How much will the legal fees be?
No property is exactly the same and our fees will reflect the particular requirements of your mortgage or remortgage transaction (which we will call your 'financing' in this note. Because of this, we cannot give you an exact estimate of the cost of us helping you until we have details of your intended transaction. That is why we will always give you an individual cost estimate at the start of the transaction, taking into account the actual features of the transaction (based upon the information which you provide to us). We will always advise you immediately about any complication and discuss the potential impact before and additional charges are incurred. Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the financing, including dealing with the Land Registry.
In the large majority of property financings we will be able to give to you specific details upfront of legal fees and the disbursements which you will incur. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. In a few limited instances, where it is particularly difficult to determine what the transaction will involve, we will deal with the matter based upon the time spent in completing the transaction at an agreed hourly rate (see below). For transactions involving residential property, this is quite rare and we can usually provide you with accurate details of the legal fees upfront.
Our typical legal fees involving a residential financing range from around £500 (+VAT) for a simple transaction to £3000 (+VAT) for a generally larger and individual property (with its associated complexities). Please note that any reference to VAT is at the current rate of 20% unless otherwise stated. Our firms fees for dealing with leasehold properties tend to be more than for a freehold property of similar price. This is due to the additional legal complexities with (and time which we need to spend on) leasehold transactions.
In relation to disbursements:
- On a property financings we will incur the cost of obtaining copy title documents from the land registry (on average less than £10) and the cost of obtaining copy documents other sources such as copy planning document (on average less than £20).
- We would suggest you budget £400 for search fees. The actual amount you incur will vary depending upon the property and the local authority area it is in.
- Land Registry fees generally range between £40 and £250 depending upon the type of transaction and the value. They are on a sliding scale. Visit the Government website for guidance.
- Further administrative costs can be incurred when financing leasehold properties including : Notice of mortgage fee – commonly in the region of £100 to £200 ; Certificate of Compliance fee - commonly in the region of £200.
- The above figures are either inclusive of VAT or no VAT is payable. When we provide you with detailed costings we confirm the VAT payable.
What is commonly taken into account when determining the legal costs within the range given?
Common factors include :
- The complexity of the property
- The value of the property
- The amount being borrowed
- The time which it is anticipated will need to be devoted to the matter
- The number of titles included within the property
- Whether it is freehold or leasehold
- The urgency
- The qualification level and specialist knowledge of the adviser who needs to be allocated to the matter (see below for charge out rates).
Can you give some examples of the type of matters which could fall outside the typical range given above?
Property transactions are many and varied. Generally it is the complexity and risk involved which brings a transaction outside the usual range of costings. Examples would include : high value transactions (generally in the millions of pounds); farms and agricultural land; financings of part where titles are being split and detailed consideration needs to be given to the grant and reservation of easements (e.g. rights of way and rights for services) and the imposition of covenants ( things which a buyer cannot do or is obliged to do) ; complicated unregistered titles.
How long will my financing take?
How long it will take from the offer being accepted until completion will depend on a number of factors. The average transaction takes between 4-8 weeks. It can be quicker or slower, depending on factors such as : title problems needing to be resolved ; surveys revealing items of disrepair which require rectification ; further information being required by the lender.
What are the stages in the process?
The precise stages involved in the financing of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, below we have set out some common key stages on sales and purchases :
- Borrower's lawyer takes instructions and give initial advice
- Borrowers liaise with their lender in connection with the issue of the mortgage offer.
- Borrowers (through their Lender) organise a valuation of the property
- Lender issues instruction to borrowers lawyer to act. In most instances the lawyer acts for lender and borrower. In some instances the lender insists upon separate representation.
- Searches are carried out by the borrower's lawyer (these will vary depending upon the nature of the property)
- The lawyer obtains information from the borrower in relation to property
- The lawyer investigates title to ensure it is safe to lend.
- The lawyer arranges for the borrower to sign the appropriate documentation (including the mortgage deed)
- Contracts are signed in readiness for exchange the lawyer reports to the lender that it is safe to lend.
- Monies are obtained by the lawyer and provided to the borrower, after redeeming and mortgage to be paid off and deducting any other costs.
- Buyer's solicitor deals with application for registration of the new charge/mortgage at Land Registry (and, where the property is leasehold, follows the notice procedures set out in the lease)
Who is the legal advisor who will do the work for me?
Please follow this link which will give the details of all of our legal advisers who deal with residential property transactions. This will give details of the adviser's specialisms, the proportion of their time spent on given areas , experience and qualifications. It also gives the advisers charge out rate which is taken into account when determining the legal fees. One of these advisers will be allocated to you and will liaise with you directly.