- What is the status of a deposit and how much will it be?
A booking deposit of between 3-5% of the purchase price is typically required to be paid to the vendor?s estate agent. That booking deposit is fully refundable if the purchaser does not proceed to subsequently sign the contract.
When the purchaser signs the contract, they are generally required to pay a further deposit to the vendor?s solicitor (bringing the total deposit paid up to 10% of the purchase price). Once the vendor returns the signed contract to the purchaser, the purchaser?s deposit is no longer refundable if the vendor is ready and able to complete the sale in accordance with the terms of the contract.
- When am I legally required to complete the sale/purchase?
The purchaser generally signs the contract first and returns it to the seller. Once the seller has signed and returned that signed contract to the purchaser, both parties are bound to proceed with the sale/purchase.
- When should I contact a solicitor as a seller?
The earlier the better. The vendor?s solicitor will need to review the title documents for the property and prepare a draft contract. If the property is subject to a mortgage, those title documents will be held by the vendor?s bank and often it can take up to two weeks to obtain those title documents from the bank. Depending on what issues arise from the review of the title documents by the vendor?s solicitor, additional documents may be required in order to satisfy a purchaser?s solicitor with regard to the title being sold.
- How much stamp duty is payable?
Stamp duty is calculated at 1% of the sales price up to ?1,000,000 and 2% thereafter.
In the case of a commercial property, stamp duty is charged at a rate of 7.5% of the purchase price.
The purchaser is responsible for paying any stamp duty due in connection with the purchase.
- How long will the transaction take to complete?
The average conveyance will take some 6-8 weeks after the sale has gone sale agreed. However, if complications arise, there can be delays and the parties should bear this in mind.
- Can you use the same firm or solicitor to deal with a conveyance on behalf of both the buyer and seller?
As a general rule, solicitors are prohibited by statutory regulation from acting for both the buyer and seller in a property conveyance transaction. This may seem like adding an unnecessary additional expense by having to instruct two sets of solicitors, particularly, if the parties are part of the same family. However, this rule is in place is to protect vulnerable parties, by ensuring that they receive adequate independent advice. The main exception is the transfer of a family home owned by one spouse into the joint names of that owner and his/her spouse.