Fees for the Purchase of a Residential Property

Posted By: on 12th February 2019 | Category:

No two purchases are exactly the same and there are many factors that will impact how we handle the transaction and our fees. For example, a new build flat takes much more time to deal with than a Victorian semi-detached house. Other examples are whether or not the title to the property is unregistered, if the building is listed, if you are buying with a mortgage, if the title is defective or if the lease term is short and needs to be extended.

We will always give you an estimate that is tailored to you and your purchase at the start of the transaction and this gives you a much better idea of the costs involved.

As a guide, our fees range from £1,000 (plus VAT) for a simple and straight-forward purchase or £1,200 (plus VAT) for the same property but where you are buying with a mortgage. Depending on the nature of the transaction, our fees could be higher, up to £2,000 plus VAT for a new build leasehold flat with a mortgage. If the property is very high in value or is a large estate, you can expect to pay more.


These are the expenses you can expect to have to pay:

Freehold Leasehold
£3 – Land Registry (each copy document) £3 – Land Registry (each copy document)
£350 – approximately for searches and reports £350 – approximately for searches and reports
£3 – Land Registry search £3 – Land Registry search
£2 – (per name/search bankruptcy search £2 – (per name/search bankruptcy search
(if you are buying with a mortgage) (if you are buying with a mortgage)
£100 – approximately for notice of charge to be served on the freeholder
Possible further expenses are:
Deed of covenant fee, licence to assign fee (if required by the lease). The fee is charged by the freeholder and charges vary but budget for £100

If you are buying a share in the freehold, there is a further Land Registry registration fee to pay

If you are buying a share in a company that owns the freehold, there is usually a fee to transfer the share certificate and you should budget for about £75

£ -the Land Registry application fee is based on the value of the property and please use the link to check

£ – Stamp Duty Land Tax is based on the purchase price and other factors and please use the link to check

The list of expenses is not exhaustive and other expenses may be payable depending on factors that arise during the process of investigating the title and dealing with the lender’s requirements.

The stages and what our fee includes

The conveyancing process that our work covers is:

  • we will take instructions from you, open a file and write to you with our letter of engagement and some forms to complete
  • you sign and return the letter of engagement (to confirm your instructions) and complete and return the forms
  • we verify your i.d. and you let us have money on account
  • we receive the contract and supporting papers from the seller’s solicitors, check them and raise enquiries of the seller’s solicitors
  • we prepare a report on the title for you and send the contract to you to sign and return together with a plan of the property and the Stamp Duty Land Tax form
  • if you are buying with a mortgage, we receive instructions from the lender and a copy of your mortgage offer and
  • we check the lender’s requirements and make sure they can be complied with and
  • we report to you on the terms of the mortgage offer and arrange for you to sign and return the mortgage deed
  • we request searches, check the results and report to you
  • for leasehold properties, the seller’s solicitors send to us the management information and we check it is acceptable
  • you sign the contract and other documents and return them to us
  • you arrange the buildings insurance (for freehold purchases)
  • once we have received satisfactory replies to enquiries and search results we let you know so that you can arrange with the estate agents a completion date that the seller and other parties in the chain agree
  • you let us have the deposit (unless you have a related sale) which is usually 10% of the purchase price
  • we exchange contracts
  • between exchange and completion, we carry out pre-completion searches at the Land Registry and provide you with a completion statement
  • if you have a mortgage we request the money from the lender
  • completion takes place and we send the completion money to the seller’s solicitors and once received, they confirm completion and the estate agents release the keys to the property to you
  • the seller’s solicitors send the transfer document to us and we register it (and the mortgage) at the Land Registry
  • for leasehold properties, we serve notice on the freeholder that you are the new owner (and you have a mortgage)
  • once the registration at the Land Registry has been completed we send a copy of the title to you

What our fee does not include

Our fee is based on certain assumptions and on the basis that:

  • no associated work is required such as dealing with an unregistered title or a transfer of equity or a lease extension
  • the matter proceeds in a simple and straight- forward manner and with the standard amount of contact with you, your broker (if any) and lender that we would expect
  • there are no unusual complexities. Examples of complexities that may arise include discrepancies in the title, adverse entries in the search results, dealing with multiple titles, time sensitivities or private drainage
  • Our fees do not include dealing with occupier’s consent forms, guarantees, gifted deposits or deeds of covenants. We charge extra for these and some other services
  • If any these situations arise, we will provide you with a revised fee.

How long will it take?

Each transaction is unique and it’s hard to say with certainty how long it will take especially where there are a number of sellers and buyers in a chain.
As a guide most freehold purchases take between 4 – 6 weeks from the time we receive the contract package to exchange of contracts. In the case of a leasehold purchase, a guide is 6 – 8 weeks from receipt of the contract pack from the seller’s solicitors to exchange. It could take less time or much longer and we cannot control the time as we are dependent on third parties.

We endeavour to keep you up-dated as the purchase progresses.
Most completion dates are one week after exchange of contracts but again, it could be longer but are not often shorter.

Who will do the work for you?

It’s important to know! We have a highly regarded team of solicitors, trainee legal executives and paralegals who collectively have many years experience. We aim to provide you with clear and practical advice throughout and to work to your timescale wherever possible.

Existing or returning clients

We offer existing and returning clients a 5% discount on our fees and fees for associated work.
If you would like to find out more or would like to instruct us or have any queries, please get in touch conveyancing@coolebevisllp.com or call one of our offices.


Brighton Solicitors

Lanes End House,
15 Prince Albert Street,
Brighton BN1 1HY
t. +44 (0)1273 323231
f. +44 (0)1273 820350

Horsham Solicitors

14 Carfax,
West Sussex RH12 1DZ
t. +44 (0)1403 210200
f. +44 (0)1403 241275

Hove Solicitors

79 Church Road,
East Sussex BN3 2BB
t. +44 (0)1273 722532
f. +44 (0)1273 326347

Worthing Solicitors

5 The Steyne,
West Sussex BN11 3DT
t. +44 (0)1903 213511
f. +44 (0)1903 237053