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Waughs Solicitors

serving east grinstead since 1968

Waughs Solicitors Conveyancing


Conveyancing is the legal term used to describe buying and selling property.

Waughs are  members of the Law Society Regulated Conveyancing Quality Scheme.

Buying or selling your home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make and can be a stressful experience.

We aim to guide you through the legal maze so that your move takes place as quickly as possible and with the minimum of fuss.

Waughs Solicitors deal with all aspects of buying, selling and re-mortgaging both freehold and leasehold residential properties. We have many years of conveyancing experience and a wealth of local knowledge.

You can be assured that the legal title to your property will be looked at thoroughly and you will deal with the same person throughout your transaction. We will keep in close contact with you so that you know what is going on at all times.

Range of Conveyancing Services

The conveyancing services we carry out include not only buying, selling and remortgaging freehold and leasehold residential properties, but we also deal with land transfers, equity release conveyancing and miscellaneous smaller land transactions which may either be "stand alone" land sales or ancillary to other residential conveyancing work that we carry out.


Generally, Waughs charges for residential conveyancing are as follows:

Up to £400,000 : £925 (Excluding VAT and disbursements).

For example - a leasehold flat: £925 plus VAT (fixed fee for the legal work). This does not include the cost of searches, banking fees of £35 plus VAT per transfer, Land Registry Fee and Stamp Duty Land Tax, which will be charged on top of our fixed fee for the legal work.

Over £400,000 : 0.1% of purchase or sale price + £500 (Excluding VAT and disbursements).

For example - Purchase Price £ £850,000 x 0.1% = £850 plus £500 = totalling £1,350  plus VAT

Our fees quote does not include disbursements;  we list the disbursements we expect to incur which include items such as search fees,  stamp duty, banking fees , management packs and indemnity policies. This list is not exhaustive; a number of these items are calculated on the value of the property, for example:

1. Searches – around £400.
2. Stamp Duty – based on the purchase price.

If the buyer is a first-time buyer there is no Stamp Duty Land Tax payable up to £300,000 and then 5% on the portion from £300,001 to £500,000. If a purchaser is buying the property as a buy-to-let investment or a second home, higher rates of tax apply and other factors such as a shared ownership property may have a bearing upon this as well. During the pandemic the Government adjusted the Stamp Duty Land Tax rates in order to stimulate the property market; whilst this is now at an end it may be possible that there will be further such adjustments in the future and, in any event, Stamp Duty Land Tax is dependent upon announcements made by the Chancellor at the time of the budget and can, therefore, vary. We may need to know more regarding your financial circumstances to reach a view upon issues of Stamp Duty Land Tax and any work regarding this which is complex will be carried out at our hourly rates with your prior agreement. We seek assistance from local accountants who can assist you with an assessment at an agreed fee – or you may well have your own accountant as well.

3. Banking fees - £35 plus VAT per transfer.
4. Leasehold – the managing agent's managing pack – normally from £100-£300 but can exceed this sum.
5. Freeholder – with some leasehold transactions a freeholder/landlord's pack is also required.
6. Deed of covenant fee - £100 plus – this is a fee payable to the freeholder and not set by Waughs.
7. Compliance certificate due to a restriction on the title – normally £100 plus but depending on the actual requirements.
8. Sale – title download – normally from £60-£20.
9. Additional searches, for example, a flood search, chancel – fee to be confirmed.

Please note these are typical examples and there may be other scenarios where disbursements will be incurred.

A number of properties in this area have septic tanks and on occasions we recommend the tanks should be inspected by a qualified waste surveyor to advise upon issues that may become important in negotiations with the seller, should the tank require extensive work. A septic tank that is polluting the waterway can lead to prosecution, so it is important these peripheral matters are also investigated at the time of purchase, or rectified at the time of sale.

Equity Release

Regarding equity release conveyancing, our role is to advise the householder who is undertaking the equity release arrangements in relation to the terms of the arrangement, but also to put into effect the residential conveyancing side of that matter.

This is usually relatively straightforward and, in any event, you will obtain your own advice from the providers of the equity release scheme as part of the equity release arrangement and, quite often, your own independent financial adviser.

Our role is to deal with the conveyancing aspect of the matter upon your behalf, and we deal with a number of the equity release provisions in this respect. Ed Roos deals, in particular, with Canada Life Equity Release conveyancing documentation.


We charge £500-600 for dealing with the remortgage of a property; in terms of timescale, these are usually more rapid than a sale/purchase, but still involves extensive liaison with your mortgage company, the title of the property being checked and other issues that may have arisen during the time that you owned the property.

Typical disbursements in relation to a remortgage may be the cost of the searches in relation to the property being remortgaged; usually £350-400, Land Registry fees based upon the Land Registry scale and, in any event, we need copies of the Land Registry title at £6 plus VAT, bankruptcy searches and other disbursements such as office copy entries and leasehold and office copy lease if required. The costs of these vary, but can be as much as £30 plus VAT. With leasehold properties it can become more difficult in the sense that we also need a leasehold management pack with a typical cost being around £200 plus VAT. These types of transactions vary in cost as it is dependent upon the arrangements that the freeholders of the property have made and put in place.

Notices are often required to be served upon the managing agents and lender and that can give rise to additional disbursements as well – usually between £40-100 plus VAT. This is not known until we see the management pack.

The timescale depends upon what conditions are imposed in the mortgage offer. As outlined on this page, we are very dependent upon information from third parties; however, we are not usually dependent upon any linked transaction and, therefore, these transactions are generally faster and we would estimate a period of from 3 weeks to 8 weeks from receipt of the mortgage offer depending upon the complexities referred to above.

