Updated: October 12, 2018

Falmouth conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Falmouth

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Falmouth for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Do Falmouth conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our solicitors work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis with no hidden fees, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Falmouth who work on an hourly-rate basis. Your conveyancing quote sets out all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

In addition to the legal fees you will also have to cover any '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 office copies and title plans or property searches.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total Falmouth solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Conveyancing fees in Falmouth will be the same as anywhere else in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, council search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, such as a historic mining search, may be needed.

For a standard sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no hidden fees or nasty surprises. 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 Falmouth

In carrying out the conveyancing for a property purchase, the conveyancing solicitor in Falmouth will look into the title of the property and feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer.

The conveyancer will offer suggestions and advice following their enquiries, make practical suggestions and register the title in the new owner's name.

This section examines the kinds of residential property which may involve extra hazards for buyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in Falmouth.

Your Falmouth conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether you are getting a mortgage from Whistletree, Halifax or any other lender, before you appoint a conveyancing solicitor in Falmouth it is very important that you make sure that they can act on behalf of your mortgage lender.

Many banks and building societies will only accept a selected list (known as a 'panel') of firms. If a conveyancer cannot act for your mortgage lender, the lender will require an alternative solicitor firm to complete the legal work.

The purchaser will be expected to pay this alternate solicitor's fees, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Setbacks can result from failing to confirm your conveyancing lawyer's lender panel status.

Our solicitors are on the panel of all mortgage providers.

Residential Property Searches (Cornwall Council)

Searches are questions submitted to public bodies by Falmouth conveyancing solicitors to help uncover relevant information about the property being purchased.

Banks and building societies typically also require searches to be carried out. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority search - includes a list of planning decisions that could affect the property
  • Drainage & Water search - includes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
  • Environmental search - reveals contaminated land, landfill sites and flooding or subsidence within 500m of the property.
  • 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.

You will be notified if your mortgage lender needs any further searches, e.g. a tin mining search or a more detailed plan search.

Cornwall Council has an estimated turnaround time of 8 weeks for Local Authority searches, so your solicitor will instead apply for quicker personal searches.

Planning permissions

The homebuyer's conveyancing solicitor also retrieves official entries from HMLR. This helps to find any potential issues, for example the breach of a restrictive covenant or a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan.

Cornwall Council Council Tax

Cornwall Council calculate your council tax based on various factors which include the number of occupants and the property's value as at 1 April 1991 (England) or 1 April 2003 (Wales). The occupier of a property in Valuation Band C, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,575.

Conveyancing solicitors in Falmouth will inform the purchaser of the home's council tax band once they are made aware.

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 £1,182.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or where the property is uninhabitable.

Band Cornwall Council Tax (2018)
A £1,182
B £1,378
C £1,575
D £1,772
E £2,166
F £2,560
G £2,954
H £3,545

Can I appeal against my band?

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 130 council tax challenges were made. 60 were upheld and the tax was reduced. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Penhaligon House
Trinity St
St. Austell
PL25 5FA
Cornwall

Stamp Duty on Falmouth properties

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and HMRC (formerly Inland Revenue) fines those who delay in completing and returning it. Stamp Duty Land Tax is a tax payable on all UK properties where the purchase price exceeds £125,000 (£145,000 in Scotland).

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

This table sets out SDLT for property in Falmouth:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £337,891 £6,894.55
Average price (detached) £474,449 £13,722.45
Average new build £349,169 £7,458.45

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Falmouth

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300k. If you own another home or share in a home you will be subject to an SDLT surcharge of 3%. Therefore, if a homeowner in Falmouth bought a second property for the average price of £337,891 the SDLT would be £27,031.28.

Falmouth conveyancing solicitors should ensure the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Falmouth

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold house or flat if you are unaware of the implications is not recommended. The numerous common problems lying in wait for an uninformed buyer include:

  • exponential ground rents
  • excessive freehold premiums
  • overpriced managing agent packs
  • restrictions on the use of the property
Bad or incomplete leasehold advice, from an inexperienced lawyer, could have serious financial implications.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Falmouth will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, such as :

  • checking the lease itself
  • reviewing correspondence between the freeholder and leaseholder
  • any recent demands for service charges and ground rent
  • missing building regs and planning
  • compliance with means of escape (where relevant)

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 Falmouth?

Building site

The average value of a new build in Falmouth is £314,998, based on data from HM Land Registry. 5 new builds have been bought in Falmouth in 2018 so far.

Buying a new build home requires more technical knowledge than 'standard conveyancing'. To avoid potential problems a Falmouth conveyancing solicitor must be mindful of local Falmouth issues and should check a range of issues, like handling structural guarantees and handling withdrawal under the Consumer Code for Housebuilders.

With our new build team, you will get an impartial appraisal of the legal status of the property, scrutinising contract factors ranging from the home's subsequent resaleability to excessive ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Cornwall Conservation areas

When acting for the purchaser of a property in Falmouth, a conveyancing solicitor will check if the home is in one of Falmouth's conservation areas. If it is, the home is affected by constraints. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these constraints could include:

  • Limits on the use of non-traditional building materials
  • A ban on uPVC window frames
  • Restrictions on outbuildings and extensions

If a property is in breach, you could be required by law (as the new owner) to pay for returning the property to a compliant state, even if the previous owner was responsible for the changes.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Falmouth

The legal process for a sale of a home is generally simpler than for a purchase. During the sale of a house or flat, caveat-emptor' means that the onus is solely on the buyer to establish that the home they are buying is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

In contrast, for a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Falmouth acting for the current owner effectively just answer the buyer's questions.

What could put your sale at risk?

Homes can face numerous potential roadblocks (e.g. restrictive covenants) that might prevent a sale from completing.

In general, it is recommended for vendors to handle any such problems as soon as they come to light.

Recommended reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold flats

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat or house is quite a lot more involved than for a more straightforward freehold house.

Falmouth conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work, such as asking for a completed copy of the Leasehold Property Enquiry Form, through to a copy of the service charge budget for the current year.

To help mitigate the delays involved in selling a leasehold property, it is recommended that the vendor contact a solicitor as soon as the property is marketed, if not before,.

What if Quittance conveyancers are acting for the other side?

CLC-regulated conveyancers can act for both sides. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority rules ban the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale.

You may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in Falmouth to carry out your conveyancing, if a Quittance conveyancer is acting for the other side.

Local Falmouth conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Hine Downing LLP, 8-14 Berkeley Vale, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 3PH
  • Coodes LLP, 6b Gwella House, Falmouth Business Park, Bickland Water Road, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 4SZ
  • Nalders LLP, Farley House, Falmouth Road, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 2HX

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Falmouth

Homeowners remortgage for all sorts of reasons, such as wanting to borrow more, or getting onto a longer fixed-rate term. By far the most common reason, however, is to reduce the monthly repayments.

Homeowners should be able to enjoy a lower rate sooner with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Falmouth, accelerating the time taken to complete the process. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

So that they can make sure that the mortgage provider's interests are protected, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will act for both you and the bank or building society.

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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