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Key stages and typical timescales

Sale

Welcome Pack

We send you all the documents that you need to fill in. This is generally done on the day we have a full instruction from you, i.e. we have from you all of the information that we have requested from you in order to open your file. If instruction is late in the day, then this will in event be done within 24 hours of the same.

Official Copies

We can only apply for official copies once we have the funds from you to do so and these are requested by us as part of your Welcome Pack but, in order to avoid wasting your money in the event of a delay or change of mind by the Buyer, we would normally only apply for these once we receive the details of the transaction from your Estate Agent (if applicable). Official copies are downloaded from the Land Registry website so are instantly available.

As you will see, we do not have control of the timing of all aspects of the above, but we would generally expect to be dealing with this aspect within one week of instruction.

Draft Contract

This is issued to your Buyers’ Solicitors once we have all of the following:-

  • Details from your Estate Agents or, if no Agent, confirmation from you as to the identity of the Buyers’ Solicitors,
  • Completed pre-contract forms from you,
  • Official copies.

As you will see, we do not have control of the timing of all aspects of the above, but we would generally expect to be dealing with this aspect within two weeks of instruction.

Receive Enquiries

Once the Buyers’ Solicitors receives the contract pack from us, they will normally, although not always, raise with us any enquiries that they might have in relation to the property. Once we have these we will deal with them although it is impossible to say how long this will take as it varies on a case by case basis depending on how many enquiries are raised, whether they are issues which can be immediately answered or whether we have to relay them to you or to third parties such as the Land Registry, a Landlord/Management Company, another Solicitor etc. The time taken to raise these enquiries will also vary depending on whether the Buyers are applying for searches, doing a survey of the property and whether they need to first wait to receive a mortgage offer.

As you will see, we do not have control of the timing of all aspects of the above, but we would generally expect to be dealing with this aspect within weeks three to seven after instruction.

Signing the Contract

Once all aspects of the enquiries have been dealt with, the Buyers’ Solicitors will give their approval to the Contract. If you are just selling, we would then send the Contract to you to sign. If you have a simultaneous purchase, then we will generally wait until we can report to you on that at the same time so that you receive one contract package. This is usually sent to you by e-mail although this is not always possible depending on the physical nature of the documents involved.

As you will see, we do not have control of the timing of all aspects of the above, but we would generally expect to be dealing with this aspect within weeks eight to ten after instruction.

Exchange of Contracts

Exchange of Contracts takes place once we hold your signed Contract and your Buyers’ Solicitors hold their signed Contract, all enquiries have been satisfactorily answered and a completion date is agreed in principle. If you are buying onwards or if there is otherwise any chain of transactions involved then exchange can only happen when all parties in the chain are ready to do so.

As you will see, we do not have control of the timing of all aspects of the above, but we would generally expect to be dealing with this aspect within weeks ten to twelve after instruction.

Completion

The completion date is set at the time of exchange. It is entirely up to the parties in the chain as to when completion occurs but it is generally between one and two weeks after the date of exchange. Completion must take place on a working day, i.e. not on a weekend nor a Bank Holiday.

Money Transmission

We will send any money which is due back to you after completion. To allow time to ensure that any mortgage account has been closed and for administrative aspects to be concluded, you should allow three to four working days between completion and the receipt of funds.

Purchase

Welcome Pack

We send you all the documents that you need to fill in. This is generally done on the day we have a full instruction from you, i.e. we have from you all of the information that we have requested from you in order to open your file. If instruction is late in the day, then this will in event be done within 24 hours of the same.

Receipt of draft Contract

The key stage on all purchases is the receipt from the Sellers’ Solicitors of the draft contract pack which would generally include the draft contract, a copy of the legal title to the property and questionnaires completed by the Seller with Law Society approved questions answered. Until we get this Contract pack there is generally very little that we can do on your behalf so, from our perspective, any guidance that we give you at quote stage or during the course of your transaction runs from the time of receipt of these papers.

As you will see, we have no control of the timing of the above as this aspect is dealt with by the Sellers’ Solicitors, but we would generally expect to receive these within one to three weeks of instruction.

Applying for searches

We will apply for searches (if needed) once we have received the draft contract papers and received from you the fees for the search pack and our own administration fee in applying for the above. We will request those fees from you once we get the Contract pack and you should normally expect the search fees to have been requested and the searches applied for within 7 to 10 days of receipt of the Contract papers.

It typically takes two to three weeks for all parts of the search pack to be sent to us.

Receiving your Mortgage Offer

This is a key stage of the transaction if you are taking a mortgage, but we will have no control over when the Offer is received by us so you should liaise entirely with your Mortgage Company or Broker in this respect. We would normally expect to receive the offer within four to six weeks of instruction.

