This page contains a detailed description of Step 1 of the 12-step property sale process
Your solicitor has now been notified that you have been successful in bidding for a property and we have forwarded the important details. You can now expect your solicitor to contact you with an engagement letter, often called a section 68 Letter together with a quote for their services.
There are many reasons why it's important to get legal advice from a practising solicitor and member of the Law Society. From employment law to family law, from making a will to buying a home and much more, when you talk to a solicitor you avail of a range of benefits and protections unique to the solicitors’ profession.
By law, your solicitor must give you information about your legal charges – the money you must pay them for their services. Solicitors’ charges include their fees and any money they pay to another person or an organisation for you. Your solicitor must give you information about their charges and must also write down and give you details of how they will charge you in your particular case. If you have any questions about your charges, ask your solicitor.
When you agree that a solicitor can act for you, for example in a court case or to sell your home, the solicitor must give you the details of your charges in writing as soon as possible.
The information should include: exactly how much your solicitor is charging you, or, if they cannot do
this; is an estimate of how much your solicitor will charge you, or, if they cannot do this; how your charges will be worked out.
How does my solicitor work out my charges?
Your solicitor bases your charges on a number of factors such as: how complicated, urgent and important your matter or case is; how difficult or new the questions about your matter or case are; the skill, specialised knowledge and responsibility of your solicitor and staff involved; the number of hours your solicitor and staff spend on your matter or case; the number and importance of documents they prepare or examine;
the value of any transaction that might be involved; whether your solicitor has to travel to deal with the matter; and
the circumstances in which your solicitor deals with the matter or case.
When you buy or sell a property, the title or ownership will be transferred from the seller to you or vice versa. If you are getting a loan, the mortgage or loan that you get to help you buy the house will also have to be registered. There are many other matters that will need attention.
The quotation you receive in writing will outline the professional fees. The quotation may be for a specific fee or based on an hourly rate. If the quotation is for an hourly rate, you will be given an estimate of the total number of hours the firm is likely to spend working on your purchase.
You will also be told the rate of VAT that you will have to pay on the firm’s fees.
Finally, you will be told the amount of outlays that may be payable to third parties during the transaction. If these amounts are not yet known, you will be given the firm’s best estimate.
Limits to the firm’s quotation
At present, you, the proposed purchaser, may not know much detail about the property. For example, you may not know about the planning permissions that affect it. When you instruct your solicitor and they then get detailed information about the property from the seller’s side or from the title deeds it may be that your transaction is more complicated than had been indicated by your initial information.
New issues may also arise during the course of the purchase. We have provided some examples of some complex issues that might arise. If this happens, a new, separate quote will be given for the additional work. In that case, the final fees will be the total of both quotations if your first quotation was for a particular amount. If the quotation was for an hourly rate, the estimate of the number of hours of work the firm will have to do will have to be increased. You should budget for this possibility.
You should review the quotation received and respond in writing to say you accept the fees and are happy for the solicitor to act. You should also forward the authority you received from lintil.com to allow us to track this transaction on your behalf.
Once you have had an opportunity to review the quotation received, respond in writing to say you accept the fees and are happy for the solicitor to act. You now need to inform the estate agent of your solicitor's contact details.
At present, you, the proposed purchaser, may not know much detail about the property. For example, you may not know about the planning permissions that affect it. If you instruct your solicitor and they then get detailed information about the property from the seller’s side or from the title deeds it may be that your transaction is more complicated than had been indicated by your initial information.
Now you have engaged your solicitor, there are now, two solicitors, an estate agent, two banks, and lintil.com taking this transaction forward.