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Whether you are a first-time buyer, or you’re looking to move up the property ladder, the whole process of buying or selling a home can seem daunting and overwhelming. There are so many parties to deal with and so many things to do. But with Smart Legal, rest assured it will be a completely stress-free experience for you.  

Our expert conveyancing solicitors have years of experience dealing with all aspects of residential and commercial property conveyancing. We are committed to getting you moved with the least hassle. 

Why Choose Smart Legal? 

We make your transaction our top priority and do all we can to get it completed on time.  

Faster than other firms 

Our conveyancing service is significantly faster than the industry average. This means the transaction will get completed faster and you move into your new home sooner. We have strict internal timelines, so our solicitors are proactive and do what is required without you having to provide step-by-step instructions. 

Accurate information and frequent updates 

We keep you updated on the status of your transaction every time any action is taken. We will email, SMS, or telephone you as you prefer. Our cutting-edge case tracking system also allows 24×7 access to your case, from the comfort of your home. 

Direct access to your dedicated solicitor 

As soon as we start a case, we assign a dedicated conveyancer for your transaction. Any time you want to know something about your transaction, just pick up the phone and call your solicitor directly. No call centres to go through, and no changing solicitors in between the process. 

Conveyancing expertise 

Our solicitors are among the best in UK. They specialise in property conveyancing and have had the experience of dealing with a wide range of simple to complex issues. This wealth of experience helps us push your transaction forward faster and get it completed on time. 

Conveyancing Process 

Our quotation provided is on the basis that your transaction like most others, would be straightforward, without complications.  

Our instructions are limited to the below. The fixed fee quotation is based on us only carrying out the following assumptions and work: 

Sale Process  

  • The transaction is for the sale of a registered residential property in England or Wales.  
  • Write to the buyer’s conveyancers to confirm our instructions in this matter.  
  • Prepare and send to you to sign the draft contract and transfer and to complete and sign the property related forms.  
  • Prepare draft papers and obtain evidence of ownership of property via the Land Registry.  
  • Write to the estate agents to confirm your instructions for us to act on your behalf.  
  • Take funds on account from you to carry out Land Registry searches and obtain any associated documents from therein.  
  • Order any other Land Registry searches or documents deemed necessary. 
  • If leasehold property, subject to having funds from you on account pay for and order pre-assignment pack from Management Company or landlord.  
  • Request Redemption statement from your existing lender (if applicable), subject to you providing us with the mortgage account and lender details. 
  • Send draft papers including the Property forms (once they are completed and returned by you) to buyer’s conveyancer.  
  • Reply to any enquiries raised by the buyer’s conveyancer on the following: a. Title deeds, b. Property forms and questionnaires, c. Pre-assignment pack (if leasehold), subject to these being capable of being answered by us and not a third party, d. Their search results, subject to these being capable of being answered by us. 
  • Once all documents are received from you and the buyer’s conveyancer confirm there are no further enquiries, we shall prepare to exchange contracts and with your instructions set a date for completion. WARNING: At the stage of exchanging contracts you will be entering into a binding contract with the buyers to complete on the transaction within a specific period of time. Failure to meet the time frames stipulated in the contract may lead to you incurring significant costs and possible legal action by the buyers. Therefore, you must clear any doubts that you may have with your conveyancer before exchanging contracts.  
  • From the point when contracts are exchanged, you are still responsible to maintain the building insurance on the property up and until the actual time of completion. After the completion of the sale you may cancel the building insurance. If the property is leasehold and buildings insurance is covered under a block policy, then this will automatically continue with the buyers. 
  • Once contracts are exchanged we shall write to you, the estate agent, and the buyers’ conveyancers to confirm the same.  
  • We shall obtain the estate agent’s invoice and a final statement from your existing lender calculating the amount owed up to the date of completion.  
  • If the property is Leasehold, we may be required to do apportionment of the service charge, ground rent and insurance payments up to the date of completion.  
  • You will also receive a bill of costs and financial statement detailing all the expenses involved.  
  • We shall prepare the transaction for completion which will include preparing replies to Requisitions on Title for the buyer’s conveyancers.  
  • On the day of completion, we shall be in contact with the buyer’s conveyancers to ensure we receive completion funds in time to redeem any existing mortgages. If vacant possession is provided on completion, you must have vacated the premises by 12.00noon and handed the keys to the estate agent in readiness for completion that day.  
  • Once we have received completion funds, completion is confirmed with you, the estate agent and the buyer’s conveyancer. 
  • We will instruct the estate agent to release the keys to the buyer.  
  • After completion, we will send signed completion documents and any original deeds we have to the buyer’s conveyancer.  
  • Finally, we will archive your file and keep it in storage for six years after which it will be destroyed. Please note the file may be electronically stored. 