Raising Enquiries

Once we have received the draft contracts, the results of your searches and your mortgage offer, where the latter two are required, we will raise with the Sellers’ Solicitors any legal title enquiries that we might have in relation to the property. Once they have these they will deal with them although it is impossible to say how long this will take as it varies on a case by case basis depending on how many enquiries are raised, whether they are issues which can be immediately answered or whether the Sellers’ Solicitors have to relay them to their client or to third parties such as the Land Registry, a Landlord/Management Company, another Solicitor etc.

As you will see, we do not have control of the timing of all aspects of the above, but we would generally expect to be dealing with this aspect within two to four weeks after receiving draft contract papers.

Receiving Replies to Enquiries

As mentioned above, it is impossible to put a timescale on when we will hear back with replies to enquiries as it will depend on when we raise these and how complicated the issues are which have to be raised. However, we would expect a Sellers’ Solicitor to have fully replied to us within two to four weeks of the enquiries being raised.

Signing the Contract

Once all aspects of the enquiries have been dealt with, we will send you a Report with the Contract to sign and this will explain the terms of the same, any issues of the title that you need to be aware of, the results of the searches and on the terms of your mortgage offer. This is usually sent to you by e-mail although this is not always possible depending on the physical nature of the documents involved.

As you will see, we do not have control of the timing of all aspects of the above, but we would generally expect to be dealing with this aspect within weeks eight to ten after instruction.

Exchange of Contracts

Exchange of Contracts takes place once we hold your signed Contract and your Sellers’ Solicitors hold their signed Contract, all enquiries have been satisfactorily answered and a completion date is agreed in principle. If you are also selling or if there is otherwise any chain of transactions involved then exchange can only happen when all parties in the chain are ready to do so.

As you will see, we do not have control of the timing of all aspects of the above, but we would generally expect to be dealing with this aspect within weeks ten to twelve after instruction.

Complete

The completion date is set at the time of exchange. It is entirely up to the parties in the chain as to when completion occurs but it is generally between one and two weeks after the date of exchange. Completion must take place on a working day, i.e. not on a weekend nor a Bank Holiday.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

We will submit a Land Transaction Return to HM Revenue and Customs. We will do this on the day of completion.

Registration

We will apply for registration of the property in your name(s) and of any mortgage over the property. Submission of our application usually takes place within one month of completion. The time taken to complete this is entirely in the hands of the Land Registry but it will typically take several months after completion before we are able to confirm registration.

Remortgage / Transfer of equity

Welcome Pack

We send you all the documents that you need to fill in. This is generally done on the day we have a full instruction from you, i.e. we have from you all of the information that we have requested from you in order to open your file. If instruction is late in the day, then this will in event be done within 24 hours of the same.

Official Copies

We can only apply for official copies from you once we have the funds from you to do so and these are requested by us as part of your Welcome Pack. Official copies are downloaded from the Land Registry website so are instantly available.

As you will see, we do not have control of the timing of all aspects of the above, but we would generally expect to be dealing with this aspect within one week of instruction.

Receiving your Mortgage Offer

This is a key stage of the transaction if you are taking a mortgage, but we will have no control over when the Offer is received by us and so you should liaise entirely with your Mortgage Company or Broker in this respect. We would normally expect to receive the offer within two to four weeks of instruction.

Applying for searches

We will apply for searches (if needed) once we have received your mortgage offer and received from you the fees for the search pack and our own administration fee in applying for the above. We will request those fees from you once we get the mortgage offer and you should normally expect the search fees to have been requested and the searches applied for within 7 to 10 days of the same.

It typically takes two to three weeks for all parts of the search pack to be sent to us.

Signing Documents

Once all of the above has been dealt with, we will send you a Report with the Mortgage Deed and/or Transfer document to sign and this will explain the terms of the same, any issues of the title that you need to be aware of, the results of the searches and on the terms of your mortgage offer. This is usually sent to you by e-mail although this is not always possible depending on the physical nature of the documents involved.

As you will see, we do not have control of the timing of all aspects of the above, but we would generally expect to be dealing with this aspect within weeks five to seven after instruction.

Completion

The completion date is set and, where there is a mortgage to be drawn down, we have to allow at least five working days to give sufficient notice to the mortgage company to do this. Completion must take place on a working day, i.e. not on a weekend nor a Bank Holiday.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

We will submit a Land Transaction Return to HM Revenue and Customs. We will do this on the day of completion.

Registration

We will apply for registration of the property in your name(s) and of any mortgage over the property. Submission of our application usually takes place within one month of completion. The time taken to complete this is entirely in the hands of the Land Registry but it will typically take several months after completion before we are able to confirm registration.