Purchase of Freehold Residential Property

We provide a high quality, tailored residential conveyancing service for our clients.

This document sets out our typical charges for the purchase of a freehold residential property, some information on what other costs you might expect to incur in making such a purchase and a summary of the process involved.

The charges and other costs set out in this document will also apply if you re-mortgage a freehold residential property.

Our charges

We set out below our typical charges for the purchase of a freehold residential property, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry and dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property is in Wales.

The charges described are based on the following assumptions.  

  • The transaction is standard and no unforeseen matters shall arise, including for example (but not limited to) a defect in title which requires remedying prior to completion or the preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction.
  • The transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complications arise.
  • All parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation.
  • No indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.

If a transaction is not in line with the assumptions set out above, we will advise our clients of any additional charges.

For a more detailed, tailored quotation, please speak to your Simkins contact.

Conveyancing fee

Our fee for the legal work involved in purchasing a freehold residential property is calculated at 0.5% of the purchase price of the property, subject to a minimum charge of £3,000.00.  If the property is a new-build, our minimum charge is £4,500.

This includes our fee for acting on behalf of any mortgage lender.


Disbursements are costs that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees.  We handle the payment of the disbursements on our clients’ behalf.  Disbursements are charged in addition to our conveyancing fee.

The normal disbursements for the purchase of a freehold residential property are as follows:

  • Search fees: £300 to £500 (depending on the local authority where the property is situated).
  • Land Registry fee for electronic filing: Sliding scale according to value, currently £20 to £455 (for more detail see https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fees-hm-land-registry-guides).

Other charges

In addition to our conveyancing fees and disbursements, we make charges for electronic bank transfers, photocopying, printing and faxes.  

Money transfers on completion of a purchase will be effected by way of priority payment and we impose a minimum charge for each purchase of £35.00 for photocopying, printing and faxes.

  • Electronic money transfer fee – Priority Payment: £40.00.
  • Electronic money transfer fee – BACS (three-day transfer): £5.00.
  • Photocopying at 20p per A4 page (black & white), 75p per A4 page (colour).  Larger format jobs priced on request.
  • Printing at 15p per A4 page (black & white), 75p per A4 page (colour).  
  • Faxes at 25p per A4 page plus call costs.


VAT is charged at 20% on our conveyancing fee, all disbursements (except Land Registry fees) and our other charges.

Time for payment

Our fees are payable upon completion.  If a transaction does not complete, we shall charge our reasonable time costs up to and including the date upon which the transaction aborts, subject to a cap of the conveyancing fee otherwise payable upon completion.  We will also charge any and all other disbursements and other charges incurred up to the date upon which the transaction aborts.

We reserve the right to ask for money on account of our fees before starting work.


If a client purchases a property worth £1m, typically our total fees will be as follows:

Conveyancing fee - £5,000.00

Search fees - £500.00

Electronic money transfer fee – completion of purchase - £40.00

Electronic money transfer fee – payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax - £5.00

Photocopying, printing and faxes - £35.00

Sub-total: £5,580.00

VAT @ 20%- £1,116.00

Land Registry fee (no VAT) - £270.00

Total fees payable to Simkins LLP: £6,966.00

Stamp Duty or Land Tax

Purchases of land in England and Wales are subject to Stamp Duty or Land Tax.  The tax payable depends on the purchase price of the property.

Clients can calculate the amount they will need to pay by using HMRC's website or, if the property is located in Wales, by using the Welsh Government’s website.  Links to those websites are given here:

Stamp duty: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/calculate-stamp-duty-land-tax/#/intro

Land tax:  https://beta.gov.wales/land-transaction-tax-calculator

How long will a purchase take?

How long it will take from an offer being accepted until the purchaser can move into the property will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between four to eight weeks.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, a purchase for first time buyers purchasing a new-build property with a mortgage agreed in principle could take only four weeks.

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, the basic steps are set out below:

  • Taking instructions and giving initial advice.
  • Checking finances are in place to fund purchase and contacting lender's solicitors if needed.
  • Receiving and advising on contract documents.
  • Carrying out searches.
  • Obtaining further planning documentation if required.
  • Making any necessary enquiries of seller's solicitor.
  • Giving advice on all documents and information received.
  • Going through conditions of mortgage offer.
  • Sending final contract for signature.
  • Agreeing completion date.
  • Exchanging contracts.
  • Arranging for all monies needed to be received.
  • Completing purchase.
  • Dealing with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax.
  • Dealing with application for registration at the Land Registry.

We will keep our clients updated as to progress on a regular basis.