Sale or Purchase of Residential Property

Sale or Purchase of Residential Property

At Bells, our experienced Residential Conveyancing Solicitors are committed to making your move as cost effective and hassle free as possible.  Our team has many years of collective experience and knowledge which helps to ensure transactions proceed as smoothly and quickly as possible. 

We provide individual conveyancing services tailored to our clients’ particular needs and provide fee specific information and estimates for each transaction. 

Our fees for a typical sale or purchase range from £800 plus VAT for a freehold property (Starting at £1500 plus VAT for a leasehold property) for a simple transaction to around £3,000 plus VAT for a more substantial property with extensive grounds.  The figures are always based upon the property and the nature of the transaction and we appreciate that one size does not fit all.  That is why we will always give you an individual cost estimate at the start of each transaction taking into account the actual features of your sale or purchase.  To obtain an accurate conveyancing quote bespoke to your transaction, please complete the form here or call us on 01794 513328. 

Our fees estimates cover all of the work required to complete the purchase of your new home including dealing with registration at the Land Registry, dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if the property is in England or Land Transaction Tax (LTT) if the property is in Wales.  If we are arranging the transfer of funds electronically we will charge a fee for our time involved in arranging each transfer, for example sending  completion money to your seller’s solicitors on completion or redeeming a mortgage on a sale.  The cost of this is £40 plus VAT.  

Where VAT is chargeable on our fees and certain disbursements and other expenses this will be charged at the prevailing rate which is currently 20%.

There may be circumstances where additional work is required of us which we could not have anticipated at the outset and if these arise we will advise you of the  position and if any further fees are payable. 


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees.  We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. 

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) or (Welsh Land Transaction Tax depending on the location of the property) is dependent on the purchase price of your property.  Please click here to be taken to the basic HMRC website calculator or here for the Welsh Land Transaction Tax calculator.

Search fees vary depending upon where the property is situated.  In a straight forward purchase you should budget £250 - £450 (including VAT).

Land Registry registration fees are dependent upon the type of property, its value and whether an electronic submission can be made – please click here to access the Land Registry website for details.

Some lenders require us to use their portal and typically will charge a fee of around £35 plus VAT for this.

Additional Disbursements for Leasehold Property

If you are buying or selling a leasehold property there are some additional anticipated disbursements which will apply as follows:

On a leasehold sale:

Obtaining a Management Pack from the Leasehold Management Company or freeholder.  This varies as Management Companies set their own fee, however you should budget between £250 - £500 plus VAT.

On a leasehold purchase:

  • Notice of your purchase to freeholder or other party as required – can be set out in the lease but otherwise may be what is “reasonable”. The fee can be between £10.00 to £200.00 and, in some cases, plus VAT.
  • Notice of mortgage fee to freeholder or other required party, and again this can be specified or such as is “reasonable” – the fee can be between £10.00 to £200.00 and, in some cases, plus VAT.
  • Deed of Covenant (promise) and/or Licence to Assign (permission to purchase) – these are fees which may be validly requested by the freeholder, Management Company or other authorised party as the case may be and are clearly difficult to estimate. These fees will probably be in the range of £100.00 to £250.00 plus VAT where applicable for each document required.
  • Certificate of Compliance fee – this may also be required as specified by the lease or a title (for example if there is a provision in the title that registration of your purchase can only occur if a certificate is given that you have entered into the correct documentation in order to purchase, e.g. a Deed of Covenant or Licence to Assign etc. (see above) and there may be an additional fee in this respect. That fee may range between £50.00 to £100.00 plus VAT, if applicable.

These fees do vary from property to property and on occasions can be of a lesser amount but on other occasions can be significantly more than the ranges given above. At this stage, it is not possible to give any accurate figures but it is important you are aware that these anticipated fees or disbursements can apply.

You should also be aware that Ground Rent and/or Service (maintenance) Charges are likely to apply throughout your ownership of the property and these figures will not be able to be confirmed until later in the transaction, but will be reported on as relevant as the matter progresses if we are ultimately acting for you.

Where VAT is chargeable on our fees and certain disbursements and other expenses this will be charged at the prevailing rate which is currently 20%.

Typical Time Scales

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you move into your house will depend on a number of factors.  The average process takes between 6 – 10 weeks.  It can be quicker or slower depending on the parties in the chain and the facts of the case.   

Stages of the process

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender’s solicitors if needed
  • On a sale – draft and prepare the contract package
  • On a purchase - receive and advise on contract documents
  • Carry out searches
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required
  • Make any necessary enquiries of sellers solicitor/or deal with enquiries from the purchaser’s solicitor on a sale
  • Give you advice on all documents and information received
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you
  • Advise you on joint ownership
  • Send final contract to you for signature
  • Send draft Transfer
  • Obtain pre-completion searches
  • Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
  • Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
  • Complete purchase
  • On a sale – redeem mortgage
  • On a sale – pay estate agent
  • On a leasehold purchase prepare and send required notices and accompanying fees
  • Deal with payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry

Transfers of equity, stair casing, shared ownership, help to buy scheme and non-standard lending will require a bespoke quote - please contact us on 01794 513328

For details of the lawyers undertaking this work please follow the link to our people on our website