Updated: October 12, 2018

Brentwood conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Brentwood

Conveyancing solicitor fees will be paid to conveyancing solicitors in Brentwood for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Are Brentwood conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Brentwood work on a fees per hour basis, whereas others work on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee'). Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis, with no nasty surprises in the small print. Your conveyancing quote will set out exactly what you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

You must cover the cost of any 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client, such as managing agent information or property searches.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total Brentwood solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Brentwood conveyancing fees will be the same as anywhere else in the country. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, additional region-specific searches, e.g. a historic mining search, may be needed and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

For standard conveyancing transactions, what we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no hidden fees or nasty surprises. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, 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 Brentwood

As a key part of the legal work for a homebuyer, the Brentwood conveyancing solicitor will carry out due diligence on the legal ownership rights or 'title' of the property and feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer.

The purchaser's solicitor will offer professional advice after making their enquiries, make practical suggestions and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

This article discusses those parts of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Brentwood where greater expertise is necessary.

Your Brentwood conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

There are many lenders, from a niche lender like the Harpenden Building Society, to a large lender such as Birmingham Midshires. Before you instruct a Brentwood conveyancing solicitor, whoever you choose, you must confirm that they can represent your mortgage lender.

Your lawyer may not be able to carry out the legal work for your mortgage lender, because some banks and building societies are only happy to work with a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of solicitors or licensed conveyancers.

If this is the case, the lender will probably need a second solicitor firm to complete the legal work, and you will then have to cover this second lawyer's costs. This can frustrate or delay the process.

Neglecting to check your conveyancing solicitor's lender panel status can frustrate the process.

Our solicitors can perform the conveyancing for all lenders.

Conveyancing Searches (Brentwood Borough Council)

Searches are submitted by Brentwood conveyancing solicitors to identify planning, development and environmental issues that might possibly affect the value of the property you are buying. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - planning and development details from Brentwood Borough Council records
  • Environmental search - shows whether the surrounding environment is suitable for the purchaser
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Brentwood properties for local parish repairs.

You will be informed if your mortgage lender insists on any further searches, for example a more detailed flood report or an agricultural search.

Homebuyers can expect to wait up to 5 weeks for conveyancing searches delivered by Brentwood Borough Council, so your solicitor will instead order faster regulated searches.

Planning searches

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will source official entries from HM Land Registry. This helps to find any potential issues. These issues could include a restrictive covenant against certain alterations or errors on the title plan.

Brentwood Borough Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on a number of criteria such as the location of the property and the value of the property as determined by the VOA in 1991. For instance a residential property in the Brentwood Borough Council area in Tax Band E would pay £2,029 per annum.

Conveyancing solicitors in Brentwood will inform the purchaser of the property's 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 £1,522.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or where the property (land) is a boat mooring or caravan pitch. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) work out bands for new build properties, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Brentwood Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,107
B £1,291
C £1,476
D £1,660
E £2,029
F £2,398
G £2,767
H £3,320

Can you challenge the council tax bracket?

From April 2016 to March 2017, 30 council tax challenges were made, of which 10 saw a reduction. To challenge your banding contact:

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

Stamp Duty on Brentwood properties

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

If a property is valued at over £125,000, the buyer usually must pay stamp duty.

With Quittance you have the peace of mind that the SDLT1 return is completed correctly and quickly when your purchase completes.

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

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £490,581 £14,529.05
Average price (detached) £801,166 £30,058.30
Average new build £473,349 £13,667.45

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Brentwood

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300k. Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT when purchasing a second home. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Brentwood for the average price of £490,581 the SDLT would be £39,246.48.

Conveyancing solicitors in Brentwood will confirm the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Brentwood

New build site

Buying a leasehold house or flat if you are unaware of the implications is risky. Exponential ground rents, absent freeholders and short leases are only some of the many common complications lying in wait for the unsuspecting purchaser.

Severe consequences can result from a solicitor's erroneous leasehold advice.

A specialist conveyancing solicitor in Brentwood will address aspects of leasehold, such as reviewing the lease itself (some documents can be centuries old), dealing with freeholders and managing agents and service charges, ground rents and buildings insurance arrangements.

Our leasehold conveyancing solicitors will ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Brentwood?

Building site

6 brand new homes have been bought in Brentwood in 2018 so far, according to information compiled by the Land Registry. The average purchase price of new build properties in Brentwood is £439,998.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Brentwood must be mindful of regional factors and new build's added complexities, including verifying rights of easements and checking the suitability of new build insurance.

Our highly qualified conveyancing team specialise in working to tight developer deadlines and representing buyers to achieve the best outcome.

Essex Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will check if the residential property you are purchasing is in a conservation area in Brentwood. If it is, the property will be affected by specific constraints. Called Article 4 directions, these restrictions 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 local authority could order you (as the new owner) to pay for returning the property to a compliant state, even if the changes were made by the previous owner.

Highwood Hospital, Thorndon Park and Herongate are among the conservation areas in Brentwood. Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Brentwood.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Brentwood

The legal side of a sale of a home is less demanding than when purchasing. With a purchase, the responsibility is solely on the buyer to establish that the property they are purchasing is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

With a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Brentwood acting for the seller effectively just answer the buyer's questions.

Factors that could delay or endanger a property sale

Common hurdles, such as not having full title or a problematic solar panel lease, can easily frustrate the sale process if not handled appropriately.

Property experts usually advise that sellers face any such problems head on and fix them.

Recommended reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold flats

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is significantly more complicated in comparison with a freehold house.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Brentwood must carry out additional legal work, and this could include getting all relevant freeholder information, through to any documentation relating to forfeiture proceedings.

It is highly recommended that the vendor contacts a lawyer with leasehold experience as soon as an estate agent is chosen to reduce delays.

What if Quittance conveyancers are acting for the other side?

Conveyancers regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers can act for both parties. However, SRA rules restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale and purchase.

You may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in Brentwood to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancer is acting for the other side.

Local Brentwood conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Landons Solicitors Limited, Landon House, 9 Shenfield Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM15 8AH
  • Wortley Byers LLP, Cathedral Place, Brentwood, Essex, CM14 4ES
  • Pinney Talfourd LLP, New North House, 78 Ongar Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM15 9BB
  • Legal & Insurance Services Limited, Suite 3, Second Floor, National Westminster Building, 46 High Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM14 4DR
  • Countryside Properties Plc, The Drive, Great Warley, Brentwood, Essex, CM13 3AT

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Brentwood

Although there are many reasons to remortgage, homeowners generally remortgage their home to get a more affordable interest rate.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Brentwood can reduce the remortgage processing time, and move you to the better rate sooner. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting on to the rate you want.

A property lawyer will act for both you and the mortgage lender to make sure the change of lender is recorded at the Land Registry 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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