Updated: October 12, 2018

East Sussex conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in East Sussex

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay your East Sussex conveyancing solicitor for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Are East Sussex conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

We work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis with no hidden extras, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in East Sussex who carry out the legal work on a fees per hour basis. Your quote explains what you will pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', in addition to conveyancing solicitor fees.

Disbursements are the costs incurred by the solicitor on your behalf, such as managing agent fees or bankruptcy searches.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total conveyancing fees in East Sussex cost?

Though conveyancing fees in East Sussex will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, council search fees will vary and specific extra searches, such as a flood plain search, may be necessary.

There are no hidden costs or surprises to be paid with Quittance Conveyancing. For a standard sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, 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 East Sussex

Recent changes to the law mean that a seller must reveal any issues concerning their property to the buyer.

It is, however, still the duty of a conveyancing solicitor in East Sussex to investigate the property, and report back in detail to the buyer and the lender, find solutions to outstanding defects and other issues and ensure that the full legal ownership is transferred.

The following section examines the property types which may be of interest to homebuyers who need conveyancing solicitors in East Sussex.

Your East Sussex conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a niche mortgage lender like Whistletree or a major lender such as the Nationwide Building Society, before selecting a East Sussex conveyancing solicitor it is paramount that you confirm that they can act on behalf of your chosen lender.

Your lawyer may be unable to act for your chosen lender, because some banks and building societies are only happy to work with a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of legal practices.

If that is the case, the lender will require a different solicitor firm to act in their interests, and you will usually need to pay this alternative lawyer's fees. The additional work can mean the process takes much longer.

Neglecting to check your conveyancing solicitor's lender panel status can result in significant delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can act on behalf of all mortgage providers.

Property Searches (Wealden District Council)

Searches are questions asked of various bodies by East Sussex conveyancing solicitors to identify information and potential issues affecting your new home. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - covers planning applications, building control history and enforcement action against the property. The LA search also includes details of any nearby road development schemes.
  • Environmental search - shows risks within 500 metres of the property, such as toxic chemicals in the land
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies water mains and sewers. This search also addresses whether the maintenance for these is the owner's responsibility.
  • Chancel repair liability - insurance is arranged to protect the buyer against any liability for local parish church repairs.

More pertinent searches, such as an HS2 search or a geological search, may also be advised in the standard searches.

Wealden District Council has an estimated turnaround time of 8 weeks for searches. Your lawyer will therefore recommend using faster personal searches.

Planning documents

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor also obtains the Title Register from the Land Registry. This will help to expose potential planning issues. These issues could include discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan or limits on the development of the property.

Wealden District Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by Wealden District Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. The occupier of a property in Valuation Band B, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,505.

Conveyancing solicitors in East Sussex will inform a buyer of the home's tax band once they are themselves notified.

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 £1,129.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or where the property is a hall of residence. The Valuation Office Agency calculate bands for new build homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Wealden District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,290
B £1,505
C £1,720
D £1,935
E £2,365
F £2,795
G £3,225
H £3,870

Can you challenge the council tax bracket?

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 80 council tax challenges were made. 30 were approved and the tax was reduced. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
St. Annes House
2 St. Annes Rd
Eastbourne
BN21 3LG
East Sussex

Stamp Duty on East Sussex properties

Stamp duty must be paid by the purchaser on properties sold for more than £125,000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Filling in the SDLT1 form yourself is hard and not for the wary.

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 East Sussex:

  Average selling price (2017) SDLT
Average price £309,762 £5,488.10
Average price (detached) £457,125 £12,856.25
Average new build £381,421 £9,071.05
If you are buying a second home for more than £40,000 then you will have to pay a 3% SDLT surcharge. E.g. if a second property was bought for £309,762 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £24,780.96. .

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in East Sussex

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

East Sussex conveyancing solicitors should confirm an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in East Sussex

New build site

It can be costly to purchase a leasehold house or flat if you don't know what you are getting into. Numerous legal issues could be lying in wait for the unsuspecting purchaser, including:

  • incomplete management company accounts
  • sub-letting restrictions
  • excessive freehold premiums
  • unreasonable ground rents
Erroneous leasehold advice, from an inexperienced solicitor, could have serious financial implications.

If you are planning to buy a leasehold home, a expert conveyancing solicitor in East Sussex will address aspects of leasehold, such as reviewing the lease itself (leases can be 10's or even 100's of years old), absent freeholders and service charges.

Ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease with our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in East Sussex?

New build site

38 new build houses and flats have been bought in East Sussex in 2018 so far, according to data gathered by HMLR. The average price for a new build property in East Sussex is £420,813.

The legal work for purchasing a new build property requires more technical knowledge than 'standard conveyancing'. To prevent difficulties arising a conveyancing solicitor in East Sussex must be aware of local issues and must check a range of issues, including handling the uncertainties of buying off plan and investigating road and drainage issues.

Quittance Conveyancing deliver an independent assessment of the legal title of the house or flat, paying close attention to concerns ranging from the home's subsequent marketability to an assessment of other risks, such as regional infrastructure plans (e.g. HS2).

Conservation areas in East Sussex

If you are buying a residential property in one of East Sussex's conservation areas, the property must not breach any conservation area building controls. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these restrictions can include a wide range of constraints from restrictions on joinery colour choices, to restrictions on the use of PVC windows.

The local council can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed.

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of East Sussex's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in East Sussex

The conveyancing process on a property sale is simpler than when buying. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor carries out an investigation on the property and its legal title, whilst conveyancing solicitors in East Sussex acting for the seller mostly just responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

What could put your property sale at risk?

Obstacles, such as having a defective lease, can significantly prolong a transaction if not handled appropriately.

It is best not to procrastinate as it is the buyer's solicitor's job to spot problems. Instead, speak to an expert and tackle it ASAP.

Further reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Selling a leasehold property

The legal work for a leasehold flat or house is quite a lot more time-consuming compared to a freehold house.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in East Sussex will usually undertake extra work, including requesting an up-to-date service charge statement, through to details of any required deed of covenant.

To speed up the leasehold conveyancing process, it is strongly advised that you instruct a conveyancer with leasehold experience as early in the process as possible, and preferably before going on the market,.

What if you are acting for the other side?

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

If you are buying or selling a East Sussex home, and we are acting for the other side, you may wish to contact a law firm in East Sussex to carry out your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in East Sussex

Whilst there are many reasons to consider remortgaging, people generally remortgage a home to get a more attractive interest rate.

You can benefit from a better rate sooner with a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in East Sussex. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises hard to predict, fast conveyancing can play a key role in securing your preferred rate.

The property lawyer will need to act for both you and your new lender to ensure the lender's investment is secured.

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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