Updated: October 12, 2018

Downham Market conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Downham Market

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the costs you pay your Downham Market conveyancing solicitor for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Do Downham Market conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis with no hidden fees, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Downham Market who will work on a cost per hour basis. Your quote explains what fees you will need to pay when your sale or purchase goes through.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

You must cover the cost of any 'disbursements', in addition to the legal fees.

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. These include costs like local authority searches or ID checks.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will the total Downham Market solicitor conveyancing fees be?

While conveyancing fees in Downham Market will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, council search fees will vary and specific extra searches, e.g. a commons registration search, may be necessary.

With Quittance, there are absolutely no hidden fees. 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 delivered an excellent service at the lowest conveyancing fees we could find

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Downham Market

A seller is now required to disclose issues that could affect the value or enjoyment of their property to the prospective buyer.

It remains, however, the duty of a Downham Market conveyancing solicitor to carry out due diligence on the property, feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer, offer practical solutions and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

This section of the article sets out useful information for homebuyers who want conveyancing solicitors in Downham Market.

Your Downham Market conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether your mortgage is with a large lender like Bradford & Bingley or a less common mortgage lender such as GE Money Home Lending, before choosing a Downham Market conveyancing solicitor it is very important that you make sure that they can act for your lender.

Many mortgage lenders will only accept a restricted panel of legal firms that pass strict standards. If a solicitor is unable to act for your lender, the lender will need an alternative firm to complete the legal work.

The purchaser will be expected to pay this substitute lawyer's costs, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Failing to confirm your property lawyer's lender panel status can create problems and delays.

Our solicitors can carry out the legal work for all major and minor mortgage lenders.

Searches (King's Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council)

Property searches are carried out by Downham Market conveyancing solicitors to expose any wider issues that might potentially impact how much your house or flat will be worth.

Mortgagees also usually require searches to be submitted. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority search - includes the LLC1 Local Land Charge Register and CON29 Enquiry Form
  • Drainage & Water search - covers the location of water pipes and drains, and reveals if the upkeep for these falls on the owner or local council.
  • Environmental search - reveals contaminated land, landfill sites and flooding or subsidence within 500m of the property.
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Downham Market properties for local parish repairs.

More specialised searches, such as a Crossrail search or an agricultural search, may also be advised in the standard search results.

Buyers can expect to wait up to 15 weeks for searches provided by King's Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council. As a result, regulated searches will be faster.

Checking planning status

Office copies will also be obtained from the Land Registry by the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor, helping to identify any issues. These issues could include right of access issues or the title plan showing only very general boundaries.

King's Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Downham Market will pay to King's Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. For instance for an average Band C property in Downham Market, the amount of council tax due would be £1,540 per year.

Conveyancing solicitors in Downham Market will inform the purchaser of the home's council 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 reduces the tax due to 75% which would equal £1,155.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes or where an occupation is prohibited by law such as a compulsory purchase order.

Band King's Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,155
B £1,348
C £1,540
D £1,733
E £2,118
F £2,503
G £2,888
H £3,465

Is your new home in the wrong band?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
3rd Floor
New Rd

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 20 council tax challenges were made, of which 10 saw a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Downham Market properties

Doing the SDLT1 form in order to pay SDLT is a daunting prospect for a layperson.

SDLT is a percentage of the purchase price of a property paid by the buyer to HMRC. It is due on properties bought for over £125,000.

Quittance's specialist post-completion team will ensure that the required SDLT1 form is completed and submitted to HMRC without delay.

This table sets out Stamp Duty Land Tax for average property in Downham Market:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £217,755 £1,855.10
Average price (detached) £256,584 £2,829.20
Average new build £236,187 £2,223.74

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Downham Market

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300k. Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT when buying a second home. So if a second home was bought for £217,755 then the SDLT total will be £10,887.75.

Conveyancing solicitors in Downham Market should confirm their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Downham Market

New build site

Buying a leasehold house or flat without understanding the implications is not recommended. The many potential problems lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser can include:

  • exponential ground rents
  • costly and undisclosed major works
  • short leases
Serious financial ramifications can result from an inexperienced property lawyer's misguided leasehold advice.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Downham Market will consider possible leasehold issues, including understanding regional and era-specific nuances of leases, reviewing correspondence between the freeholder and leaseholder and service charges, ground rents and buildings insurance arrangements.

Our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors will make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Downham Market?

House being built

According to HMLR information, the average sale price of a new build property in Downham Market is £236,187. 19 new builds were purchased in Downham Market last year.

The legal work for buying a new build property requires more technical knowledge than 'standard conveyancing'. To avoid potential problems a Downham Market conveyancing solicitor must be conscious of both region-specific considerations and also will need to investigate several key factors, e.g. advising on mortgage offer flexibility for delayed completion and confirming rights to use pipes and cables (e.g. phone, data, fibre, electricity).

With our new build team, you will get an independent view of the legal title of the property, scrutinising contract factors like the home's subsequent mortgageability and exponential ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Norfolk Conservation areas

If you are purchasing a house in one of Downham Market's conservation areas, the property will need to meet any conservation area constraints. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these building controls may include:

  • A prohibition on the removal of front boundary walls
  • Restrictions preventing the installation of VELUX windows
  • Restrictions on side or two-storey extensions

If a property is in breach, the local planning authority could order the owner to pay for the work needed to make the home compliant, even if the changes were made by the previous owner.

Parts of Downham Market are within a conservation area governed by the King's Lynn and West Norfolk local planning authority (LPA). Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Downham Market.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Downham Market

Conveyancing for a property sale is less demanding than for a purchase. When buying, the burden lies with the purchaser to validate that the title of the property they are buying is not legally defective.

Conversely, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Downham Market acting for the person selling effectively just answer questions set by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor.

What factors could threaten your sale?

Frequently occurring issues, such as having right or way issues (such as being landlocked) or a historical dispute with a freeholder, have the capacity to frustrate a sale.

It is generally advisable that sellers address these issues immediately.

Useful reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.


Conveyancing for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are rare) is much more specialised in comparison with a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Downham Market must usually carry out further legal work, including collating the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to any documents pertaining to a variation of the terms of the lease.

It is strongly advised that the seller instructs a conveyancer with leasehold experience as soon as possible to reduce delays.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both sides?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority rules ban the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale and purchase.

You may wish to contact a law firm in Downham Market to undertake your legal work, if a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side.

Local Downham Market conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Hey Solicitors Ltd, 27-29 Bridge Street, Downham Market, Norfolk, PE38 9DW
  • Ward Gethin Archer Limited, 21 London Road, Downham Market, PE38 9AW
  • Fraser Dawbarns LLP, 29 London Road, Downham Market, Norfolk, PE38 9AS

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Downham Market

Homeowners remortgage for a variety of reasons, such as wanting to borrow more, or moving from a tracker to a fixed-rate. The main reason, however, is simply to get a better rate.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Downham Market will complete the conveyancing quickly, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With rate rises hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in securing the rate you want.

The property lawyer conducting the legal work must also be able to act on behalf of your preferred mortgage provider. Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel for all major UK lenders, so no matter whether you are moving to a tracker with the Halifax or to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Harpenden 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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