Below are some frequently asked questions on buying and selling property.

How much will it cost to buy a house?

The cost will depend on a number of factors such as where the property you are looking to buy is located and the intended purchase price. These factors will affect the cost of the stamp duty to be paid and the types of searches that may need to be carried out. 

What is Stamp Duty? 

You pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on properties such as houses and flats, as well as other buildings and land.

  • If the purchase price is under £125,000 you don't pay Stamp Duty Land Tax.
  • If the property you are looking to purchase is more than £125,000, you pay between 1-12% of the whole purchase price and this is calculated on a sliding scale.

Residential Purchase Price Rate of Stamp Duty
Up to £125,000 0%
£125,001 - £250,000 2%
£250,001 - £925,000 5%
£925,001 - £1,500,000 10%
Over £1.5 million 12%

Please note if you are a First Time Buyer there is no stamp duty payable on properties up to £300,000 .  For properties up to £500,000 there is no stamp duty payable on the first £300,000.

If you already own a property and you are purchasing an additional property then you will be liable for the higher stamp duty rate – please contact us if you require further details on these rates.

Aside from the cost of the Solicitors fee for carrying out the work and the cost of the Stamp Duty a further cost involved will be the searches required.

What searches do I have to have and why?

Searches are carried out to find out information about the property that you are wanting to purchase, these may include:

  • Local Search

    This is designed to inform you amongst other things, of the planning history of the property and advise you of any nearby road or rail schemes.
  • Land Registry Search

    This protects your interest in the property and ensures that no interest can be registered against the property before your ownership is registered.
  • Mining Search

    This checks the local area for past mining activity, unused mines or shafts. It will also tell you about future mining proposals.
  • Water Board Search

    This tells you where the adopted drains run close to your property.  This can be useful if you wish to build an extension in the future. It will also confirm whether you are connected to the main sewers and water.  It does not however reveal private drains.
  • Environment Search

    This will tell you if your intended purchase is on a flood plain or contaminated land, or close to a landfill site. 
  • Chancel Check

    This assess if there is any Chancel Repair Liability attached to your property. Although this liability dates back to medieval times, it has only recently become necessary to check for liability. This relates to a liability to maintain the Chancel of the Church, which arose in medieval times, this liability is passed on with the land.

There may be other searches to be done depending on where the property you want to buy is situated. We will advise you if any special searches are required.

Valuations and Surveys

In addition to legal searches, you should always have a survey carried out on the property by an independent surveyor of your choice.

You will have to pay for a valuation as part of your mortgage application but this should not be regarded as a survey.

Valuations are a cursory look at the property by a valuer to advise the mortgage lender if there is a fair chance of recovering their money in the event of repossession. It will not go into detail about the condition of the property which an independent survey would.

How long will it take?

Every house purchase and the length of time taken varies depending on many factors including:

  • Your situation as a purchaser/vendor
  • The situation of the other purchaser/vendor
  • Whether the property you are purchasing/selling is involved in a chain

The average purchase takes between 6 and 8 weeks however this can change depending on the other people in your chain.

Can I pull out of the sale/purchase?

You are not legally committed to see the transaction through until you exchange contracts. Therefore you can stop the transaction at any point prior to this.

Be aware that if you do pull out you will lose any money that you have already spent on searches or surveys.

Do I have to pay a deposit?

You will usually be required to provide a 10% deposit.

If you are selling as well as buying, it is normally possible to use the deposit received on your sale for your purchase.

When do I pay the legal fees?

We usually request an initial payment to cover the cost of searches. The remainder will be requested from you following exchange but before completion.

What happens on completion day?

On the day of completion we forward the purchase money to the Seller's Solicitor via telegraphic transfer.

  • It can take between 1-6 hours for the money to go through depending on how busy the banking system is.  
  • The Seller's Solicitor cannot release the keys until the money has been received so this may not be until late afternoon.
  • Upon receipt of monies, we will notify you so that you can collect your keys from the Estate Agent or from the seller if this was arranged.

Click here to download a copy of our Moving House guide.

Talk to our conveyancing team today about buying & selling property. Contact us online, call 0121 746 3360 or get a free online conveyancing quotation

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