Updated: October 12, 2018

Loughton conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Loughton

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Loughton for the legal work associated with moving home.

How are Loughton conveyancing fees calculated?

Our conveyancers work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Loughton who work on an hourly-rate basis. Your conveyancing quote will explain what you will be charged when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', in addition to the legal fees.

Disbursements are the third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process. These include costs like office copies and title plans or Stamp Duty Land Tax.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Loughton cost?

Loughton conveyancing solicitor fees should not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. As examples, specific extra searches, e.g. a Coal Authority search, may be necessary and council search fees will vary.

With Quittance, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. For a standard sale or purchase, 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 considerably cheaper than the average solicitors' fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Loughton

In carrying out the legal work for a property purchase, the Loughton conveyancing solicitor will examine the draft contract and investigate the property's title and deliver their report on title to the purchaser.

Following their enquiries the lawyer will make recommendations and will deal with any legal problems and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

The content below provides advice to assist people who need conveyancing solicitors in Loughton for a purchase.

Your Loughton conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Homebuyers can select from a wide range of mortgage providers, from a niche mortgage lender like the Darlington Building Society, to a large lender such as Bradford & Bingley. Before instructing a conveyancing solicitor in Loughton, whoever you choose, it is critical that you make sure that they can act on behalf of your chosen lender.

Most mortgage lenders are only prepared to work with a selected list (their 'panel') of legal practices that meet stringent standards. If your conveyancer can't act for your chosen lender, the lender will probably need an alternative solicitor firm to act in their interests.

The borrower will be expected to pay this alternate lawyer's fees and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Your property purchase could be threatened by failing to confirm your solicitor's lender panel status.

Our conveyancing solicitors can act for all mortgage providers.

Conveyancing Searches (Epping Forest District Council)

Property searches are carried out by Loughton conveyancing solicitors to help to identify any pertinent information that might potentially affect the value of your house or flat.

Mortgage lenders also need property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') to be obtained. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority search - exposes issues like road schemes that could affect the property
  • Drainage & Water search - includes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
  • Environmental search - exposes whether the land around the property (500m radius) has been affected by subsidence, flooding or has been identified as "contaminated land"
  • Chancel repair liability - there is a risk that some Loughton properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

Further searches, such as a highways authority search or a mining search, may also be recommended depending on the contents of the standard searches.

The average delivery time for searches supplied by Epping Forest District Council is 22 weeks, so your lawyer will advise using faster personal searches.

Planning documents

Official Entries will also be obtained from the Land Registry by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor, assisting with the identification of any planning issues, for example outbuildings lying outside the boundary or that a restrictive covenant has been breached.

Epping Forest District Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Loughton, 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. E.g. for an average Tax Band B residential property in Loughton, the tax would be £1,306 per year.

Conveyancing solicitors in Loughton will inform a buyer of the home's tax band once 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 £979.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or for foreign language students.

Band Epping Forest District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,119
B £1,306
C £1,492
D £1,679
E £2,052
F £2,425
G £2,798
H £3,357

Are you paying more than you should?

Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
10th Floor
Crown House
Linton Rd
Barking
IG11 8HJ
Essex

A property owner can also ask for their property to be reassessed.

Stamp Duty on Loughton properties

SDLT is only applicable to homes where the purchase price exceeds £125,000. The normal process is for the conveyancing solicitor to complete the stamp duty administration. Buyers can complete the SDLT1 themselves but it is not recommended due to the complexity of the form and because there may be penalties for underpayment.

Quittance's case management system are fully integrated with HMRC's electronic filing systems.

This table sets out SDLT for average property in Loughton:

  Average selling price (2017) SDLT
Average price £518,298 £15,914.90
Average price (detached) £1,024,260 £46,176.00
Average new build £424,665 £11,233.25

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Loughton

In November 2017, the Chancellor announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on residential properties below £300k. If you own another property , anywhere in the world you will be subject to a higher rate of 3%. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Loughton for the average price of £518,298 the SDLT would be £41,463.84.

Loughton conveyancing solicitors will ensure the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Loughton

New build site

Buying a leasehold house or flat if you are unaware of the facts can be fraught with risk. Numerous legal issues could be awaiting an uninformed buyer, such as:

  • costly and undisclosed major works
  • spiralling ground rents
  • short leases
Misguided leasehold advice, from a solicitor with limited leasehold experience, can have costly, long-term consequences.

If you intend to purchase a leasehold property, a good conveyancing solicitor in Loughton will consider possible leasehold issues, such as :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old)
  • service charges and whether they have been collected
  • dealing with landlords
  • freeholder plans to sell the building

Make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease thanks to our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Loughton?

New build building site

According to data compiled by the Land Registry, the average purchase price of Loughton new build property is £398,700. 5 brand new properties have been bought in Loughton in 2018 so far.

Purchasing a new build property is generally more complex than 'standard conveyancing'. To avoid potential problems a Loughton conveyancing solicitor must be mindful of Loughton-specific considerations and will need to investigate several key factors, e.g. dealing with delays associated with off-plan and dealing with incomplete service connection agreements.

Our award-winning team of new build conveyancers specialise in working to tight developer deadlines and new build purchases.

Essex Conservation areas

When acting for the buyer of a home in Loughton, a conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the house is in one of Loughton's conservation areas. If it is, the property is affected by conditions. These conditions, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include a wide range of constraints from restrictions on the use of external insulation, to restrictions on door and window styles.

If a property is in breach, the owner could be legally required to pay for the property to be returned to a compliant state, even if the previous owner carried out the alterations.

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Loughton.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Loughton

The legal process for a house sale is normally less troublesome than for a purchase. When a house or flat changes hands, the responsibility lies entirely with the buyer to determine whether the property's title is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

Conversely, with a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Loughton acting for the existing owner just answer the buyer's solicitor's formal enquiries.

What could put the sale process at risk?

Properties can face a broad spectrum of challenges (such as missing planning regulations or problems with a party wall agreement) that can derail the sale conveyancing process.

You shouldn't ignore this, waiting to see if the problem is discovered - a better course of action will be to talk to a professional and tackle it as quickly as possible.

Recommended reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The conveyancing process for a leasehold property is much more technical than it is for a freehold home.

Leasehold complexity involves additional work on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Loughton, for example getting an up-to-date service charge statement or details of any breach of the terms of the lease.

In order to resolve any leasehold delays faster, it is strongly advised that the vendor contact a property lawyer as soon as an estate agent is chosen.

What if you are already acting for the other side?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority rules ban the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase.

You could contact a local Loughton conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancer is carrying out the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Loughton

Benefitting from a lower rate to reduce monthly expenses is generally why people decide to remortgage. There are other reasons, such as wanting to borrow more, or the existing lender having refused a payment holiday.

You will typically be able to benefit from a lower rate faster by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Loughton, accelerating the time taken to complete the process. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting the mortgage rate you want.

It is key that the property lawyer carrying out the remortgage can also act for your preferred mortgage provider. Quittance Conveyancing are on all major lenders' panels, so no matter whether you are switching to an offset mortgage with Bradford & Bingley or to a discounted-rate 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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