Updated: October 12, 2018

Berwick Upon Tweed conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Berwick Upon Tweed

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid to conveyancing solicitors in Berwick Upon Tweed for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Are Berwick Upon Tweed conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Our solicitors work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Berwick Upon Tweed who offer services on a fees per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote sets out what you will be charged when your property transaction has completed.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

In addition to the legal fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs incurred by the solicitor on your behalf. These include costs like property searches or managing agent information.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total Berwick Upon Tweed solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Conveyancing fees in Berwick Upon Tweed will not vary. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. transport searches, may be needed.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. For a standard conveyancing transaction, 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 considerably cheaper than the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Berwick Upon Tweed

The legal work for a homebuyer will need a conveyancing solicitor in Berwick Upon Tweed to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors can range from a defective title (e.g. missing rights) to problems affecting the mortgageability (e.g. Japanese Knotweed).

The buyer's property lawyer will feed the results of their enquiries back to the purchaser and their mortgage lender, deal with any legal issues and register the new owner's title at the Land Registry.

This section of the article offers useful information for homebuyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in Berwick Upon Tweed.

Your Berwick Upon Tweed conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before choosing a Berwick Upon Tweed conveyancing solicitor, it is very important that you make sure that they can act in the interests of your lender, whether you are taking out a mortgage from the Skipton Building Society, the Co-operative Bank or any other lender.

Your solicitor may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your lender, because some mortgage lenders will only work with a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of firms that pass strict selection criteria.

Should this be the case, the lender will probably need an alternative legal firm to carry out the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this substitute solicitor's fees. This can push back the completion date of the purchase.

Failing to check the lender panel membership of your property solicitor can result in significant delays.

Our conveyancing solicitors are on the panel of all mortgage providers.

Northumberland County Council searches

Property searches will be applied for by Berwick Upon Tweed conveyancing solicitors to expose any significant issues that could undermine the value of the property you are purchasing.

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

Homebuyers will be made aware if your lender wants any more searches, e.g. a tin mining search or a contaminated land report.

Purchasers will have to endure a wait of up to 8 weeks for conveyancing searches ordered from Northumberland County Council, so your lawyer will recommend using quicker personal searches.

Finding planning permissions

Office copies will also be sourced from HM Land Registry by your conveyancing solicitor. This helps to find any planning issues. Examples of these include a restrictive covenant against certain alterations or discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan.

Northumberland County Council Council Tax

Northumberland County Council calculate your council tax based on various factors which include the size of the property and the property's value as at 1 April 1991 (England) or 1 April 2003 (Wales). For example, for an average Tax Band C house in Berwick Upon Tweed, the amount due would be £1,624 per year.

Conveyancing solicitors in Berwick Upon Tweed will inform a buyer of the home's council tax band once they are themselves notified.

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 £1,218.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or where the property is occupied solely by students. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) calculate bands for new build properties, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

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

Are you about you buy a home in the wrong council tax band?

A homeowner can apply for their property to be reassessed. To challenge your banding contact:

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

Stamp Duty on Berwick Upon Tweed properties

Completing the SDLT1 form in order to pay SDLT is a daunting prospect for a layperson.

If a house is valued at over £125k, the buyer usually must pay stamp duty.

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

See table below for SDLT examples for homes in Berwick Upon Tweed:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £173,007 £960.14
Average price (detached) £281,110 £4,055.50
Average new build £229,500 £2,090.00
Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a 3% stamp duty surcharge, even if the property is not let out. So if a second home was bought for £173,007 then the SDLT total will be £8,650.35.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Berwick Upon Tweed

For first-time buyers, stamp duty is only payable on purchases over £300k.

Conveyancing solicitors in Berwick Upon Tweed should ensure the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Berwick Upon Tweed

New build site

The drawbacks associated with leasehold property ownership should be of serious concern. The numerous common problems awaiting an uninformed purchaser could include spiralling ground rents and incomplete management company accounts.

Serious consequences can result from a less-experienced solicitor's failure to give good leasehold advice.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Berwick Upon Tweed will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, including :

  • reviewing the lease itself
  • current-year service charge estimates
  • dealing with freeholders and managing agents
  • missing building regs and planning

Quittance Conveyancing's team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors will ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Berwick Upon Tweed?

New build building site

The average value of Berwick Upon Tweed new build homes is £229,500. 4 brand new properties were purchased in Berwick Upon Tweed last year.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Berwick Upon Tweed must be mindful of both local issues and the extra complexities associated with new build, like ensuring compliance with planning regulations and handling structural guarantees.

Our specialist team of new build conveyancers deliver a specialist assessment of the legal status of the property, scrutinising contract concerns like problematic leasehold terms and an assessment of other risks, such as flood risk.

Conservation areas in Northumberland

Whether you are intending to buy a period coach house or a period townhouse, if the house is in a conservation area, your plans to alter the house might not be permitted by Northumberland County Council.

These building controls could include restrictions on the use of PVC windows, restrictions on the erection of outbuildings or restrictions preventing the addition of new access.

The local authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as knocking down a new modern-style extension.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Berwick Upon Tweed

The legal process for a property sale is generally simpler than when buying. The buyer's solicitor needs to carry out a detailed legal assessment on the home, whilst conveyancing solicitors in Berwick Upon Tweed acting for the seller just collects any required paperwork and replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries .

Factors that could delay or endanger your sale

Homes will often come with problems (for example a problem with the roof) that can protract a transaction.

It is generally advisable for sellers to tackle these issues head on.

Further reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The legal work for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are rare) is quite a lot more complicated in comparison with a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Berwick Upon Tweed will also carry out additional work. This can involve contacting the landlord for a comprehensive pack of information, through to details of historical insurance claims.

Vendors should instruct a lawyer as soon as an estate agent is chosen to help mitigate (often inevitable) leasehold delays.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both the buyer and the seller of the same house?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules restrict the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase. However, conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, can act for both parties.

If you are buying or selling a Berwick Upon Tweed property, and we are carrying out the legal work for the other side, you could instruct a property solicitor firm in Berwick Upon Tweed to undertake your conveyancing.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Berwick Upon Tweed

The most common reason people remortgage a home is to secure a lower interest rate. Other reasons to consider remortgaging include extending the mortgage term, or wanting a more flexible mortgage.

You can enjoy the benefits of a better rate sooner by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Berwick Upon Tweed, working to shorten the processing time of the legal work. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting on to the rate you want.

It is vitally important that the property lawyer handling your remortgage can represent your chosen mortgage provider. Quittance Conveyancing are panel members of all major banks and building societies. So no matter whether you are changing to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Nationwide Building Society or to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Chelsea Building Society, we 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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