Updated: October 12, 2018

Godalming conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Godalming

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Godalming for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Do Godalming conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no hidden costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Godalming who offer services on an hourly-rate basis. Your quote will set out exactly what you will be charged when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

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

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client, such as local authority searches or ID checks.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will conveyancing in Godalming cost in total?

Godalming conveyancing fees should not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. For example, additional region-specific searches, such as transport searches, may be needed and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

For standard conveyancing transactions, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are absolutely no hidden fees. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Godalming

Caveat emptor (buyer beware), was a key part of property law in England and Wales. This maxim no longer applies, however, it remains the responsibility of a homebuyer and their solicitor to carry out due diligence on a planned purchase.

A Godalming conveyancing solicitor will offer suggestions and advice following their enquiries, iron out any legal issues and confirm that the legal title passes to the new owner.

This section of the article offers useful information for people searching for conveyancing solicitors in Godalming for a purchase.

Your Godalming conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Homebuyers have a wide selection of lenders available, from a major lender such as TSB, to a financial institution like Paratus AMC. Before selecting a Godalming conveyancing solicitor, you must confirm that they can act on behalf of your lender.

The majority of mortgage lenders will only work with a selected list (known as a 'lender panel') of firms that match certain criteria. If your solicitor cannot act for your lender, the lender will probably need an alternative legal firm to carry out the legal work.

The home buyer will then have to cover this alternative lawyer's costs, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Failing to confirm the lender panel status of your conveyancer can frustrate the process.

Our conveyancing solicitors are on the panel of all mortgage lenders.

Waverley Borough Council searches and other searches

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are carried out by Godalming conveyancing solicitors to identify problems that might affect the value of the property you are buying.

Searches are primarily carried out to satisfy mortgage conditions, usually including the local authority (LA) search, environmental search, drainage & water search and chancel repair liability.

You will be made aware if your mortgage lender insists on any further searches, e.g. a tin mining search or a more detailed plan search.

Waverley Borough Council has an average turnaround time of 4 weeks for property searches, so it will be worthwhile to use a quicker private search company.

Checking planning permission status

Official Entries will also be obtained from HMLR by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the purchaser. This will help to highlight any potential issues. These issues could include outbuildings missing from the title plan or a restrictive covenant against certain alterations.

Waverley Borough Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Godalming, 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. For example, for an average Tax Band C home in Godalming, the council tax amount would be £1,673.

A conveyancing solicitor in Godalming will inform a buyer of the property's band as soon as they are 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 £1,255.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or where an occupation is prohibited by law such as a compulsory purchase order. A new home is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency and allocated a band.

Band Waverley Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,255
B £1,464
C £1,673
D £1,883
E £2,301
F £2,719
G £3,138
H £3,765

Can I lower my band?

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 40 council tax challenges were made. 20 were upheld and the tax was reduced. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
3rd Floor
Bridge House
1
Walnut Tree Close
Guildford
GU1 4AG
Surrey

Stamp Duty on Godalming properties

Filling in the SDLT1 form in order to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax is a daunting prospect for a layperson.

The threshold for stamp duty for a home is £125k.

Quittance ensure that the complex SDLT1 form is completed accurately and without delay.

See SDLT examples for properties in Godalming:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £577,926 £18,896.30
Average price (detached) £911,222 £35,561.10
Average new build £212,706 £1,754.12
Higher rates of SDLT apply to buyers of second residential property in the form of a higher SDLT rate of 3%. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Godalming for the average price of £577,926 the SDLT would be £46,234.08.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Godalming

Since Nov 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Godalming should confirm the correct calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Godalming

New build site

The potential risks associated with buying a leasehold property should be of serious concern. There are many legal issues that may be lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser, such as:

  • exponential ground rents
  • unreasonable lease extension premiums
  • undisclosed major works
  • unfair developer practices
Serious financial ramifications can result from a solicitor's erroneous leasehold advice.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Godalming will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, including reviewing the lease itself (leases can be 10's or even 100's of years old), dealing with freeholders and managing agents and annual statements of account and budgets for service charges.

Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors will ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Godalming?

House being built

136 new builds were purchased in Godalming last year, according to local information gathered by HM Land Registry. The average purchase price of a new build in Godalming is £212,706.

The legal work for buying a new build property is generally more complex than 'standard conveyancing'. To prevent difficulties arising a Godalming conveyancing solicitor must be aware of local factors and will need to report to clients on a number of issues, like checking the suitability of new build insurance and confirming rights to use pipes and cables (e.g. phone, data, fibre, electricity).

Our expert new build team provide an expert assessment of the property's legal status, paying close attention to considerations like onerous leasehold conditions and an assessment of other risks, such as contaminated land hazards.

Surrey Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the property you are intending to buy is in a conservation area in Godalming. If it is, the home will be affected by certain constraints. Called Article 4 directions, these conditions may include:

  • Limits on the use of non-traditional building materials
  • A ban on VELUX windows
  • Restrictions on outbuildings and extensions

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

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Godalming

The legal process for a sale of a house or flat is normally less troublesome than for a property purchase. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor does extensive research on the legal title of your home, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Godalming acting for the vendor merely answers the purchaser's enquiries.

Why do sales fall through?

Common hurdles, such as having a flying freehold or not having appropriate warranties, can actually threaten the conveyancing process if not handled appropriately.

Don't bury your head in the sand, trusting that the issue won't be discovered. Get advice, face the issues head on, and find a solution as quickly as possible.

Further reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are rare) is significantly more difficult than for a more straightforward freehold house.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Godalming will usually undertake additional legal work, for example getting an up-to-date service charge statement or details of any unresolved disputes.

You should seriously consider instructing a conveyancer as early in the process as possible, and potentially before going on the market, to reduce delays associated with leasehold property. Waiting for a long-overdue managing agent response is the most frequent cause of leasehold sales collapsing.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both sides?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules prevent the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase. However, CLC-regulated conveyancers, can act for both sides.

If you are buying or selling a house or flat in Godalming, and one of our conveyancing solicitors is acting for the other side, you may wish to contact a property solicitor firm in Godalming to carry out your conveyancing.

Local Godalming conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Hart Brown, 1 Lower South Street, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1BZ
  • Marshalls, 102 High Street, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1DS
  • Gbh Law Limited, 7/8 Innovation Place, Douglas Drive, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1JX
  • Downs Solicitors LLP, The Tanners, 75 Meadrow, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 3HS
  • Dpm Legal Services Limited, Sutton House, Weyside Park, Catteshall Lane, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1XE

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Godalming

Benefitting from a better rate of interest to reduce monthly expenses is the main reason that people decide to remortgage. There are other reasons, such as getting on to a new fixed-rate deal, or consolidating debts.

Homeowners should be able to enjoy a better rate earlier by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Godalming, working to reduce the processing time of the legal work. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in securing your preferred rate.

To make sure that the lender's interests are protected, the property lawyer will act for both you and the mortgage lender.

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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