Conveyancing - Buying a house

No property is exactly the same. There can be any number of complexities affecting individual properties that will impact how we handle the transaction.

Our fees will reflect the particular requirements of your purchase. Please call us so that we can take further details about your intended transaction and provide a full estimate of our legal fees.  

We will need to establish if there are any matters which could potentially have an impact on the transaction and any costs estimate.

Factors that could make a transaction more complex include:

  • Title discrepancies which need to be rectified at the Land  Registry
  • Properties comprising more than one title
  • Complex and unorthodox rent and covenant provisions in a lease
  • Dealing with a third party solicitor or agent or other entity regarding matrimonial matters, third party payments or other matters
  • If the property is a listed building or in a conservation area or otherwise subject to planning requirements and alterations have been carried out
  • If any adverse entries are revealed in the search results, such as enforcement notices  or undischarged planning consents in the local search
  • If part of the land being purchased/sold is not included within the registered title.
  • Where a right of way or other easement is required for a property but no such rights appear to exist within the legal title

Key stages

The stages set out below are an indication of some of stages which may be addressed in a purchase transaction. The stages assume that the other parties will be cooperative and that those requested to undertake certain tasks will do so within the time scales asked.

  • Taking your initial instructions regarding the circumstances of the transaction and providing a quotation.
  • Opening a file and issuing our engagement pack to you.
  • Receiving the engagement pack from you together with a payment on account of costs.
  • Once the contract pack is received, we would review the paperwork and raise enquiries with the seller’s solicitor.
  • We would then request searches from the search provider. The standard searches to request at this stage would be the Local search, Drainage search, Environmental search and Planning search. Depending on the property’s location, we may need to order additional searches, such as a Mining search.
  • If the property is being purchased with a mortgage, we would receive the offer and check that it is correct. We would also check whether the offer contains any conditions that need to be complied with.
  • Once replies to all enquiries have been satisfied, all search results are clear and the legal requirements of your mortgage offer (if applicable) are resolved, we would then prepare our contract report and send this out to you. This report will usually contain the contract, transfer deed and Stamp Duty Land Tax form for signature. It may also include your mortgage deed where applicable.
  • At this stage, you would return the signed contract documents to us and arrange to pay any deposit that might be required for exchange. This would normally be a 10% deposit but it can vary depending on the circumstances of the transaction.
  • It would also be necessary to provide your proposed buildings insurance policy prior to exchange of contracts.
  • Once the signed contract documents, buildings insurance and the deposit have been received, we would then proceed to exchange of contracts. Once the contracts have been exchanged, the completion date would be set.
  • In between exchange and completion, we would request all necessary funds from the mortgage provider (if applicable) and any balance funds due from yourself.
  • On the day of completion, we send the completion funds to the seller’s solicitor. Once they confirm receipt, the keys should then be released by the estate agent and we would let you know that the matter is completed.
  • After completion, we would then deal with the registration of the property into your name at the Land Registry.

How much will conveyancing for my purchase cost?

Our fixed fees for a typical purchase range from £816.00 (inclusive of VAT) for a simple transaction to around £3,600.00 (inclusive of VAT) for a complex transaction. These figures may vary in complex cases. That’s why we will always give you an individual cost estimate at the start of the transaction, taking into account the actual features of your sale or purchase. We will always advise you immediately about any complication and discuss any possible impact on price at that stage. We have several regulatory requirements to verify the identity of our customers and perform due diligence checks which are designed to help prevent fraud and money laundering. We have put in place significant anti-fraud checks to protect our customers and these are charged at £12 (inclusive of VAT) per person. These checks may need to be undertaken more than once during the legal work.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as:

  • Search fees to the search provider. The costs of the searches will vary depending on the location of the property as all Local Authorities charge different amounts to provide the results. We would estimate that search results would vary from £200.00 to £450.00 (inclusive of VAT) depending on locality.
  • Land Registry Search Fees to establish ownership of property and any mortgages that may be registered. The cost of the Land Registry searches will depend on how many registered titles there are for the property. The cost for obtaining title documents from the Land Registry could vary from between £4.00 to in excess of £20.00 (inclusive of VAT) depending on the circumstances.
  • Land Registration Fees to change the ownership of the property after completion. The cost for registering the ownership at the Land Registry depends on a couple of factors; namely whether the property is currently registered or unregistered and the valuation of the property. The current fee scale for Land registration purposes is as follows:
Value of PropertyColumn 1Column 2
£0 to £80,000£40£20
£80,001 to £100,000£80£40
£100,001 to £200,000£190£95
£500,001 to £1,000,000£270£135
£500,001 to £1,000,000£540£270
£1,000,001 and over£910£455

Column 1 shows the Land Registry fee of the property if we have to submit the application by post. This would normally be the case if the title to the property is currently unregistered for instance. Column 2 shows the level of the Land Registry fee where we are able to submit the application online. This would normally be possible where the title is already registered at the Land Registry. The amount payable will depend on the circumstances of the transaction.

  • Lawyer Checker fees to enable us to verify the legitimacy of the seller’s solicitor’s bank details that we may send funds to on a purchase. The current cost of this search is £12.00 (inclusive of VAT).

We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

How long will my matter take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the completion of your matter depends largely on the circumstances of the transaction.

As there are normally so many different parties involved in a Conveyancing transaction, it’s not possible to give a guarantee as to how long it may take to complete a sale or a purchase. We will often be dealing with a number of parties on any given transaction, such as:

  • The solicitor representing the other party in the transaction
  • Estate Agent
  • Management Company or agent. It is becoming more common to see a management company when dealing with both freehold and leasehold properties. Most flats and several new build estates will now have common parts with a management company set up to maintain those areas
  • Mortgage Provider
  • Help to Buy Agency where a Help to Buy loan is being provided
  • Local Authority if planning documents are required

If your transaction proceeds smoothly then the average timescale to move to completion would be around 8 weeks. However, this can be significantly longer if we encounter delays or complications during the process.

As explained above, this is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

Next steps

Our Residential Conveyancing team are experts in their field and we are proud that our hard work has been recognised and rewarded by successfully winning the ‘Regional Conveyancing Firm of the Year’ award at the Law Firm Services Awards 2018.

Brethertons are on all major mortgage lender panels and were appointed onto the ‘Help to Buy Midlands’ Solicitors Panel and the ‘Orbit, West Midlands Help to Buy’ panel.

If you would like to instruct us, or to learn more about our Residential Conveyancing services, please visit our key contact details. Alternatively, you can email your enquiry to us or visit our Conveyancing pages for further information.

Should you wish to meet our team of experienced and talented staff who would be responsible for progressing your matter then please click here.