Q.1.     I am buying a house.  Can you please tell me the legal costs I have to pay?

Not without further information.  There are quite a number of factors which can dictate the cost of a house purchase.  To make a calculation we need to know the number of people buying, where the property is, the purchase price and type of property (e.g. house or flat).

For example search fees vary from town to town.  The purchase of a flat will be affected by extra fees to register the change of ownership and any mortgage with the Landlord. If there is a management company this may require a share transfer, or a deed of covenant which creates additional cost. 

If you would like us to provide a calculation please let us have as much information as possible about the purchase.

Q.2        I  have heard that there are changes to 'stamp duty'.  What are they?

    Stamp Duty Land Tax, commonly known as just  'stamp duty', is charged on property purchases over £125,000.  It is no longer to be charged at a flat rate based on the purchase price.  The calculation is now layered. This will give most buyers a reduction. You can calculate the amount payable by clicking on this link. 
 * Then click on the papagraph beginning "New SDLT Calculator...."
 * Then insert todays date and the price of the property 

Q.3.        I have just agreed a property deal and want to set a completion date.  How soon can I move?

           Like the cost of a house purchase there are a number of factors involved before setting a removal date.  The buyer will need to carry out various searches and enquiries,have a survey and make a mortgage application.  The buyer's conveyancer will do all  the searches and enquiries, but the answers to the searches and enquiries,or the result of survey, can give rise to further issues which need to be resolved.  All of this can affect the timescale, and it is only when all the  issues are resolved to the satisfaction of the buyer and the buyer's conveyancer, that you can agree a completion date and proceed to exchange contracts.

It is a common misconception that you can set a completion date and arrange for the legal work to be carried out to that date.  You can not!  The opposite is the case.

The mantra to remember is :-
                                       Completion dates, do not generate contracts.
                                            Contracts, generate completion dates.

Q.4.         My mortgage lender has down valued the property I am buying, but I have negotiated a reduced price.  Can we now complete?

             Yes, provided you have notified your mortgage lender of the change and obtained consent to proceed.  All price changes, allowances, and incentives, offered by a seller must be notified to your mortgage lender, and agreement of the lender obtained , before you can proceed with a purchase.

Q.5.         Completion of my sale is due tomorrow.  When  will I receive the sale proceeds?

             We normally despatch funds the working day following completion.  Funds can be paid by cheque, or by CHAPS directly to your bank account, subject to a bank transfer fee.
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