Solicitors for selling a property
Our specialist conveyancing solicitors can help you through the process of selling your property. Call our conveyancing team at the onset so that we can chat things through with you before you even put your house on the market.
Depending on whether you are selling a Freehold or Leasehold property, we would advise you to get in contact as soon as possible so that can help you speed up the conveyancing process for you.
Local Conveyancing Service
Russell & Russell have a wealth of experience and knowledge of all aspects of conveyancing. The firm is accredited under the Law Society Conveyancing Scheme and our conveyancing team all benefit from continuing professional development. Our long-established law firm means we have the local knowledge you need for selling your property in Bolton, Cheshire and across the North West, but our expertise and reputation has meant we have helped clients throughout England and Wales.
Find out more about Russell & Russell
I am selling my house, what should I do?
There are lots of things to consider when selling your home in England and Wales and from the onset you should seek the advice of a property solicitor who can help you through the key stages. Along with key factors such as the valuation of your home and appointing an estate agent, you also need to be aware of other legal requirements such as arranging for and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which gives your property an energy efficiency rating.
Our conveyancing solicitors will guide you through the entire process but here are a few things you should know about selling your home:
How much does it cost to sell my home?
Our conveyancing fees vary depending on a number of factors. The type of property (house/flat), the tenure (freehold/leasehold/commonhold), the age of the property (old/new build), the location (relevant to the cost of searches) and its price/value are all examples of aspects of a property transaction that affect the overall costs.
As a consequence, it’s very difficult for us to provide a firm estimate of costs without obtaining some basic information from you. However, we’ll always provide you with a written bespoke estimate at the outset of any transaction that you’re contemplating.
We’ll be as transparent and open about the potential costs as possible and if, during the course of a transaction, it becomes apparent that additional work is necessary that wasn't envisaged when our initial estimate was given, we’ll draw this to your attention before any additional charges are actually incurred.
Our average legal fee to act in the sale of a property is £581 plus vat (£697.20 inclusive of vat). Please note that our fees are offered as fixed fees – our fees for property sales are not based on hourly rates – we know that you need to know how much you'll have to spend. They will be based on the time that we expect to incur and will have regard to our expertise. The average fee quoted includes acting for a seller and repaying one mortgage. Please note that we charge more for dealing with a flat than a house as transactions involving flats are more complex and time consuming.
This fee doesn't include payments that we make to third parties on your behalf which are commonly referred to as Disbursements.
Are there any other potential costs I should be aware of?
Yes, there could be. These are called Disbursements and the amount of these payments varies from property to property. They can also be affected by the property's location as well as having the potential to be significantly more than the ranges given below.
In addition, they can change occasionally whilst a transaction is in progress. An example of this might be that the Government introduces changes to SDLT when its makes a budget statement and the changes are often immediately effective with little or no opportunity to avoid.
The notice fees are set by the management company/freeholder and we have no control over these charges. We'll notify you of the amounts before they're incurred and will advise you if we become aware of any change.
- Freeholders/Managers Information fees: These are fees charged by a freeholder or manager of your property to provide information required by your buyer. Sometimes the information is provided free of charge – for example, in the case of a house, all that may be required would be a receipt for the ground rent. However, a freeholder and/or manager of a leasehold flat might charge between £100 and £300 plus vat for providing all the information that a buyer might require. If such a fee arises in this case of your property we'll advise you once this is known and will ask you to pay the fee to us so that we can obtain the information and pass it to your buyer.
How does Russell & Russell provide a conveyancing estimate for my sale?
We always provide a written estimate at the outset of a transaction based on the information provided to us at that time, so that you know where you stand and to ensure that there's no misunderstanding between us at a later time.
In the case of residential conveyancing, we're usually able to offer a fixed fee for our time. We'll quote a fixed fee for the work normally undertaken in a standard case and will provide you with a list of additional fixed fees that we would charge if you require additional work to be undertaken. Examples of this would be arranging a Title Indemnity Policy, dealing with a Help To Buy ISA, preparing a Trust Deed or dealing with a Deed of Covenant. Furthermore, we may also be prepared to work on a “No Sale No Fee” basis – please ask about this if it is of interest to you.
