Dickensons Property Lawyers Logo
Selling a Property

Explaining our fees:

Due to the complexity of the conveyancing process, it is not always possible to quote an exact figure. Please note the following are examples and subject to change and do not include the sale of flats/apartments, and properties with shared ownership:

On sale of properties up to £400,000.00, our standard legal fees start from £795 inclusive of VAT.
On sale of properties above £400,000.00, our standard legal fees start from £850 inclusive of VAT.

These fees cover our operating costs as well as Land Registry documents, contracts, requesting redemption fees, redemption of an existing mortgage and 2 anti-money laundering (AML) searches.

Please note there will be an additional Telegraphic Transfer fees of £16.00 per additional mortgage/charge registered on the property. A Telegraphic Transfer fee is a banking cost incurred for transferring funds.

Please note that there may be other additional charges if any second mortgages/loans, cautions or other matters are registered against your property, if a Deed of Variation is required (for leasehold property) or if the purchase of the freehold is required (leasehold property), or if any indemnity policies are required, or if we need to deal with Target (Homes & Communities Agency). We will inform you if any unforeseen extra work becomes necessary i.e. due to unexpected difficulties or if your requirements or the circumstances change significantly during the matter. We will also inform you in writing of the estimated cost of the extra work before incurring extra costs.

On sale of properties above £400,000.00 there may be additional costs applicable.

Explaining the sale process:

The average sale of a property takes 6 to 8 weeks from instruction to completion but please be aware there are no guarantees due to the complexity of the sale process.

  1. Initial Queries:

    After contacting us regarding a free written quotation, if you are happy to proceed we will prepare paperwork requesting more information about yourselves and the property in question. We will require legally valid ID from relevant parties at this time in order to be compliant with our legal obligations. When returned, these will be your written instructions for us to act on your behalf. At this time we will also request a payment on account of £100.00 to cover any costs we incur during the early stages of the transaction. In addition, we will require title deeds to the property.

  2. Sending Contracts:

    At this time we will receive information from the estate agents regarding the transaction. We will prepare the official contract for sale and forward this and any relevant documents to the solicitors of the purchaser.

  3. Enquiries:

    Following receipt and check of the contract and title, the purchaser's solicitors will raise enquiries with us. We will reply to any enquiries raised. We may need more information from yourselves to properly answer these. If there is a mortgage registered on the property, we will also apply for a redemption figure from your bank/building society in the event there is an early redemption charge on your mortgage.

  4. Signing contracts:

    We will ask you to make an appointment to sign contracts and appropriate documents. We will discuss an appropriate completion date and suggest this to the purchaser's solicitors.
    Regularly, we may invite you in to sign whilst dealing with any ongoing enquiries.

  5. Exchanging contracts:

    Your purchaser's solicitors will offer us a contract and if agreed, we will exchange contracts. Once exchange has taken place, the completion is formally agreed and you cannot back out of the transaction from this point on. Please be aware that no transaction is legally binding until contracts are exchanged. Exchange of contracts will not take place without your authority.

  6. Completion of Sale:

    On the day of completion your purchaser's solicitors will send us the purchase funds. We will redeem (pay off) any mortgages registered on the property. Properties usually must be vacated by 14:00 at the latest, and any keys should be handed to the estate agents if applicable.

  7. After Completion of Sale:

    It is the usual practice to pay the estate agents out of the proceeds of sale and final balance is usually available one working day after the completion date. Any outstanding balances are usually paid to you by cheque. If required the balance can be transferred direct to your bank account, but if the balance is over £24,999.00 then there will be bank costs incurred of £16.00 for the Telegraphic Transfer fee to your account.

Purchasing a Property

Explaining our fees:

Due to the complexity of the conveyancing process, it is not always possible to quote an exact figure. Please note the following are examples and subject to change:

For purchase of properties up to £300,000.00, our standard legal fees start from £750.00 plus £150.00 (VAT at 20%).
For purchase of properties above £300,000.00, our standard legal fees start from £800.00 plus £160.00 (VAT at 20%).

These fees cover our operating costs throughout the process. There will be additional disbursements as follows:

  • Compliance Search Pack: £182.00 (Local); £197.00 (National)

    Includes compliance documentation as well as local or national searches, drainage searches, planning searches, enviromental searches, chancel searches, and 2 anti-money laundering (AML) checks. If we need to carry out any additional AML checks (for gifted deposit funds) then there will be charges of £5.00 per name.

