Updated: October 12, 2018

Bicester conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Bicester

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid conveyancing solicitors in Bicester for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Do Bicester conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Bicester carry out the legal work on an hourly-rate basis, and others on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee') basis. We work on a No Sale, No Fee basis, with no nasty surprises in the small print. Your quote will set out what you will be charged when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

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

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 bankruptcy searches or office copies and title plans.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total Bicester solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Conveyancing solicitor fees in Bicester will not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. For example, council search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, such as utilities searches, may be needed.

There are no hidden costs or nasty surprises with Quittance Conveyancing. For a standard sale or purchase, 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 substantially lower than the average solicitors' fees, and their service was first-rate

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Bicester

Under recent changes to English and Welsh property law, a seller must now disclose issues concerning their property to their estate agent and to the purchaser.

It is, however, still the duty of the Bicester conveyancing solicitor to make enquiries about the property, make their "report on title", help to fix or resolve any legal issues and register the title in the new owner's name.

The following examines those residential property types that could involve extra risk for people searching for conveyancing solicitors in Bicester for a purchase.

Your Bicester conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Homebuyers have a wide selection of lenders available, from a major lender such as the Co-operative Bank, to a niche mortgage lender like the Dudley Building Society. Before you choose a Bicester conveyancing solicitor, you need to check that they are on the approved panel of your chosen lender.

A lot of banks and building societies will only accept a select panel of legal practices that meet stringent criteria. If a conveyancer is not on the panel of your chosen lender, the lender will need a different legal firm to carry out the legal work.

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

Failing to confirm your property lawyer's lender panel status could jeopardise the sale.

Our conveyancing solicitors can act for all banks and building societies.

Property Searches (Cherwell District Council)

Residential property searches are enquiries made of various authorities by Bicester conveyancing solicitors to give details about your planned purchase.

Banks and building societies almost always need a list of searches to be submitted. These include:

Local Authority (LA) searchincludes a list of planning decisions that could affect the property
Drainage & Water searchidentifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
Environmental searchenvironmental issues that could adversely affect the property
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability to the local parish for repairs.

Additional searches, such as a Crossrail search or a mining search, may also be referred to following the initial searches.

Property purchasers could experience a delay of approximately 10 weeks for Residential property searches provided by Cherwell District Council. In these circumstances, faster personal searches will be recommended.

Planning permissions

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will obtain the Title Register from HMLR, helping to identify any planning issues, such as a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan or a restrictive covenant against certain alterations.

Cherwell District Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Bicester, the applicable rate of council tax will vary depending on the value of the home (as assessed in 1991) and the number of people living in it. The occupier of a property in Band B, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,420.

A conveyancing solicitor in Bicester will inform the purchaser of the home's tax 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 £1,065.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or if you are a live in carer looking after someone who isn't a spouse or relative. A property constructed after 1991 is assessed and allocated a council tax banding by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Band Cherwell District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,217
B £1,420
C £1,622
D £1,825
E £2,231
F £2,636
G £3,042
H £3,650

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 30 council tax challenges were made, and 10 saw a subsequent reduction. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
4400 Nash Court
John Smith Drive

Stamp Duty on Bicester properties

Delays and penalties await those who mishandle the stamp duty administration process.

The vast majority of people will have their conveyancing solicitor complete the SDLT1 return on their behalf.

If the purchase price of your new home is over the £125k threshold (excluding 'chattels' or 'fixtures and fittings'), the Stamp Duty Land Tax becomes chargeable.

Quittance is able to administer the Stamp Duty Land Tax process faster and more efficiently than ever, using integrated online systems.

See examples for Bicester properties:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £339,391 £6,969.55
Average price (detached) £518,911 £15,945.55
Average new build £393,312 £9,665.60
Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to an SDLT surcharge of 3%, even if the property is not rented out. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Bicester for the average price of £339,391 the SDLT would be £27,151.28.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Bicester

Since 11/17, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000.

Bicester conveyancing solicitors will ensure their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Bicester

New build site

It is not recommended to purchase a leasehold house or flat if you are unaware of the facts. The many potential traps awaiting the unsuspecting buyer could include unfair developer practices and ground rent multipliers.

Serious consequences can result from an inexperienced solicitor's misguided leasehold advice.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Bicester will consider potential leasehold issues, such as :

  • reviewing the lease itself
  • possible service charge shortfalls
  • dealing with freeholders and managing agents
  • compliance with means of escape (where relevant)

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase - Contact our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors today on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Bicester?

New build site

Based on local data compiled by the Land Registry, 21 new build properties have been bought in Bicester in 2018 so far. The average value of new build property in Bicester is £393,312.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Bicester will need to be aware of Bicester-specific factors and new build-specific issues, such as advising on mortgage offer flexibility for delayed completion, checking that any contracts allow for future 'common parts' maintenance and checking new build warranties with warranty providers, including NHBC, Zurich Municipal and ACHI.

Our conveyancing team are experts in helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms and working to developer exchange timeframes.

Conservation areas in Oxfordshire

Whether you are looking for a rural setting or Georgian architecture, purchasing property in a street located in a conservation area can ensure the local character is unlikely to change. However, conservation area building controls will affect your home.

These conditions, referred to as Article 4 Directions, may include:

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

The local authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing a satellite dish.

Parts of Bicester are within a conservation area governed by the Cherwell local planning authority (LPA). Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Bicester's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Bicester

The conveyancing process on a property sale is generally simpler than for a property purchase. The buyer undertakes an investigation into the property's title and other legal aspects, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Bicester acting for the vendor simply replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries.

What could put the process at risk?

Homes will frequently have a range of problems (e.g. excessive ground rent) that have the capacity to stop a purchase in its tracks.

Don't put off finding a solution as it is highly unlikely that the problems won't be picked up. Instead, talk to a professional, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution as quickly as possible.

Recommended reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Selling a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are not common) is much more specialised than it is for a freehold home.

Bicester conveyancing solicitors will also perform extra work, and this could include obtaining all relevant freeholder information, through to any documents pertaining to a variation of the terms of the lease.

It is recommended that you instruct a leasehold expert as soon as possible to reduce delays.

What if Quittance is acting for the other side?

Conveyancers regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers can act for both parties. However, SRA regulations ban the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase.

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

Local Bicester conveyancing solicitor directory

  • HMG Law LLP, 32 Crown Walk, Bicester, Oxfordshire, OX26 6HY
  • Spratt Endicott Limited, The Old Courthouse, 5 Sheep Street, Bicester, Oxfordshire, OX26 6JB
  • Brethertons LLP, Franklins House, Manorsfield Road, Bicester, Oxfordshire, OX26 6EX
  • Cantelli & Co, 60 North Street, Bicester, Oxfordshire, OX26 6NF
  • Fonsecalaw Limited, Commerce House, Telford Road, Bicester, Oxfordshire, OX26 4LD

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Bicester

Benefitting from a better rate of interest to reduce monthly expenses is generally why people decide to remortgage. There are other reasons, such as borrowing more to help pay for an extension, or wanting to overpay when the lender refuses.

You should be able to enjoy a lower rate faster with a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Bicester. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and possible rate rises on the horizon, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting on to the rate you want.

It is crucial that the property lawyer carrying out the remortgage can also represent your new mortgage provider. Quittance Conveyancing are on all major lenders' panels. So no matter whether you are changing to a 95% mortgage with the Co-operative Bank or to a variable-rate mortgage with the Bank of Ireland, 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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