Updated: October 12, 2018

Bishop Auckland conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Bishop Auckland

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Bishop Auckland for the legal work involved in moving home.

Are Bishop Auckland conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Bishop Auckland 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 fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee'), with no unexpected, additional costs. Your conveyancing quote will explain what you will pay when your sale or purchase completes.

Are there any other costs?

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

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client, such as Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) or office copies and title plans.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Bishop Auckland cost in total?

Though conveyancing fees in Bishop Auckland will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. For example, council search fees will vary and specific extra searches, e.g. a flooding search, may be necessary.

With Quittance, there are no hidden fees or surprises in the small print. For a standard home sale or purchase, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote 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 Bishop Auckland

In carrying out the conveyancing for a property purchase, a Bishop Auckland conveyancing solicitor will examine the draft contract and investigate the property's title and report back in detail to the buyer and the lender.

The buyer's property lawyer will offer professional advice following their enquiries, iron out any legal issues and register the title in the new owner's name.

The following discusses those areas of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Bishop Auckland where a deeper understanding of the legal technicalities is crucial.

Your Bishop Auckland conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before appointing a conveyancing solicitor in Bishop Auckland, it is very important that you make sure that they are approved by your mortgage lender, whether you are getting a mortgage from Barclays Bank, the Market Harborough Building Society or any other lender.

The majority of mortgage lenders will only accept a restricted panel of law firms. If a conveyancer is unable to act for your mortgage lender, the lender will need a second solicitor firm to complete the legal work.

The home buyer will usually need to pay this substitute lawyer's costs, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Serious delays can be caused by failing to confirm your conveyancer's lender panel status.

Our conveyancing solicitors can act for all lenders.

Property Searches (Durham County Council)

Searches are submitted by Bishop Auckland conveyancing solicitors to identify issues that could possibly undermine how much the property you are buying will be worth.

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

More pertinent searches, such as a highways authority search or a commons registration search, may also be referred to in the initial search results.

Durham County Council has an estimated lead time of 14 weeks for Residential property searches, so personal (as opposed to official) searches will be faster.

Finding planning permissions

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be ordered from HM Land Registry by the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor. This will help to highlight any issues. Examples of these include discrepancies with the filed plan or neighbours' rights of access.

Durham County Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Bishop Auckland, 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. For example, for an average Band D house in Bishop Auckland, the amount of council tax would be £1,887.

Conveyancing solicitors in Bishop Auckland will inform a buyer of the home's tax band as soon as they are made aware.

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 £1,416.

Other discounts and exemptions may 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.

Band Durham County Council Tax (2018)
A £1,258
B £1,468
C £1,678
D £1,887
E £2,307
F £2,726
G £3,146
H £3,775

Could I be overpaying council tax?

The Valuation Office Agency should reassess a property's band on request. Councils prefer that this be done within six months of buying a property. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Wycliffe House
Green Lane
County Durham

Stamp Duty on Bishop Auckland properties

Stamp Duty Land Tax will almost always need to be paid if the home being purchased is valued at over £125,000. Stamp duty is paid after an SDLT1 form is completed. The form is hard to understand in places - even some non-conveyancing solicitors struggle with it.

HMRC (formerly Inland Revenue) complications are avoided using the latest legal case management system.

See SDLT examples for homes in Bishop Auckland:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £133,078 £161.56
Average price (detached) £263,358 £3,167.90
Average new build £83,182 £0.00
Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a 3% SDLT surcharge, even if the property is not rented out. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second property in Bishop Auckland for the average price of £133,078 the SDLT would be £6,653.90.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Bishop Auckland

For first-time buyers, stamp duty is only payable on purchases over £300,000.

Bishop Auckland conveyancing solicitors will ensure the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Bishop Auckland

New build site

Buying a leasehold home if you are unaware of the facts can be fraught with risk. Unreasonable ground rents, reversionary interests and sinking fund issues are but a few of the many potential difficulties lying in wait for an uninformed buyer.

Serious consequences can result from an inexperienced lawyer's bad leasehold advice.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Bishop Auckland will consider potential leasehold issues, including :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some documents can be centuries old)
  • absent freeholders
  • any recent demands for service charges and ground rent
  • freeholder plans to sell the building
  • missing building regs and planning

Make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease - Call Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377 today.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Bishop Auckland?

House under construction

The average value of Bishop Auckland new build homes is £83,182. 7 brand new properties have been bought in Bishop Auckland in 2018 so far.

Purchasing a new build can be complicated compared to other types of conveyancing. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Bishop Auckland must be mindful of local Bishop Auckland considerations and will need to investigate several key factors, including advising on mortgage offer flexibility for delayed completion and spotting incomplete agreements for roads and sewers.

Our award-winning team of conveyancers specialise in working to tight developer deadlines and helping the buyer get the best possible purchase terms.

County Durham Conservation areas

Moving into a conservation area can ensure that the local neighbourhood is protected from drastic alterations. However, conservation area restrictions will affect your house.

These constraints may include restrictions on painting external walls, restrictions on the use of cladding or restrictions on side or 2 storey extensions.

If a property is in breach, the local council could order you (as the new owner) to pay for returning the property to a compliant state, even if the previous owner was responsible for the changes.

Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Bishop Auckland's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Bishop Auckland

The legal side of a sale of a home is much simpler than for a property purchase. When buying, the obligation is on the buyer to verify that the title of the property is mortgageable and is (or can be) registered at the Land Registry.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Bishop Auckland acting for the current owner effectively just answer any enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

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

Homes will often come with many legal issues (for example having right or way issues (such as being landlocked)) that might stop a purchase in its tracks.

It is usually a good idea for sellers to address these issues immediately.

Useful reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The legal work for a leasehold flat or house is quite a lot more complicated than for a freehold property.

Conveyancing solicitors in Bishop Auckland must usually carry out further legal work, which could include getting the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to a copy of any notices served on the leaseholder.

So as to resolve any leasehold-related problems sooner, it is recommended that the vendor contact a conveyancer as soon as the decision is made to sell.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both the buyer and the seller in one transaction?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules ban the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale. CLC-regulated conveyancers, however, can act for both sides.

You could contact a law firm in Bishop Auckland to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is acting for the other side.

Local Bishop Auckland conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Smith Roddam, 56 North Bondgate, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 7PG
  • Meikles Solicitors LLP, 23 Victoria Avenue, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 7NE
  • The Barrington Law Partnership, Barrington Chambers, Victoria Avenue, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 7JH
  • Hewitts, 207 Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 7EL
  • C W Booth & Co, 5-7 Cockton Hill Road, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 6EN

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Bishop Auckland

The most common reason homeowners remortgage is to secure a better rate of interest. There are other reasons to switch lenders or mortgage deals, including fixing the mortgage on a new discounted rate, or consolidating debts.

Homeowners should be able to enjoy a better rate sooner by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Bishop Auckland, working to reduce the processing time of the legal work. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting the mortgage rate you want.

A property lawyer will act for both you and the bank or building society, in order to confirm the interests of the lender are protected.

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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