  • Telegraphic Transfer fee: £16.00 for properties up to £400,000.00.

    Bank costs incurred for transferring purchase funds to seller's solicitors.

  • Land Registration fees:

    Fees payable to HM Land Registry to register property. These vary depending on price of property, please see the following link: Registration Services fees on gov.uk

  • Coal Mining Search (if applicable): £41.94

    This search will be applicable if the property is situated close to an area where coal mining was previously undertaken.

  • Brine Search (if applicable): from £54.00

    Price of searches depends on the size of the plot of land on which the property stands.

  • Stamp Duty Land Tax:

    Tax paid to HMRC. Unless you are a first-time buyer, there will be Stamp Duty payable on properties over £250,000.00. If the purchase is of an investment property, there will be Stamp Duty payable on properties over £40,000.00. Calculate SDLT on gov.uk

Explaining the purchase process:

The average purchase of a property takes 6 to 8 weeks from instruction to completion but please be aware there are no guarantees due to the complexity of the purchase process.

  1. Initial queries:

    After contacting us regarding a free written quotation, if you are happy to proceed we will prepare paperwork requesting more information about yourselves and the property in question. We will require legally valid ID for relevant parties at this time in order to be compliant with our legal obligations. When returned, these will be your written instructions for us to act on your behalf. At this time we will also request a payment on account of £250.00 to cover any costs we incur during the early stages of the transaction, including searches.

  2. Receiving Contracts & Applying for Searches:

    At this time we will receive information from the estate agents regarding the transaction. We will receive the contract as well as official documents from the seller's solicitors. We will provide you with a copy of these documents for your information. We will also apply for searches at this time. Depending on the area of the property, these may take longer depending on the local council.

  3. Enquiries:

    As contracts are received, we will raise any enquiries to the sellers's solicitors. These may be based on the deeds and the results of searches, as well any you may wish to raise.

  4. Signing contracts:

    Once satisfactory replies to enquiries are received, and providing we have received your mortgage offer in writing, we would then ask you to make an appointment to visit the office and sign documents such as the contract, a mortgage deed, land registry documentation, and stamp duty documentation. Completion dates would be discussed with yourselves. Once a date is agreed between all parties, mortgage advances would be requested from the appropriate banks/building society and we would request your deposits and outstanding legal costs to be transferred to our bank account.

  5. Exchanging contracts:

    We will offer your purchaser's solicitors a contract and, if agreed, we will exchange contracts. Once exchange has taken place, the completion is formally agreed and you cannot back out of the transaction from this point on. Please be aware that no transaction is legally binding until contracts are exchanged. Exchange of contracts will not take place without your authority.

  6. Completion of Purchase:

    On the day of completion we will send the purchase funds to the seller's solicitors. Properties usually have to be vacated by 14:00 at the latest, and any keys will be handed to the estate agents if applicable.

  7. After Completion of Purchase:

    If applicable, at this time we will submit any Stamp Duty Tax owed to HMRC. We will also forward the appropriate documentation to the Land Registry in order that the property can be registered in your names. Please note that first registrations can take up to two years depending on the Land Registry. We will contact you as soon as this is complete.

Complaints Procedure

Our Complaints Procedure:

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our Clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.

If you have a complaint, please contact us with the details via telephone (01925 574748), via email (info@dickensons.net), or via post to 23 Museum Street, Warrington, WA1 1JA.

What Will Happen Next?

  1. We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within 3 days of our receipt of the complaint, enclosing a copy of this procedure.

  2. We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to Mr Dickenson, who will review your matter.

  3. Mr Dickenson will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. He will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.

  4. Within 3 days of the meeting, Mr Dickenson will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you.

  5. If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, Mr Dickenson will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including his suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.

  6. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for Mr Mark Potter (an independent Licensed Conveyancer of Holbrook & Co, 7 Palmyra Square, Warrington, WA1 1BL) to review Mr Dickenson's decision or for independent mediation to review the decision.
  7. We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.

