Updated: October 12, 2018

Bishops Stortford conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Bishops Stortford

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay your Bishops Stortford conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with moving home.

Are Bishops Stortford conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Bishops Stortford will work on an hourly-rate basis. We work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis, with no unexpected, additional costs. Your conveyancing quote will explain all fees and other costs you will be charged when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are the third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process. These include costs like TT fees or HMLR fees.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Bishops Stortford cost in total?

Bishops Stortford conveyancing solicitor fees will not vary. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, such as a flooding search, may be needed.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. For a standard sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Bishops Stortford

Recent changes to the law mean that a seller must now disclose issues concerning their property to their estate agent and to the purchaser.

That said, it remains the responsibility of a conveyancing solicitor in Bishops Stortford to make enquiries about the property, deliver their report on title to the purchaser, help with resolving any problems and ensure the title is transferred to the new owner.

This article offers recommendations for homebuyers who want conveyancing solicitors in Bishops Stortford.

Your Bishops Stortford conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether you are taking out a mortgage from NatWest, the Buckinghamshire Building Society or any other lender, before you instruct a conveyancing solicitor in Bishops Stortford you must confirm that they can act for your mortgage lender.

Most banks and building societies only accept a selected list (their 'panel') of law firms that meet stringent standards. If your conveyancer is not on the panel of your mortgage lender, the lender will need a second legal firm to act in their interests.

The home buyer will be expected to pay this alternate solicitor's fees, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Your property transaction could be put at risk by failing to check your conveyancer's lender panel status.

Our conveyancing solicitors are approved members of all lender panels.

East Hertfordshire Council searches

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are applied for by Bishops Stortford conveyancing solicitors to help to identify any significant issues that could possibly compromise how much your property is worth.

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

More specialised searches, such as a highways search or a disadvantaged area search, may also be referred to in the standard searches.

The average delivery time for Local Authority searches ordered from East Hertfordshire Council is 15 weeks. Your solicitor will instead apply for personal searches, which are usually faster.

Planning issues

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor also obtains official entries from HM Land Registry, assisting with the identification of potential planning issues. Examples of these include discrepancies with the filed plan or right of access issues.

East Hertfordshire Council Council Tax

East Hertfordshire Council calculate your council tax based on various factors such as the size and character of the home and the value of the home as determined by the VOA in 1991 (or 2003 in Wales). E.g. the occupier of a Band C property in the East Hertfordshire Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,525.

Conveyancing solicitors in Bishops Stortford will inform the buyer of the home's council 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 £1,144.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or if an occupier is a student nurse.

Band East Hertfordshire Council Tax (2018)
A £1,144
B £1,334
C £1,525
D £1,715
E £2,097
F £2,478
G £2,859
H £3,431

Can I appeal against my band?

To appeal contact:

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

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 40 council tax challenges were made. 20 resulted in a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Bishops Stortford properties

If a property is valued at over £125,000, the property buyer usually must pay SDLT. Obtaining and completing the SDLT1 return from HMRC is difficult but not impossible for a typical property buyer. Usually, however, the form is completed by the property lawyer to avoid penalties or delays.

Quittance use smart case management systems to ensure that mistakes are not made on the SDLT process.

The following table illustrates stamp duty examples for typical properties in Hertfordshire:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £464,646 £13,232.30
Average price (detached) £792,852 £29,642.60
Average new build £437,651 £11,882.55

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Bishops Stortford

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300,000. If you already own another residence , anywhere in the world you will be subject to a higher SDLT rate of 3%. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Bishops Stortford for the average price of £464,646 the SDLT would be £37,171.68.

Bishops Stortford conveyancing solicitors will ensure the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Bishops Stortford

New build site

The potential pitfalls of purchasing a leasehold property should be of serious concern for leasehold property buyers. Numerous legal complications could be lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer, such as:

  • unreasonable managing agent fees
  • spiralling ground rents
  • onerous clauses in the lease
Inaccurate leasehold advice, from an inexperienced lawyer, could have serious financial implications.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Bishops Stortford will address aspects of leasehold, e.g. :

  • reviewing the lease itself (many leases are decades old)
  • dealing with freeholders and managing agents
  • ground rents and service charges
  • residents' memoranda and articles of association

Our leasehold conveyancing solicitor team will make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Bishops Stortford?

House being built

According to data compiled by the HM Land Registry, 53 new builds have been bought in Bishops Stortford in 2018 so far. The average sale price of new builds in Bishops Stortford is £437,651.

Acquiring a new build home is considerably more complicated than buying a 'secondhand' home. To avoid potential problems a Bishops Stortford conveyancing solicitor must be aware of both region-specific issues and also should consider a range of factors, such as handling structural guarantees and working to builders' exchange timelines.

Our highly qualified new build conveyancing team specialise in helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms and meeting short developer deadlines.

Conservation areas in Hertfordshire

Your conveyancing solicitor will need to confirm if the home you are going to buy is in a conservation area in Bishops Stortford. If it is, the house will be affected by certain constraints. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these building controls may include:

  • Restrictions on replacing windows
  • Restrictions preventing the addition of new access
  • Restrictions on side or two-storey extensions

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 carried out the alterations.

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Bishops Stortford's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Bishops Stortford

The legal side of a property sale is less demanding than when buying. The buyer carries out a detailed legal assessment on the home, whilst conveyancing solicitors in Bishops Stortford acting for the vendor mostly just gathers together any pertinent information and answers the purchaser's enquiries .

What could jeopardise a property sale?

Issues, like not being connected to the main sewers, could prolong the sale process if ignored.

Don't bury your head and hope the buyer's solicitor won't notice, instead get advice and work to resolve it at the earliest stage.

Recommended reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat (houses are rarely leasehold) is quite a lot more complex than for a freehold property.

Bishops Stortford conveyancing solicitors will also carry out additional work. This can involve asking for managing agent information, through to a copy of the buildings insurance for the common parts.

In order to resolve any leasehold delays faster, it is strongly advised that you instruct a solicitor as early in the process as possible, ideally before putting the property on the market,.

What if Quittance is already acting for the other side?

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules ban the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale and purchase. However, conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, can act for both parties.

You can contact a local Bishops Stortford conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work, if we are doing the legal work for the other side.

Local Bishops Stortford conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Stanley Tee LLP, Tees House, 95 London Road, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, CM23 3GW

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Bishops Stortford

Whilst homeowners consider remortgaging for a range of reasons, people generally remortgage to get a more attractive interest rate.

You can enjoy the benefits of a lower rate faster by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Bishops Stortford, shortening the time the conveyancing takes. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting the mortgage rate you want.

A property lawyer will need to act for both you and your new bank or building society, in order to ensure the HM Land Registry is notified of the lender's charge over the property and 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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