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Residential real estate

Our services and our team

At Fox Williams, we act for both buyers and sellers of freehold and leasehold residential property and on mortgages and re-mortgages. Our services are provided by a team of qualified lawyers supervised by a partner. This distinguishes our approach from other conveyancing services providers who often rely on a team of unqualified paralegals or conveyancing assistants.

Our fees cover all of the legal work required on behalf of a buyer or seller to complete the purchase or sale of a residential property or on a mortgage or a re-mortgage, and include dealing with registration at the Land Registry and dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property is in Wales.

Our team of partners and lawyers providing real estate services comprises

The cost (when selling)

Freehold Sale

As the starting point for our legal fees acting on behalf of a seller in connection with the sale of a freehold residential property we base our fee upon 0.3% of the sale price. For example, acting on behalf of a seller in connection with a straightforward sale of a freehold residential property without a mortgage for a price of £500,000 our legal fee would be £1,500*.

Leasehold Sale

As the starting point for our legal fees when acting on behalf of a seller in connection with the sale of a leasehold residential property, we base our fee upon 0.375%* of the leasehold sale price.

Leasehold Additional Factors

Some leases require that the buyer must be approved by the landlord whose consent must be obtained to assign the lease and documented by a formal licence to assign. The seller will generally be responsible for any costs of the landlord in this respect. Our costs for dealing with a straightforward application for landlord’s consent to assign a lease are £1,000*. Landlord costs can vary widely so need to be established on a transaction by transaction basis.

Mortgage Redemption Costs

If you have a mortgage on the property you are selling this will need to be repaid at the time of sale and the necessary paper work to remove this from the title of the property will need to be dealt with. Our fees for dealing with a straightforward discharge of a mortgage are £450*.

Fox Williams does not pay referral fees to any third parties in respect of residential conveyancing work.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees and in the case of leasehold property fees payable to managing agents to obtain management packs which contain details such as service charge accounts , buildings insurance, planned maintenance details and management information. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Details of services (when selling)

How long will my house sale take?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you complete the sale of your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 4 and 8 weeks.

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the sale of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, below we have suggested some key stages that you may wish to include:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Request redemption figure and obtain deeds from mortgage lender if applicable
  • Take your instructions and complete Property Information Forms
  • Prepare draft of Sale Contract
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required
  • Make any necessary enquiries of managing agents
  • Apply for landlord consent to assign lease (if required)
  • Send final contract to you for signature
  • Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
  • Arrange for mortgage redemption statement up to date of completion
  • Complete sale
  • Deal with repayment of mortgage
  • Account to you for sale proceeds

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees, search fees and notice fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Typical disbursements include the following;

  • Search fees - Search fees depend on the local authority concerned but typically the searches required in connection with a purchase are in the region of between £260* and £450*
  • HM Land Registry fees for obtaining copies of your title documents at a cost of £3 per document
  • Electronic money transfer fee currently £12 (plus VAT).

The cost (when buying)

Freehold Purchase

As the starting point for our legal fees acting on behalf of a buyer in connection with the purchase of a freehold residential property we base our fee upon 0.375% of the purchase price. For example, acting on behalf of a buyer in connection with a straightforward purchase of a freehold residential property without a mortgage for a price of £500,000, our legal fee would be £1,875*.

Leasehold Purchase

As the starting point for our legal fees acting on behalf of a buyer in connection with the purchase of a leasehold residential property, we base our fee upon 0.469% of the leasehold purchase price*. For example, acting on behalf of a buyer in connection with a straightforward purchase of a leasehold residential property without a mortgage for a price of £500,000, our legal fee would be £2,345*.

Leasehold Additional Factors

Some leases require that the buyer must be approved by the landlord whose consent must be obtained to assign the lease to the buyer. The seller will generally be responsible for any costs of the landlord in this respect. If a security deposit is required by the landlord there will normally be a deposit deed required and the buyer will usually be required to meet both their own and the landlord’s legal costs in preparing this. These costs can vary widely so need to be established on a transaction by transaction basis.