If the matter becomes unduly complex, we reserve the right to adjust our initial estimate to reflect the circumstances of the transaction.

This can be for a variety of reasons and we would advise you if we became aware such issues could arise. Examples include extensive difficulty in contacting or tracing Freehold Managing Agents, locating and tracing executors or absent freeholders, or unregistered titles. We would also advise you if, for example, we became aware of a leasehold property requiring a lease extension application. Although now relatively rare, we may be dealing with the conveyance (and registration) of unregistered land. If so, we will let you have an estimate of costs and disbursements before we commence work. Ordinarily we would be able to carry out the work in accordance with our quote.

Services not included in the conveyancing retainer

We are not tax experts, and only deal with mainstream conveyancing related Stamp Duty Land Tax – for example as per a purchase transaction, we therefore do not make applications for tax refunds, nor do we advise on eligibility for any tax refund, complex Stamp Duty tax mitigation, or multiple dwellings relief and for this, you are advised to seek the opinion of a specialist tax advisor.

Waughs do not engage in price negotiations, market values or the physical condition of a property, or any structural issues, and you are advised to seek the opinion of an expert estate agent or surveyor.

Whilst Waughs provide an environmental search report, as well as a planning report detailing planning applications in the area, we do not advise on both reports as these are of a non-legal nature, and outside our expertise.

All quotes for legal work and disbursements (searches, Stamp Duty Land Tax, banking fees, lease management packs, freeholder packs and free holder fees) are in addition to the legal work as quoted.


As a general guide, we refer you to what is said on our Timescales page dealing with issues of timescales generally.

Timescales in conveyancing are difficult to predict as you are dependent upon so many other different agencies, institutions and other buyers and sellers who may be involved in the chain in which your own transaction is involved.

The uncertainties in this situation have increased, as well as timescales extended, due to the effect of the pandemic and, as yet, as a consequence of that, and other related matters, our experience shows that, by and large, timescales are extended.
You will be aware that no party in a chain is contractually committed until there is an exchange of contracts that moves up and down the chain. Prior to that, it is open to any party to withdraw from the transaction, thus creating significant delay and difficulty within the chain.

Clearly, if there is only one buyer and one seller, matters will move far more quicky, but there can still be delays if, for example, a purchaser has difficulties with their financing for the purchase, ie, mortgage issues, which can arise prior to exchange of contracts and, again, there are further delays as the financial institutions have been taking longer to reach decisions or provide clarifications in relation to a mortgage application and before an exchange of contracts. There are other issues such as, for example, matters raised within a surveyor's report that can also cause significant delay, particularly if issues have to be reported to mortgage lenders.

Ordinarily, we represent both the purchaser and their mortgage company on a purchase (on some transactions mortgage companies are advised separately by a third firm of solicitors) and if anything arises that might, in turn, affect the mortgage company's future interest in the property, under the requirements specified by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, we have to report matters to them and, where relevant, provide further information to enable them to review their decision in relation to a mortgage application. Accordingly, the timescale in your transaction depends very much upon the situation of the other parties in the transaction and the institutions they work with.

Further to what we have said above regarding a chain and the various parties involved; the average process in normal circumstances, where the transaction is straightforward and there is a short/non-complex chain for a freehold purchase, can take between 8-12 weeks, but we can only move at the speed of the slowest party in the chain. There may be additional factors such as a lease extension transaction or if there are defects in the title that we have to discuss both with you and your lenders. These complications do increase the typical time and we can only keep you informed of timing as the transaction unfolds.

Key stages


  • Instructions from estate agents, receive sales memo
  • Issue contact papers to buyers' Solicitor
  • Attend to enquiries
  • Obtain charge redemption statements
  • Exchange
  • Complete, redeem charges, settle estate agent's bill
  • Where relevant – account to client


  • Instructions from the estate agent
  • Discussion of funding
  • Source of funds and source of wealth check
  • Receive contract pack from the seller's Solicitor, raise enquiries
  • Deal with funding – mortgage offer
  • Report once in receipt of satisfactory replies to enquiries
  • Exchange
  • Complete, including obtaining moneys
  • Registration of title
  • Stamp Duty and Land Tax, where applicable

Abortive Fees

Abortive fees only arise where either, after searches and enquires, you decide not to proceed with the transaction, or where, for example, the chain collapses. These may also arise if we discover that there is a defective title. We are, of course, fully aware that you have incurred expenses such as searches, surveyor's fees, and fees paid to your mortgage funders. We will have carried out work upon your behalf prior to the transaction going abortive. We ordinarily charge a fee of up to £500 plus VAT, although this depends upon at what stage in the transaction it becomes abortive, together with any disbursements incurred up to the point of the matter not proceeding.


Whether we are acting upon a remortgage, a sale/purchase or leasehold transaction, we provide an estimate of our fees and also disbursements that we are likely to incur at the outset of the transaction and when you first instruct us. These estimates are subject to any unforeseen matters arising – examples of which we have already provided above – and we notify you if we are in a situation where unexpected issues arise – again as detailed above – and where we may have to revise our estimate. An example of this would be if we note during the investigation of the title upon your behalf that an indemnity policy is required, or if there are other defects with the title that require rectification; we would advise you of this and give you an indication of the likely fee.

For more information please telephone Ed Roos, his assistant Veronica Chesson or Clare Lumley on 01342 323545 or email us at enquiries@waughs-solicitors.co.uk


Law society Cenveyancing Quality Scheme