Updated: October 12, 2018

Stockport conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Stockport

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay your Stockport conveyancing solicitor for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Are Stockport conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Stockport offer services on an hourly-rate basis, while other property lawyers will work for a fixed fee (known as 'No Move, No Fee'). Our conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis, with no hidden extras. Your quote sets out exactly what you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

What are disbursements?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', in addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are fees that a property lawyer must pay to other companies during the process of buying or selling your home. These include costs like indemnity insurance or HMLR fees.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Stockport cost in total?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Stockport will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, the disbursements required can vary. As examples, additional region-specific searches, such as a Coal Authority search, may be needed and council search fees will vary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance, there are no hidden fees or nasty surprises. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

Quittance's fees were cheaper - less than half the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Stockport

The borough of Stockport lies within the Greater Manchester area, 7 miles southeast of Manchester's city centre.

It has lively commercial and leisure districts in the town centre, with 2 large shopping centres and a wide-ranging cinema and sports complex. Manchester is an easy and convenient commute providing further opportunities for retail therapy and leisure. Stockport's suburbs of Bramhall, Woodford or Hazel Grove rank among the wealthiest areas of the UK and 45% of the borough is green space.

Conveyancing for purchasers

Caveat emptor, meaning 'let the buyer beware', was the legal principle of property law in England and Wales. Following recent changes in the law, this principle no longer applies. However, a purchaser must still investigate the house or flat they plan to buy.

A Stockport conveyancing solicitor will offer professional advice once their enquiries are complete, iron out any legal issues and ensure that the full legal ownership is transferred.

This part of the article provides advice to assist buyers looking for conveyancing solicitors in Stockport.

Your Stockport conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you choose a conveyancing solicitor in Stockport, it is very important that you make sure that they can act for your mortgage lender, whether you are getting a mortgage from Godiva Mortgages, Yorkshire Bank or any other lender.

Many banks and building societies will only work with a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of legal firms that pass strict selection criteria. If a conveyancer is unable to act for your mortgage lender, the lender will require a different firm to carry out the legal work.

The purchaser will be expected to pay this alternate solicitor's fees, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Major delays can arise if you do not check your property lawyer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel of all mortgage lenders.

Conveyancing Searches (Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are questions asked of various bodies by Stockport conveyancing solicitors to give details about the property being purchased.

Mortgagees also usually require certain searches to be submitted. These include:

Local Authority (LA) searchcovers planning applications, building control history and enforcement action against the property. The LA search also includes details of any nearby road development schemes.
Drainage & Water searchidentifies the location of sewers and water mains, and will confirm whether these are maintained by the local council.
Environmental searchcovers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
Chancel repair liabilityinvolves 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.

You will be notified if your lender insists on any more searches, for example an HS2 search or an agricultural search.

Purchasers can expect to wait approximately 2 weeks for LA searches supplied by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. In these circumstances, faster personal searches will be recommended.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer also obtains official entries from HMLR. This helps to find planning issues. These issues could include rights or restrictions on how the property may be used or discrepancies with the filed plan.

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on a number of factors which include the size and character of the home and the property's value as at 1 April 1991 (England) or 1 April 2003 (Wales). E.g. for an average Band B property in Stockport, the tax would be £1,431.

Stockport conveyancing solicitors will inform the buyer of the home's council tax band as soon as they are made aware.

If the property is unoccupied for over 24 months, the owner will pay 150% of the relevant rate. Single person discount reduces the tax due to 75%, which would equal £1,073.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or if you are a live in carer looking after someone who isn't a spouse or relative. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) work out council tax bands for newly-built homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,227
B £1,431
C £1,636
D £1,840
E £2,249
F £2,658
G £3,067
H £3,680

Can I challenge my council tax band?

Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
53 Manchester One
Portland Street
M1 3LD

In the financial year 2016/17, 50 council tax challenges were made. 20 resulted in a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Stockport properties

Stamp duty works in a similar fashion to income tax insofar as a buyer will pay progressively more tax for a higher-value residential property. The normal process is for the conveyancing solicitor to complete the SDLT administration. Buyers can complete the SDLT1 themselves but it is not recommended due to the complexity of the form.

Quittance Conveyancing's investment in the latest case management system means that HMRC filing complications and objections are a thing of the past.

