Updated: October 12, 2018

Barnstaple conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Barnstaple

Conveyancing solicitor fees will be paid your Barnstaple conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

Are Barnstaple conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Barnstaple work on an hourly-rate basis, and other firms will work for a fixed fee ('No Move, No Fee'). Our conveyancers work on a No Sale, No Fee basis, with no hidden fees. Your quote will explain exactly what you will need to pay when your sale or purchase completes.

Are there any other costs?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

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 Land Registry fees or office copies.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total Barnstaple solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Barnstaple will be the same as anywhere else in the country, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, additional region-specific searches, e.g. a historic mining search, may be needed and council search fees will vary.

For standard conveyancing transactions, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance, there are absolutely no hidden costs. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Barnstaple

When carrying out the conveyancing for the purchase of a house or flat, a conveyancing solicitor in Barnstaple will carry out due diligence on the legal ownership rights or 'title' of the property and make their "report on title".

Once their enquiries are complete the solicitor will make recommendations and will help with resolving any problems and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

This article examines those areas of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Barnstaple needing a deeper level of knowledge.

Your Barnstaple conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether your mortgage is with a large lender like Santander or a financial institution such as the Harpenden Building Society, before choosing a conveyancing solicitor in Barnstaple you need to check that they are approved by your lender.

Your solicitor may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your lender, because some lenders are only prepared to work with a select panel of legal firms.

Should this be the case, the lender will likely need a different legal firm to complete the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this alternative lawyer's fees. The additional work can mean the process takes much longer.

Failing to check the lender panel status of your property lawyer can frustrate the process.

Our solicitors can act for all banks and building societies.

North Devon District Council searches

Property searches are carried out by Barnstaple conveyancing solicitors to help identify issues that could impact the value of your house or flat.

These searches include the local authority (LA) search, drainage & water search, environmental search and chancel repair liability.

Your lawyer will tell you if your lender wants any additional searches, for example a Crossrail search or a geological search.

North Devon District Council has an estimated turnaround time of 10 weeks for conveyancing searches. As a result, quicker regulated searches will be recommended.

Finding planning permissions

Your conveyancing solicitor also obtains the Title Register from the Land Registry. This will help to reveal any planning issues, for example restrictive covenants governing the use of the property or outbuildings missing from the title plan.

North Devon District Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on a number of criteria such as the size and character of the property and the value of the home as determined by the VOA in 1991. E.g. the occupier of a Band D house in the North Devon District Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,838.

Barnstaple conveyancing solicitors will inform a purchaser of the property's band once they have the Local Authority search results.

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 £1,379.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or if the property is left empty by someone receiving medical treatment.

Band North Devon District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,225
B £1,430
C £1,634
D £1,838
E £2,247
F £2,655
G £3,064
H £3,676

Are you paying more than you should?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
2nd Floor
Princess House
Queen St
EX32 8HJ

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) should reassess a property's band on request.

Stamp Duty on Barnstaple properties

The current SDLT threshold for residential properties is £125,000.

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and HMRC (formerly Inland Revenue) fines those who delay in completing and returning it.

Quittance will complete the SDLT1 form for you at the point your purchase completes.

See Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for properties in Barnstaple:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £256,156 £2,807.80
Average price (detached) £340,859 £7,042.95
Average new build £250,724 £2,536.20

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Barnstaple

In November 2017, it was announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on homes below £300k. If you already own another property (including outside the UK)you will be subject to a 3% stamp duty surcharge. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Barnstaple for the average price of £256,156 the SDLT would be £20,492.48.

Conveyancing solicitors in Barnstaple will confirm the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Barnstaple

New build site

The potential risks associated with purchasing a leasehold property are of serious concern for leasehold property purchasers. The many potential problems awaiting an uninformed purchaser could include:

  • unreasonable managing agent fees
  • exponential ground rents
  • leases with fewer than 80 years to run
Serious financial ramifications can result from a solicitor's misguided leasehold advice.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Barnstaple will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, including checking the lease itself, absent freeholders and any recent demands for service charges and ground rent.

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in Barnstaple?

House under construction

The average price for new builds in Barnstaple is £250,724, based on information from HM Land Registry. 21 brand new homes have been bought in Barnstaple in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Barnstaple must be familiar with both local Barnstaple issues as well as the added complexities of new build, including negotiating new build contracts and handling reservation fees.

Our team of conveyancers are experts in working to developer exchange timeframes and new build purchases.

Devon Conservation areas

If you are intending to purchase a residential property in a conservation area in Barnstaple, the property will need to meet any conservation area restrictions. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these constraints could include a range of factors from restrictions preventing the addition of new access, to restrictions on the removal of front boundary walls.

The new owner could be ordered to pay for necessary changes to bring a property in line with current regulations, even if the previous owner carried out the alterations.

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Barnstaple's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Barnstaple

The legal work involved in a sale of a home is normally less troublesome than for a property purchase. The purchaser conducts an investigation on the property. Conveyancing solicitors in Barnstaple acting for the seller mostly just collects all documents and information relating to the property and answers the buyer's questions .

What factors could threaten your sale?

Obstacles, such as being a listed building with non-compliant alterations, could derail the sale process.

Don't bury your head in the sand as solicitors are trained to unearth any such issues. Instead, speak to an expert, face the issues head on, and find a solution as quickly as possible.

Recommended reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat or house is a great deal more time-consuming in comparison with a freehold house.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Barnstaple must carry out additional tasks, such as getting all relevant freeholder information, through to any information about regulations affecting the property that are not in the lease.

To speed up the leasehold conveyancing process, it is recommended that the vendor contacts a leasehold specialist as soon as the decision is made to sell.

What if Quittance is acting for the other side?

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules ban a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale and purchase. A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both parties.

If you are buying or selling a property in Barnstaple, and a Quittance conveyancer is acting for the other side, you may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in Barnstaple to undertake your legal work.

Local Barnstaple conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Dw Solicitors Ltd, Queens House, Queens Street, Barnstaple, Devon, EX32 8HJ
  • Slee Blackwell Solicitors LLP, 10 Cross Street, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 1BA
  • Brewer Harding & Rowe Solicitors LLP, 1 The Square, Barnstaple, Devon, EX32 8LS
  • Samuels Solicitors LLP, 18 Alexandra Road, Barnstaple, Devon, EX32 8BA
  • Wollen Michelmore LLP, Devonshire House, Riverside Road, Pottington Business Park, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 1QN

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Barnstaple

Reducing monthly repayments by finding a lower interest rate is usually why people change lenders. There are other reasons, for example borrowing more to help pay for an extension, or getting onto a longer fixed-rate term.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Barnstaple will complete the conveyancing quickly, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With rate rises hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to securing your preferred rate.

So that they can make sure that the lender's capital is protected, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will need to act for both you and your new bank or building society.

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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