Updated: October 12, 2018

Guildford conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Guildford

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid your Guildford conveyancing solicitor for the legal work involved in moving home.

Do Guildford conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Guildford will work on a fees per hour basis. Our conveyancers work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee'), with no hidden extras. Your conveyancing quote will explain what fees you will need to pay when your sale or purchase goes through.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

In addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees you will also need to budget for '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 Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) or indemnity insurance.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Guildford cost in total?

Though conveyancing fees in Guildford will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. For example, specific extra searches, such as a flooding search, may be necessary and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

For standard conveyancing transactions, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. There are no hidden fees or nasty surprises with Quittance. 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 Guildford

There is now an obligation on a seller to disclose any property defects or disputes to the buyer and the estate agent.

That said, it remains the responsibility of a Guildford conveyancing solicitor to investigate the property, so that they can deliver their report on title to the purchaser, iron out any legal issues and ensure the title is transferred to the new owner.

This section of the article offers useful guidance for buyers looking for conveyancing solicitors in Guildford.

Your Guildford conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Homebuyers have a wide selection of lenders available, from a less common lender like St James Place Bank, to a major lender such as the Yorkshire Building Society. Before you select a conveyancing solicitor in Guildford, whoever you choose, you need to check that they are approved by your chosen lender.

Most mortgage lenders will only work with a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of solicitors or licensed conveyancers that meet strict selection criteria. If a conveyancer is not on the panel of your chosen lender, the lender will need a different legal firm to act in their interests.

The buyer will usually need to pay this alternative solicitor's fees and significant delays to your move could occur.

Your home move could be jeopardised by failing to check your property solicitor's lender panel status.

Our solicitors can act on behalf of all banks and other lenders.

Searches (Guildford Borough Council)

Searches are enquiries made of government bodies by Guildford conveyancing solicitors to identify issues affecting the home you want to buy.

Searches are primarily performed to satisfy lender requirements. These searches include the local authority (LA) search, environmental search, drainage & water search and chancel repair liability.

More specific searches, such as a tin mining search or a mining search, may also be recommended in the standard search results.

Guildford Borough Council has an estimated turnaround time of 4 weeks for conveyancing searches, so it will be worth using a faster private search company.

Planning documents

Your conveyancing solicitor will get official entries from HMLR, assisting with the identification of any planning issues, such as discrepancies with the filed plan or right of access issues.

Guildford Borough Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on a variety of factors such as the property's whereabouts and the assessed value of the property in April 1991. The occupier of a property in Valuation Band E, for example, would owe annual council tax of £2,253.

Guildford conveyancing solicitors will inform the purchaser of the home's council tax band after this is confirmed by the searches.

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 £1,690.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or where the property is uninhabitable.

Band Guildford Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,229
B £1,434
C £1,638
D £1,843
E £2,253
F £2,662
G £3,072
H £3,687

Can I challenge my council tax band?

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 40 council tax challenges were made, and 10 were approved 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
Walnut Tree Close

Stamp Duty on Guildford properties

If a residential property is valued at over £125k, the buyer usually must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax. Doing the SDLT1 form in order to pay stamp duty is a daunting prospect for a layperson.

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

This table sets out Stamp Duty Land Tax for typical property in Guildford:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £571,445 £18,572.25
Average price (detached) £830,461 £31,523.05
Average new build £476,667 £13,833.35
Higher rates of stamp duty apply to buyers of second home in the form of a surcharge of 3%. Therefore, if a homeowner in Guildford bought a second home for the average price of £571,445 the SDLT would be £45,715.60.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Guildford

In 11/17, the Chancellor announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on residential properties below £300k.

Guildford conveyancing solicitors should ensure the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Guildford

New build site

The potential risks associated with buying a leasehold property in England or Wales are well publicised. Numerous technical issues may be lying in wait for an uninformed buyer, such as:

  • costly and undisclosed major works
  • doubling ground rents
  • freeholds sold without first refusal to leaseholders
Severe consequences can result from a solicitor's failure to give good leasehold advice.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Guildford will consider possible leasehold issues, including :

  • understanding regional and era-specific nuances of leases
  • service charges for relevant date periods
  • managing agent or landlord enquiries
  • missing building regs and planning

Ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease - Speak to Quittance Conveyancing's specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377 today.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Guildford?

House under construction

According to data gathered by the Land Registry, the average sale price of Guildford new builds is £476,667. 3 new builds have been bought in Guildford in 2018 so far.

Buying a new build can be more involved than any other type of conveyancing. Therefore a Guildford conveyancing solicitor must be conscious of both region-specific considerations and also will need to investigate several key factors, such as handling equity loan schemes and confirming right of way over drains and sewers.

With our new build team, you will get an expert assessment of the legal status of the property, scrutinising contract issues like the home's subsequent resaleability and 'doubling' ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Surrey Conservation areas

If you are planning to purchase a house in one of Guildford's conservation areas, the property must be compliant with any local conservation area conditions. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these constraints can include a wide range of constraints from restrictions on the style and height of boundary walls, to restrictions on the use of cladding.

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

Guildford conservation areas include Wood Street, Ripley and Wisley. Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Guildford's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Guildford

The legal work involved in a property sale is less complicated than for a purchase. During the sale of a house or flat, the responsibility is solely on the buyer to determine whether the property's title does not have any legal issues.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Guildford acting for the current owner effectively just answer enquiries made on behalf of the buyer.

What could put your sale at risk?

Frequently occurring issues, such as a landlord dispute on a leasehold property, could delay your move if left unresolved.

Don't bury your head as solicitors are trained to unearth any such issues. Instead, you should get professional advice and work to resolve it as early as possible.

Recommended reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat (houses are rarely leasehold) is significantly more complex than for a more straightforward freehold house.

Leasehold complexity involves extra work on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Guildford, including sourcing all relevant freeholder information or the minutes of the last AGM (if there is a management company).

It is highly recommended that the seller instructs leasehold-specialist property lawyer as early in the process as possible, and ideally before going on the market, to avoid undue delays.

What if Quittance conveyancers are acting for the other side?

Conveyancers regulated by the CLC can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority rules ban the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase.

If you are buying or selling a property in Guildford, and a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side, you could contact a local Guildford conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work.

Local Guildford conveyancing solicitor directory

  • The Partnership (2009) Limited, Artillery House, 71-73 Woodbridge Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4QH
  • TWM Solicitors LLP, 65 Woodbridge Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4RD
  • Cheyney Goulding LLP, Ward House, 6 Ward Street, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4LH
  • Clyde & Co LLP, 1 Stoke Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4HW
  • England Palmer, 60 Chertsey Street, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4HL

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Guildford

People remortgage their home for a number of reasons, including consolidating loan repayments, or switching from interest-only to repayment. The most common reason, however, is to get a better interest rate.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Guildford can reduce the remortgage processing time, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting the mortgage rate you want.

In order to ensure that the lender's capital is protected, a property lawyer will need to act for both you and the mortgage provider.

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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