Hennings Solicitors

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Residential Conveyancing

At Hennings Solicitors we strive to make the process as stress free as possible for you by being available and approachable. This begins with our fixed fee quote and we do not charge for any hidden extras such as expediting the transaction between exchange and completion. We will happily speak to and update your estate agents as we understand that communication is key for everyone in the chain. We ask that you update your own mortgage brokers about the key stages in the transaction.

On average, transactions take between 8-12 weeks from the receipt (on a purchase) or submission (on a sale) of draft contracts until exchange of contracts. However, the length of time will depend on the length of the chain and the motivation of all parties in the chain. We detail below the key stages and approximate average timescale for each stage:

Sales

File opening stage (0-2 weeks)

If you are selling a property, we ask you to complete information forms at the outset of the transaction so that there is no delay at the beginning.

Preparing and issuing the contract pack (0-2 weeks)

We use our experience to anticipate questions a buyers solicitor will ask, and ensure that we gather as much information as possible from you at the outset. We download the title deeds and any other relevant documents from the Land Registry and draft the contract and send a full contract pack to the buyers solicitors.

Receiving enquiries (2-4 weeks)

The buyers solicitor will need time to review the contract pack in addition to any search results and surveys before they raise enquiries.

Responding to enquiries (1-3 weeks) 

We respond to any enquiries raised about your property, which may involve obtaining further information from third parties. We will call or email you if we need to take your instructions.

Signing the documents (1-2 weeks) 

Once the buyers solicitor has confirmed that they are happy to proceed, we will invite you to the office to sign paperwork, or post or email this to you if you are not local.

Exchanging contracts (1-4 weeks) 

Once all of the parties in the whole chain are ready to exchange, and a date for completion has been agreed, the chain will exchange contracts. At this point the transaction is contractually binding.

Completion (1-4 weeks as agreed)

Between exchange and completion (or before exchange if completion is due to take place simultaneously) we will obtain final redemption statements from your lender, commission invoice from your agent, raise our invoice for our fees, and calculate any other figures such as service charge apportionments required for us to complete. We will provide you with a completion statement in advance of the agreed completion date. On completion day, we will call you on receipt of funds, and arrange with the agent to release the keys.

Post completion (2-4 weeks) 

We will deal with all post completion requirements and advise you once the file has been closed.

Purchases

File opening stage (0-2 weeks)

We ask you to complete some detailed information forms at the outset and verify your identification and source of funds in accordance with money laundering regulations.

Receiving the contract and raising searches (1-3 weeks) 

If you are buying a property, once we have received your contract pack, we apply for searches.

Reporting to you and raising enquiries (2-4 weeks) 

We prepare a written report to you on both the contract papers, searches and your mortgage offer (if required).  We report in writing and are happy to discuss your concerns or queries throughout the transaction, by email, telephone or in person. At this stage, we raise any enquiries with the sellers solicitor.

Signing the documents (1-2 weeks) 

Once all enquiries and information has been provided, and you are happy to proceed, we ask you to sign the documents in a face to face meeting at our office where will answer any other queries or concerns you may have. We can email or post you documents if you are not local. At this stage we will also ask you for the 10% deposit if applicable.

Exchanging contracts (1-4 weeks) 

Once all of the parties in the whole chain are ready to exchange, and a date for completion has been agreed, the chain will exchange contracts. At this point the transaction is contractually binding.

Completion (timescale as agreed on exchange)

Between exchange and completion (or before exchange if completion is due to take place simultaneously) we will receive a final statement from your sellers solicitor and provide you with a completion statement setting out funds required for completion. We will obtain your mortgage advance if required. We will  raise our invoice for our fees, and calculate any other figures such as service charge apportionments required for us to complete. We will arrange for the transfer of completion funds and on completion day, we will call you to arrange collection of the keys from the agents.

Post completion and application for registration (1-4 weeks)

We will deal with the stamp duty and registration formalities at the Land Registry.

