Conveyancing Solicitors in Chelmsford, Colchester, Essex - FJG 
Solicitors in Essex, Colchester, Chelmsford, London – Fisher Jones Greenwood
Services for you

Our solicitors offer friendly and professional legal advice over a wide range of areas and issues. From our network of offices across Essex and London we are able to help you and your family in all walks of life, no matter when it is that you are in need of a solicitor.

Conveyancing

There are many aspects to selling or buying a house and a number of different people involved. The Conveyancing Solicitor or Conveyancer, apart from their legal responsibilities, sits at the centre making sure that everything is done and co-ordinates both the individual transaction and the chain of transactions. That’s why it’s so important to get the right conveyancing solicitor and at Fisher Jones Greenwood our aim is to guide you through moving home, handle the sale and/or purchase of your house in a professional and efficient manner, keep you informed at all times and make the whole process as stress free as possible.

Our team of qualified Solicitors and Conveyancers offer a wealth of experience in handling house sales, purchases, leases and land transactions, having dealt with around 3000 transactions each year.

We are conveniently based in the town centres of Chelmsford, Clacton, Colchester and Billericay and also at Colchester Business Park near the A12 (this office has free parking). Additionally we have an office on Fleet Street in Central London. Plus we offer out of hours and Saturday morning appointments from some offices to make things easier for our clients.

Comments by our Conveyancing clients:

“I was very pleased with the service. It was easy to understand and I always knew what was happening. An excellent, professional, helpful and friendly team.”

“This is the 5th property I’ve bought and this was by far the easiest, mainly due to your company”. “Excellent and friendly. Thanks for ensuring the smooth sale of my property.”

 

The following explanation aims to explain what is involved and what each party does.

Sales

The seller of a property will have found a buyer either privately or through an estate agent. The solicitor/conveyancer should be instructed as early as possible (even before a buyer is found). The conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor must get the deeds which are usually held by a mortgage company. This in itself can take a couple of weeks depending on the lender so it is a waste of time to do this after a buyer has been found. The mortgage company might make a charge for sending deeds but if the property is to be sold anyway it is well worth getting them early.

The seller must complete a Property Information Form and a Fittings and Fixtures Schedule. These forms will be sent to the buyer giving information about the property and a list of what fittings are included in the sale price (and what is available for separate negotiation). Again these can be completed at an early stage.

For more about selling your house or to get a conveyancing quote use these links.

Purchases

After finding a property the buyer must tell the estate agents which conveyancing solicitor is to act. The agents then tell the buyer’s solicitor which solicitor is acting for the seller. The two sets of solicitors then make contact.

The buyer’s solicitor will ask for some money from the buyer up front to cover the cost of the local and drainage searches.

The seller’s solicitor sends the buyer’s solicitor the draft contracts (see above), copies of the title deeds and the Property Information and Fixtures and Fittings Forms. The buyer’s solicitor reports to the buyer on these documents (usually sending copies). Local and drainage search requests are sent off.

The buyer must arrange finances at this stage. This will usually mean a mortgage. Surveys are done and any necessary life assurance proposals are made. The mortgage offer is then issued. Usually this goes directly to the buyer from the mortgage company. A copy is sent to the buyer’s solicitor together with instructions to the solicitor on any particular research the mortgage company wants.

Only when the mortgage is arranged and it is known that all conditions can be met, the searches are returned and clear, the life assurance and buildings insurance are in place can exchange of contracts take place.

The buyer signs the contract and gives the deposit to the solicitor. Deposits used to be 10% of the purchase price but commonly 5% is acceptable. It is important to understand the word “deposit” in the legal sense. Most people regard “deposit” as the difference between the purchase price and the mortgage i.e. the money that is being put into the purchase. In the legal sense it is an amount of money paid to the seller’s solicitor to guarantee performance of the contract. If the contract is broken, the seller can in some circumstances forfeit the deposit. Whatever is paid by deposit is deducted from the moneys paid over on completion; if a deposit of 5% is paid, the balance of 95% is paid on completion.

Each party signs an identical contract. Exchange of contracts takes place by the solicitors dating the contracts and swapping copies. Before exchange the completion date must be agreed and it is inserted in the contract at the time of exchange. The seller and buyer do not need to be present at exchange.

The buyer’s solicitor now requests the mortgage monies and sends a completion statement to the buyer showing how much more money is needed. Final searches are made. These are a bankruptcy search against the buyer and a Land Registry search to make sure that nothing has been added to the copy title deeds which the buyer’s solicitor has already seen.

