At Protea Solicitors we work on a fixed price basis so you can have certainty. Unless there are aspects you have not disclosed or the transaction becomes overly protracted and complex we will stick to our initial price quotation.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a property our free e-book will give you insights into the top 5 pitfalls to avoid. Download the e-book and book in a no-cost Avoiding Property Pitfalls Session with our Principal, Cindi Van Graan.
Information and pricing on freehold and leasehold sales and purchases
Quick and Easy Quotation Tool
Sale or Purchase of a freehold residential property
Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the sale and purchase of your new home, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry and payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) if the property is in England (or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property you wish to buy is in Wales).
Sale or Purchase of a leasehold residential property
Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the sale and purchase of your new home, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry and payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) if the property is in England (or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property you wish to buy is in Wales). Leasehold transactions also involve post completion registration of notices with the landlord and managing agent
There are certain disbursements which will be set out in the individual lease relating to the property. The disbursements which we anticipate may apply are set out separately below. The list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may apply depending on the terms of the lease and the landlord/ managing agent’s administrative costs. We will be able to update you on the specific fees once we have received the leasehold information pack from the seller’s solicitors.
Overview of the Conveyancing Process
An overview of the conveyancing process is set out here (click to view). The precise stages involved in the sale and purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances of each transaction.
How long will my purchase take?
Our role is to make the process as smooth as possible, keeping you updated at all times. How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move into your house will depend on a number of factors. Often a leasehold transaction can take longer than a freehold one. In our experience, the average process takes between 10 – 14 weeks. Be assured we will work to progress the transaction as quickly as possible because we know the significance of the transaction and how delays can adversely impact you.
The process 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 weeks to exchange and completion will depend on when the property is signed off for building regulation completion. However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between 2 – 4 months (with the Land Registry taking approximately 6 months to register a lease extension). In such a situation additional charges would apply.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf. Relevant disbursements are set out in the estimate provided using the quotation tool. Vat may apply to the disbursements.
Anticipated Leasehold disbursements*:-
- Leasehold Management Pack/ Replies to leasehold management enquiries – if you are selling a leasehold property you will need to pay the landlord/ managing agent a fee for this, often ranging from £250 – £500 plus. If there are separate agents for the ground rent and service charge it will mean you will need to obtain separate packs.
- Notice of Transfer fee – often the fee can range from £50 – £125.
- Notice of Charge fee – often the fee can range from £50 – £125.
- Deed of Covenant fee – this fee is provided by the management company/ agent for the property and can be difficult to estimate. It is often £125 – £150.
- Licence to Assign – this is where the lease requires landlord consent to the transfer/ sale. There my be an additional fee if the licence process is complex/ protracted. Landlord fees will vary from property to property and can be in the region of £500 – £1000.
*These disbursement fees vary from property to property and can on occasion be significantly more than the ranges given
Stamp Duty or Land Tax (on purchase)
This depends on the purchase price of your property. 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 here. Please remember if this is an additional property purchase (this apples if you own a property anywhere else in the world) you will need to pay the higher additional SDLT rate.
Our fee assumes that: –
- This is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise including for example (but not limited to) a defect in title which required remedying prior to completion or the preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction.
- This is an assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease (or lease extension).
- The transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complications arise.
- All parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation.
- No indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.
Please note that due to restrictions with the range of lender panels we are appointed to at this moment we are not offering services in relation to remortgages. In a purchase transaction where we do not sit on particular lender panel the transaction will proceed by way of lender separate representation which means that a panel firm will act separately for the lender – you do not pay any additional fees and because we are very experienced with dealing with separate representation no additional time will be added to your transaction either.
Information and pricing on Probate services
We provide a limited range of probate services by assisting with applications for Grants of Probate/ Letters of Representation, and drafting of Wills. We are unable to assist with collecting and distribution of the assets in an estate i.e. we do not undertake the estate administration aspects.
A simple will where no complex trust provisions are involved – £400 plus VAT.
A set of Mirror wills* – £750 plus VAT
Mirror wills are appropriate for couples (married or otherwise) because the terms of one will largely reflect the other i.e. a husband’s will leaves his entire estate to his wife and then to his children and his wife’s will leaves her entire estate to her husband and then to her children. The result is that when one of them dies, the other is protected, and upon the second death, the children inherit the assets.
Obtaining Grants of Probate / Letters of Administration
If the person who has died leaves a will, it will usually name one or more people to act as the executors of the will – that is, to administer their estate. If you are named as an executor of a will you may need to apply for a grant of probate.
A grant of probate is an official document which the executors may need to administer the estate. It is issued by a section of the court known as the probate registry.
If there is no will (known as dying intestate) the process is more complicated. An application for a grant of letters of administration (an official document, issued by the court, which allows administrators to administer the estate) will need to be made.
The person to whom letters of administration is granted is known as the administrator. The administrator is the person who has the legal right to deal with the affairs of the person who has died, and is determined by a set order of priority.
The administrator will usually be a close relative of the person who has died, if there is one. There may be more than one person who has an equal right to do this. Your solicitor will be able to provide you with information on the set order of priority.
Probate is the court’s authority, given to a person or persons, to administer a deceased person’s estate and the document issued by the Probate Registry is called a Grant of Representation. This document is usually required by the asset holders (such as banks) as proof to show the correct person or persons have the Probate Registry’s authority to administer a deceased person’s estate.
The Probate process is needed when investments (typically over £5,000) were held in the deceased’s sole name and the banks, building societies and other organisations request for a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration in order to release the funds held.
Depending on the value of the estate you may need to pay Inheritance Tax. You must pay Inheritance Tax by the end of the sixth month after the person died. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will charge you interest if you do not pay all the tax the estate owes by the due date . If you will not know how much Inheritance Tax the estate owes by the time the payment is due, a payment on account can help you avoid some of the interest. You can make early Inheritance Tax payments before you know the exact amount the estate owes (this is known as a ‘payment on account’).
As part of our fixed fee we will:-
- Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
- Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
- Obtain the relevant documents and information required to make the application
- Complete the Probate application and the relevant HMRC forms
- If Inheritance Tax is due we will apply for a for an Inheritance Tax Reference
- Draft a legal oath for you (as executor or administrator) to swear
- Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
- Obtain the Probate and securely send you the office copies
It will take approximately 3 weeks for the Probate Registry to issue the Probate.
It will then be your responsibility to administer the estate and pay any inheritance tax due.
Where a full inheritance account is not required – where the value of the
estate is under £350,000 and no Inheritance Tax is payable – £750 plus VAT
Where inheritance tax is due and a full account of the estate is required – £1250 plus VAT
If the estate is complex and foreign assets form part of the estate additional fees may apply.
- £155 Probate Registry application fee (the fee is £215 if made as a personal application without a solicitor).
- 50p per extra office copies of the grant
- Swearing of the oath (payable to the independent solicitor ) – £5