Buying or selling your home is likely to be the biggest and most exciting financial commitment of your life. That’s why it’s essential to obtain the advice of a solicitor specialised in conveyancing matters to ensure the transaction progresses smoothly, preventing any unnecessary delays, expenses, or stress along the way.
At Frettens Solicitors in Ringwood, we provide bespoke conveyancing services to individuals and families of all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re a first time buyer, you’re looking to remortgage, or you’re a buy to let landlord looking to expand their portfolio, we are on hand to help.
We are accredited in the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme, recognising us as one of the top law firms to offer conveyancing services. With considerable knowledge of the local property market around Ringwood, Bournemouth and across Hampshire, you can trust us to conduct your property transaction skilfully and efficiently.
What our conveyancing solicitors in Ringwood can do for you
Our conveyancing solicitors’ expertise includes:
- Buying a home, including purchases for first time buyers and home movers
- Selling your home
- Buying newbuild property, including buying off plan
- Buying and selling freeholds and leaseholds
- Buy to let conveyancing
- Buying or selling through Government schemes, including Help to Buy and Shared Ownership
- Equity transfer
- Equity release
- Lease extensions and enfranchisement
- Buying or selling at auction
Fixed fee conveyancing
We understand that buying or selling a property can be an expensive time. We can offer the majority of our clients fixed fee conveyancing services for straightforward transactions so you can stay fully in control of your legal fees. This means the figure we quote you at the beginning of your transaction is what you’ll pay at the end.
You may also encounter third party costs along the way (such as Land Registry fees). However, we will make it as clear as possible from the outset what costs to expect during the process and we will always inform you before incurring any unexpected ones.
What does conveyancing mean?
The term “conveyancing” refers to the legal process of transferring ownership (or a share of ownership) of a property to another person. In standard house sales and purchases, there are 3 mains stages to the process:
- Offer and acceptance
This is the point an offer to purchase is made on a property which is accepted by the current owner. Solicitors then need to be instructed to investigate the title to the property, the terms of the lease (if the property is leasehold, as is the case with most flats), undertake searches, draft and review the sale contract (and negotiate if necessary), and provide advice along the way. You’ll also sort out your mortgage (if you need one).
- Exchange of contracts
Once all investigations and contract negotiations are concluded and, provided both parties want to continue with the transaction, the buyer and seller will sign and exchange contracts and the buyer will pay the deposit. You will also agree on a completion date for the final transfer.
Once this is done, neither party can back out without losing the deposit and/or incurring hefty penalties
- Transfer of purchase monies and completion
Between exchange and completion, the buyer’s solicitor will draft the transfer deed (to be reviewed by the seller’s solicitor) and the seller will obtain a figure for the outstanding mortgage from their lender.
On the completion date, the buyer (or their mortgagee) will transfer the remainder of the purchase price to the seller’s solicitor who arranges to pay off any existing mortgages, pays Stamp Duty, and any estate agent fees. They also return the transfer deed to the buyer’s solicitor and arrange for the property keys to be released to the buyer. The buyer’s solicitor will legally register the transfer with the Land Registry and any mortgages will be registered against the title to the property.
How long does conveyancing take?
For straightforward conveyancing matters, the transaction is usually able to complete within 8-12 weeks of an offer to purchase the property being accepted.
Sometimes, delays may extend the process, for example, if there are any issues with the legal title. However, we will always act as swiftly as possible and keep you informed of any issues which could delay completion.
What searches are involved in conveyancing?
Conveyancing searches are undertaken to find out important information about the property. The results of these searches can severely impact the liveability and saleability of a property so it is absolutely essential they are conducted prior to contracts being exchanged.
When purchasing a property, we will undertake various searches, including:
- Local authority searches – to check things like whether the property is a listed building, whether it’s in a conservation area, its planning history, and whether any nearby road or traffic schemes are planned near the property
- Environmental searches – to check things like the property’s risk of flooding and whether it is situated on contaminated land
- Drainage and water searches – to check the property is linked to the local public sewage system and water supply
- Title searches – to check things like the current owner of the property and whether there are any outstanding mortgages
Will I have to pay Stamp Duty?
Stamp Duty Land Tax is always the buyer’s responsibility. You don’t have to pay Stamp Duty if you’re selling a property.
You have to pay Stamp Duty if you’re involved in a land transaction worth more than £125,000 (or £40,000 for second homes). You are exempt from Stamp Duty if you’re a first time buyer up to the value of £300,000.
The standard rates of Stamp Duty are as follows:
- £0 - £125,000 – 0%
- £125,001 - £250,000 – 2%
- £250,001 - £925,000 – 5%
- £925,001 - £1.5 million – 10%
- Over £1.5 million – 12%
For second homes and buy to let properties, the rates are 3% above the standard rate for all properties over £40,000 (for example, a buy to let bought for £300,000 will attract 8% Stamp Duty).
In Wales, you don’t pay Stamp Duty. Instead you pay Land Transaction Tax and the rates and rules are slightly different. However, we can provide clear advice about your likely tax liability upon our instruction.
Will I have to pay Capital Gains Tax?
You will only have to pay Capital Gains Tax when disposing of a second home or buy to let property (a property which isn’t your main residence). The tax only applies to profit, so if your property is in negative equity, you won’t have to pay.
“Disposing” of a property means selling it, giving it away as a gift, swapping it for another asset, or receiving compensation for it (such as an insurance pay out).
Reasons to choose our conveyancing solicitors in Ringwood
At Frettens, we’re proud to serve our local individuals and families in Ringwood and the surrounding area. Although we’re an established firm, we started life as a small family business and we’ve retained our strong community links and people-driven ethos.
Our aim is to conduct your conveyancing matter efficiently and cost-effectively so you can get the legal formalities out of the way and start settling into your new home as soon as possible.
We’ve been recognised for our high quality conveyancing services through the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme. Whether you’re purchasing a property for the first time, remortgaging, or moving house, you can trust our advice to be realistic and reliable and our customer service to be second to none. We’ll keep you up-to-date at every stage of the process and you will always have a direct line to one of our expert legal professionals should you have any queries or concerns.
Frettens Solicitors is independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).