Updated: October 12, 2018

Cheshire conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Cheshire

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to your Cheshire conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with moving home.

Do Cheshire conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no hidden extras, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Cheshire who carry out the legal work on a fees per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote explains exactly what you will be charged 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 fees, costs or taxes the conveyancing solicitor will have to pay to other organisations as part of the house-buying and selling process, such as bankruptcy searches or telegraphic transfer fees.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total Cheshire solicitor conveyancing fees be?

While conveyancing fees in Cheshire will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, specific extra searches, e.g. utilities searches, may be necessary and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are absolutely no hidden costs. For a standard conveyancing transaction, what we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's fees were cheaper - less than half the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Cheshire

The county of Cheshire is situated in the north west of England. Its county town is the city of Chester, but the largest town is Warrington. Much of the county is agricultural, with attractive villages and small towns, although there are large industrial areas around Ellesmere Port, Crewe and Runcorn. Industries that contribute to Cheshire's economy include financial services, bio-technology, chemical and food and drink.

Its proximity to Liverpool and Manchester means the rural villages in Cheshire are home to a significant number of commuters, keeping the property market buoyant.

Conveyancing for buyers

In carrying out the legal work for a property purchase, a conveyancing solicitor in Cheshire will look into the property's title and make their "report on title".

The solicitor will offer suggestions and advice once their enquiries are complete, make practical suggestions and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

This part of the article examines the kinds of property which may involve additional risk for homebuyers who need conveyancing solicitors in Cheshire.

Your Cheshire conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether you are obtaining a mortgage from the Ecology Building Society, NatWest or any other lender, before you appoint a conveyancing solicitor in Cheshire it is essential that you check that they can act for your lender.

A lot of lenders only accept a select panel of legal firms. If a conveyancer cannot act for your lender, the lender will likely require a second law firm to complete the legal work.

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

Neglecting to check your solicitor's lender panel status could mean significant delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can act for all mortgage lenders.

Cheshire West and Chester Council searches

Searches are questions submitted to public bodies by Cheshire conveyancing solicitors to identify information and potential issues affecting the home you want to buy. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchincludes the LLC1 Local Land Charge Register and CON29 Enquiry Form
Environmental searchshows risks within 500 metres of the property, such as toxic chemicals in the land
Drainage & Water searchconfirms who is responsible for the upkeep of the water pipes and drainage that serve the property.
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Cheshire properties for local parish repairs.

More pertinent searches, such as a highways search or a contaminated land report, may also be referred to in the standard search results.

Cheshire West and Chester Council has a typical delivery time of 8 weeks for searches. A local search provider will be able to provide this information faster.

Planning permissions

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor also retrieves an 'Official Copy of the Title Register' from HM Land Registry, helping to evidence any issues. Examples of these include outbuildings lying outside the boundary or rights or restrictions on how the property may be used.

Cheshire West and Chester Council Council Tax

Cheshire West and Chester Council calculate your council tax based on a number of criteria including the size and layout of the property and the assessed value of the property in April 1991. E.g. for an average Valuation Band B property in Cheshire, the council tax due would be £1,345 per year.

Cheshire conveyancing solicitors will inform a buyer of the home's council tax band after this is confirmed by the searches.

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 reduces the tax due to 75% which would equal £1,009.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example 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 work out council tax bands for new build properties, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Cheshire West and Chester Council Tax (2018)
A £1,153
B £1,345
C £1,537
D £1,729
E £2,113
F £2,498
G £2,882
H £3,458

What to do if you suspect your new home is incorrectly valued

Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
2nd Floor
Wellington House
38-44 Delamere St
Crewe
CW1 2LQ
Cheshire

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 100 council tax challenges were made. 40 were upheld and the tax was reduced.

Stamp Duty on Cheshire properties

After a house sale has completed, the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the SDLT is paid to HMRC.

If the purchase price of the house you intend to buy is over the £125k threshold, you must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax.

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

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

  Average selling price (2017) SDLT
Average price £194,128 £1,382.56
Average price (detached) £302,809 £5,140.45
Average new build £252,496 £2,624.80
Following a change in April 2016, a surcharge of 3% is applied for purchases of additional property. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second property in Cheshire for the average price of £194,128 the SDLT would be £9,706.40.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Cheshire

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300k.

Conveyancing solicitors in Cheshire should confirm the right amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Cheshire

New build site

Buying a leasehold property without being aware of the facts can be risky. Numerous legal complications could be lying in wait for the unsuspecting purchaser, including reversionary interests, undisclosed major works and doubling ground rents.

Inaccurate leasehold advice, from a conveyancing solicitor with only freehold experience, could have serious financial implications.

If you intend to purchase a property with a lease, a competent conveyancing solicitor in Cheshire will consider possible leasehold issues, including :

  • reviewing the lease
  • dealing with landlords
  • service charges and whether they have been collected
  • residents? management company

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase with our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Cheshire?

House being built

The average cost of a new build home in Cheshire is £252,496, according to data sourced by the Land Registry. 938 brand new homes were purchased in Cheshire last year.

Buying a new build home is frequently more involved than other types of conveyancing. To avoid potential problems a Cheshire conveyancing solicitor must be conscious of Cheshire-specific factors and needs to consider a range of factors, including helping with mortgage offer extension terms and verifying rights of easements.

Our award-winning team of new build conveyancers are experts in meeting short developer deadlines and helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms.

Cheshire conservation areas

If you are buying a house in a conservation area in Cheshire, the property must not breach any conservation area constraints. Called Article 4 directions, these restrictions may include anything from restrictions affecting frontal additions to the property such as a porch, to restrictions preventing the addition of new access.

The local planning authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as knocking down a new modern-style extension.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Cheshire

Conveyancing for a house sale is much simpler than when buying. During the sale of a house or flat, caveat-emptor' means that the onus lies entirely with the buyer to verify that the property is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

In contrast, for a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Cheshire acting for the person selling effectively just answer any enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

What could put the sale process at risk?

Issues, such as not having a building regulations completion certificate or not being registered at the Land Registry, have the potential to slow or frustrate the sale process if left unresolved.

Property experts generally advise that vendors handle any such problems without delay.

Recommended reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat is a great deal more complicated compared to a freehold house.

Cheshire conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work. This can involve sourcing an up-to-date service charge statement, through to details of any slush fund for property maintenance.

In order to resolve any leasehold delays faster, it is recommended that the vendor contact a lawyer as soon as possible, potentially before putting the property on the market,.

What if your conveyancing solicitors are acting for the other side?

SRA rules prevent a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase. Conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

You could contact a property solicitor firm in Cheshire to undertake your conveyancing, if a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Cheshire

Benefitting from a lower interest rate to reduce monthly expenses is generally why people remortgage. There are other reasons, including wanting a more flexible mortgage, or releasing funds to help pay for home improvements.

Homeowners can enjoy the benefits of a lower rate faster with a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Cheshire. With rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting the mortgage rate you want.

So that they can make sure that the lender's investment is secured, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will act for both you and your new bank or building society.

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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