  8. In the event you remain unhappy with our response then you can contact the Legal Ombudsman, an independent complaints body established under the Legal Services Act, who can investigate complaints about the legal service you have received from us at the details below:

    Telephone:
    0300 555 0333
    Minicom:
    0300 555 1777
    Post:
    Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
  9. Unless it agrees there are good reasons not to do so, the Legal Ombudsman will expect you to allow us to consider and respond to your complaint in accordance with the procedure set out above in the first instance. You can refer your complaint up to 6 months after you have received our final written response to your complaint. You can also use the Ombudsman service if we have not resolved your complaint within 8 weeks of us receiving it. A complaint can be referred to the Legal Ombudsman up to 1 year from the date of the act or omission or up to 1 year after discovering a problem.

If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain the reasons for the change.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dickensons Property Lawyers are based in Warrington and can deal with any house sale or purchase anywhere in England & Wales.

  • How long does it usually take to buy or sell a home?

    The average time taken, is usually between six and eight weeks. This depends on whether you are obtaining a mortgage on your new property and the length of the chain (if any).

  • What are pre-contract enquiries?

    Obtaining details of any alterations/ additions to the property, making sure that all planning consents have been obtained, checking guarantees, disputes etc.

  • Do I need a deposit?

    Ideally, a buyer should pay a 10% deposit, where they are obtaining a mortgage advance for 90% or less towards the purchase price. Please note that as people sometimes borrow more than 90% from their Lender, it is common for a reduced deposit to be offered. If you are simultaneously selling and buying, the deposit received from your buyer (this may be less than 10% of your new purchase price) is usually forwarded to your seller's Conveyancer.

  • If I am receiving a "gifted deposit", do I need to make this known?

    All incentives, including family gifts or Seller`s cashback, must be disclosed to your mortgage lender. We must inform your mortgage lender of any such incentives.

  • Would it be possible for someone such as a family member to send funds to you on my behalf?

    No. This is due to anti-money laundering regulations. We are unable to accept funds from third parties. All funds must come from the account nominated by you on the AML Declaration completed by you at the start of the transaction. It is important therefore that funds are first paid to you before being sent to us directly from your own bank account.

  • I have a Help to Buy ISA account. Are you able to assist me to deal with this?

    We use the Help to Buy: ISA Conveyancer Portal and can make bonus requests. We are also able to assist with Lifetime ISA savings (i.e. Skipton Lifetime ISA, Money Box Lifetime ISAs and Lansdowne Hargreaves Lifetime ISAs). Mr Dickenson will discuss when to close your ISA/savings accounts when you come in to sign contract documentation with him.

  • When do I need to arrange buildings insurance?

    You must arrange buildings insurance from an exchange of contracts as the property will be at your risk from exchange of contracts.

  • Is it possible for completion to take place at the weekend?

    No. Completion must take place on the same day as the funds are transferred to or received from the other Solicitors in the property transaction. Banks are only able to transfer money electronically Monday to Friday.

  • What is the difference between a freehold and a leasehold property?

    A leasehold property is when you rent the land on which the property is built (ground rent). Leases can be granted for any number of years but commonly they are from 99 to 999 years. At the end of the Lease, you would be able to negotiate an extension of the term of the lease, so that in practical terms, it can never run out. However, some Lenders are unwilling to lend on lease terms of less than 95 years. Some landlords are now willing to sell the leasehold interest, allowing the property to become freehold.

    A freehold property is one where you own the property and the land on which the property is built outright. This is the best terms to own a property.

  • What should I do in readiness for my house move?

    Once you have exchanged and have a definite completion date, you will need to think about organising moving out of your old property and into your new property, arranging removal vans (if required), and ensure that you:

    Take meter readings on the day you move and contact gas, electricity, water and telephone suppliers to arrange connection or continuity of service;

    Inform anyone who writes to you regularly of your change of address. You can also get post redirected to your new address for a period for the payment of a fee with the Post Office.

    Don't forget to tell your employer, bank current account provider, Building Society or investment/pension providers, DVLA, TV licensing, children's schools, doctor, dentist, and anyone else who may need to know that you have moved.

Due to the complexity of the conveyancing process, it is not always possible to predict all circumstances relating to the sale and purchase process. If you have any additional queries about the conveyancing process, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to answer them as soon as possible. For a no-obligation quotation please get in touch.