Updated: October 12, 2018

Colchester conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Colchester

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay conveyancing solicitors in Colchester for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Are Colchester conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis with no hidden extras, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Colchester who will work on a price per hour basis. Your quote will set out exactly what you will be charged when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are fees that a property lawyer must pay to other companies during the process of buying or selling your home. These include costs like managing agent information or bankruptcy checks.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Colchester cost?

Colchester conveyancing fees will be the same as anywhere else in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, such as a Coal Authority search, may be needed.

For a standard sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. There are no hidden fees or costs to be paid with Quittance Conveyancing. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Colchester

The historic market town of Colchester in Essex, established almost 2,000 years ago is a thriving modern metropolis. Easy access to London on the Great Eastern main line, yet close to coast and countryside and with a high quality of life for residents has made it one of the fastest growing towns in the UK according to recent data showed. Statistics showed that Colchester was attractive to young working professionals seeking more affordable housing.

There is an extensive regeneration programme in place, with plans to build around 12,000 new homes over the next 11 years. Key areas for development are East Colchester, St Botolph's and the Garrison.

Conveyancing for home buyers

When carrying out the conveyancing for a home purchase, the conveyancing solicitor in Colchester will look into the legal ownership rights or 'title' of the property and make their "report on title".

The buyer's solicitor will give advice after making their enquiries, assist in resolving any issues and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

This section of the article examines the property types that may carry risks for homebuyers who want conveyancing solicitors in Colchester.

Your Colchester conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Property purchasers have access to a broad selection of mortgage lenders, from a less common mortgage lender like the Holmesdale Building Society, to a major lender such as Britannia. Before choosing a conveyancing solicitor in Colchester, whoever you choose, it is essential that you check that they are on the panel of your lender.

Your conveyancer may be unable to act for your lender, because some banks and building societies will only accept a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of solicitors or licensed conveyancers that meet strict selection criteria.

If this is the case, the lender will likely need a different law firm to complete the legal work, and you will then have to cover this alternate solicitor's costs. Handling paperwork and correspondence with this additional party can delay the process.

Neglecting to check the lender panel membership of your property lawyer can frustrate the process.

Quittance Conveyancing can act on behalf of all banks and building societies.

Colchester Borough Council searches

Property searches will be applied for by Colchester conveyancing solicitors to help to identify problems that could reduce the value of your property.

Searches are primarily carried out to satisfy lender requirements, and include the local authority (LA) search, environmental search, drainage & water search and chancel repair liability.

Your conveyancer will notify you if your chosen lender insists on any additional searches, e.g. an HS2 search or a contaminated land report.

Homebuyers can expect a lead time of approximately 10 weeks for searches from Colchester Borough Council, so it will be worthwhile to use a quicker private search company.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will request an 'Official Copy of the Title Register' from HM Land Registry. This will help to highlight any potential issues, for example discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan or that a restrictive covenant has been breached.

Colchester Borough Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on a number of criteria such as the size of the home and the value of the property as determined by the VOA in 1991. For example, for an average Tax Band D home in Colchester, the amount of council tax would be £1,674.

Colchester conveyancing solicitors will inform a purchaser of the property's tax band once they have the Local Authority search results.

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 £1,256.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. a 10% discount for second homes (although this may change as the government has second home ownership in its sights) or if an occupier is a student nurse. A house or flat constructed after 1991 is assigned a banding by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Band Colchester Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,116
B £1,302
C £1,488
D £1,674
E £2,047
F £2,419
G £2,791
H £3,349

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

The Valuation Office Agency should reassess a property's band on request. Councils prefer that this be done within six months of buying a property. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
34 Southway

Stamp Duty on Colchester properties

It is the responsibility of the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor to handle the tax return process for the purchase.

Stamp duty works in a similar fashion to income tax insofar as a buyer will pay progressively more tax for a higher-value home.

Quittance Conveyancing use the latest case management integration with HMRC to avoid errors and ensure there are no late-filing penalties.

See SDLT examples for properties in Colchester:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty
Average price £289,733 £4,486.65
Average price (detached) £399,388 £9,969.40
Average new build £323,075 £6,153.75

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Colchester

In 2017, the Chancellor announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on properties below £300k. Higher rates of SDLT apply to buyers of second property in the form of an SDLT surcharge of 3%. Therefore, if a homeowner in Colchester bought a second property for the average price of £289,733 the SDLT would be £23,178.64.

Colchester conveyancing solicitors should ensure their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Colchester

New build site

It can be risky to buy a leasehold home without understanding the implications. Numerous legal issues could be awaiting the unsuspecting purchaser, including:

  • unreasonable managing agent fees
  • restrictions on the use of the property
  • excessive freehold premiums
  • exponential ground rents
Bad or incomplete leasehold advice, from a conveyancer with limited leasehold experience, could have serious financial consequences.

If you intend to purchase a property with a lease, a experienced conveyancing solicitor in Colchester will address aspects of leasehold, for example ground rents and service charges, leases approaching 80 years remaining and dealing with landlords.

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase - Speak to Quittance Conveyancing's team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Colchester?

House under construction

22 brand new homes have been bought in Colchester in 2018 so far, according to data gathered by the Land Registry. The average price for a new build in Colchester is £323,075.

The legal work for acquiring a new build property requires more technical knowledge than 'standard conveyancing'. To prevent difficulties arising a Colchester conveyancing solicitor must be aware of both region-specific issues and also needs to consider a range of factors, like helping with mortgage offer extension terms and working to builders' exchange timelines.

Our team of new build conveyancers specialise in representing buyers to achieve the best outcome and meeting short developer deadlines.

Conservation areas

Whether you enjoy Tudor-style or Edwardian architecture, moving to a conservation area can ensure that the neighbourhood is protected from noticeable change. However, conservation area conditions will affect your house.

Referred to as Article 4 directions, these building controls can include:

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

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

Conservation areas in Colchester include Colchester Area 2, Rowhedge and Fordstreet. Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Colchester's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Colchester

The legal process for a property sale is generally simpler than for a purchase. The buyer must carry out a full legal review into the property's title and other legal aspects. Conveyancing solicitors in Colchester acting for the vendor essentially just collates information and answers the purchaser's enquiries .

What factors could threaten your sale?

Frequently occurring issues, such as an issue with noisy neighbours, can significantly hinder the conveyancing process.

In most cases, you should face such issues head on and fix them.

Further reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat or house is quite a lot more complex than for a freehold property.

Colchester conveyancing solicitors will also perform extra work, including obtaining detailed managing agent information, through to a copy of the insurance policy.

Sellers are advised to get a property lawyer as soon as is practicable to help mitigate (often inevitable) leasehold delays.

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

A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC can act for both sides. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale.

You could instruct a property solicitor firm in Colchester to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side.

Local Colchester conveyancing solicitor directory

  • John Fowlers LLP, Town Hall Chambers, St. Runwalds Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1DS
  • Sparling Benham & Brough, 3 West Stockwell Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1HQ
  • Gepp & Sons Solicitors LLP, 56 North Hill, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1PX
  • Goody Burrett LLP, St Martins House, 63 West Stockwell Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1HE
  • Kew Law LLP, 55 North Hill, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1PX

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Colchester

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

Homeowners can appreciate the benefits of a better rate sooner by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Colchester. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in securing your preferred rate.

To certify that the mortgage provider's interests are protected, the property lawyer handling your remortgage 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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