Mortgage Costs

If you are obtaining a mortgage to assist you with the purchase of the property and this is a regulated mortgage for a mainstream lender who also instructs us to act on their behalf, the starting point for the additional work involved in dealing with the lender is £850*.

Mortgage Costs Independent of a Purchase

If you are obtaining a mortgage independent of a purchase (ie either to raise funds on the security of a property which you already own or to replace an existing mortgage) and this is a regulated mortgage for a main stream lender who also instructs us to act on their behalf, the starting point for the additional work involved in dealing with the lender is 0.4%* of the value of the property for mortgage purposes where the property is a freehold and 0.5%* of the value of the property for mortgage purposes where the property is a leasehold. For example, acting on your behalf in the above circumstances where the value of the property for mortgage purposes is £500,000, our legal fee would be £2,000* in the case of a freehold property or £2,500* in the case of a leasehold property.

Non-Regulated Mortgage Costs

If the mortgage you are obtaining is not a regulated mortgage on standard terms from a mainstream lender and is either on bespoke negotiated terms or there will be separate solicitors acting on behalf of the mortgage lender, we will need to provide you with a fee proposal for acting for you as borrower in connection with the mortgage based upon the terms of the mortgage loan and work involved.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees, search fees and notice fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Typical disbursements include the following;

  • Search fees - Search fees depend on the local authority concerned but typically the searches required in connection with a purchase are in the region of between £260* and £450*
  • HM Land Registry fees are based on a HM Land Registry fee scale and currently range from £40 to £540 depending on the purchase price of the property or, in the case of a mortgage or re- mortgage, the amount of the loan and, in each case, on how the application is submitted.
  • Electronic money transfer fee currently £12 (plus VAT)
  • The amount of Stamp Duty Land Tax or Land Tax payable on a purchase (if any) depends on the purchase price of the property. The amount due is calculated according to a scale although the circumstances of a buyer may impact upon rate of Stamp Duty land Tax or Land Tax and the total amount payable. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC's website or, if the property is located in Wales, by using the Welsh Revenue Authority's website.

There is no VAT currently payable on Stamp Duty Land Tax, Land Tax or Land Registry fees.

Details of services (when buying)

How long will my house purchase take?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 4-8 weeks.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you are a first time buyer, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage in principle, it could take 4-12 weeks. However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between 4 and 12 months. In such a situation, additional charges would apply.

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, below we have suggested some key stages that you may wish to include:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender's solicitors if needed
  • Receive and advise on contract documents
  • Carry out searches
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required
  • Make any necessary enquiries of seller's solicitor
  • Give you advice on all documents and information received
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you
  • Send final contract to you for signature
  • Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
  • Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
  • Complete purchase
  • Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry.

* Disbursements, sundry charges and vat

All estimated fee amounts and rates in this section are exclusive of disbursements, sundry charges and VAT.

We invoice for disbursements paid or payable on behalf of clients (such as official filing fees, couriers or company search fees). We will not incur significant disbursements on behalf of clients without their prior approval but we may require a payment on account of these. We add a sundry charge to our fees of an amount of up to 3.5% (plus VAT) of the fees to cover communications and document production charges. We also invoice for VAT if applicable, at the prevailing rate, which is usually 20%.

 

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Contact

tel: +44 (0) 20 7628 2000
10 Finsbury Square, London, EC2A 1AF
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Accreditations

  • Top Ranked Chambers UK 2014 - Leading Firm
  • Ranked in Chambers Europe 2013 - Leading Individual
  • Ranked in Chambers Global 2014 - Leading Firm
  • Legal 500 - Leading Firm
  • The Lawyer UK 200 - Listed Firm
  • The Law Society Excellence Awards 2012 - Shortlisted
  • Investors in People - Bronze