Help to Buy Conveyancing Solicitors
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Help to Buy Solicitors

07/04/2022
9,600
6 min read
Help to Buy solicitors or conveyancers carry out the legal work when a first time buyer is using the Government Help to Buy scheme to purchase a new build property or when you pay off your Help to Buy loan. We cover off the purchase in this article, however click here if you are looking for Help to Buy Redemption Solicitors.

What is the Help to Buy Conveyancing Process

Here is a brief summary of the process for a first time buyer.

    1

    Reserve a new build property under Help to buy Scheme

You can click here to search for properties in your area - South, Midlands and London, North.


    2

    Obtain Authority to Proceed



    3

    Get a Help to Buy Mortgage



    4

    Standard conveyancing process

The 2 differences are that the property is a new build so the property is being registered for the first time at the Land Registry and the Developer's Solicitor normally applies a time limit to get to exchange; circa 28 to 35 days. Read more - What is the conveyancing process?.


    5

    Solicitor gets Authority to Exchange (ATE)



    6

    Completion (collect keys and move in)

With a new build you either complete on a set date agreed on exchange or on notice at a future date once the property has been built.


The Help to Buy conveyancing process is more complex than a standard conveyancing because of the additional contract you have with the Government, which is providing an Equity Loan. There may also be a Government Help to Buy ISA to be redeemed by your solicitor if you have been paying money into this.

Help to Buy has been extended to 2023, however from April 2021, the scheme is to be restricted to first time buyers only and there are new regional caps. Click on Help to Buy extended to 2023 for more information.

Help to Buy Solicitors Fees

The solicitors fees vary depending on whether you are buying a new build or if this is a help to buy redemption. You will pay more for your Help to Buy conveyancing solicitors' fees because the property you are buying is a new build.

Help to Buy Conveyancing Solicitors: Help to Buy ISA
  • Help to Buy Conveyancing Purchase. The solicitors fees range from £865 to £1,500 INC VAT and will need to include the work on a new build and solicitors knowledgeable in Help to Buy.
  • Help to Buy Repayment Solicitor fees. The solicitors fees range from £459 to £900 INC VAT, however these fees may increase if you are transferring equity to a partner to add them onto the legal title or if you are refinancing by getting a mortgage. Leaseholds are also more expensive.

Example of Help to Buy Solicitors Fees

This is an example of conveyancing fees for a purchase for £250,000:

Description
Cost
Stamp Duty Land Tax
Your stamp duty liability is estimated based on the total consideration being paid of £250,000 and your stamp duty declaration is: first time buyer. Let me know if this is not correct or you can use our online stamp duty calculator by clicking here.
 
You are responsible for paying the correct stamp duty based on your own circumstances at the prevailing rate set by the Government at the date of your completion. You should call HMRC for help with Stamp Duty Land Tax queries and to confirm your own personal liability on 0300 200 3510 Opening times: 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (closed weekends).
£0
Non-UK Resident SDLT Surcharge
From the 1st April 2021 you must pay a 2% surcharge if you are a Non-UK Resident. Read the Government guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rates-of-stamp-duty-land-tax-for-non-uk-residents
 
£TBC
Land Registration
The Land Registry cost is based on the purchase price of £250,000 and the property is a new build. Read about the Land Registry Fees.
£330
Residential Property Searches
Our search bundle includes a regulated local authority, regulated water and drainage, environmental and ChancelCheck. These searches contain information about your property and satisfy the requirements of the mortgage lender (if applicable). Once searches are ordered we will confirm the turnaround time of the searches as each local authority has a different time.
£265 INC VAT
Online ID Check
Chargeable per client.
£15
Priority and Bankruptcy Land Registry Searches
£10
Help-to-Buy or Lifetime ISA (per ISA, if applicable)
£60
Lawyer Checker (if required)
If the solicitor acting for the seller is unknown to your solicitor then they will complete a Lawyer Checker search to confirm the details of the solicitor to prevent the risk of fraud.
£18
Payments to freeholder (if leasehold)
such as Notice fees, licence to assign or engrossment fees
When buying a leasehold property your solicitor will need to give notice to the freeholder that you are the new owner of the leasehold property after you complete. The freeholder will charge a notice fee, and potentially an engrossment fee, for doing this and your solicitor will confirm the cost of this to you once they receive the management pack from the seller's solicitors. These fees are payable to the freeholder and aren't negotiable.
£TBC

Frequently Asked Questions

With the purchase of a Help to Buy property it is better to find a solicitor who is:

  • Competent with the complexity of new build
  • Understands the Help to Buy process
  • Has Excellent reviews on Trustpilot

The whole of the conveyancing process can be completed remotely so there is no need to have a solicitor near you.

  • Complex Process. The solicitor has to report to Help to Buy to get Authority to Exchange, once exchanged and after completion; handling at each any replies or refusals. The time in chasing can extend the process by 1 to 2 hours, especially if the transaction is working toward a tight time frame.
  • New Build. A new build takes longer as this is a first registration and the solicitor will review bundles of documents. This can be further complicated when the property is leasehold and the management company that acts on behalf of the freeholder has yet to be set up.
  • Short Timeframe. Factoring in the above, the additional variable is the timeframe new builds need to be exchanged by. The solicitor needs to prioritise your case to meet with the developer's deadline and also handle the additional work.

Factoring all of the above the solicitor will spend more time on your file and should charge accordingly.

 
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