For customers

What are conveyancing fees?

Conveyancers split their fees into two sections:
Legal fees: This is the basic charge for the work they do.
Disbursements: These are charges for the third parties who conduct searches and surveys.

What are the potential disbursements that can be incurred and how much do they cost?

The most common disbursements incurred are:

  • Search packs
  • Telegraphic Transfer fees
  • Land Registry fees
  • Buy to Let
  • Leasehold
  • Transfer of Equity
  • Help to Buy repayment

However, unlike other panel managers, we have an extensive list of fixed disbursements that are pre-agreed, this gives the client the peace of mind that solicitors fees are transparent and can be agreed upfront.
For the full list of disbursements please contact us at info@optimus-move.co.uk

Do I need to choose a solicitor local to me, and will I need to see my solicitor in person to hand over my ID or sign documentation?

All our firms have agreed to action any documentation or requests either over the phone, by post or in writing. We also have a range of firms who use online portals for uploading documentation such as ID and welcome packs.

How long does conveyancing take?

The length of the process varies between every case. The average time can be around six to eight weeks to completion.
However, this depends on multiple factors including how complex the transaction is and the length of the property chain attached.

What lenders does Optimus cover?

We cover all major lenders and most other lenders. There may be obscure lenders who are not on a panel, but some solicitors will apply to lender panels if required.

English isn’t my first language. Do you have solicitors available who speak other languages?

Yes, we have solicitors who speak multiple languages. Get in touch with us at info@optimus-move.co.uk for more information.

Why does the cost of conveyancing vary?

There are numerous elements that will affect your conveyancing fees in comparison to others:

The value of a property: Some conveyancers take the price of your property into account and charge a percentage based on this.

The tenure of the property: Whether it is on a leasehold or freehold can affect the price of conveyancing due to the different legalities and paperwork associated with each.

Disbursements: Every sale or purchase will require different surveys and searches, which will be reflected in your fees.

When will I need to pay a solicitor?

Money is spent in three stages when buying property or land:

At the start of the transaction: You’ll be asked by your conveyancer to put up some money to pay for searches and surveys at the property you’re looking to purchase.

The deposit: When it’s time to exchange contracts, you’ll be required to pay 10% of the purchase price. Once the contracts have been exchanged, you are then legally bound to complete the purchase on the day of completion.

Completion: On the day of completion you’ll be required to put up the rest of the funds. As this needs to be sent through your bank, it can take some time to go through. Normally, you can collect the keys to your new property after midday once the process has been completed.

What is a conveyancing chain?

To avoid the risk and cost of owning two houses, people usually elect to buy and sell simultaneously. A number of linked transactions therefore arise, each dependent on the other. Exchange of contracts must take place simultaneously in all transactions meaning that the speed of progress is dictated by the slowest link in the chain.

When do I know the property is mine?

Once contracts are exchanged, a legally binding agreement arises and neither party can back out. Until that point, either party may withdraw.

What is the rate of stamp duty?

You can calculate how much stamp duty will cost by using this link - https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/calculate-stamp-duty-land-tax/#/intro

Do I need to have a survey?

If you are taking out a mortgage your lender will require a valuation. This is not a survey and is for the lender’s benefit, not yours. It is always sensible to have your own independent survey. For more information on our Surveys please contact info@optimus-move.co.uk

When do I get the deeds to my property?

Nowadays, there are no “Deeds” as such as the legal documents of title are held electronically at the Land Registry. However, there are a number of useful supporting documents which you should keep safe as they are required when the property is sold again.

For brokers and estate agents

What happens when I click instruct?

Your client’s information will be handed over to the chosen solicitor. They will create and issue the welcome pack to the client. At this point, any additional disbursements will be quoted (as per the agreed rate card). The clients will receive a fully itemised quote.

What happens if I’ve instructed and need to cancel? Will my client be charged?

Optimus’ conveyancing is based on no completion, no legal fees, so your client won’t pay a penny in legal fees if the case is cancelled at any point before exchange. Your client will be charged for any third-party disbursements incurred.

Who does my client call for updates?

Optimus, unlike our competitors, pride ourselves on the service we deliver to our brokers and end customers. You do not need to contact solicitors, you can come through to Optimus and we will get any updates or resolve any queries.

How much does it cost?

We have agreed fixed prices with all our solicitors for purchase, sale and remortgage transactions, but the fixed pricing is banded dependant on the price of the property. Please contact our team on info@optimus-move.co.uk or log in to your portal. In addition to covering the legal work, the majority of the disbursements are also fixed, so no nasty surprises for you or your client.

Why would my clients use cashback products instead of free legals for their remortgage?

The free legal work offered by lenders includes the basic, standard legal work for the mortgage lender to register their charge over the legal title. There are quite a few extra costs that are not included.
For example:

  • Bank transfers
  • ID checks
  • Official copy of the register
  • Title plan (per title)
  • Bankruptcy land registry searches

As an alternative to the free legals product, our cashback remortgage includes all the standard disbursements for a standard remortgage at £330 including VAT.
Alongside the transparent and inclusive fees, clients get access to our service team. They ensure customers’ needs are met at every stage of the service delivery and our customers are in control of the solicitor they instruct.

Why is your panel so much smaller than other panel managers?

We have strict due diligence procedures in place to ensure we work with only the highest-rated solicitors, further to this all of the solicitor firms are closely managed. We have direct contacts in each of our firms and strive to maintain a proactive relationship with them. Our Panel Manager Chem Taylor visits all firms quarterly and holds weekly calls with each. This allows us to be proactive in managing performance rather than reacting to customer complaints. We have an excellent complaint record with no upheld complaints.

What lenders do you cover?

We cover all major lenders and most other lenders. There may be obscure lenders who are not on a panel, but some solicitors will apply to lender panels if required.

For new introducers

Why should I choose Optimus as my conveyancing partner?

Whether you are considering using our web portal system or making the most of our API integration, we are happy to set up a trial for you to use on the web portal, so you can verify that our service is as good as we say it is. It’s easy to do and we can set you up in as little as 7 days from the agreement of the trial terms. Running a trial can give you peace of mind before committing to rolling out the service across your full network.

What measures do you have in place to ensure the quality and speed of your solicitor’s work?

Our service team monitor the milestones on cases on an ongoing basis. We have an escalation process in place for any cases which are up to or behind SLA, which ensures that we are always ahead of any unforeseen delays on a case. Aside from the day to day performance management, we audit our solicitors on a monthly basis, reviewing their caseloads and SLAs. We also conduct quarterly review meetings with each of our solicitors on the panel to ensure they continue to provide the agreed service levels.

What reporting do you have in place so I can monitor your performance?

We provide weekly reports to all our accounts which provide details on the volumes of quotes, instructions and completions. In addition to the weekly reports, we provide monthly management packs at the end of each month which summarises:

  • The overall instructions and completions
  • Volumes by agent (if you have multiple branches and individuals instructing)
  • The completion timelines for solicitors on the panel
  • The overall revenue report
  • All the information you need is at your fingertips.
How are you set up to service my account?

We have dedicated service and sales teams set up for each introducer. Depending on your requirements, you will be assigned a nationwide team of business development managers to build relationships at each of your branches. Our BDMs are all supported by an expert service team here in the office. Our service team will take care of the instructions from the moment they are registered and are always on hand to answer any queries you or your customer may have.

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