On the morning of completion the buyer’s solicitor telegraphs money to the seller’s solicitor and on receipt the keys are released to the buyer.

Still have questions about our conveyancing services? Contact us today to find out more or visit or Conveyancing FAQs page.

Fisher Jones Greenwood now offers conveyancing from the Colchester, Clacton, Billericay and Chelmsford offices.

After finding a house the buyer must tell the estate agents which solicitors/conveyancers are to act. The agents then tell the buyer’s solicitor or conveyancer which solicitor conveyancer is acting for the seller. The two sets of solicitors/conveyancers then make contact.

The buyer’s solicitor will ask for some money from the buyer up front to cover the cost of the local and drainage searches.

The seller’s solicitor sends the buyer’s solicitor the draft contracts (see above), copies of the title deeds and the Property Information and Fixtures and Fittings Forms. The buyer’s solicitor reports to the buyer on these documents (usually sending copies). Local and drainage search requests are sent off.

The buyer must arrange finances at this stage. This will usually mean a mortgage. Surveys are done and any necessary life assurance proposals are made. The mortgage offer is then issued. Usually this goes directly to the buyer from the mortgage company. A copy is sent to the buyer’s solicitor together with instructions to the solicitor on any particular research the mortgage company wants.

Only when the mortgage is arranged and it is known that all conditions can be met, the searches are returned and clear, the life assurance and buildings insurance are in place can exchange of contracts take place.

The buyer signs the contract and gives the deposit to the solicitor. Deposits used to be 10% of the purchase price but commonly 5% is acceptable. It is important to understand the word “deposit” in the legal sense. Most people regard “deposit” as the difference between the purchase price and the mortgage i.e. the money that is being put into the purchase. In the legal sense it is an amount of money paid to the seller’s solicitor to guarantee performance of the contract. If the contract is broken, the seller can in some circumstances forfeit the deposit. Whatever is paid by deposit is deducted from the moneys paid over on completion; if a deposit of 5% is paid, the balance of 95% is paid on completion.

Each party signs an identical contract. Exchange of contracts takes place by the solicitors dating the contracts and swapping copies. Before exchange the completion date must be agreed and it is inserted in the contract at the time of exchange. The seller and buyer do not need to be present at exchange.

The buyer’s solicitor now requests the mortgage monies and sends a completion statement to the buyer showing how much more money is needed. Final searches are made. These are a bankruptcy search against the buyer and a Land Registry search to make sure that nothing has been added to the copy title deeds which the buyer’s solicitor has already seen.

On the morning of completion the buyer’s solicitor telegraphs money to the seller’s solicitor and on receipt the keys are released to the buyer.

Thinking of buying a house but not sure about the conveyancing costs? Visit of Get a Conveyancing Quote page to find out exactly how much our services will cost you.

Fisher Jones Greenwood now offers conveyancing from the Colchester, Clacton, Billericay and Chelmsford offices.

When selling a house the owner will have found a buyer either privately or through an estate agent. The solicitor/conveyancer should be instructed as early as possible (even before a buyer is found). The solicitor conveyancer must get the deeds which are usually held by a mortgage company. This in itself can take a couple of weeks depending on the lender so it is a waste of time to do this after a buyer has been found. The mortgage company might make a charge for sending deeds but if the property is to be sold anyway it is well worth getting them early.

The seller must complete a Property Information Form and a Fittings and Fixtures Schedule. These forms will be sent to the buyer giving information about the property and a list of what fittings are included in the sale price (and what is available for separate negotiation). Again these can be completed at an early stage. The forms can be found on this website. Click on the links below for a Property Information Form or a Fittings and Fixtures Schedule.

They can be completed, printed out, signed and sent to us. It is best not to email them to us as the buyer will want to see an original signature on the forms.

To find out how much conveyancing costs would be for selling your house, visit our Get a Conveyancing Quote page, enter your details, and we will reply to you as soon as possible.

Fisher Jones Greenwood now offer conveyancing from the Colchester, Clacton, Billericay and Chelmsford offices.