We'll always honour the fixed fee quoted unless the information relied upon by us at the time of the estimate was incorrect or it subsequently becomes apparent that there's an aspect of the transaction that will significantly affect the amount of time that has to be spent by us – in either case we'll notify you of any such development before we proceed further. Examples of circumstances that might change the cost would be if the property is a flat, not a house as you initially informed us, if a lease extension is required or if the ownership is defective and remedial action is needed. For a free quote and breakdown of related Disbursements known at this time, please use our quote enquiry form.
In addition to receiving instructions direct from buyers and sellers, we also work alongside brokers, referrers and property agents who refer clients to us. If we've agreed to pay to them a referral fee for recommending us to act for you then we'll disclose the amount to you and we'll pay the amount involved to the referrer out of our fee.
Who pays the mortgage off on the property I’m selling?
How long does the conveyancing process take?
Unfortunately nobody can say for sure how long the process will take – every transaction has its own different circumstances. The length of the chain of properties and the speed at which other parties involved in the transaction work will all be relevant. Furthermore, if a new mortgage is required by one or more parties involved that can also cause delay as, generally speaking, mortgages appear to be taking longer than people expect.
For a straightforward sale transaction, completion should take place within 8 – 12 weeks of instructing a conveyancer provided it's not subject to any major hold ups. The longer a chain, the more likely there'll be delay as if one party or property causes delay it will affect all of the transactions in the chain. Generally speaking, where a flat is involved - rather than a house - the transaction is likely to take longer because of the additional legal work involved.
What are the key stages of the conveyancing sale process?
You should instruct us once you go to the market so that we can be prepared and ready to take action immediately when you receive an acceptable offer. Don't wait until you find a buyer. Once you've accepted an offer and instructed your conveyancer to proceed there are several steps which must be completed before you can hand over the keys to the new owners. The key stages included in our prices are:
- You instruct your conveyancer and the usual Identity and Anti Money Laundering checks are undertaken
- Title deeds, mortgage redemption figures (if you have a mortgage) and replies to property information questionnaires are gathered from you
- A Contract pack is prepared and supplied to the buyer’s conveyancer to check and then raise any pre-contract enquiries
- The necessary conveyancing searches and checks are carried out by the buyer's conveyancer, which may give rise to further enquiries that you may need to assist in answering. These tend to be more complex for leasehold or managed properties
- Once the buyer has everything in place – including a written mortgage offer (if required) and an offer to exchange on any related sale – the buyer will offer to exchange contracts with you
- In anticipation of this we'll arrange for you to sign a copy of the contract and will obtain and check your mortgage redemption statement to ensure there is enough money to redeem your mortgage
- A completion date is agreed between you and the buyer through the parties, conveyancers and the contracts are exchanged by the parties’ conveyancers during a telephone conversation. Once contracts are exchanged, you're legally obliged to go through with the sale on the agreed completion date and the buyer has a similar commitment – supported by the buyer’s deposit. You should insure the property from this point unless it is a flat insured under a joint policy. Now is a good time to book a removal firm if you haven’t already done so
- Any deposit paid at exchange of contracts will usually be under your conveyancers control pending completion of the sale unless you've a related purchase and it has to be utilised in relation to that transaction
- A transfer deed and completion form will be received from the buyer’s conveyancer. Once these are approved and signed by all parties a completion statement will be prepared by us and sent to you for approval
- The buyer's conveyancer will carry out final pre-completion searches and obtain the purchase monies from the buyer and any mortgage provider
- On the day of completion the buyers’ conveyancer sends the purchase monies to our bank account. When the monies are received the transaction is complete and your conveyancer will attend to redemption of your mortgage and will notify you that all has satisfactorily completed, and that you may hand over the keys (and other essential information) to the new owners of your home
- Following completion your conveyancer will attend to the distribution of the balance sale proceeds available for payment to you by transferring funds to your bank account. Time permitting this will be dealt with on the day
When the seller’s solicitors and the buyer’s solicitors exchange contracts, the parties to the contract become legally bound to sell or buy the property.
It’s the date when ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer and, if you’re the seller, you need to move out. The completion day can take place on any working day (Monday to Friday) and it’s also the day the keys get handed over.
Will I need the original deeds to sell my house?
Will I have a direct contact number and email for my conveyancer?
Yes, we’ll let you know the name and direct contact details of who’s dealing with your case when you become our client.
What happens if I need to speak to someone out of office hours?
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