See stamp duty examples for homes in Stockport:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £240,888 £2,317.76
Average price (detached) £406,964 £10,348.20
Average new build £284,462 £4,223.10
Following a change in April 2016, a stamp duty surcharge of 3% is applied for purchases of additional property. For example, if a homeowner bought a second home in Stockport for the average price of £240,888 the SDLT would be £12,044.40.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Stockport

As from 2017, first-time buyers will not have to pay any stamp duty if the purchase price is below £300,000.

Stockport conveyancing solicitors should confirm the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Stockport

New build site

The risks associated with buying a leasehold flat in the UK are well established. Spiralling ground rents, sinking fund issues and onerous covenants are but a few of the many common complications lying in wait for the unsuspecting purchaser.

Bad or incomplete leasehold advice, from a conveyancing solicitor with only freehold experience, could have serious financial consequences.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Stockport will consider potential leasehold issues, including :

  • checking the lease itself
  • reviewing correspondence between the freeholder and leaseholder
  • service charges and whether they have been collected
  • leaseholder/freeholder disputes

Our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors will ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Stockport?

House under construction

The average purchase price of new builds in Stockport is £330,093. 11 new build homes have been bought in Stockport in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Stockport needs to be conscious of Stockport-specific issues and the added complexities of new build, e.g. confirming Section 38 agreements, liaising with the builder's onsite sales team and checking new build warranties with warranty providers, including NHBC Buildmark, Advantage and ACHI/Vantage.

Our team of new build conveyancers deliver an impartial view of the legal title of the house or flat, and in particular issues ranging from the home's subsequent resaleability to an assessment of other risks, such as regional infrastructure development.

Conservation areas

Whether you are buying a period coach house or a Tudor home, if the home is in a protected conservation area, any changes you can make to the home may not be allowed by the local authority.

These restrictions, called Article 4 Directions, may include:

  • Limits on roof terraces
  • Restrictions on dormer windows
  • Requiring consent to alter doors and guttering

If a property is in breach, you could be legally required (as the new owner) to pay for returning the property to a compliant state, even if the previous owner was responsible for the changes.

Conservation areas in Stockport include Barlow Fold, Swann Lane and Market and Underbanks. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Stockport.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Stockport

The legal work involved in a sale of a home is much simpler than when buying. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor does extensive research on the home. Conveyancing solicitors in Stockport acting for the seller, however, merely collates requested paperwork (e.g. warranties and certificates) and replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries .

What could jeopardise your sale?

Issues, like not having appropriate warranties or not having permission for alterations when in a conservation area, can seriously endanger the conveyancing process if left unresolved.

It is not recommended that you put off finding a solution, hoping the issue will fix itself. Instead, you should speak to an expert and deal with it at the earliest stage.

Recommended reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The legal work for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are uncommon) is much more time-consuming compared to a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Stockport will also perform extra work, such as requesting ground rent details, through to ensuring that leasehold forms are completed.

It would be prudent to appoint a conveyancer as soon as an estate agent is chosen to reduce delays associated with leasehold property. The time lost waiting for responses from a property's managing agents is the most likely reason that the sale of a leasehold flat will fall through.

What if your conveyancing solicitors are acting for the other side?

SRA regulations restrict the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale. However, a conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, can act for both parties.

If you are buying or selling a house or flat in Stockport, and a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side, you can contact a local Stockport conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work.

Local Stockport conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Alfred Newton Solicitors, 43-51 Wellington Road South, Stockport, Cheshire, SK1 3RX
  • Ayres Waters, 5 St. Petersgate, Stockport, Cheshire, SK1 1EB
  • O'Neill Morgan Solicitors Limited, Prudential Buildings, 63 St. Petersgate, Stockport, Cheshire, SK1 1DH
  • Higgins Miller Solicitors Ltd, 49 Middle Hillgate, Stockport, Cheshire, SK1 3DL
  • Belshaws Solicitors Limited, 27 Greek Street, Stockport, Cheshire, SK3 8AX

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Stockport

Securing a better rate is usually the main reason why people decide to remortgage. There are other reasons, for example fixing the mortgage on a new discounted rate, or releasing equity.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Stockport can reduce the remortgage processing time, and move you to the better rate sooner. With the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

A property lawyer will act for both you and your new lender to confirm the lender's interests are protected.

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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