Updated: October 12, 2018

Frome conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Frome

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the costs you pay to your Frome conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with moving home.

Are Frome conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis with no hidden costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Frome who offer services on a price per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote will set out exactly what you will need to pay when your sale or purchase completes.

Are there any other costs?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are the costs incurred by the solicitor on your behalf, such as leasehold information packs or Stamp Duty.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Frome cost in total?

Though conveyancing fees in Frome will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, the disbursements required can vary. For example, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, such as a mining search, may be necessary.

There are no hidden fees or nasty surprises with Quittance Conveyancing. For a standard conveyancing transaction, what we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate your conveyancing fees, 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 Frome

"Caveat emptor", or "buyer beware", was a fundamental principle of property law in England and Wales. Following recent changes in the law, this principle no longer applies. However, the buyer still will need to carry out due diligence on a planned purchase.

A conveyancing solicitor in Frome will offer professional advice following their enquiries, offer practical solutions and ensure that the full legal ownership is transferred.

The following considers the kinds of property that could involve extra risk for people searching for conveyancing solicitors in Frome for a purchase.

Your Frome conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Homebuyers have many lenders available, from a less common lender like Accord Mortgages, to a major lender such as the HSBC. Before you appoint a Frome conveyancing solicitor, whoever you choose, it is essential that you check that they are approved by your chosen lender.

The majority of banks and building societies will only work with a restricted panel of legal practices that pass strict selection criteria. If your conveyancer is not on the panel of your chosen lender, the lender will likely require an alternative firm to act in their interests.

The purchaser will then have to cover this substitute lawyer's costs, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Neglecting to check your solicitor's lender panel status could mean serious delays.

Our solicitors are on the panel of all mortgage providers.

Property Searches (Mendip District Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are submitted by Frome conveyancing solicitors to help identify any wider issues that might potentially compromise how much the property you are buying will be worth.

Lenders also expect specific searches to be submitted. These include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchcontains information about the property and surrounding area held by Mendip District Council
Drainage & Water searchidentifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
Environmental searchexposes whether the land around the property (500m radius) has been affected by subsidence, flooding or has been identified as "contaminated land"
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability to the local parish for repairs.

Purchasers will be told if your chosen lender wants any further searches, such as a more detailed flood report or a disadvantaged area search.

Mendip District Council has an approximate processing time of 10 weeks for Local Authority searches. In these circumstances, faster personal searches will be advisable.

Checking planning status

Office copies will also be sourced from HMLR by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer. This will help to identify any planning issues, for example a restrictive covenant against certain alterations or a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan.

Mendip District Council Council Tax

Mendip District Council calculate council tax on Frome homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). The occupier of a property in Band B, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,335.

A conveyancing solicitor in Frome will inform the purchaser of the home's tax band once they have the Local Authority search results.

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 £1,001.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or properties awaiting grant of probate. The Valuation Office Agency assess council tax bands for new homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Mendip District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,145
B £1,335
C £1,526
D £1,717
E £2,098
F £2,480
G £2,861
H £3,434

Can I lower my band?

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

In the financial year 2016/17, 30 council tax challenges were made. 20 resulted in a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Frome properties

A buyer will usually need to pay stamp duty if the residential property they are buying is valued at over £125,000. Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid after an SDLT1 form is completed. The form is hard to understand in places - even some non-conveyancing solicitors struggle with it.

Quittance Conveyancing will complete the SDLT1 form for you at the point your purchase completes.

This table sets out SDLT for typical property in Frome:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £282,592 £4,129.60
Average price (detached) £410,479 £10,523.95
Average new build £285,831 £4,291.55

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Frome

As from 2017, first-time buyers will not have to pay any stamp duty if the purchase price is below £300,000. Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a 3% stamp duty surcharge, even if the home is not let out. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second property in Frome for the average price of £282,592 the SDLT would be £22,607.36.

Frome conveyancing solicitors should ensure an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Frome

New build site

It is rarely a good idea to buy a leasehold property if you are unaware of the implications. There are any number of potential traps that may be lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer, such as unfair developer practices, costly and undisclosed major works and spiralling ground rents.

Serious consequences can result from a less-experienced lawyer's failure to give good leasehold advice.

A expert conveyancing solicitor in Frome will consider possible leasehold issues, such as :

  • checking the lease itself
  • service charges and whether they have been collected
  • reviewing correspondence between the freeholder and leaseholder
  • block management regulations that sit outside the lease
  • proceedings threatened against the freeholder under Part 2 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property - Contact our leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Frome?

New build building site

The average cost of new build property in Frome is £285,831, according to data gathered by the Land Registry. 6 brand new properties have been bought in Frome in 2018 so far.

The legal work for acquiring a new build home is more complex than any other type of conveyancing. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Frome needs to be mindful of local Frome factors and needs to consider a range of factors, including handling the uncertainties of buying off plan and confirming rights to use pipes and cables (e.g. phone, data, fibre, electricity).

With our new build team, you will get a specialist assessment of the legal title of the house or flat, and in particular factors ranging from the home's subsequent marketability to exponential ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas in Somerset

When carrying out the legal work for a home in Frome, a conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the property is in one of Frome's conservation areas. If it is, the house will be affected by certain constraints. Called Article 4 directions, these constraints could include:

  • Restrictions on painting external walls
  • Restrictions on the display of advertisements
  • Restrictions on the erection of outbuildings

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

Parts of Frome lie within a Mendip LPA-governed conservation area. Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Frome's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Frome

The conveyancing process on a sale of a house or flat is simpler than for a property purchase. With a property purchase, the principle of 'buyer beware' means that the onus is solely on the buyer to validate that the house or flat is mortgageable and is (or can be) registered at the Land Registry.

Conversely, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Frome acting for the current owner need only answer the buyer's solicitor's questions.

What might you do to reduce the risk of an abortive sale?

Properties can be burdened by numerous complex issues (such as restrictions on how you can use the property) that can delay your move.

Generally speaking, you should handle any such problems without delay.

Useful reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

Conveyancing for a leasehold property is much more protracted than for a more straightforward freehold house.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Frome will need to conduct additional work, such as getting an up-to-date service charge statement or a copy of any notices served on the leaseholder.

To accelerate the handling of the leasehold work, it is highly recommended that you instruct leasehold-specialist property lawyer as soon as is practicable.

What if you are already acting for the other side?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules restrict the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale. However, conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

If you are buying or selling a Frome property, and one of our conveyancing solicitors is carrying out the legal work for the other side, you can contact a local Frome conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work.

Local Frome conveyancing solicitor directory

  • FDC Law Solicitors, 22 Bath Street, Frome, Somerset, BA11 1DL
  • Harris & Harris Legal Services LLP, 11 Stony Street, Frome, Somerset, BA11 1BU
  • Ames Kent, 26 King Street, Frome, Somerset, BA11 1BH
  • Brown & Vautier Limited, Ken House, Cork Street, Frome, Somerset, BA11 1BL
  • Towler Brown, 5a The Bridge, Frome, Somerset, BA11 1AR

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Frome

Benefitting from a better rate to reduce monthly expenses is generally why homeowners decide to switch lenders. There are other reasons, including getting onto a longer fixed-rate term, or wanting to borrow more.

Homeowners should be able to enjoy a better rate earlier by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Frome, working to reduce the processing time of the legal work. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

It is important that the property lawyer undertaking the legal work can represent your new mortgage provider. Our conveyancers are on all major lenders' panels, so whether you are moving to a 100% mortgage with the Bank of Scotland or to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Market Harborough Building Society, our remortgage team can assist.

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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