Updated: October 12, 2018

Devizes conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Devizes

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid conveyancing solicitors in Devizes for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

Do Devizes conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

We work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Devizes who will work on a cost per hour basis. Your quote explains all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also have to cover any 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are fees that a property lawyer must pay to other companies during the process of buying or selling your home, such as managing agent information or bankruptcy searches.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will the total Devizes solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Although conveyancing fees in Devizes will be the same as anywhere else in the country, the disbursements required can vary. For example, specific extra searches, such as a flooding search, may be necessary and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

For standard conveyancing transactions, what we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden costs or nasty surprises with Quittance. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were substantially lower than the average solicitors' fees, and their service was first-rate

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Devizes

The legal work for a property purchase will require the Devizes conveyancing solicitor to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors can range from defective property title (e.g. the title is subject to an estate contract) to the mortgageability of the property itself.

The property lawyer will report their findings back to the buyer and their bank or lender (if there is a mortgage), help with resolving any problems and register the title in the new owner's name.

The following section gives recommendations for homebuyers looking for conveyancing solicitors in Devizes.

Your Devizes conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before appointing a conveyancing solicitor in Devizes, it is very important that you make sure that they are on the approved panel of your mortgage lender, whether you are taking out a mortgage from Santander, Ahli United Bank or any other lender.

Many mortgage lenders will only work with a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of law firms that meet strict selection criteria. If a solicitor cannot act for your mortgage lender, the lender will need an alternative law firm to carry out the legal work.

The home buyer will usually need to pay this alternate lawyer's costs, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Failing to confirm the lender panel membership of your property solicitor can frustrate the process.

Quittance Conveyancing can act on behalf of all mortgage providers.

Residential Property Searches (Wiltshire Council)

Searches are questions asked of various bodies by Devizes conveyancing solicitors to provide information about your planned purchase. They include:

  • Local Authority search - contains information about the property and surrounding area held by Wiltshire Council
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies water mains and sewers. This search also addresses whether the maintenance for these is the owner's responsibility.
  • Environmental search - covers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
  • Chancel repair liability - involves the potential liability owed by the owners of certain property to pay for local parish church repairs. Insurance can be arranged to cover this risk.

Your solicitor will notify you if your lender needs any additional searches, such as a highways authority search or a ground stability report.

Property purchasers can expect to wait roughly 16 weeks for searches from Wiltshire Council. Faster personal searches (as opposed to official LA searches) will therefore be recommended.

Checking planning permission status

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer also retrieves official entries from the Land Registry, assisting with the identification of planning issues. Examples of these include a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan or a restrictive covenant against certain alterations.

Wiltshire Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Devizes, the applicable rate of council tax will vary depending on the value of the home (as assessed in 1991) and the number of people living in it. E.g. the occupier of a Band D property in the Wiltshire Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,778.

Conveyancing solicitors in Devizes will inform a buyer of the property's band as soon as they are notified.

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 £1,333.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or structural changes or where the property is a hall of residence.

Band Wiltshire Council Tax (2018)
A £1,185
B £1,383
C £1,580
D £1,778
E £2,173
F £2,568
G £2,963
H £3,556

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 130 council tax challenges were made, of which 30 were upheld and the tax was reduced. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
4th Floor
Citypoint
Temple Gate
Bristol
BS1 6PL
Avon

Stamp Duty on Devizes properties

Stamp Duty Land Tax will almost always need to be paid if the house being purchased is valued at over £125,000.

Delays and penalties await those who mishandle the stamp duty administration process.

The vast majority of people will have their conveyancing solicitor complete the SDLT1 return on their behalf.

Quittance's investment in the latest state-of-the-art case management system means that HMRC filing complications are a thing of the past.

See table below for stamp duty examples for homes in Devizes:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £291,898 £4,594.90
Average price (detached) £435,815 £11,790.75
Average new build £346,894 £7,344.70
Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT when purchasing a second property. For example, if a property owner bought a second property in Devizes for the average price of £291,898 the SDLT would be £23,351.84.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Devizes

In 11/17, the Chancellor announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on residential properties below £300,000.

Devizes conveyancing solicitors should ensure the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Devizes

New build site

It is risky to buy a leasehold house or flat without being aware of the facts. There are numerous technical issues that could be lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer, such as:

  • unfair developer practices
  • onerous covenants
  • unreasonable ground rents
Severe consequences can result from an inexperienced lawyer's failure to advise you correctly regarding your planned leasehold purchase.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Devizes will consider possible leasehold issues, for example :

  • reviewing the lease itself
  • managing agent practices
  • current-year service charge estimates
  • planned large scale expenditure is planned
  • short leases

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase - Contact Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377 today.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Devizes?

House being built

Based on local data sourced by the Land Registry, the average purchase price of Devizes new builds is £344,000. 3 new build houses and flats have been bought in Devizes in 2018 so far.

Acquiring a new build property can be more involved than any other type of conveyancing. Therefore a Devizes conveyancing solicitor must be mindful of both region-specific issues and also will examine a number of areas, e.g. handling reservation fees and confirming Section 38 agreements.

Our team of conveyancers are experts in meeting short developer deadlines and helping the buyer get the best possible purchase terms.

Wiltshire Conservation areas

Whether you are a fan of Georgian, Edwardian or even Brutalist architecture, moving into a conservation area can ensure that the local neighbourhood is protected from drastic alterations. However, conservation area constraints will affect your property.

These building controls, called Article 4 Directions, could include:

  • Restrictions on the removal or addition of front boundary walls
  • Restrictions on the installation of skylights
  • Limits on extensions (even if within Permitted Development rights)

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

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Devizes

The legal process for a property sale is less complicated than for a purchase. During the sale of a house or flat, caveat-emptor' means that the onus lies entirely with the buyer to discover whether the legal title of the property is mortgageable and is (or can be) registered at the Land Registry.

When selling, conveyancing solicitors in Devizes acting for the vendor need only answer the purchaser's enquiries.

What factors could threaten your sale?

Obstacles, like excessive ground rent, can derail a transaction if not handled appropriately.

Don't shy away from finding a solution in the hope that any issues won't be spotted. The best course of action is to speak to an expert and tackle it at the earliest stage.

Useful reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is quite a lot more difficult compared to a freehold house.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Devizes must carry out additional tasks, such as getting the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to a copy of any required license to assign.

Sellers should seriously consider instructing a solicitor as soon as is practicable to reduce the impact of any leasehold-caused issues.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for the buyer and the vendor of the same house?

A conveyancer regulated by the CLC can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority rules prevent a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale.

If you are buying or selling a house or flat in Devizes, and a Quittance solicitor is carrying out the legal work for the other side, you could contact a local Devizes conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work.

Local Devizes conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Awdry Bailey & Douglas, 33 St. Johns Street, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1BW
  • Goughs Lawyers LLP, Ramsbury House, 30 Market Place, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1JG
  • Wansbroughs, Northgate House, Northgate Street, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1JX

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Devizes

Securing a better rate is generally why people opt to remortgage. There are other reasons, for example the current mortgage deal coming to an end, or releasing funds to help kids get on the property ladder.

You should be able to enjoy a lower rate sooner by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Devizes. With the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

The property lawyer conducting the legal work should also be able to act for the new bank or building society. Our conveyancing team are on the panel for all major lenders, so whether you are changing to a variable-rate with Britannia or to a capped-rate mortgage with the Harpenden Building Society, Quittance 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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