Updated: October 12, 2018

Bideford conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Bideford

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

Are Bideford conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Bideford will work on an hourly-rate basis, and others on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee') basis. We work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis, with no hidden fees. Your conveyancing quote explains what fees you will need to pay when your sale or purchase completes.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', in addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are fees that a property lawyer must pay to other companies during the process of buying or selling your home, such as indemnity insurance or Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total Bideford solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Though conveyancing fees in Bideford will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, the disbursements required can vary. As examples, additional region-specific searches, such as a Coal Authority search, may be needed and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

For a standard sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. With Quittance, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Bideford

When carrying out the legal work for the purchase of a house or flat, a conveyancing solicitor in Bideford will look into the title of the property and report back to the buyer and the lender.

The buyer's property lawyer will give advice following their enquiries, assist in resolving any issues and register the title in the new owner's name.

This part of the article provides useful advice for buyers who want conveyancing solicitors in Bideford.

Your Bideford conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before selecting a Bideford conveyancing solicitor, it is critical that you make sure that they can act in the interests of your lender, whether you are taking out a mortgage from Halifax, the Chelsea Building Society or any other lender.

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

If this is the case, the lender will need a different firm to carry out the legal work, and you will then have to cover this second solicitor's fees. This means the transaction could be delayed.

Your property purchase can be seriously delayed if you fail to check your property solicitor's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing can perform the conveyancing for all lenders.

Torridge District Council searches

Residential property searches are questions submitted to a number of authorities by Bideford conveyancing solicitors to provide information about the home you want to buy. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchreveals planning applications, decisions and enforcement notices for planning breaches.
Environmental searchexposes whether the land around the property (500m radius) has been affected by subsidence, flooding or has been identified as "contaminated land"
Drainage & Water searchidentifies the location of sewers and water mains, and will confirm whether these are maintained by the local council.
Chancel repair liabilitythere is a risk that some Bideford properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

You will be informed if your mortgage lender needs any additional searches, e.g. a highways search or a geological search.

Torridge District Council has an average turnaround time of 17 weeks for conveyancing searches. Your lawyer will therefore recommend using faster personal searches.

Planning searches

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor also retrieves an 'Official Copy of the Title Register' from the Land Registry. This will help to identify potential planning issues. These issues could include neighbours' rights of access or errors on the title plan.

Torridge District Council Council Tax

Torridge District Council calculate council tax on Bideford homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). E.g. a residential property in the Torridge District Council area in Band C would pay £1,619 per annum.

Bideford 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 over 24 months, the owner will pay 150% of the relevant rate. Single person discount reduces the tax due to 75%, which would equal £1,214.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or where an inhabitant is an 18 year old for whom child benefit is payable. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) work out bands for newly-built homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Torridge District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,214
B £1,417
C £1,619
D £1,821
E £2,226
F £2,631
G £3,035
H £3,642

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 20 council tax challenges were made, of which 10 were upheld and the tax was reduced. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

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

Stamp Duty on Bideford properties

SDLT is paid to HMRC and the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the tax return process is carried out.

If you are buying a home in England,Wales or Northern Ireland then Stamp Duty Land Tax is payable on properties over £125k. In Scotland, the threshold is £145k.

Our post-completion conveyancing team use legal case management system to ensure the SDLT1 tax return is submitted to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as quickly as possible.

This table sets out Stamp Duty Land Tax for typical property in Bideford:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £233,442 £2,168.84
Average price (detached) £317,194 £5,859.70
Average new build £252,241 £2,612.05
Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a 3% stamp duty surcharge, even if the property is not let out. Therefore, if a homeowner in Bideford bought a second home for the average price of £233,442 the SDLT would be £11,672.10.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Bideford

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

Conveyancing solicitors in Bideford should ensure the right amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Bideford

New build site

It is thought that in excess of 100,000 UK property owners are trapped by leases with unreasonable terms. Spiralling ground rents, restrictions on the use of the property and freeholds sold without first refusal to leaseholders are but a few of the many common complications awaiting the unsuspecting buyer.

Poor leasehold guidance, from an inexperienced property lawyer, could have serious financial consequences.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Bideford will consider possible leasehold issues, including :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some documents can be centuries old)
  • managing agent or landlord enquiries
  • annual statements of account and budgets for service charges
  • unexpired lease terms
  • planned external works requiring scaffolding

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in Bideford?

House being built

The average cost of new build homes in Bideford is £295,790, according to data gathered by HMLR. 10 brand new properties have been bought in Bideford in 2018 so far.

The legal work for acquiring a new build property requires specialist knowledge, compared to 'standard conveyancing'. Therefore a Bideford conveyancing solicitor must be aware of local issues and must check a range of issues, like dealing with lender conditions and confirming right of way over drains and sewers.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get a specialist assessment of the legal status of the property, scrutinising contract factors like unfair leasehold conditions and sharply increasing ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas in Devon

Buying in a conservation area can ensure that the street's unique character is protected. However, conservation area building controls will affect your property.

These building controls, called Article 4 Directions, can include:

  • Limitations on the erection of outbuildings
  • Restrictions on the addition of flues and soil vent pipes
  • Limits on the erection of outbuildings

If a property is in breach, the owner could be required to pay for the property to be changed back to the state it was in before the recent alterations, even if the previous owner carried out the alterations.

Parts of Bideford lie within a Torridge LPA-governed conservation area. Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Bideford's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Bideford

Conveyancing for a sale of a house or flat is simpler than for a purchase. For a house purchase, the onus lies with the purchaser to satisfy themselves that the property is legally sound.

In contrast, for a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Bideford acting for the seller only need to answer the purchaser's enquiries.

What factors could threaten your sale?

A house or flat will often come with numerous possible complications (e.g. missing planning permission or having a defective lease) which may derail your home move.

It is almost always recommended for vendors to handle any such problems as soon as they come to light.

Further reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is quite a lot more complicated than for a freehold property.

Leasehold complexity involves additional tasks on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Bideford, and this could include sourcing an up-to-date service charge statement or any documentation relating to forfeiture proceedings.

It is highly recommended that you contact a leasehold specialist as soon as possible to ensure any legal complexity is correctly handled.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both parties?

SRA rules ban the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale. However, a CLC-regulated conveyancer, can act for both parties.

If you are buying or selling a property in Bideford, and one of our conveyancing solicitors is carrying out the legal work for the other side, you may wish to contact a property solicitor firm in Bideford to carry out your conveyancing.

Local Bideford conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Slee Blackwell Solicitors LLP, 12 Mill Street, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2JT
  • Bazeley Barnes & Bazeley, 24 Bridgeland Street, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2QB
  • Brewer Harding & Rowe Solicitors LLP, 29 Bridgeland Street, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2PT
  • Peter Peter & Wright, Grenville House, The Quay, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2EZ
  • Seldons LLP, 18 The Quay, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2HF

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Bideford

Whilst homeowners consider remortgaging for a range of reasons, people will usually remortgage their home to get a more attractive interest rate.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Bideford will complete the conveyancing quickly, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With possible rate rises on the horizon, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting on to the rate you want.

So that they can confirm that the lender's capital is protected, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will need to act for both you and the new lender.

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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