Your Purchase of a Freehold Property

About PWJ Solicitors

We have served generations of individuals and local businesses, providing comprehensive legal advice.

The Law Society - Conveyancing

The following is an indication of our expected fees and disbursements in a typical case of a purchase of a freehold property with a value of no more than £500,000.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process

Note: The required searches would usually be dictated by a mortgagee, as well as by the results of your survey on the property. We strongly recommend a survey on all property purchase transactions. Below is listed our expected fees and the basic search costs for some example transactions:

Legal fees£1,615.00
VAT thereon @ 20%£323.00
Local Authority Search (approximate including £20.00 handling fee and VAT @20%)£350.00
Conveyancing search pack (inclusive of VAT @20%)£184.71
Land Registry search fee£3.00
Land Charges search fee (£2.00 per name)£2.00
Lender's fee for completion (LMS) (This does not apply to all transactions and is dependent on your lender) inclusive of VAT @20%£18.00
Bank charge for bank transfer£12.00 each
Administration charge for bank transfer£35.00 each
VAT thereon @ 20%£7.00
Administration charge for general disbursements£60.00 each
VAT thereon @ 20%£12.00
Administration fee for file storage£35.00
VAT thereon @ 20%£7.00
'Safe Harbour' Anti-Money Laundering searches£9 per name (plus £1.50 per additional search criteria)

Additional Costs of your transaction:

Stamp duty (SDLT)

The amount of Stamp Duty you pay depends on the purchase price of your property and your status as a Buyer (first time/additional property/single rate/company). You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC’s website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website.

Land Registration fee electronic filing

The fee payable to the Land Registry to register you as the new owner depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMLR’s website.

What is included in the estimate of fees above?

  • Checking your Identity to comply with Anti Money Laundering Legislation
  • Taking your instructions and advising you throughout
  • Making all standard searches and standard preliminary enquiries on your behalf
  • Advising and reporting to you on the Title documentation and the terms of the Contract and obtaining your approval and signature to the Contract
  • Receiving, perusing and advising you on a standard Mortgage Offer and the Legal Charge, and arranging for execution of the Mortgage Deed
  • Drafting and arranging your signature of a basic SDLT Return
  • Advising you on joint ownership
  • Effecting exchange of Contracts
  • Investigating Title and raising all necessary requisitions thereon
  • Preparing draft Transfer, engrossing the same and obtaining your execution thereto.
  • Commissioning all necessary pre-completion searches and completing the matter on your behalf
  • Finally, registering you as the new owner of the property at HM Land Registry

NB: If this firm does not complete the work we will charge you for the work done and expenses incurred.

What is not included in the estimate of fees above?

The cost of our service may increase if the transaction is more complicated. The list below is not exhaustive but they give examples of when our fees may rise, for example:

  • Protracted checks to ensure proof of your Identity is compliant with anti-money laundering legislation
  • Responding to extensive calls from estate agents and mortgage brokers
  • Acting for your lender. We will charge separately for acting for your lender also and ensuring all conditions of the mortgage are satisfied which are necessary for the release of funds
  • Reporting an defects in title to your lender and seeking their approval to proceed
  • If the legal title is defective or the property is unregistered
  • If you discover building regulations or planning permission has not been obtained
  • If there are adverse search results
  • If crucial documents pertaining to the legal title are missing
  • If we are required to arrange Indemnity Insurance
  • If there an unusual number of mortgage conditions which need to be satisfied
  • If there are delays in the progression of the transaction
  • If there are complex SDLT issues which need to be addressed
  • Drafting a Declaration of Trust relating to joint ownership

Please note.  if your transaction comprises of any of the following elements, then an additional fee will be incurred based on the time expended and will incur additional fees based on the hourly rate charged by the fee earner:

  • Gifted Deposit
  • Source of Funds check for significant cash deposits used to fund the purchase
  • Lease extension
  • Shared ownership Lease/Staircasing
  • Defective/Inadequate Lease provisions
  • Defective title
  • Incomplete planning and/or building control issues
  • Purchase funds derived from a Lifetime ISA or Help to Buy or any other government incentive scheme.

If the cost of fees increase, how will these be calculated?
See: How We Charge.

How long will my house purchase take?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 10-12 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 freehold property with a mortgage in principle, it could take 10 weeks. However, if you are in a long chain and you do not have a mortgage offer ready, this can take significantly longer. These are average times, and transactions can be completed much faster in certain circumstances.  We also offer an expedited service for an additional fee if required.  Please contact us directly for details of this.

Further information about the process can be found here:


Our Locations

Our office locations
New Rules for Registration of  Relevant Trusts and Declarations of Trusts Relevant Trusts in existence at 6th October 2020 (even if subsequently closed) must be registered with the new Trusts Registration Service by 1st September 2022 to avoid penalties and charges.  This rule also applies to relevant property trusts where the legal ownership position differs from the equitable ownership position; for example where a Declaration of Trust sits behind the Title with details of equitable owners such as where parents have loaned money to purchase a property and have their interest protected by a Declaration of Trust but are not named on the Title Register. Trusts formed after this date may also be subject to complex registration requirements. Please contact us if you are concerned that the above may apply to your Trust and would like advice or assistance with the process.