Property transactions: completing on time and on budget

For the Russian families and other overseas families and businesses we represent, securing sought-after London property in a highly competitive market is the priority. We make it happen.

Many of our clients are unused to the process for buying and selling real estate in England, which is set out below. For more information, contact our team of real estate lawyers.

UK residential property transactions: key stages

Agreeing a price: pre-contract

  • Once an offer has been accepted, you should contact us. We will carry out all necessary searches to ensure there are no aspects of the property that you should be concerned about. Issues that may arise include planning matters and local authority proposals that may have a negative impact on the property.
  • We investigate the title or ownership of the property thoroughly to check that there are no defects or competing interests that may prevent the seller giving you a good title.
  • We review and approve a draft contract, which sets out all details of the proposed purchase, negotiate key points to protect your interest and go through this carefully with you.

Contract exchange

  • When you are happy with our report on title (which is a document which you can rely on as a legal opinion on the transaction) and the details contained in the contract, we will ask you to sign and return the contract to us. You can return the electronic signed version to us and the original must be received by post or in person. You can also authorise us to sign the contract on your behalf.
  • At this point, the buyer usually pays a 10% deposit and contracts are exchanged. Both sides are then bound by the terms of the contract.
  • The contract specifies what fixtures and fittings at the property are included in the sale.
  • We examine your mortgage offer and any special conditions, if you decide to use finance and advise you on its terms.
  • You will sign the mortgage deed and transfer documents.
  • We prepare a detailed completion statement of all monies required to complete the transaction.
  • The purchaser activates buildings insurance.
  • You will transfer the balance of funds to us to enable us to complete the transaction. You can then receive the keys from the seller or seller’s agent.


  • We update all searches on the property.
  • We arrange for any mortgage advance to be sent to us so that we can complete the transaction on your behalf.
  • We deal with the post-completion formalities, including the payment of stamp duty and registering the change of ownership at the Land Registry.

Commercial property transactions

The procedure for buying commercial premises or purchasing the lease of commercial property is similar to the procedure for the purchase of residential property.

More relevant, however, are tax issues, including the VAT status of the property, corporation tax and the question of capital allowances. We advise on all of these issues.

We work closely with an unrivalled network of London property professionals, including major estate agents, specialist surveyors and planning advisers, to ensure that the position of our clients is always safeguarded. We also advise on the purchase of property for investment purposes. We also have our own boutique property search service. Our fees are fixed at the time we start work on your transaction so you can budget accordingly.

Contact Svetlova LLP

To discuss your property purchase or sale, call us on +44 207 129 129 6 or contact us online. We are located in St. James’s Square, close to Green Park and Piccadilly in the centre of London.

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If you need legal advice, contact us and one of our experts will get back to you as soon as possible.

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