Updated: October 12, 2018

Buckinghamshire conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Buckinghamshire

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

Do Buckinghamshire conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no hidden fees, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Buckinghamshire who work on an hourly rate. Your quote will set out all fees and other costs you will be charged when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

In addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees you will also have to cover any 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs incurred by the solicitor on your behalf. These include costs like Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) or TT fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will conveyancing in Buckinghamshire cost in total?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Buckinghamshire will be the same as anywhere else in the country, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, Local Authority Search fees can vary and specific extra searches, e.g. a historic mining 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. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Buckinghamshire

Buckinghamshire is one of the Home Counties, so named due to their proximity to London, and include the towns of High Wycombe, Milton Keynes, Amersham and Beaconsfield. Much of the county is rural and includes part of the Chiltern Hills AONB (area of outstanding natural beauty).

As part of the London commuter belt, property prices in Buckinghamshire are higher than the national average. The county also boasts the highest GDP per capita outside London, the highest quality of life, the best education results in the UK and the longest life expectancy.

Conveyancing for home buyers

Recent changes to the law mean that a seller should disclose defects or disputes to the buyer and the estate agent.

It is, however, still the duty of the conveyancing solicitor in Buckinghamshire to make enquiries about the property, report back to the purchaser and the mortgage lender (if applicable), offer practical solutions and register the title in the new owner's name.

This section of the article examines those areas of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Buckinghamshire where specialist conveyancing skills may be critical.

Your Buckinghamshire conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether you are getting a mortgage from the Earl Shilton Building Society, Lloyds Bank or any other lender, before you choose a conveyancing solicitor in Buckinghamshire it is essential that you check that they can act in the interests of your lender.

Quite a few lenders will only work with a selected list (their 'panel') of legal practices that have achieved certain benchmarks. If a conveyancer cannot act for your lender, the lender will require an alternative law firm to complete the legal work.

The purchaser will usually need to pay this alternate solicitor's fees, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Failing to confirm your property lawyer's lender panel status could result in significant delays.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved to act for all lenders.

Property Searches (Aylesbury Vale District Council)

Residential property searches are enquiries made of public bodies by Buckinghamshire conveyancing solicitors to help uncover relevant information about your planned purchase. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchcovers planning applications, building control history and enforcement action against the property. The LA search also includes details of any nearby road development schemes.
Drainage & Water searchidentifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
Environmental searchshows whether the surrounding environment is suitable for the purchaser
Chancel repair liabilityinsurance is arranged to protect the buyer against any liability for local parish church repairs.

You will be notified if your chosen lender needs any further searches, such as a Crossrail search or a contaminated land report.

Homebuyers should expect to wait up to 5 weeks for conveyancing searches delivered by Aylesbury Vale District Council, so your conveyancer will instead use a quicker local search agent.

Planning documents

Official Entries will also be sourced from the Land Registry by the homebuyer's conveyancing solicitor. This will help to highlight potential planning issues. Examples of these include a restrictive covenant against certain alterations or the title plan showing only very general boundaries.

Aylesbury Vale District Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on a number of criteria such as the number of people living at the property and the value of the property. For instance for an average Tax Band E property in Buckinghamshire, the council tax due would be £2,171.

A conveyancing solicitor in Buckinghamshire will inform a purchaser of the property's tax band once they are made aware.

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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £1,628.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes or if the property is armed forces accommodation.

Band Aylesbury Vale District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,184
B £1,382
C £1,579
D £1,776
E £2,171
F £2,566
G £2,960
H £3,552

Can I lower my band?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
4400 Nash Court
John Smith Drive
Oxford
OX4 2RU
Oxfordshire

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 70 council tax challenges were made, of which 30 were upheld and the tax was reduced.

Stamp Duty on Buckinghamshire properties

If you are buying a house that costs over £125k, then you will have to pay SDLT to HMRC. Submitting the SDLT1 form to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is difficult and time consuming. The majority of purchasers get their property lawyer to do it for them.

Quittance's case management system are fully integrated with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC)'s electronic filing systems.

See examples for typical local properties:

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £485,053 £14,252.65
Average price (detached) £755,415 £27,770.75
Average new build £465,368 £13,268.40
Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a surcharge of 3%, even if the property is not let out. For example, if an existing homeowner bought a second home in Buckinghamshire for the average price of £485,053 the SDLT would be £38,804.24.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Buckinghamshire

Relief is available on home purchases below £300,000 for first-time buyers with reduced rates up to £500,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Buckinghamshire will confirm the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Buckinghamshire

New build site

It is rarely a good idea to purchase a leasehold house or flat without knowing what you are getting into. Increasing ground rents, overpriced managing agent packs and marriage value issues are among the many common complications lying in wait for the unsuspecting purchaser.

Serious consequences can result from an inexperienced conveyancer's inaccurate leasehold advice.

A expert conveyancing solicitor in Buckinghamshire will consider possible leasehold issues, for example reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old), managing agent or landlord enquiries and ground rents and service charges.

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property with Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Buckinghamshire?

House under construction

The average price for new build homes in Buckinghamshire is £407,697, based on data published by the Land Registry. 52 newly-constructed homes have been bought in Buckinghamshire in 2018 so far.

The legal work for acquiring a new build home requires more technical knowledge than 'standard conveyancing'. Therefore a Buckinghamshire conveyancing solicitor needs to be mindful of local Buckinghamshire factors and will examine a number of areas, including helping with mortgage offer extension terms and handling withdrawal under the Consumer Code for Housebuilders.

Our specialist team of new build conveyancers deliver an independent assessment of the legal title of the house or apartment, and in particular concerns like the home's future marketability and an assessment of other risks, such as regional infrastructure plans (e.g. HS2).

Buckinghamshire conservation areas

Moving to a conservation area-protected street usually means that the local character will be preserved. However, conservation area conditions will affect your residential property.

These constraints can include:

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

The local planning authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing a garden fence or gate.

Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Buckinghamshire.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Buckinghamshire

The legal side of a sale of a house or flat usually requires less work than for a purchase. When buying, the onus is solely on the buyer to verify that the property they are buying is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

With a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Buckinghamshire acting for the current owner need only respond to enquiries made on behalf of the buyer.

Why do sales fall through?

Issues, like a solar panel 'rent a roof' scheme, might delay the sale conveyancing process.

Don't bury your head in the sand, waiting to see if the problem is discovered. Instead, you should seek out professional help and attempt to resolve it proactively.

Further reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat or house is much more complex than for a more straightforward freehold house.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Buckinghamshire will need to conduct extra work. This can involve collating an up-to-date service charge statement, through to any documentation relating to forfeiture proceedings.

To reduce delays, it is recommended that you contact a leasehold expert as early as possible.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for the buyer and the vendor of the same property?

Conveyancers regulated by the CLC can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA rules ban the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale.

If you are buying or selling a property in Buckinghamshire, and a Quittance conveyancer is doing the legal work for the other side, you can contact a local Buckinghamshire conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Buckinghamshire

By far the most common reason homeowners remortgage is to secure a lower interest rate. Other reasons to remortgage include moving from a standard variable rate (SVR) to a fixed-rate, or funding a one-off purchase.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Buckinghamshire will complete the conveyancing quickly, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in securing your preferred rate.

To make sure that the lender's interests are protected, the property lawyer will 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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