Purchase Process 

  • The transaction is for the purchase of a registered residential property in England or Wales.  
  • Write to the sellers’ conveyancers to confirm our instructions in this matter and to request draft papers and evidence of ownership of property by the sellers.  
  • Write to the estate agents to confirm your instructions for us to act on your behalf.  
  • Take funds on account from you to carry out searches. 
  • Order searches. 
  • On receipt of draft papers, we will check and raise enquiries on the following: a. Title deeds b. Protocol questionnaires  
  • On receipt of searches, we shall check and raise enquiries on the following: a. Local Authority Searches b. Environmental Searches c. Water and Drainage Searches  
  • Provide you with a Report on Title also known as a Conveyancing Pack which will include all documents you will need to execute, a copy of the searches, contract and protocol documents with details of our analysis of title. This document will contain all issues that we have identified with the transaction so that you can make an informed decision on whether to proceed with the transaction or not. We always proceed on the presumption that you have read the Report on Title and all documents provided with it. Therefore you must read the Report on Title and all attached documents. You must raise with your conveyancer any matter that you do not understand.  
  • Once ready to exchange, we shall advice you of deposit monies required and prepare the transaction to exchange. WARNING: You must note that at the stage of exchanging contracts you will be entering into a binding contract with the sellers to complete on the transaction within a specific period of time. Failure to meet the time frames stipulated in the contract may lead to you incurring significant costs and possible legal action by the sellers. Therefore you must clear any doubts that you may have with your conveyancer before exchanging contracts.  
  • From the point that contracts are exchanged, you may become responsible for the property; which means you should obtain suitable building insurance to cover the property. Buildings insurance should be for the full reinstatement value (as specified in your valuation report) and your lender’s interest should be noted on it. 
  • Once contracts are exchanged we shall write to you, the estate agent, and the sellers’ conveyancers to confirm the same.  
  • We shall also, if applicable, liaise with your mortgage lender or their appointed conveyancer to ensure they release mortgage funds in time for completion.  
  • You will also receive a bill of costs and financial statement detailing all the expenses involved.  
  • We shall prepare the transaction for completion which will include protecting the property title from any entries by carrying out a priority search and obtain replies to requisitions on title from the sellers’ conveyancers. 
  • On the day of completion we shall prepare all the necessary papers and funds. 
  • Once the sellers’ conveyancers have received our transfer of completion funds, completion is confirmed and the sellers’ conveyancer will instruct the estate agent to release the keys to you. You can collect the keys and move in.  
  • After completion, we will prepare to pay the Stamp Duty Land Tax and apply to the Land Registry to register the transfer of the property into your name.  
  • Once the property is registered in your name with the Land Registry, we will receive title documents known as Office Copy Entries which we will forward to you to keep. 
  • Finally we will archive your file and keep it in storage for six years after which it will be destroyed. Please note the file may be electronically stored. 

Conveyancing Fees

Please find below a guide to likely fees, government taxes and third-party expenses (disbursements) that may arise on your transaction. Fees can vary depending on the type of transaction and any complications that may arise. We will notify you of any issues and keep you updated but examples of possible matters that could cause costs to arise are the property has a title defect, it is unregistered, it requires the grant of a new lease, it involves a help to buy scheme, the parties involved are unresponsive or do not provide information in a timely manner or there are inordinate delays due to ancillary matters.  

The costs below are calculated based on a conveyancing transaction being a standard matter without complications. The fees are a guide based on your lawyer having to spend up to 10 hours in total on your transaction. Should your transaction take longer than this estimate, your conveyancer will advise you of additional costs. Your conveyancer’s hourly rate is likely to be between £125 and £400 per hour excluding VAT.   

A conveyancing transaction can take between six and twelve weeks to complete depending on the nature of the transaction.  

The following likely fees are a guide only:- 
  

On sale and purchase:- 

 
Up to £500,000 – £1499 to £1999 

£500,001 to £1,000,000 – £2099 to £2499 
£1,000,001 to £1500,000 – £2599 to £2999 

£1500,001 to £2,000,000 – £3099 to £3499 

£2,000,000 above – fees on application 

Acting for High Street Mortgage Lender – £175 to £450 (varies depending on the amount and lender’s terms) 
Electronic identity check – £12.50 per person 
Stamp Duty Land Tax Return – £95 
Electronic money transfer fee – £39 per transfer 
 

On Remortgage:- 

Up to £500,000 – £1099 to £1499 

£500,001 to £1,000,000 – £1599 to £1999 

£1,000,001 to £1500,000 – £2099 to £2499 

£1500,001 to £2,000,000 – £2599 to £2999 

£2,000,000 above – fees on application 

  
VAT at 20%  (at 8th December 2018) is payable upon all Smart Legal fees and charges. 
  

The following Government taxes and third party expenses (disbursements) may be incurred:- 
 

On Purchase: 

Searches –  £164.40 if personal searches are acceptable by the lender.  
Stamp Duty Land Tax – as arises on price – Please check here for the SDLT calculator. 
Land Registry fees (electronic registration)– on scale – £135, £270 and £455 over £1,000.000 
Land Registry Search £2 

Bankruptcy search per person £3 

On Sale: 

Official Copies of Register – £6 to £30 depending on the type of property 
  

Possible additional charges plus VAT for the following:- 
Leasehold property – £175  
Unregistered property – £750 

Expedition fee £175 if you require exchange and completion within five working days.  

A list of ALL potential additional fees is available on request but please note that it is not possible to create an exhaustive list as transactions vary significantly. 

One of the following persons may handle your transaction with the assistance of others.  

Mahinan Pathmanathan, Solicitor and Partner specialising in residential and commercial property matters. Mahinan has over twelve years post qualification experience.   

Sabrina Sanger, Solicitor and Partner specialising in residential property matters. Sabrina has over six years’ experience in conveyancing including two years post qualification experience.   

Gajan Pathmanathan, Solicitor and Partner specialising in residential property matters. Gajan has over twelve years post qualification experience.   

Rofique Mohammed, is a conveyancer with over sixteen years’ experience in residential conveyancing matters.