House Sales and Purchases

House Sales and Purchases Conveyancing Cumbria, Carlisle Wigton

Our teams in Carlisle and Wigton will guide you through the process of buying or selling your home or investment property. We aim to provide a friendly, personal service and also to be pro-active in the conveyancing process. In May 2011, Atkinson Ritson was one of the first Cumbrian practices to secure membership of the Law Society's Conveyancing Quality Scheme - the mark of excellence for the home selling and buying process.

We also undertake more complex work relating to residential property such as the development of sites and plot sales for developers and also advise tenants on the process of leasehold enfranchisement or lease extensions.

  • Sales
  • Purchases
  • Buy to lets
  • Assured Shorthold Tenancies
  • Re-mortgages
  • Development sites and plot sales
  • Transfer of Equity
  • Leasehold Enfranchisement
  • Lease Extensions


Residential Conveyancing Fees (as at 11th September 2023) (20% VAT rate)

Professional Fee

Price Fees Range VAT Total
Up to £125,000 £650.00 £130.00 £780.00
£125,001 to £175,000 £725.00 £145.00 £870.00
£175,001 to £250,000 £800.00 £160.00 £960.00
£250,001 to £300,000 £900.00 £180.00 £1080.00
£300,001 to £400.000 £1000.00 £200.00  £1200.00
£400,001 to £500,000 £1150.00 £230.00 £1380.00
£500,000 and over At the discretion of the directors
Remortgages £550.00 (Basic fee only) £110.00 £660.00
Shared Ownership Leases £900.00 (Basic fee only) £180.00 £1080.00

The professional charges shown above are for guidance only and are based on the following assumptions:

  • we shall be acting for a single person in the sale or purchase of a single dwelling house in England within one registered freehold title;
  • this is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise including for example (but not limited to) a defect in title which requires remedying prior to completion or the preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction;
  • the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complications arise;
  • all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation;
  • there is no chain of parties involved (ie. the transaction is not dependent on one or more related transactions proceeding).
  • Evidence of planning and building regulations compliance is available;
  • In leasehold transactions only, that the transaction involves the assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease;

In all transactions our fee estimate will depend on the detailed instructions we are given and a written fee estimate shall be provided for approval prior to us commencing work and we will give you notice of any variations to that fee estimate during the transaction together with an explanation as to why the variation is required;

Additional charges:

Any professional charges incurred for additional work carried out which was not part of the work anticipated in our initial fee estimate shall be charged for at our standard hourly rates. The hourly rates of the advisors who are most likely to be involved in our work for you are set out below:

Fee Earner

  • Directors and Solicitors over 8 years qualification £250.00 plus VAT of £50.00.
  • Solicitors & Legal Executives £215.00 - £230.00 plus VAT of £43.00- £46.00
  • Other Fee Earners £200.00 plus VAT of 0.00£

Leasehold Properties – A minimum professional fee of £250.00 plus VAT of £50.00 will be payable on the sale or purchase of any leasehold property in addition to the normal conveyancing charge. The fee estimate on all sales and purchases of leasehold matters will be subject to review once we have seen the form of lease so that we may ascertain as to whether there are lease extension/valuation issues likely to arise.

Newbuild Properties - A minimum professional fee of £500.00 plus VAT of £100.00 will be payable on the sale or purchase of any residential newbuild property in addition to the normal conveyancing charge. This will be subject to review once we have received full documentation to review. 


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as search fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. There are certain disbursements which will be set out in the individual lease relating to the Property. The disbursements which we anticipate will apply on the purchase of a freehold property are set out separately below.

Disbursements on Sales

On a sale of a freehold residential property with a registered title the disbursements will include the cost of obtaining an up to date Office Copy Entry of title and filed plan from the Land Registry which costs £6 plus VAT of £1.20. It will also include the cost of obtaining copies of any deeds or documents referred to on the registered title as being filed at the Land Registry which usually cost £3 plus VAT of 60 pence per document.

Please note that on a sale of leasehold property may involve administrative charges payable to the landlord for providing replies to leasehold questionnaires.

Disbursements on Purchases

All written fee estimates will include Land Registry fees and search fees and Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”).

As a guide you can obtain up to date information on the likely Land Registry registration fee and SDLT payable on a purchase transaction from the following:

Land Registry registration fees -
Stamp Duty Land Tax - This depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC's website.

Conveyancing search fees (based on searches that are likely to be carried out)

  • Local search fee Cumberland Council  £89.83 plus VAT of £17.97
  • Local Land charges search (former Carlisle City Council- £15.00 plus VAT of £3.00) (former Allerdale Borough Council £23.10 plus VAT of £4.62) 
  • Drainage searches £49.13 plus VAT of £9.83
  • Environmental desktop search minimum £80.00  plus VAT of £16.00 depending on the nature of the transaction.

This list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may apply depending on the term of the lease. We will update you on the specific fees upon receipt and review of the lease from the seller's solicitors.

Anticipated Disbursements on a leasehold transaction

  • Notice of Transfer fee – This fee, if chargeable, is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £50 - £150.
  • Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – This fee, if chargeable, is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £50 - £150.
  • Deed of Covenant fee – This fee, if chargeable, is provided by the management company for the property and can be difficult to estimate. Often it is between £50 - £150.
  • Certificate of Compliance fee - To be confirmed upon receipt of the lease, as can range between £50 - £150.

The above professional fees and disbursements are solely in relation to both freehold and leasehold residential property transactions and may vary from property to property and can, on occasion, be significantly more than the ranges given above. We can give you an accurate figure once we have sight of your specific documents.

You should also be aware that ground rent and service charge are likely to apply throughout your ownership of the property. We will confirm the ground rent and the anticipated service charge following receipt of this information.

How long will my house purchase take?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 6-10 weeks. Certain kind of transaction will usually take longer than average. For example, if you are a first time buyer, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage in principle, it could usually be expected to take a few weeks longer than usual. However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, and can be expected to take several months longer than usual. Also if there is a chain of parties then the risk of there being delays increases as there are more parties involved who have to be able to get to a position where they can proceed at the same time and inevitably some parties will be ready to proceed before others. The risks of the transaction not proceeding are also increased where there is a chain involved as it only takes one party to pull out of the transaction for the chain to collapse. In these situations, and also all other situations where matters may continue for longer than average, additional charges would apply

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, below we have suggested some key stages that you may wish to include:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender's solicitors if needed
  • Receive and advise on contract documents
  • Carry out searches
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required
  • Make any necessary enquiries of seller's solicitor
  • Give you advice on all documents and information received
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you
  • Send final contract to you for signature
  • Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
  • Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
  • Complete purchase
  • Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry

Any work you instruct us to do outside of this list of services is not included in the prices displayed above.

Who will carry out the work for you

We have a dedicated team of conveyancing fee earners working from our Carlisle and Wigton offices. Details of our fee earners who deal with conveyancing are set out in the Our People section of our website which contains details of our fee earners in the Conveyancing department. All conveyancing assistants and assistant solicitors are supervised by a Director of the firm who is a qualified Solicitor.

How do I get in touch?

Please contact either our Carlisle office on 01228 525 221 or our Wigton office on 016973 43 241 or complete our enquiry form.