Due to current delays at the land registry, the completed registration documents may take several months to be returned to you.

Fixed Fees

We offer fixed fee conveyancing with no hidden costs. Our fixed fees cover all our fees for acting for you from the beginning of the transaction to the end of the standard transaction and everything in between. They are detailed below: Please note that any reference to VAT means Value Added Tax, which is a tax payable on services and charged at the current rate of 20%:

  • For a freehold purchase, our fixed fee is £1,100 plus VAT plus disbursements;
  • For a leasehold purchase, our fixed fee is £1,400 plus VAT plus disbursements;
  • For a freehold sale, our fixed fee is £1,100 plus VAT plus disbursements;
  • For a leasehold sale, our fixed fee is £1,400 plus VAT plus disbursements.
  • We charge £20 plus VAT for implementing a same day bank CHAPS transfer.

If you are buying a new build property, using a help to buy scheme, or purchasing a shared ownership property, due to the complexity and amount of additional paperwork to review we charge an additional £300 plus VAT.

Please note that if the value of your transaction exceeds £1 million, then we reserve the right to charge a higher fixed fee. Please contact us for a quote tailored to your particular circumstances.

What are disbursements?

Disbursements are fees payable to third parties as part of your transaction. No VAT is payable on Disbursements unless specified below. Disbursements you are likely to pay are as follows:

  • Our bank charges us a same day bank transfer fee of £16 per same day bank transfer payment. If you are buying and selling a property and the property you are selling has a mortgage to be redeemed on the same day, you will probably have 2 or 3 same day bank transfer fees to pay but you can opt for slower BACS payments if possible, which do not carry a fee.
  • When selling a property, we will need to download your title deeds from the land registry. Each document costs £3. You should budget for £6 for a freehold sale (to cover your freehold title register and plan) and £18 for a leasehold sale (to cover freehold and leasehold title deeds and official copy lease). No VAT is payable on any land registry fees.
  • When purchasing a property, you should budget for a local authority searches, water and drainage search and an environmental search. These fees may vary depending on the local authority and water service provider. We use a search provider, and the fees to include Brighton and Hove searches are £256 for a package including a local authority search, water search from Southern Water and an environmental search. If a flood search is required, this fee is approximately £44.  These fees may differ for each local authority, and depending on where you are buying, we might recommend other searches as well. No VAT is payable on the search fees.
  • Stamp duty is payable based on the amount of consideration paid and depending on your personal circumstances different rates apply. Check the HMRC stamp duty calculator here: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/calculate-stamp-duty-land-tax/#/intro
  • When you buy a property, we protect your position at the land registry by carrying out a priority search in between exchange and completion. This prevents anyone else registering anything at the land registry before the transfer has been registered. This is called an OS1 search and costs £3. We also carry out a bankruptcy search against each name to be registered at £2 per name searched.
  • The land registry fee is on a sliding scale depending on the value of the property being transferred. You can check out the land registry fee calculator here: http://landregistry.data.gov.uk/fees-calculator.html
  • When you buy a leasehold property, you will probably have to pay freeholder’s fees for them to deal with the administrative duties of registering you as a new owner. We do not know what these fees are until we have heard from the freeholder or managing agent, but we recommend you budget for £100.
  • If you are selling a leasehold property, and your property is managed by a managing agent, you are likely to have to pay for the managing agents pack prepared for the new buyer. We do not know what these fees are until we have heard from your managing agent, but we recommend you budget for £300 plus VAT although VAT is not always payable. You may also have to pay additional freeholder’s costs or their legal fees plus VAT for dealing with the transaction.
  • Sometimes indemnity insurance policies are required for missing documentation or defects in the title or breaches of covenants. We will obtain quotes for you depending on your situation.

If you would like us to provide you with a quote tailored to your personal circumstances, please do contact us.

Complaints Procedure 

Our Complaints Procedure is detailed in our Terms of Business but you can also find it here.


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