to transaction which would require further investigations

HMLR

HM Land Registry – where applications to register are sent, also priority searches

HMRC

HM Revenue and Customs – where stamp duty forms are submitted and duty paid on purchase

SDLT

Stamp Duty Land Tax – payable to HMRC within 28 days of purchase

LTT

Land Transaction Tax – Welsh stamp duty payable to WRA

WRA

Welsh Revenue Authority Tax

COT

Certificate of Title

LSAP

Long Service Advance Pay

HTB

Help To Buy

AML

Anti Money Laundering – as in AML Search carried out against clients to ensure their identity is verified

Searches

Search Pack carried out on a purchase to check planning/building regulations/footpaths/road adoption/smoke control zone/tree protection order/listed building/conservation area/rail schemes/drainage/environmental issues and more

Survey

HomeBuyers Survey or similar, detailed inspection of property condition which may be used as negotiation if major works found

Valuation Survey

Not to be confused with Home Buyer Survey! A Valuation Survey is carried out by the Lender which only determines whether the property will be sufficient security for the loan.  It does not check in any way the condition of the property. In fact in majority of cases it would either be a ‘desktop’ check or even a ‘drive-by’

Lender

The Mortgage Company who is advancing the monies towards paying for the property.  The Lender will require a First Legal Charge over the property

Epitome of Title

Bundle of Pre-Registration Deeds which prove the legal entitlement of the current owner to deal with the property

LEGAL CHARGES

Purchase

BAND

FEE (VAT applicable)

0-150,000

£700

151,000 to 250,000

£750

250,001 to 350,000

£800

350,001 to 500,000

£850

500,001 to 750,000

£900

750,001 to 1,000,000

£1,050

1.1m to 1.5m

£1,500

1,500,001 to 2,000,000

£2,250

2,000,001 to 3,000,000

£3,250

 

Sale

BAND

FEE (VAT applicable)

0-150,000

£650

151,000 to 250,000

£700

250,001 to 350,000

£750

350,001 to 500,000

£800

500,001 to 750,000

£900

750,001 to 1,000,000

£1,000

1.1m to 1.5m

£1,250

1,500,001 to 2,000,000

£1,850

2,000,001 to 3,000,000

£2,450

 

Remortgage

BAND

FEE (VAT applicable)

0-99,000

£400

99,001 to 249,000

£450

250,001 to 399,000

£495

400,000 to 549,000

£550

550,000 +

£600

 

Transfer of Equity

BAND

FEE (VAT applicable)

0-99,000

£450

99,001 to 249,000

£500

250,001 to 399,000

£550

400,000 to 549,000

£600

550,000 +

£750

 

CONVEYANCING DEPARTMENT - STAFF

There are two members of the Conveyancing Team who will work on your matter.  Regardless of whom works on your matter, they will be ultimately supervised by Christopher Waters, Solicitor and Director of Mortimers Solicitors Limited.

Sara Connor – Licensed Conveyancer

Sara joined Mortimers in October 2018, having previously spent 15 ½ years at another local firm.  She qualified in 2006 with The Council for Licensed Conveyancers.   Sara has had 18 ½ years of conveyancing experience and has encountered a wealth of conveyancing matters.   Prior to this she worked in a legal office as a Legal Secretary from 1991 to 1999 before deciding to train as a Licensed Conveyancer.

Sara is friendly and approachable and explains the legal process to clients in a way that can be easily understood.  Sara likes utilising technology and can get in touch with clients far and wide, including overseas investor clients by WhatsApp, Skype, Email or FaceTime.

Chrissy Austin – Conveyancing Administrator

Chrissy joined Mortimers in August 2018 having previously worked at another local firm.   Chrissy has over 30 years’ experience of working with law firms and will help progress your transaction as efficiently as possible.  Chrissy can be contacted by email or telephone between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.