Updated: October 12, 2018

Chester conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Chester

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

Are Chester conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Chester will work on an hourly rate, and others on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee') basis. Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis, with no hidden extras. Your quote explains exactly what you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

In addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client, such as bankruptcy checks or indemnity insurance.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will the total Chester solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Chester conveyancing fees will be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, Local Authority Search fees can vary and additional region-specific searches, such as a historic mining search, may be needed.

For a standard home sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are absolutely no hidden costs. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance delivered an excellent service at the lowest conveyancing fees we could find

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Chester

The city of Chester, founded in 79 AD by the Romans, is situated on the River Dee in Cheshire, close to the Welsh border. As one of the best preserved walled cities in Britain it is a magnet to those interested in history and heritage.

Chester's industries are mainly service industries including public administration and financial services tourism and retail. With a fifteen year strategy is in place to guide its future economic development, Chester will remain a distinctive and desirable place in which to live, invest, do business, visit and study. .

Conveyancing for purchasers

In carrying out the conveyancing for a property purchase, a Chester conveyancing solicitor will look into the title of the property and report back to the buyer and the lender.

The buyer's solicitor will offer professional advice after making their enquiries, iron out any legal issues and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

This section of the article offers recommendations for buyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in Chester.

Your Chester conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you instruct a Chester conveyancing solicitor, it is vital that you check that they are on the approved panel of your mortgage lender, whether you are getting a mortgage from the Barnsley Building Society, Barclays Bank or any other lender.

A lot of mortgage lenders will only accept a restricted group of legal practices. If your solicitor is not on the panel of your mortgage lender, the lender will likely need a different law firm to complete the legal work.

The borrower will be expected to pay this alternate lawyer's costs and significant delays to your move could occur.

Neglecting to check the lender panel membership of your lawyer can mean significant delays.

Our solicitors can perform the conveyancing for all mortgage lenders.

Property Searches (Cheshire West and Chester Council)

Property searches will be applied for by Chester conveyancing solicitors to identify any broader issues that might potentially affect how much the property you are buying will be worth.

Lenders will also require searches (as set out in the CML Handbook) to be applied for. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority search - planning and development details from Cheshire West and Chester Council records
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies the location of sewers and water mains, and will confirm whether these are maintained by the local council.
  • Environmental search - reveals contaminated land, landfill sites and flooding or subsidence within 500m of the property.
  • Chancel repair liability - there is a risk that some Chester properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

Further searches, such as a highways search or a ground stability report, may also be advised in the standard search results.

Cheshire West and Chester Council has an estimated delivery time of 8 weeks for Residential property searches. Your lawyer could instead use faster personal searches.

Checking planning permission status

Your conveyancing solicitor will also obtain an 'Official Copy of the Title Register' from HMLR, assisting with the identification of any issues, for example a restrictive covenant against certain alterations or a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan.

Cheshire West and Chester Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on various criteria which include the size of the property and the assessed value of the property in April 1991. For example, for an average Tax Band C property in Chester, the amount payable would be £1,537.

Chester conveyancing solicitors will inform a buyer of the home's tax band once they have the Local Authority search results.

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 £1,153.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or if the property is a 'granny annexe'. A house or flat built after 1991 is assessed and given a banding by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

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

Can I lower my band?

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

Valuation Office Agency
Regent House
Regent St
Wrexham
Clwyd
Wales
LL11 1PR

A property owner can also apply for their property to be reassessed, and if the valuation is revised down, they may receive a refund.

Stamp Duty on Chester properties

If you are buying a house in England, Wales or Northern Ireland then you will usually need to pay stamp duty. Doing the SDLT1 form yourself is confusing and not for the wary.

Quittance's case management system ensures that the hard to understand SDLT1 form is filed online to reduce delays and to avoid late-filing penalties.

