Updated: October 12, 2018

Exeter conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Exeter

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid to your Exeter conveyancing solicitor for the legal work involved in moving home.

Are Exeter conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

We work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Exeter who offer services on a price per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote will explain what you will pay when your sale or purchase completes.

What are disbursements?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes the conveyancing solicitor will have to pay to other organisations as part of the house-buying and selling process. These include costs like property searches or identity verification checks.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total Exeter solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Exeter conveyancing fees will not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. For example, additional region-specific searches, such as a flood plain search, may be needed and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

There are no hidden fees or costs to be paid with Quittance. For a standard home sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were substantially lower than the average solicitors' fees, and their service was first-rate

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Exeter

Home to the Met Office, the cathedral and university city of Exeter is the county town of Devon. Close to two national parks, a glorious coastline and with good transport links, Essex was recently named as one of the 20 best places in the country to live by the Sunday Times.

The area attracts a cross-section of buyers looking to enjoy both a good lifestyle and economic opportunities. The most sought-after addresses at the top end of the market are in St Leonards, Topsham and Pennsylvania. Park and ride schemes and effective cycle routes make the centre easily accessible from more affordable districts on the outskirts.

Conveyancing for purchasers

A seller is now required to disclose issues that could affect the value or enjoyment of their property to the prospective buyer.

It remains, however, the duty of a Exeter conveyancing solicitor to investigate the property, and feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer, solve outstanding issues and register the title in the new owner's name.

The following section considers the property types that could involve extra risk for people who need conveyancing solicitors in Exeter for a purchase.

Your Exeter conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether you are taking out a mortgage from Halifax, Pepper Homeloans or any other lender, before you choose a Exeter conveyancing solicitor you need to check that they can act on behalf of your lender.

Many lenders will only work with a restricted group of solicitors or licensed conveyancers that meet strict criteria. If a solicitor cannot act for your lender, the lender will require an alternative law firm to complete the legal work.

The home buyer will then have to cover this substitute solicitor's costs, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Failing to check your solicitor's lender panel status can create problems and delays.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved to act for all lenders.

Property Searches (Exeter City Council)

Property searches are enquiries made of various authorities by Exeter conveyancing solicitors to give details about your planned purchase. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - covers the details of planning applications, decisions and the enforcement of breaches or violations.
  • Environmental search - shows whether the surrounding environment is suitable for the purchaser
  • Drainage & Water search - covers the location of water pipes and drains, and reveals if the upkeep for these falls on the owner or local council.
  • Chancel repair liability - involves the potential liability owed by the owners of certain property to pay for local parish church repairs. Insurance can be arranged to cover this risk.

Your solicitor will make you aware if your mortgage lender insists on any additional searches, e.g. a highways search or an energy search.

Exeter City Council has an estimated delivery time of 14 weeks for LA searches, so faster personal searches will be preferred.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will also order an 'Official Copy of the Title Register' from the Land Registry, assisting with the identification of any planning issues. These issues could include a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan or restrictive covenants governing the use of the property.

Exeter City Council Council Tax

Exeter City Council calculate council tax on Exeter homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). E.g. for an average Band E home in Exeter, the council tax amount would be £2,143.

Conveyancing solicitors in Exeter will inform a buyer of the property's band once they have the Local Authority search results.

If the property is unoccupied for 2 years or more, an additional premium of 50% may be applied to the council tax. Single person discount reduces the tax due to 75% which would equal £1,607.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or if an occupier is an apprentice school leaver or YTS trainee. Homes constructed after 1991 are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Band Exeter City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,169
B £1,364
C £1,559
D £1,754
E £2,143
F £2,533
G £2,923
H £3,507

Can I challenge the council tax banding?

A property owner can also ask for their property to be reassessed. The band could be revised up as well as down. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Broadwalk House
Southernhay West
Exeter
EX1 1TS
Devon

Stamp Duty on Exeter properties

Stamp duty is paid after an SDLT1 form is completed. The form is hard to understand in places - even some non-conveyancing solicitors struggle with it.

