Sales - FAQs

How long will it take to complete the sale/purchase?

There are certain factors that can speed up or delay the completion of a house purchase/sale, but ordinarily we would expect a straight forward transaction to complete within 6-8 weeks of the sale/purchase being agreed and solicitors being instructed. A purchaser/seller should never commit to delivery of goods, taking time off work, or a date for works at the property until the solicitor confirms the actual completion date.

How much will the solicitors fees and costs be including stamp duty?

Solicitors fees can vary significantly from firm to firm but most set their fee according to the value of the property being purchased. It is important to get any quote in writing so can you see what exactly is covered. Outlays such as registration costs and stamp duty will be the same regardless of the solicitor you use.

How much stamp duty will I have to pay?

Stamp duty rules changed in December 2014 so that the tax is no longer charged at a single rate for the entire price of a property. You now pay stamp duty at different rates on proportions of the price according to the following: 

  • Nothing on the first £125,000 of the property price
  • £125,000 - £250,000 = 2% 
  • £250,000 - £925,000 = 5%
  • £925,000 - £1,500,000 = 10%
  • Over £1,500,000 = 12%

Investors or any persons looking to purchase a second home are now liable to pay an extra 3 percentage point surcharge on stamp duty land tax (SDLT) as of March 2016. Please see below the stamp duty rates applicable;

  • Up to £125,000 = 3%
  • £125,000 - £250,000 = 5% 
  • £250,000 - £925,000 = 8%
  • £925,000 - £1,500,000 = 13%
  • Over £1,500,000 = 15%

When do I have to pay the deposit?

The deposit will be payable to the sellers solicitor within 5 days of both the seller and buyer having signed and exchanged the contract.

Can the seller just pull out if he gets a better offer?

Until the contract has been signed by both the seller and purchaser, and their respective solicitors both have a copy of the signed contract, either the buyer or seller can pull out of the transaction at anytime and for any reason. No money will be payable as compensation by the person pulling out of the property sale.

How is a completion date chosen?

Once the title deeds of the property have been checked and queries have been resolved and documents received to the satisfaction of the purchaser’s solicitor, they will discuss a completion date with you. The solicitor will advise you of the soonest possible completion date and you can instruct them as to your preference. This date will be communicated to the seller and their solicitor to see if same is agreeable. Once all are in agreement, a date will be added into the contract before being sent to the seller for their signature. You should note however, that even at this stage, the completion date can change and nothing is binding until the seller signs the contract and the buyers solicitor has a copy of it.

What do I do if lots of rubbish has been left at the property by the seller?

Contact your solicitor and they will contact the seller via their solicitor requesting that the rubbish be removed immediately at their expense. If they fail to do this your solicitor might suggest that you get a third party company to remove the rubbish and send them the invoice so that it can be forwarded to the sellers solicitor for them to obtain payment.