Updated: October 12, 2018

Alnwick conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Alnwick

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Alnwick for the legal work associated with moving home.

How are Alnwick conveyancing fees calculated?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Alnwick will work on a fees per hour basis. Some conveyancers will complete the work for a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee'). Our conveyancers work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis, with no hidden costs. Your quote will set out exactly what you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

What are disbursements?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client, such as Stamp Duty Land Tax or TT fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Alnwick cost in total?

Although conveyancing fees in Alnwick will be the same as anywhere else in the country, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, such as a commons registration search, may be needed.

For standard conveyancing transactions, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance, there are no hidden fees or surprises in the small print. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the average solicitors' fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Alnwick

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

It is, however, still the duty of a conveyancing solicitor in Alnwick to investigate the property, so that they can report back in detail to the buyer and the lender, deal with any legal problems and register the title in the new owner's name.

This part of the article discusses the aspects of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Alnwick that necessitate specialised skills.

Your Alnwick conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether you are getting a mortgage from Secure Trust, the HSBC or any other lender, before you choose a Alnwick conveyancing solicitor it is very important that you make sure that they are on the panel of your mortgage lender.

Many banks and building societies will only work with a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of legal practices. If your conveyancer is unable to act for your mortgage lender, the lender will require a second legal firm to complete the legal work.

The purchaser will then have to cover this substitute lawyer's fees, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Neglecting to check the lender panel membership of your solicitor can create problems and delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can perform the conveyancing for all lenders.

Northumberland County Council searches and other searches

Residential property searches are submitted by Alnwick conveyancing solicitors to unearth any significant issues that might potentially impact how much the property you intend to buy will be worth. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchincludes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes whether there is a certificate of compliance for replacement windows
Environmental searchcovers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
Drainage & Water searchidentifies the location of sewers and water mains, and will confirm whether these are maintained by the local council.
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability to the local parish for repairs.

Purchasers will be told if your lender requires any additional searches, for example a highways authority search or a more detailed environmental report.

The average delivery time for searches from Northumberland County Council is 8 weeks, so quicker regulated searches will be recommended.

Planning permissions

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be sourced from the Land Registry by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the homebuyer. This will help to highlight any planning issues, for example right of access issues or outbuildings lying outside the boundary.

Northumberland County Council Council Tax

Northumberland County Council calculate your council tax based on various criteria including the size and character of the property and the assessed value of the property in April 1991. E.g. a home in the Northumberland County Council area in Band B would pay £1,421 per annum.

Alnwick conveyancing solicitors will inform a purchaser of the home's tax 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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £1,066.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or where the property (land) is a boat mooring or caravan pitch. Newer homes are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency and allocated a council tax band.

Band Northumberland County Council Tax (2018)
A £1,218
B £1,421
C £1,624
D £1,827
E £2,233
F £2,640
G £3,046
H £3,655

Can I appeal against my band?

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 40 council tax challenges were made. 20 were approved and the tax was reduced. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Eagle Star House
Regent Centre
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE3 3TW
Tyne and Wear

Stamp Duty on Alnwick properties

SDLT is only applicable to homes where the purchase price exceeds £125,000. SDLT is paid after an SDLT1 form is completed. The form is hard to understand in places - even some non-conveyancing solicitors struggle with it.

Quittance's specialist post-completion team will ensure that the required SDLT1 form is completed and submitted to HMRC without delay.

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

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £236,621 £2,232.42
Average price (detached) £315,472 £5,773.60
Average new build £237,558 £2,251.16

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Alnwick

As from 11/17, first-time buyers will not have to pay any stamp duty if the purchase price is below £300,000. If you are buying a second home for over £40,000 then you will have to pay a stamp duty surcharge of 3%. For example, if a property owner bought a second home in Alnwick for the average price of £236,621 the SDLT would be £11,831.05.

Conveyancing solicitors in Alnwick will ensure their client pays the correct amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Alnwick

New build site

The potential risks associated with buying a leasehold house or flat in the UK are frequently reported in the press. Numerous technical issues may be awaiting the unsuspecting purchaser, such as spiralling ground rents and excessive freehold premiums.

Bad or incomplete leasehold advice, from a conveyancer with little specialist experience, can have costly, long-term consequences.

If you are planning to purchase a house or flat with a lease, a experienced conveyancing solicitor in Alnwick will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, for example dealing with freeholders, reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old) and unexpired lease terms.

Ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease - You can call our leasehold conveyancing solicitors today on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Alnwick?

House being built

3 new builds have been bought in Alnwick in 2018 so far, according to data gathered by the Land Registry. The average sale price of new build property in Alnwick is £166,133.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Alnwick must be well-versed in regional factors and the specific issues associated with new build, e.g. investigating road and drainage issues and ensuring that new build mortgage conditions are met.

Our team of new build conveyancers are experts in helping the buyer get the best possible purchase terms and working to developer exchange timeframes.

Conservation areas in Northumberland

When carrying out the conveyancing for a purchase in Alnwick, a conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the residential property is in a conservation area in Alnwick. If it is, the property will be affected by certain building controls. Called Article 4 directions, these building controls could include restrictions on the style and height of boundary walls, restrictions preventing paving over the front garden or restrictions on the erection of outbuildings.

The local authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing a newly-added dormer window.

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Alnwick.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Alnwick

The legal side of a property sale usually requires less work than when buying. The purchaser will have to go through a full legal review on the legal title of your home. Conveyancing solicitors in Alnwick acting for the seller, however, merely collates information and answers the buyer's questions .

Factors that could delay or endanger the conveyancing process

A property will frequently have a range of issues (e.g. being in an area threatened by local development) that might protract or even derail the conveyancing process.

It is better not to hide from the issue, hoping the issue will fix itself. Instead, get professional advice and attempt to resolve it proactively.

Recommended reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are uncommon) is quite a lot more protracted than for a more straightforward freehold house.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Alnwick will usually undertake additional tasks, for example sourcing the latest service charge and ground rent statement or a copy of the building's asbestos survey (if required).

It is highly recommended that the seller instructs a conveyancer with leasehold experience as soon as the property is marketed, if not before, to ensure any legal complexity is correctly handled.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both sides?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules ban the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale. However, a conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, can act for both parties.

You could instruct a property solicitor firm in Alnwick to carry out your legal work, if we are acting for the other side.

Local Alnwick conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Adam Douglas Legal LLP, Market Place, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1HP
  • Hardington Hogg Solicitors LLP, 43 Bondgate Without, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1PR
  • Warcup Law Firm Limited, Lloyds Bank Chambers, 24 Bondgate Within, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1TD

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Alnwick

The most common reason homeowners remortgage a home is to benefit from a lower interest rate. Other reasons to consider remortgaging include wanting to overpay when the lender refuses, or releasing equity.

You should be able to enjoy a lower rate sooner with a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Alnwick. With future interest rate changes hard to predict, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting the mortgage rate you want.

It is important that the property lawyer undertaking the legal work can also act for your preferred mortgage provider. Our conveyancers are on all major lenders' panels, so whether you are switching to a variable-rate with Lloyds Bank or to a discounted-rate mortgage with the Yorkshire Building Society, Quittance can help.

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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