Stamp Duty Land Tax is a percentage of the purchase price of a property paid by the buyer to HMRC. It is due on properties bought for over £125k.

Quittance use the latest case management integration with HMRC to avoid errors and ensure there are no late-filing penalties.

This table sets out stamp duty for typical property in Exeter:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £272,561 £3,628.05
Average price (detached) £410,633 £10,531.65
Average new build £332,544 £6,627.20
If you are buying a second home for over £40,000 then you will have to pay a 3% SDLT surcharge. So if a second property was bought for £272,561 then the stamp duty total will be £21,804.88.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Exeter

Since 11/17, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on residential properties valued over £300k.

Conveyancing solicitors in Exeter will confirm the right amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Exeter

New build site

The pitfalls associated with purchasing a leasehold property remain of serious concern. There are numerous technical issues that could be lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer, such as unreasonable ground rents, excessive freehold premiums and sinking fund issues.

Poor leasehold guidance, from an inexperienced property lawyer, can have costly, long-term consequences.

If you intend to buy a leasehold home, a good conveyancing solicitor in Exeter will consider possible leasehold issues, such as :

  • reviewing the lease itself (many leases are decades old)
  • dealing with freeholders
  • service charges for relevant date periods
  • onerous restrictions
  • flats with varying lease terms

Our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors will make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Exeter?

New build building site

The average value of a new build property in Exeter is £338,705, according to local information gathered by the Land Registry. 11 new build homes have been bought in Exeter in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Exeter needs to be conscious of local factors and new build-specific issues, e.g. handling withdrawal under the Consumer Code for Housebuilders and advising on mortgage offer flexibility for delayed completion.

Our award-winning team of conveyancers are specialists in new build purchases and meeting short developer deadlines.

Conservation areas

Whether you enjoy a rural setting or Regency architecture, purchasing property in a conservation area can ensure that the neighbourhood is protected from noticeable change. However, conservation area constraints will affect your home.

Called Article 4 directions, these building controls may include a wide range of constraints from restrictions affecting frontal additions to the property such as a porch, to restrictions on the display of advertisements.

The local authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed.

Pennsylvania, Midway Terrace and Ide Lane and Lower Summerlands are among the conservation areas in Exeter. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Exeter.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Exeter

The legal side of a property sale is generally simpler than for a purchase. The buyer's conveyancer has to carry out detailed research into the property and its legal title. Conveyancing solicitors in Exeter acting for the vendor merely answers the buyer's questions.

How to minimise the risk of your sale falling through

Hurdles, like missing planning regulations, can easily derail the sale process if they are ignored.

In the majority of cases, it is recommended for sellers to handle such issues as soon as they come to light.

Useful reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are uncommon) is significantly more protracted in comparison with a freehold house.

Leasehold complexity involves additional tasks on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Exeter, such as sourcing all relevant freeholder information, through to a copy of any health and safety assessment for the common parts.

It is highly recommended that the seller instructs a leasehold specialist as early in the process as possible, and preferably before going on the market, to avoid undue delays.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both sides?

Conveyancers regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale and purchase.

You could instruct a property solicitor firm in Exeter to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side.

Local Exeter conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Wollen Michelmore LLP, 22 Cathedral Yard, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1HB
  • Amicus Law (South West) LLP, Boulevard House, 17 Southernhay West, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1PJ
  • Crosse & Crosse Solicitors LLP, 13-15 Southernhay West, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1PL
  • Solicitors Title LLP, 17a Gandy Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3LS
  • Stephens Scown LLP, Curzon House, Southernhay West, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1RS

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Exeter

People remortgage their home for a number of reasons, such as consolidating loan repayments, or getting onto a longer fixed-rate term. The main reason, however, is to get a lower interest rate.

You would typically benefit from a better rate sooner by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Exeter, accelerating the time taken to complete the process. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can play a key role in securing the rate you want.

The property lawyer will act for both you and your new bank or building society to ensure the mortgage provider's interests are protected and that the new interest in the property is registered correctly.

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert

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