Updated: October 12, 2018

Harlow conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Harlow

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Harlow for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

Do Harlow conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Harlow who carry out the legal work on a price per hour basis. Your quote will explain exactly what you will be charged when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

In addition to the legal fees you will also have to pay for 'disbursements'.

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. These include costs like Land Registry fees or landlord's notice fees.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will conveyancing in Harlow cost in total?

Harlow conveyancing fees will 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, e.g. a mining search, may be needed and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

There are no hidden costs or surprises to be paid with Quittance Conveyancing. For a standard conveyancing transaction, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were substantially lower than the average solicitors' fees, and their service was first-rate

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Harlow

Purchase conveyancing needs the Harlow conveyancing solicitor to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors can range from problems with the property's title to mixed-use issues affecting the mortgageability of the home.

The buyer's property lawyer will feed the results of their enquiries back to the purchaser and their mortgage lender, help with resolving any problems and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

This part of the article discusses those parts of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Harlow where a deeper understanding of the legal technicalities is important.

Your Harlow conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

There are around 100 UK lenders, from a financial institution like Pepper Money, to a large lender such as RBS. Before selecting a conveyancing solicitor in Harlow, whoever you choose, you must confirm that they are approved by your chosen lender.

Some mortgage lenders are only happy to work with a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of firms. If a solicitor can't act for your chosen lender, the lender will likely require a second firm to complete the legal work.

The buyer will be expected to pay this alternative lawyer's costs and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Failing to check the lender panel membership of your property solicitor could mean serious delays.

Our solicitors are approved members of all lender panels.

Conveyancing Searches (Harlow Council)

Property searches are submitted by Harlow conveyancing solicitors to expose any pertinent information that might possibly impact the value of your property.

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

Your conveyancer will notify you if your lender wants any additional searches, such as a tin mining search or a geological search.

Harlow Council has an approximate lead time of 30 weeks for Residential property searches. Your conveyancer will alternatively recommend using a faster search agent.

Checking planning status

Your conveyancing solicitor will apply for office copies from the Land Registry, helping to evidence any potential issues, for example a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan or right of access issues.

Harlow Council Council Tax

Harlow Council calculate council tax on Harlow 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 Tax Band D, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,733.

Harlow conveyancing solicitors will inform a buyer of the home's tax band once they are themselves notified.

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 £1,300.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes or if the home is left unoccupied by a student.

Band Harlow Council Tax (2018)
A £1,156
B £1,348
C £1,541
D £1,733
E £2,119
F £2,504
G £2,889
H £3,467

Could I be overpaying council tax?

A property owner can also apply for their property to be reassessed. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Chase House
305 Chase Rd
N14 6LZ

Stamp Duty on Harlow properties

If you are buying a residential property in England,Wales or Northern Ireland then SDLT is payable on properties over £125k. In Scotland, the threshold is £145k.

Steep fines await those who miss the SDLT payment deadline.

Our post-completion conveyancing team use case management system to ensure the SDLT1 tax return is submitted to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as quickly as possible.

See stamp duty examples for homes in Harlow:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty
Average price £287,423 £4,371.15
Average price (detached) £487,233 £14,361.65
Average new build £347,472 £7,373.60
If you are buying a second home for more than £40,000 then you will have to pay a 3% SDLT surcharge. For example, if an existing homeowner bought a second property in Harlow for the average price of £287,423 the stamp duty would be £22,993.84.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Harlow

Relief is available on home purchases below £300k for first-time buyers with reduced rates up to £500,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Harlow will confirm the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Harlow

New build site

Buying a leasehold home can be challenging when compared to buying a freehold property. There is a wide range of sometimes obscure legal issues that may be awaiting the unsuspecting buyer, including:

  • spiralling ground rents
  • costly and undisclosed major works
  • freeholds sold without first refusal to leaseholders
Incomplete leasehold information, delivered by a property lawyer who has only ever dealt with freehold cases, could have serious financial consequences.

If you are planning to buy a property with a lease, a specialist conveyancing solicitor in Harlow will address aspects of leasehold, for example absent freeholders, reviewing the lease itself and flats with varying lease terms.

Our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors will work to ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Harlow?

House under construction

Based on HM Land Registry information, the average cost of new build properties in Harlow is £347,472. 2 brand new properties have been bought in Harlow in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Harlow must be familiar with both local factors and new build-specific issues, e.g. helping with mortgage offer extension terms, handling initial Land Registry registration and registering ownership with warranty providers, including NHBC, Build Zone and Capital Warranties.

Our award-winning conveyancing team specialise in helping the buyer get the best possible purchase terms and working to developer exchange timeframes.

Conservation areas in Essex

When acting for the purchaser of a property in Harlow, a conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the property is in one of Harlow's conservation areas. If it is, the property will be affected by certain building controls. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these building controls could include anything from restrictions on the addition of flues and soil vent pipes, to restrictions on the removal or addition of front boundary walls.

The new owner could be ordered to pay for necessary changes to bring a property in line with current regulations, even if the previous owner carried out the alterations.

Harlow conservation areas include Churchgate Street, Mark Hall North and Harlowbury. Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Harlow's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Harlow

Conveyancing for a house sale is more straightforward than when purchasing. When buying, the obligation is solely on the buyer to determine whether the legal title of the property does not have any legal issues.

When selling, conveyancing solicitors in Harlow acting for the existing owner need only answer the buyer's questions.

Factors that could delay or endanger the process

A property can face potential complications (e.g. a boundary dispute) that can threaten a transaction.

Property specialists will generally recommend to sellers that they tackle any such problems head on.

Recommended reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat or house is a great deal more difficult than for a more straightforward freehold house.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Harlow will usually undertake additional work. This can involve sourcing all relevant freeholder information or details of any deed of variation.

Estate agents are right to recommend that sellers find a lawyer as soon as possible to mitigate often unavoidable leasehold delays.

What if Quittance is already acting for the other side?

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

You could contact a property solicitor firm in Harlow to undertake your conveyancing, if one of our conveyancing solicitors is doing the legal work for the other side.

Local Harlow conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Attwaters Jameson Hill, Rothwell House, West Square, Harlow, Essex, CM20 1LQ
  • Barnes and Partners, 5 West Square, The High, Harlow, Essex, CM20 1JJ
  • Box Legal Limited, 2nd Floor, Westgate House, Harlow, Essex, CM20 1YS
  • Whiskers LLP, Unit 6 Mitre Buildings, Kitson Way, Harlow, Essex, CM20 1DR
  • Harris Cuffaro & Nichols, Lion Court, 8-10 Market Street, Old Harlow, Essex, CM17 0AH

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Harlow

Saving money on a lower interest rate is primarily why people change lenders. There are other reasons, for example funding a one-off purchase, or moving to an offset mortgage.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Harlow will complete the conveyancing quickly, and move you to the better rate sooner. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

In order to certify that the lender's interests are safeguarded, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will act for both you and your new 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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