With the aim of helping you achieve an efficient sale or purchase of a house or flat, GCA specialises in residential conveyancing, transfers of equity and re-mortgages.

For many, the buying of a new home or the selling of an existing home can be one of the most stressful times of life. Our residential property team understands this and also the importance of communicating with everyone involved in the process (the ‘chain’); of acting quickly to avoid unnecessary delays; and of the need to provide all clients with a  service that is value for money.

Buying and selling a home
In some cases, the purchase or sale or property involves a chain of transactions which extend beyond your immediate control. To limit your frustration and stress, we aim to provide excellent timing, effective negotiation and sometimes a sense of humour, all of which can play a vital part in achieving a successful outcome for you. Even if buying and selling simultaneously, we can and will help co-ordinate the necessary timescales with legal requirements to give you a smooth and relatively stress free service.

Our team offers a high quality property service which is responsive and competitively priced. We endeavour to keep your worries and concerns to a minimum.

Home Information Packs
As you are probably aware all houses being sold now require a Home Information Pack (‘HIP’) before the Estate Agent can actively market the property for sale. The HIP must contain an energy performance certificate, local and water searches, an up-to-date copy of the registered title and plan and a few other legally required documents. We can prepare the HIP for you although we appreciate that most Estate Agents also offer to provide this service. We are also happy to review the HIP for you before you decide to purchase a house and give you some advice on the property.

Please ask for more detail and the associated costs.

Associated costs
When you buy or sell a house, you will incur expenses in addition to the fee your solicitor charges you for the work undertaken. It is important that you are aware of these expenses from the outset and budget for them. Please see the links below for a helpful guide to the costs incurred when buying and/or selling.


  1. Estate agents fee. This is usually calculated as a percentage of the sale price and in addition most estate agents charge VAT.
  2. Mortgage Lenders sealing fee. This varies according to the lender but typically is £100.
  3. Land Registry fee for official copies of the entries relating to your property on the register. The sum payable is between £12 and £24, depending on the number of documents.
  4. If you are selling a flat the freeholder or management company may charge for supplying information required by your buyer. This fee can vary from a few pounds to approximately £200.
  5. If you are selling a flat, do bear in mind the buyer will want the ground rent and service charges paid up to the date on which you complete the sale.


  1. Search fees. Local Authorities and Water Companies charge for answering questions about the supply of services, planning permissions and so on, regarding the property you want to buy. Typically, Local Authorities charge approximately £150 and Water Companies £45
  2. It is also now a requirement to conduct a chancel repair search which currently costs £17.65. This establishes whether the property has a potential liability for repair/maintenance of the local parish church. We also offer special environmental and plan searches which cost approximately £70 combined.
  3. Stamp Duty. This tax is charged as a percentage of the purchase price as follows:
Purchase price Amount of SDLT to be paid
less than £125,000 nil
£125,000 - £250,000 1%
£250,001 - £500,000 3%
over £500,000 4%
  1. If you are buying a flat, the freeholder or management company may charge a fee for registering you as the new owner in their records. Typically, the fee charged is around £50+VAT per notice.

The above figures are illustrations of typical fees which can be incurred.  You should check the level of fees payable in your particular case as they may differ from those above, it is always better to check before you proceed to avoid any misunderstandings or unanticipated  costs.