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Conveyancing - basis of our work

If you instruct Vincents to act on your behalf in connection with the purchase of a residential property and you are acting as an individual rather than a business we do so on the following basis.

How long will my house purchase take?
How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you complete on the transaction will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 12-16 weeks. It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you are a first time buyer, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage in principle, you may be able to move in when the property has been built, if the construction is already finished this could be as soon as 8 weeks after instructing us. However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between 5 and 8 months. In such, a situation additional charges would apply.

Remortgages tend to take between 2-3 months from the date you obtained an offer from your lender

Please note your solicitor does not dictate the timescale for completion, the main factors are the wishes of the other party to the transaction, lenders and builders, and most of all other linked transactions.

Stages of the process

Purchase
The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances:

• Take your instructions and give you initial advice
• Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender's solicitors if needed
• Receive and advise on contract documents
• Carry out searches
• Obtain further planning documentation if required
• Make any necessary enquiries of seller's solicitor
• Give you advice on all documents and information received
• Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you
• Send final contract to you for signature
• Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
• Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
• Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
• Complete purchase
• Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax
• Deal with application for registration at Land Registry

Sale
The precise stages involved in the sale of a residential property vary according to the circumstances:

• Take your instructions and give you initial advice
• Provide contract documents
• Respond to enquiries from your purchaser
• Give you advice on all documents and information received
• Send final contract to you for signature
• Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
• Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
• Arrange for all monies needed to be transferred in line with your instructions
• Complete the transaction

Remortgage

The precise stages involved in remortgaging a residential property vary according to the circumstances:

• Take your instructions and give you initial advice
• Check the mortgage offer
• Receive and advise on contract documents
• Carry out searches if required
• Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you
• Send final contract to you for signature
• Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
• Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
• Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
• Complete transaction
• Deal with application for registration at Land Registry

Instructions
We will be acting for you on the purchase of a single property to carry out the conveyancing of this property. Please note that in preparing these details, we have based our charges on the information you have provided during the quote.

Advice
At the outset we are unlikely to be able to advise you on the legal implications of your purchase because we will require considerable documentation in order to advise fully on your transaction. Our advice will be limited to ensuring that there is good title to the property and to advise on the rights and responsibilities attached to the property.

First steps

In order to begin working for you we will need the following:

1. Signed copy of our retainer letter
2. Signed terms and conditions
3. Signed Data Protection Policy
4. Completed purchase questionnaire
5. Certified identification documents (unless you are attending one of our offices to provide this)
6. Completed Anti Money Laundering Questionnaire (Purchase) with accompanying documents.
7. Donor Declaration (if a third party is helping you to fund the purchase)
8. Joint tenants/tenants in common form (if there is more than one purchaser)
9. A cheque for £350 to cover your search fees (purchase only)

Money Laundering & Cybercrime
All law firms have significant responsibilities to ensure that the conveyancing system is not vulnerable to fraud, typically this can be money laundering or cybercrime.

We are obliged, under Money Laundering Regulations, to verify identities of Clients, understand your background and the financial information underpinning your transaction. We will carry out an Electronic ID check, and we will require from you one of the documents to confirm your identity and your current address.

We will also have to understand where any funds are coming from and will require documentary evidence to substantiate this before we can handle those funds.

Please note that we will not be able to carry out any work on your behalf until we have completed our Anti-Money Laundering checks

Please note that in view of Money Laundering Legislation, any balance required from you cannot be paid to us in cash. It will need it to be paid either by cheque drawn on a UK Bank or Building Society. Ideally, however, and to save time, payment should be made by telegraphic transmission from your Bank/Building Society to our Client Account, using the CHAPS system – details of our Client Account Bank Account will be made available when required.

Due to the increase in reported cases of Cyber Crime, do not send sensitive information such as bank statements via email unless you can arrange for this to be password protected. We recommend that you send this information in the post. Similarly, we will only forward our bank details to you by post. Before transferring funds to us, I recommend that you call us.

to confirm the bank details you have received. Please be suspicious of any emails purporting change our bank details, we will never notify you by a simple email of a change of bank details.

Limits of retainer
The limits of our retainer are set out in our Service Plan and Terms and Conditions a link to this document can be found on our website, click here.

We are advising you on legal matters only in relation to this matter. We may advise you to obtain the assistance of independent professional advisors or consultants to advise. If we instruct advisors or consultants on your behalf, you will be responsible for payment of their fees. However, we will always obtain an estimate of the likely fees prior to instructions.

We do not undertake site visits and our advice does not include any assessment of the condition of the property

We offer no advice in relation to the amount owed to HMRC. We strongly recommend that you obtain specialist tax advice to establish whether the amount owed is correct or whether you are eligible for any exemptions or reduced rates or whether the residential or commercial SDLT rates apply to your transaction. Please supply a copy of the tax advice you receive in this regard.

People responsible for your work
Your retainer will set out who will carry out most of the work in your matter. It will also set out their status within Vincents and who supervises them. Ross Wellman is the head of residential conveyancing at Vincents. We will try to avoid changing the people who handle your work but if this cannot be avoided we will inform you promptly who will be handling the matter and why the change was necessary. You can find information on our team by clicking here.

Charges and Expenses
Our charges are set out in the quote provided to you and remain valid for 30 days after the date of the quote on condition that the information you provided is accurate related to the property being purchases. To obtain a quote click here.

In the event that the information on which your quote is based changes or it becomes clear that it was not accurate at the time of the quote we will inform you of the new charging rates in writing by email or letter.

The VAT and cost of disbursements (disbursements are expenses incurred on a Client’s behalf) indicated in the quote are those current at the date of the quote, and would be subject to alteration if the rates are change thereafter.

Further disbursements may be payable for example:

• if the property is in fact leasehold or subject to Rentcharge, registration fees are likely to be payable to the Landlord or Rentcharge Owner;
• if we have to pay fees to the Local Authority for supplying copies of any Planning Permissions disclosed by Local Searches;
• if the Seller of the property is a Limited Company, a fee would be payable for Company Search; travelling expenses for any site, home or other visits which may be required from the Office are 40p per mile plus VAT per return journey;
• if the property is in a Mining Area or former Mining Area, a Mining Search will also need to be made.


Our costs, VAT and the balance for disbursements are payable, together with any balance of the purchase money required from you, a week before completion takes place – to enable sufficient time for clearance of cheques.

The amount owing for Stamp Duty has been calculated on the basis of the information you have supplied.

Please note costs have been estimated on the basis that the transaction does not prove substantially more complex or time consuming than we would normally expect. If it proves otherwise, our costs will be subject to review to take account of this.

Bills
We will send you a bill for our charges and expenses usually when the work in completed. Payment of the bill is due to us following exchange / completion in conveyancing matters or within 28 days of our sending it to you (whichever is the earlier).

You can make payments by debit or credit card but there is a minimum figure of £100. Payments can be made by telephoning 01772 555176.

Professional Indemnity Insurers
We are required to inform that our firm’s worldwide professional indemnity insurers are currently Axis Specialty Europe SE, 4th Floor, Plantation Place South, 60 Great Tower Street, London, EC3R 5AZ.


 

For any enquiries regarding Conveyancing - basis of our work please contact our Conveyancing Solicitors department on 0800 310 2000
Or enquire online here.