Sale of a freehold property

Costs information

Our legal fees cover the work we are required to carry out to complete your sale, the scope of which will be confirmed in the terms of our engagement with you. Please see below under 'Stages of the process' for a summary of the work we typically carry out for sales of freehold property.

Generally, we charge on an hourly basis and our hourly rates range from £185 to £395 (for a partner) plus VAT. We adopt a partner-led approach so your matter will always have some involvement of a senior member of the residential property team. The exact number of hours it will take to complete your sale will depend on a number of factors such as whether legal title is defective or part of the property is unregistered, whether building regulations or planning permission have been obtained or whether there is delay by any party in providing us with documentation.

No property or property transaction is exactly the same and our fees will reflect the particular requirements of your sale.

For example, dealing with the sale of a listed house where it is uncertain whether renovation works have been undertaken with all of the necessary consents is likely to be more time intensive (and therefore expensive) than the sale of a freehold house where there are no title or planning issues.

We will provide you with a bespoke fee estimate at the outset of your matter once we have the details of the property you will be selling.

In addition to our legal fees, you will need to pay any disbursements incurred in connection with your sale. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. We will usually handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Again, we will give you an indication of the disbursements which are likely to be incurred at the outset of your matter.

Simple transaction – an example

By way of illustration, we estimate that our fees for dealing with a straightforward sale of a freehold house in London at a price of £2m with no title or planning issues are likely to be between £2,500 and £4,500 plus VAT (at a rate of 20%) and disbursements. These fees will include the work under 'Stages of the process' below.

The following third party costs (i.e. disbursements) will typically be payable:

Disbursement (inclusive of VAT) £

Office copies of the title register and plan

6.00

Telegraphic transfer fee

18.00 (per transfer)

Timescales

For the transaction in the above illustration, typically, we would expect to be in a position to exchange contracts in around 2-8 weeks from being engaged, depending on a range of factors including: how quickly we are able to complete our client due diligence procedures, how quickly you are able to send the completed property information questionnaires and deeds to us; the turnaround time for the buyer’s search results and the responsiveness of the buyer’s conveyancer. In some circumstances, it may be possible to exchange contracts within a matter of hours of dispatching the draft contract and supporting papers (but this is not particularly common).

Assumptions

The above fee estimate assumes the following:

  1. That the property is registered with the Land Registry.
  2. That our and/or the buyer’s investigations do not reveal any legal issues which must be resolved prior to exchange of contracts.
  3. That there are no other unusual problems or complications.
  4. We receive clear and timely instructions from you.

If any of these key assumptions are incorrect or change over time, we would provide a revised scope of work, timetable and fee estimate.

Complicated transaction – an example

If we were dealing with the sale of the same type of property in the example given above (i.e. a house in London at a price of £2m) where, instead of the sale being a simple transaction, there have been planning breaches and breaches of restrictive covenants, we would expect our fees for the work under 'Stages of the process' below to be in the region of £7,000 to £10,000 plus VAT and disbursements.

In addition to the disbursements above, you might expect to pay the following:

  • Indemnity insurance policy – £300 to £1,500 plus VAT.
Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the sale of a freehold residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, broadly speaking, the scope of our work will typically involve the following:

  1. Take your instructions and give you initial advice.
  2. Liaise with you to complete the Property Information and Fittings and Contents Forms and obtain any supporting documentation.
  3. Full review of the title to the property.
  4. Draft the contract and TR1 and, if necessary, negotiate any changes requested by the buyer’s legal advisors.  Advise you on the terms of the final agreed contract.
  5. Communicate with the buyer’s legal advisors and your estate agent at key stages.
  6. Answer pre-contract enquiries and liaise with you to obtain supplementary information.
  7. Agree the deposit arrangements and notify you of any issues.
  8. Liaise with you to sign the contract and facilitate the process of exchange.
  9. Obtain an estate agents account and prepare financial statements.
  10. Provide the buyer’s legal advisor with necessary completion information and undertakings. Approve the document dealing with the transfer of legal ownership (form TR1).
  11. Liaise with you to sign the form TR1 and any other documents required for completion.
  12. Collect completion funds from the buyer’s legal advisors and pay your estate agent’s fee on your behalf.
  13. Notify you of completion, and account to you for the balance of the sale proceeds.
Exclusions

As part of a conveyancing transaction, typically, the following would not be included in the scope of our work:

  • Rectifying unusual or onerous defects in the leasehold or freehold title.
  • Legal or regulatory advice on the laws of any jurisdiction other than English law or any other jurisdiction specified in the terms of our engagement with you.

We do not provide investment or financial advice or, unless specifically agreed in writing, tax advice.

If applicable, we will price these and any other requirements not typically included in our scope of work separately for you. If necessary, we will, in consultation with you obtain such additional advice as is required from appropriately qualified third parties.

Who will carry out the work

Your work may primarily be carried out by any of the solicitors, trainee solicitors or paralegals in our UK Real Estate practice under partner supervision. Please click here for details of the members of our team.

Below is  a list of our hourly rates (we have included our rates both excluding VAT and including VAT).

First Name Last Name Job Title Hourly Rates (excluding VAT) Hourly Rates (including VAT)

Michael

Morris

Group Partner

£395

£474

Shelagh

Mason

Consultant

£395

£474

Donald

Millar

Senior Associate

£330

£396

Anna

Douglass

Senior Associate

£280

£336

Paige

Williams

Paralegal

£185

£222

Jess

Burgess

Paralegal

£185

£222

Trainee Solicitor*

£195

£234

*Our Trainee Solicitors rotate between our firm's different practice areas as part of their training programme. We will provide you with the name of any Trainee Solicitor who may work on your matter (under the supervision of one of the senior members of our team) in the terms of our engagement with you.