Are there any hidden extras?
No. Any attempt to mislead you as to the total to be paid for costs and expenses is unprofessional and unlawful.
Will there be any additional costs?
Yes, but only if you ask for additional work to be undertaken.
Are there any abortive charges?
Possibly. We will have commenced work on your behalf immediately upon receipt of your instructions and will charge a reasonable fee according to all of the circumstances of the matter not proceeding. If the other side withdraws or you decide at an early stage not to proceed, our abortive charges are typically between £100 and £150. If we have completed all of the work up to the point of exchange of contracts and you decide not to proceed it might be fair to charge a fee in the region of £250 or more.
Are there any other charges when buying?
If you are buying a leasehold property you will have to give notice of your purchase to the landlord and pay the landlord’s registration fees and you may have to pay additional costs if you are to become a member of a management company controlled by the residents in the building or, if you are required under the terms of the lease, to enter into direct covenants with the landlord. We will not be able to identify these charges until we have received the relevant paperwork from the seller’s conveyancer.
Are there any other charges when selling?
If you are selling a leasehold property, fees may be charged by the landlord or managing agents for supplying information concerning the arrangements for repair and insurance of the building as a whole. Also you may need the landlord’s consent to the transfer of the flat in which event you will have to pay the landlord’s legal costs.
Shall we arrange a meeting?
It is not normally necessary for there to be a meeting. Prior to exchange of contracts you should receive a written report for you to read at your convenience in the comfort of your own home. Any points that require clarification can normally be dealt with quite quickly by a telephone call but if a meeting is more appropriate or, if you prefer one, this can be arranged.
Can the other side withdraw?
Until contracts are exchanged and dated both sides are free to withdraw from the transaction without penalty.
When are contracts exchanged?
We cannot predict when contracts will be exchanged. It is often said the average time is six weeks. This is just a guide. The timing will depend on the circumstance of your move. These circumstances are unique and unpredictable at the outset. It is human nature to act in ones own interest and the seller or buyer may have their own reasons for a delay. If you are in a chain of transactions the reasons for delay are magnified.
How are contracts exchanged?
The contract is prepared in duplicate by the seller’s conveyancer and, subject to approval by the buyers conveyancer, it is then signed separately by the seller and buyer. Each side must deliver their signed contract to their conveyancer with instructions to proceed to exchange contracts. The two conveyancers then effect a formal exchange of contracts by means of professional undertakings and the parties then become legally committed to proceed with the transaction. You do not need to be present at the time of exchange.
What happens after the exchange of contracts?
During the period between exchange of contacts and completion there will be other documents for you to sign and you should keep in touch with your conveyancer. It is not a good idea to book a holiday abroad just before completion.
When do I pay the deposit and how much is needed?
Your conveyancer will need cleared funds for the deposit at the time of exchange of contracts. By convention the deposit is normally 10% of the purchase price. You should not confuse the amount of the deposit with the percentage of your mortgage offer. Your deposit is simply a payment on account of the purchase price with the balance being payable on the day of completion regardless of what finance is being supplied by way of mortgage.
When does completion take place?
The completion date is agreed to suit the requirements of the parties and is fixed at the time of exchange of contracts. The completion date is dependent on many factors such as: removal van, time off work, drawdown of funds, holidays, school terms, etc. The completion date will be inserted in the contract by the parties’ conveyancers and it is only then that the parties are legally committed to complete on the agreed date. If either side fails to complete on the agreed completion date, liability will arise for damages for breach of contract.
Do we need to meet on the day of completion?
No. Completion is dealt with between the conveyancers.
When do I pay?
At the outset you will be asked to pay £400 on account of the expenses to be incurred throughout the transaction. On a purchase you will be asked to pay the deposit to your conveyancer in time for exchange of contracts and you will be asked to pay the balance of the purchase price in time to allow your conveyancer to have cleared funds on the day of completion. Your conveyancer will deal direct with your bank or buildings society in obtaining the mortgage finance. Five working days’ notice is usually required.
What else do I need to know?
Contracts normally stipulate that completion must take by between 1:00pm and 2:00pm on the agreed day. If you are selling you should have vacated by the agreed time of day and delivered the keys to your estate agent or otherwise made arrangements for the keys to be handed to your buyer. The keys should not be handed over until your conveyancer has received the purchase monies from the buyer. If you are purchasing you should ensure your conveyancer is able to pass on the purchase monies to the seller’s conveyancer by the agreed time and you should check the property has been vacated.