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:
Selling a property, why choose Russell & Russell?
You should choose us because our specialist property lawyers are best placed to help you through the process of selling your property. We have a wealth of experience and knowledge of all aspects of conveyancing whether freehold or leasehold, whether a flat, a house or just land. We deal with existing properties, new builds and self-builds. We are accredited under the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme and have been from its very beginning. All our staff that would touch your case specialise in property work, have had training in that area and receive on-going training to keep them up to date with changes. We are a long established practice but have a modern approach. You can instruct us by calling into our office, by post, by email or through our Portal.
When should I instruct you?
We would strongly recommend that you get in contact with us at the very beginning when you are thinking of selling so that can start to prepare the sale documentation for your property to speed up the conveyancing process for you once you have a buyer. This is particularly important with leaseholds where there is more information to collect. We don’t charge any more for basic advance preparation. Ask about our Sellers Exchange Ready Packs which go one step further. Don’t wait until you have a buyer, get in front of the game and prepare. Call our conveyancing team at the outset so that we can chat things through with you before you even put your house on the market.
Does location matter?
No – we can act for you whether you are local or distant but if we do not see you face to face we carry out enhanced due diligence to satisfy us as to your identity. We have the facility to use Zoom and/or Teams if you cannot get to one of our offices. The locality of the property is also irrelevant – the same principles apply across all of England and Wales.
I am thinking of selling my house, what should I do?
Contact us, an initial enquiry costs nothing.
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.
From the outset we’ll be as transparent and open about the potential costs as is possible having regard to the information you give to us. Furthermore 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 so you can decide whether to incur those costs before they are incurred.
Our average legal fee to act in the sale of a property is £800 plus vat (£960 inclusive of vat). Please note that our fees are offered as fixed fees – our fees for property sales are not based on hourly rates – because 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. We charge extra for our time sending bank transfers and also arranging for insurance should there be any issues with your ownership. We reserve the right to ask you for a payment of £50 at the outset to cover the cost of ID verification and land registry documentation fees. But this is part of our total fee and not an extra charge. Please note that we charge more for dealing with a flat than a house as transactions involving flats are more complex and time consuming.
Our fee does not 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.
Our fee: If there is more work for us to carry out than we envisaged at the outset based on the information you provided we may have to revise our estimate. However, if that proves to be the case we would advise you before the additional work is undertaken so that you can decide whether to incur that cost. An example would be if your ownership has a major defect or if you omit to tell us that your property is a leasehold flat or a shared ownership property.
Payments to third parties may arise: These are called Disbursements and the amount of these payments varies from property to property. Examples would be fees payable to the Land Registry for copies of deeds that you do not have and/or to a Local Authority for copies of documents that a buyer wants to see such as a Tree Preservation Order.
Freeholders/Managers Information fees: another disbursement but one that warrants a special mention - 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 £200 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.
Will Russell & Russell provide a written conveyancing fee estimate for my sale?
We always provide a written estimate at the outset of a transaction. This will be based on the information provided by you to us at that time. This reflects the fact that we know that you need to budget and also to ensure that there's no misunderstanding between us at a later time. We hope you will be delighted with our services and will use us again and appreciate that will not be the case if you feel that we have let you down over costs. We can write to you with the fee estimate or email it to you.
In the case of residential conveyancing, we usually offer a fixed fee. We 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. An example of additional work would be if you require a Declaration of Trust.
We will 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 will notify you of any such development before we proceed further so that you can decide whether to incur additional expense. 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?
As your solicitor, we’ll deal with the repayment of any outstanding mortgages due on your property. The balance of what’s left over, minus our fees, your estate agent fees and other associated costs relating to the property, will then be paid to you.
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.
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.
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
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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