Residential Conveyancing Solicitors

We have offices in Treorchy and Bridgend and offer our services throughout South Wales and beyond. 

Our residential conveyancing service includes:

Conveyancing Online

Many of us have busy lives and prefer to handle our house sale or purchase by email and phone because of time constraints making it difficult to visit us in person. This is often referred to as ‘online conveyancing’ because the main method of communication tends to be email. Many people find this more convenient, because it means you can manage the entire process from home or work without the need to take time out of your day to visit us.

We have the systems and protections in place to ensure that the conveyancing process stays completely safe and secure, no matter how you communicate with us. We also offer the same high level of customer service to every conveyancing client, regardless of whether you deal with us face-to-face, over the phone or by email.

Our conveyancing fees and timescales

We aim to make our fees fair and transparent and will give a complete breakdown of costs at the outset. In the majority of cases, the price we quote at the outset is the same as the final fee you pay.  The only exception is where an unexpected problem arises which requires significant extra work.  If this happens we will inform you straightaway, so you can always keep on top of the costs involved.

When you instruct us the costs will include our professional fees for acting on your behalf and the fees we pay to third parties on your behalf, known as ‘disbursements’. These cover the checks and searches we carry out to make sure there are no problems with the property, as well as other costs, such as the Land Registry transfer fee.

Why use RLE Law?

RLE law has been serving our local communities and beyond for over 80 years, helping people everyday to buy and sell their homes, re-mortgage or do whatever else they need with residential property in Treorchy and Bridgend.  Our residential conveyancing team has built a wealth of experience with clients coming back again and again.

The breadth of experience we have in our team and our local knowledge means we will almost certainly have come across any problem that may crop up and will be able to give you the right solution quickly. This means we can ensure your residential property transaction goes ahead smoothly and on time, saving you time, money and stress.

Our conveyancing team has also achieved the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Mark. This demonstrates the quality of our conveyancing service, giving you peace of mind that all of the legal details will be handled correctly. We were also the firsts firm in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend to be Lexcel accredited by the Law Society, meaning our practice management and customer care has been assessed as meeting the highest standards.

Do I need a solicitor for my conveyancing?

While it is theoretically possible to do your conveyancing yourself, in practice very few people do so. This is because the process is relatively complex and time-consuming and if you do not have the appropriate legal expertise and experience it can be very easy to make a mistake that can cause delay and potentially end up costing you a lot of money. Where a mortgage lender is involved, they are also likely to insist that a solicitor is instructed.

Your questions answered:

Do I need a survey?

A comprehensive survey will ensure that you are fully aware of the condition of the property structure. This would not be revealed in any of the searches that we carry out on your behalf so a survey can provide crucial information.

There are several different types of survey available:

  • A full structural survey is particularly useful for old or large properties. The surveyor will report on everything that is visible. They will examine the outside of the roof and, where possible, a sample floor board will be taken up. The survey will cover the structure of the building, any outbuildings, any nearby trees that may cause damage, water services and drainage. The surveyor may suggest that you should have further tests, for example, if wet or dry rot is suspected.
  • Your lender (building society, bank or other institution) will arrange for a mortgage valuation of the property you are proposing to buy.   You will have to pay for this and it is to assist them in deciding whether or not they are able to lend you money against the security of the property. This valuation is solely for the benefit of your lender and we would recommend that you arrange for a more comprehensive survey.
  • We can also put you in touch with an independent surveyor or you can ask your lender's surveyor to carry out a further survey on your behalf.  There will be additional fee for this and structural surveys can be expensive, so do ask for an estimate and check whether the fee includes the cost of the mortgage valuation.

As there are different types of surveys, we recommend that you speak to your surveyor, explaining your requirements and they will be able to recommend the best type of report. Whichever type of survey you choose, it should be carried out by a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers, or the Architects and Surveyors Institute. If the survey report reveals anything unsatisfactory, it may be possible for you to negotiate with your seller to reduce the asking price.

When buying a property generally, the Contract will normally state that you are taken to know the state and condition of the property.  This maxim is "caveat emptor", i.e. "buyer beware”.  It is therefore important that you carry out all necessary inspections and surveys prior to exchange of Contracts as nothing can be done about any defect which you discover after exchange of contracts.

How long will it take to buy my new house?

On average it takes approximately 8 to 12 weeks from instructing your solicitor to the date of completion. Things can be slowed down if you are obtaining a mortgage and your new lender has particular requirements or if you are in a chain.

In a chain, the slowest party is controlling the speed of all the other parties. If you are selling a property as well, it is likely that you will want to tie your sale and purchase together. This could also slow things down as one is dependent on the other.

How much will the deposit be on a purchase?

Generally you will need to provide a 10% of the purchase price as a deposit, although it can be a lesser amount if both the seller and buyer agree.

If the deposit is less than 10%, there is usually a clause in the contract which states that if the buyer does not proceed to completion following exchange of contracts, then the seller has a right to pursue the buyer for the full 10%.

What happens if I change my mind?

Until exchange of contracts has taken place you can pull out of a sale or purchase at any time. However, any costs that you have incurred will need to be paid e.g. search fees. If a substantial amount of work has been carried out on your behalf, we may need to make a charge for that work (called an abortive fee) but these fees will be at a reduced rate.

Once exchange of contracts has taken place, both parties are legally committed to complete the sale or purchase.

What is completion?

Completion is the day when the buyer become the legal owner of the property. The purchase monies are transferred from the buyer's solicitors to the seller's solicitors.

When the monies are received by the seller's solicitors, any estate agents are instructed to release the keys to the new owners, any existing mortgages are repaid and any title documentation is forwarded by the seller's solicitors to the buyer's solicitors.

What is exchange of contracts?

Exchange of contracts is the stage in your transaction when a binding contract comes into existence. Before exchange, no contract exists between the buyer and seller, and either is free to change his or her mind about the transaction.

Once exchange of contracts has taken place, a binding contract exists and neither party can withdraw without incurring liability for breach of contract. This is usually a financial penalty e.g. the loss of the deposit monies. Where a deposit of less than 10% of the sale/purchase price has been paid, the defaulting party is still liable for the full 10%.

What is Land Transaction Tax?

In April 2018, Land Transaction Tax (LTT) replaced UK Stamp Duty Land Lax (SDLT) in Wales.  This tax applies to both freehold and leasehold properties – whether you’re buying outright or with a mortgage.

In Wales, you are liable to pay Land Transaction Tax (LTT) when you buy a residential property, or piece of land costing more than £180,000 (or more than £40,000 for second homes).

What searches are carried out and when?

On your purchase, searches are carried out at two stages: pre-exchange and pre-completion.

The pre-exchange searches undertaken are with public bodies e.g. the Local Authority, Drainage Authority, Environment Agency etc.

These searches reveal information about the property such as any planning restrictions, tree preservation orders, local developments which may affect the property, whether or not the property is connected to mains water and drainage.

Pre-completion searches are carried out at the Land Registry and Plymouth Land Charges Department.

Dependent on where a property is and any specific lender requirements, additional searches may be required e.g. Coal Mining, Flood Risk. We will advise you of any additional searches that are required.

To speak to one of our experts please get in touch