Useful forms

Seller’s Property Information Form
Seller’s Leasehold Information Form (Note this form only needs to be completed when selling a leasehold property)
Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form

Exemptions

Not everyone has to pay Inheritance tax. The main exemptions are as follows:

  • Transfers between spouses. These are wholly exempt where
    a) both parties are domiciled in the UK; or
    b) if both parties are domiciled outside the UK; or
    c) if the transferee(the person to whom the gift is made) only is domiciled in the UK
  • Charities. There is no limit on the amount that can be given to charity and gifts to charities are wholly exempt up to any amount provided certain conditions are not breached. We can advise on these
  • Gifts to political parties. Again, there is no limit on the amount which can be given so long as certain conditions are not breached
  • Gifts for national purposes etc. There is a list of 19 bodies and institutions specified in Schedule 3 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 and a few examples are set out below. Gifts to any one or more of these bodies are exempt without limit. The National Gallery; The British Museum; any other similar national institution; any library, local authority, government department, university or university college in the United Kingdom
  • Gifts for public benefit. Gifts without limit can be made to bodies not established or conducted for profit such as land which is of outstanding scenic, historic or scientific interest

Reliefs

Both business property and agricultural property receive favourable treatment.

  1. Business Property relief. To qualify, the property must be “relevant business property” and must have been owned by the transferor for the period of two years immediately preceding death. Where death occurs after 10 March 1992, relief is given by reducing the value of the asset by 100%. Prior to 10 March 1992, the relief was 50%. We can advise on “qualifying relevant business property”.
  2. Agricultural Property relief. Agricultural property is defined as “agricultural land or pasture and includes woodland and any buildings used in connection with the intensive rearing of livestock or fish if the woodland or building is occupied with agricultural land or pasture and the occupation is ancillary to that of the agricultural land or pasture; and also includes such cottages, farm buildings and farmhouses, together with the land occupied with them as are of a character appropriate to the property”. Where death occurs after 10 March 1992 relief is given by reducing the value of the property by 100% certain conditions apply. Prior to that date the relief was 50%.

Fisher Jones Greenwood now offers conveyancing from the Colchester, Clacton, Billericay and Chelmsford offices.

To find out how much conveyancing costs would be for selling a house, buying a house or both, please enter your details below and we will respond as soon as possible. All fields are mandatory.

Have a question? Call 0845 543 5700 to speak with our a member of our conveyancing team.

Your Details

Full Name

Email Address

Telephone Number

Address

Town

Postcode


Property Details

Are you making a sale or a purchase?

SalePurchaseSale and Purchase


Details of the property you are selling


FreeholdLeasehold


Details of the property you are buying



FreeholdLeasehold


 

We offer a comprehensive planning consultancy service in addition to our standard conveyancing service. With expertise in a wide range of residential planning matters, our specialist planning and enforcement manager is able to assist with all planning related issues.

Our planning specialist Sharon Smith has over 25 years of experience and expertise and has considerable skill working for private clients, action groups and resident groups.

Specialisms

  • General client advice for all planning related matters
  • Residential extensions
  • Preparation and submission of planning applications and appeals
  • Planning conditions, legal agreements and community infrastructure levy (CIL)
  • Preparation of letters of objection in respect of applications and appeals
  • Attendance at town and parish council meetings and planning committee meetings
  • Expert witness statements

If you would like more information on any of our planning services or feel we could help with any issue or query you may have, please get in touch with our team today on 01206 835236 or email ssmith@fjg.co.uk.

How long does a conveyance take?

If there are no problems and no chain, exchange is about 2 – 3 weeks from the buyer’s solicitor receiving the contract. Completion is usually about 2 weeks after exchange. However bear in mind that if you are part of a chain of transactions, the chain will only move at the speed of the slowest link. This could prolong the process.

Do I need a survey?

Yes is the simple answer. If you are having a mortgage, the mortgage company will carry out a survey or valuation. This will not be very detailed and you may not even see it. A Home Buyer’s Report or a structural survey is advisable. In fact most people do not do this but it is “buyer beware” and if you buy a house with a problem, it will be difficult to hold the seller responsible.

How much does a conveyancer cost?

This varies with the price of the property. Phone us and we can give an estimate of the costs and disbursement (stamp duty, search fees etc.). Solicitor’s costs on leasehold properties are higher than for freeholds as there is a lot of extra work involved. Stamp duty starts for residential purchases over £125,000 at 2% of the purchase price. To find out current HMRC rates, please click here. Please note that the commercial property rate bands are different. To find out how much conveying would cost you buy or sell a house, visit our Get a Conveyancing Quote page.