This table sets out SDLT for average property in Chester:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £241,203 £2,324.06
Average price (detached) £374,836 £8,741.80
Average new build £135,037 £200.74

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Chester

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300k. If you own another property or share in a property (including outside the UK)you will be subject to a 3% stamp duty surcharge. So if a second property was bought for £241,203 then the stamp duty total will be £12,060.15.

Chester conveyancing solicitors should confirm the right amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Chester

New build site

It is not recommended to purchase a leasehold property if you are unaware of the implications. The many potential problems lying in wait for an uninformed buyer could include overpriced managing agent packs and exponential ground rents.

Erroneous leasehold advice, from an inexperienced conveyancer, can have serious consequences.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Chester will consider potential leasehold issues, including :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some documents can be centuries old)
  • service charge records from the last three years
  • dealing with landlords
  • residents? management company
  • service charge apportionments

Quittance Conveyancing's specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors will make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Chester?

New build site

7 brand new homes have been bought in Chester in 2018 so far, according to data sourced by HMLR. The average sale price of Chester new build properties is £135,037.

Buying a new build property is more involved than any other type of conveyancing. To prevent difficulties arising a conveyancing solicitor in Chester must be aware of local Chester issues and needs to consider a range of factors, such as dealing with delays associated with off-plan and investigating road and drainage issues.

With our new build team, you will get an expert appraisal of the legal title of the property, with a close eye on issues ranging from onerous leasehold conditions to potential freehold acquisition traps.

Cheshire Conservation areas

When acting for the purchaser of a property in Chester, a conveyancing solicitor will need to confirm if the house is in a conservation area in Chester. If it is, the house is affected by constraints. These constraints could include restrictions on painting external walls, restrictions on the use of cladding or limitations on new outbuildings.

If a property is in breach, you could be legally required (as the new owner) to pay for returning the property to a compliant state, even where the alterations were made by the previous owner.

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Chester.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Chester

The legal side of a property sale is much easier than for a property purchase. With a property purchase, caveat-emptor' means that the onus lies entirely with the buyer to ensure that the house or flat is mortgageable and is (or can be) registered at the Land Registry.

With a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Chester acting for the vendor only need to answer the buyer's questions.

What could go wrong?

Properties can be burdened by numerous complex issues (such as chancel repair liability or being situated on a flood plain) which could protract or even derail the conveyancing process.

It is best not to procrastinate as it is highly unlikely that the problems won't be picked up. Get advice, face the issues head on, and find a solution proactively.

Recommended reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Selling a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is much more complicated than it is for a freehold home.

Conveyancing solicitors in Chester must usually carry out further legal work, which could include collating an up-to-date service charge statement, through to details of any unresolved disputes.

To accelerate the handling of the leasehold work, it is strongly advised that the vendor contacts a lawyer with leasehold experience as early in the process as possible, ideally before putting the property on the market,.

What if Quittance conveyancers are acting for the other side?

CLC-regulated conveyancers can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA rules ban a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale.

If you are buying or selling a home in Chester, and one of our conveyancing solicitors is doing the legal work for the other side, you could contact a property solicitor firm in Chester to carry out your legal work.

Local Chester conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Cullimore Dutton Solicitors Limited, 20 White Friars, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1XS
  • Kelsall & Company, The Bond, Godstall Lane, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1LN
  • Russell & Russell, 9 White Friars, Chester, CH1 1NZ
  • SAS Daniels LLP, 35 White Friars, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1NZ
  • Storrar Cowdry & Co Limited, India House, 16 White Friars, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1NZ

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Chester

Whilst there are many reasons to consider remortgaging, homeowners generally remortgage to secure a better rate of interest.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Chester will complete the conveyancing quickly, helping you get onto the lower rate earlier. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises hard to predict, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

The property lawyer carrying out your remortgage must also be able to act on behalf of your chosen mortgage lender. Quittance Conveyancing are panel members of all major banks and building societies, so no matter whether you are changing to an offset mortgage with Santander or to a discounted-rate mortgage with the Dudley Building Society, we can help.

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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