Updated: October 12, 2018

Basildon conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Basildon

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay to your Basildon conveyancing solicitor for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Are Basildon conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Basildon who work on a price per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote will set out all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', in addition to the solicitor's 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 bankruptcy checks or office copies and title plans.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total Basildon solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Although conveyancing fees in Basildon will be the same as anywhere else in the country, the disbursements required can vary. As examples, specific extra searches, such as a mining search, may be necessary and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

For a standard home sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are absolutely no hidden costs. 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 Basildon

Basildon in Essex was created as a new town in 1948 from the villages of Vange, Laindon, Pitsea and Basildon. As well as being developed to house the overspill from London, government grants were given to companies to set up business, and this industrial base remains strong.

Improvements to transport links have made Basildon a property hotspot, with journey times to London being around 35 minutes, though prices are 27% lower than the Essex average. Most of the housing stock was built in the mid-20th century, however older period property can be found in nearby smaller towns (such as Billericay and Laindon). Several new developments are also beginning to appear and the market remains buoyant.

Conveyancing for home buyers

As a key part of the conveyancing for a homebuyer, a Basildon conveyancing solicitor will examine the draft contract and investigate the property's title and report back to the purchaser and the mortgage lender (if applicable).

Following their enquiries the conveyancer will give advice and will help to fix or resolve any legal issues and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

The following discusses elements of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Basildon where a deeper understanding of the legal technicalities is critical.

Your Basildon conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether you are taking out a mortgage from TSB, the Darlington Building Society or any other lender, before you choose a conveyancing solicitor in Basildon you need to check that they can act for your mortgage lender.

A lot of lenders only accept a restricted group of solicitors or licensed conveyancers that meet stringent standards. If a solicitor is unable to act for your mortgage lender, the lender will require an alternative law firm to carry out the legal work.

The home buyer will be expected to pay this alternate lawyer's costs and significant delays to your move could occur.

Failing to check your conveyancer's lender panel status can mean serious delays.

Our conveyancing solicitors can act on behalf of all banks and building societies.

Searches (Basildon District Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are enquiries made by Basildon conveyancing solicitors to help uncover relevant information about the home you want to buy. They include:

SearchDescription
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.
Environmental searchdescribes hazards (such as historic flooding or mining subsidence) within 500m of the property. This search also identifies sites of contaminated land nearby.
Drainage & Water searchidentifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Basildon properties for local parish repairs.

More specific searches, such as a Crossrail search or a geological search, may also be referred to subject to the outcome of the initial searches.

Basildon District Council has an approximate turnaround time of 9 weeks for Local Authority searches, so it will be worthwhile to use a quicker private search company.

Finding planning permissions

Office copies will also be ordered from the Land Registry by your conveyancing solicitor. This will help to expose potential planning issues. These issues could include right of access issues or errors on the title plan.

Basildon District Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Basildon will pay to Basildon District Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. The occupier of a property in Band C, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,546.

A conveyancing solicitor in Basildon will inform the buyer of the property's band after this is confirmed by the searches.

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 £1,159.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or structural changes or if an occupier is a student nurse. A house or flat built after 1991 is assessed and allocated a band by the Valuation Office Agency.

Band Basildon District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,159
B £1,353
C £1,546
D £1,739
E £2,125
F £2,512
G £2,898
H £3,478

Is your new home in the wrong band?

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

Valuation Office Agency
London House
New London Rd
Chelmsford
CM2 0QL
Essex

In 2016/17, 30 council tax challenges were made, of which 20 were upheld and refunds awarded.

Stamp Duty on Basildon properties

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

If a house is valued at over £125,000, the property buyer usually must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax.

With Quittance you have the peace of mind that the SDLT1 return is completed correctly and quickly when your purchase completes.

See examples for typical Basildon properties:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £320,774 £6,038.70
Average price (detached) £512,357 £15,617.85
Average new build £374,524 £8,726.20

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Basildon

Since the budget announcement in November 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000 with reduced rates up to £500,000. Following a change in April 2016, a 3% surcharge is applied for purchases of additional property. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Basildon for the average price of £320,774 the SDLT would be £25,661.92.

Basildon conveyancing solicitors should ensure the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Basildon

New build site

The potential risks of buying a leasehold property should be a source of concern for purchasers of leasehold houses or flats. There is a wide range of sometimes obscure legal issues that may be awaiting the unsuspecting purchaser, such as:

  • excessive freehold premiums
  • ground rent multipliers
  • overpriced managing agent packs
Poor leasehold guidance, from a conveyancing solicitor with only freehold experience, can have serious consequences.

A expert conveyancing solicitor in Basildon will address aspects of leasehold, including reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old), managing agent practices and service charges.

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase with Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Basildon?

New build site

15 new build properties have been bought in Basildon in 2018 so far, (HM Land Registry data). The average cost of Basildon new build properties is £397,173.

Purchasing a new build property can be more complex than any other type of conveyancing. Therefore a Basildon conveyancing solicitor must be aware of local Basildon factors and will examine a number of areas, e.g. handling equity loan schemes and verifying rights of easements.

Our conveyancing team are specialists in representing buyers to achieve the best outcome and working to tight developer deadlines.

Conservation areas in Essex

If you are intending to buy a house in one of Basildon's conservation areas, the property must not breach any conservation area restrictions. Called Article 4 directions, these restrictions can include restrictions on replacing roof tiles, restrictions on the addition of cladding or restrictions on extensions normally within Permitted Development rights.

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 was responsible for the changes.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Basildon

The legal work involved in a property sale is normally less troublesome than for a purchase. The buyer does a thorough investigation into the property and its legal title, whilst conveyancing solicitors in Basildon acting for the vendor just collates requested paperwork (e.g. warranties and certificates) and answers the buyer's questions .

What might you do to minimise the risk of your sale falling through?

A property can be burdened by a series of potential roadblocks (for example having right or way issues (such as being landlocked) or excessive ground rent) that can delay the conveyancing process.

Don't bury your head in the sand as it is the buyer's solicitor's job to spot problems - a better course of action will be to talk to a professional and deal with it as soon as you can.

Recommended reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Selling a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are uncommon) is quite a lot more specialised in comparison with a freehold house.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Basildon will need to conduct additional legal work, such as sourcing the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to any details of any ongoing enfranchisement process.

It is highly recommended that the vendor contacts a leasehold specialist as soon as an estate agent is chosen to help contain and resolve any delays.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both the buyer and the seller in one transaction?

Conveyancers regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA regulations prevent the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale and purchase.

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

Local Basildon conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Palmers, 19 Town Square, Basildon, Essex, SS14 1BD
  • Anthony King & Co, Southgate House, Town Square, Basildon, Essex, SS14 1BN
  • Martin Nossel & Co, First Floor, The Property Centre, Southernhay, Basildon, Essex, SS14 1ET
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Services UK Ltd, Cranes Farm Road, Basildon, Essex, SS14 3AD
  • Parkhall Estates, 27 Hornsby Road, Southfields Business Park, Laindon, Basildon, Essex, SS15 6SJ

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Basildon

Homeowners remortgage a home for all sorts of reasons, including fixing the mortgage on a new discounted rate, or consolidating debts. The main reason, however, is to reduce the monthly repayments.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Basildon can reduce the remortgage processing time, and move you to the better rate sooner. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting the mortgage rate you want.

It is key that the property lawyer handling your remortgage can act for your chosen mortgage provider. Our conveyancers are on all major UK lenders' panels. So no matter whether you are changing to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Bank of Scotland or to a variable-rate mortgage with the Monmouthshire Building Society, our remortgage specialists 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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