Updated: October 12, 2018

Halstead conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Halstead

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid to your Halstead conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

Are Halstead conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Halstead offer services on an hourly-rate basis, whereas others work on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee'). Our conveyancing solicitors work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis, with no nasty surprises in the small print. Your quote explains what you will be charged when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

You must cover the cost of any 'disbursements', in addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes the conveyancing solicitor will have to pay to other organisations as part of the house-buying and selling process, such as landlord's notice fees or bankruptcy searches.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will conveyancing in Halstead cost in total?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Halstead will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, specific extra searches, e.g. a Coal Authority search, may be necessary and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

For a standard home sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. There are no hidden costs or surprises to be paid with Quittance. 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 Halstead

When carrying out the conveyancing for a property purchase, a conveyancing solicitor in Halstead will examine the draft contract and investigate the property's title and deliver their report on title to the purchaser.

After making their enquiries the lawyer will make recommendations and will assist in resolving any issues and register the title in the new owner's name.

The following section offers assistance for people who want conveyancing solicitors in Halstead for a purchase.

Your Halstead conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Property purchasers have access to a broad selection of mortgage lenders, from a large lender such as NatWest, to a financial institution like the Buckinghamshire Building Society. Before choosing a conveyancing solicitor in Halstead, it is vital that you check that they can act in the interests of your lender.

Your lawyer may be unable to act for your lender, because some banks and building societies are only happy to work with a select list (referred to as a 'panel') of law firms that pass strict selection criteria.

In this case, the lender will probably require a different solicitor firm to complete the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this second solicitor's fees. The additional work can mean the process takes much longer.

Not checking your conveyancing lawyer's lender panel status could result in serious delays.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved members of all lender panels.

Conveyancing Searches (Braintree District Council)

Searches are enquiries made of public bodies by Halstead conveyancing solicitors to help uncover relevant information about the home you want to buy.

Lenders also need specific searches to be obtained. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - includes the LLC1 Local Land Charge Register and CON29 Enquiry Form
  • Environmental search - covers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Halstead properties for local parish repairs.

You will be notified if your lender needs any more searches, e.g. a more detailed flood report or a Forestry Commission search.

The estimated processing time for searches from Braintree District Council is 9 weeks. Personal searches (as opposed to official LA searches) will therefore delivered sooner.

Checking planning status

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor also retrieves office copies from HM Land Registry. This will help to expose any planning issues. These issues could include outbuildings lying outside the boundary or a restrictive covenant against certain alterations.

Braintree District Council Council Tax

Braintree District Council calculate your council tax based on various criteria including the size of the property and the value of the property. For instance for an average Band E residential property in Halstead, the council tax would be £2,048 per year.

Halstead conveyancing solicitors will inform the 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 £1,536.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. a 10% discount for second homes (although this may change as the government has second home ownership in its sights) or if the property is owned by a charity and is unoccupied. A house or flat built after 1991 is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency.

Band Braintree District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,117
B £1,303
C £1,489
D £1,675
E £2,048
F £2,420
G £2,792
H £3,351

Are you paying too much?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
34 Southway
Colchester
CO2 7BB
Essex

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 50 council tax challenges were made, and 30 saw a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Halstead properties

If you are buying a house that costs over £125k, then you will have to pay SDLT to HMRC.

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and HMRC fines those who delay in completing and returning it.

Quittance Conveyancing is able to administer the SDLT process faster and more efficiently than ever, using integrated online systems.

See examples for average Halstead properties:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £287,980 £4,399.00
Average price (detached) £420,768 £11,038.40
Average new build £285,697 £4,284.85
If you own another home or share in a home you will be subject to a higher SDLT rate of 3%. E.g. if a second property was bought for £287,980 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £23,038.40. .

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Halstead

As from 11/17, first-time buyers will not have to pay any stamp duty if the purchase price is below £300k.

Conveyancing solicitors in Halstead will ensure the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Halstead

New build site

The risks of owning a leasehold property are of serious concern. The numerous common problems awaiting an uninformed buyer include:

  • absent freeholders
  • doubling ground rents
  • incomplete management company accounts
  • marriage value issues
Bad or incomplete leasehold advice, from an inexperienced lawyer, can have serious consequences.

A expert conveyancing solicitor in Halstead will consider potential leasehold issues, such as :

  • checking the lease itself
  • dealing with freeholders and managing agents
  • any recent demands for service charges and ground rent
  • flats with varying lease terms
  • managing agent memoranda and articles of association

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase with Quittance Conveyancing's specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Halstead?

New build building site

57 new build properties were purchased in Halstead last year, (sce: HMLR). The average price for Halstead new build homes is £285,697.

The legal work for purchasing a new build home requires more technical knowledge than 'standard conveyancing'. To prevent difficulties arising a conveyancing solicitor in Halstead needs to be mindful of local Halstead considerations and should check a range of issues, such as advising on mortgage offer flexibility for delayed completion and investigating road and drainage issues.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get an impartial assessment of the legal title of the property, with a close eye on factors like onerous leasehold conditions and sharply increasing ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Essex Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will need to confirm if the house you are planning to buy is in one of Halstead's conservation areas. If it is, the property will be affected by certain constraints. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these building controls could include restrictions affecting frontal additions to the property such as a porch, restrictions on joinery colour choices or limitations on new outbuildings.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Halstead

The legal process for a house sale is more straightforward than for a property purchase. With a purchase, the responsibility lies with the purchaser to establish that the title of the property they are buying is legally sound.

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

What steps can you take to reduce the risk of an abortive sale?

A home will frequently have a range of potential complications (e.g. having a flying freehold or not being insurable) that might stop a purchase in its tracks.

You shouldn't bury your head in the sand and hope the buyer's solicitor won't notice - seek out professional help and work to resolve it as early as possible.

Further reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat or house is significantly more difficult than for a freehold property.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Halstead will usually undertake additional tasks, such as requesting the latest service charge and ground rent statement or details of any slush fund for property maintenance.

It is recommended that the seller instructs a leasehold specialist as soon as the property is marketed, if not before, to reduce delays.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both the buyer and the seller of the same home?

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

You could instruct a property solicitor firm in Halstead to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is carrying out the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Halstead

People remortgage their home for a number of reasons, such as consolidating debts, or getting onto a longer fixed-rate term. The main reason, however, is to get a better interest rate.

Homeowners can enjoy the benefits of a better rate sooner with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Halstead. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates uncertain, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

It is crucial that the property lawyer carrying out the remortgage can act for your preferred mortgage lender. Our conveyancers are on the panel for all major UK lenders. So no matter whether you are switching to a 95% mortgage with Santander or to a joint mortgage with Birmingham Midshires, we can help.

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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