Updated: October 12, 2018

Merseyside conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Merseyside

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid your Merseyside conveyancing solicitor for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

How are Merseyside conveyancing fees calculated?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Merseyside carry out the legal work on a cost per hour basis, and others on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee') basis. Our conveyancing solicitors work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee'), with no hidden costs. Your quote will set out what fees you will need to pay when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', in addition to conveyancing solicitor 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 Stamp Duty or leasehold information packs.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Merseyside cost?

Conveyancing solicitor fees in Merseyside will not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, additional region-specific searches, e.g. a commons registration search, may be needed and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

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

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the average solicitors' fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Merseyside

The metropolitan county of Merseyside covers the area of land either side of the Mersey estuary, with Liverpool and St Helens on the east and Birkenhead and the Wirral on the west.

Away from the hustle of urban areas, coastal districts such as Formby and New Brighton offer more rural living, yet are within easy reach of Liverpool for employment opportunities.

The Wirral peninsula is the least built-up district of the county and are also within easy reach of the North Wales coast.

Conveyancing for purchasers

Caveat emptor, (Latin for "let the buyer beware"), was a fundamental principle of English property law. The 2008 Consumer Protection Against Unfair Trading Regulations (CPRs) have effectively abolished this rule, however, and it remains the responsibility of a homebuyer and their solicitor to undertake due diligence on the property to be purchased.

The Merseyside conveyancing solicitor will make recommendations following their enquiries, help to fix or resolve any legal issues and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

This section offers invaluable advice for homebuyers looking for conveyancing solicitors in Merseyside.

Your Merseyside conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Property purchasers may choose from many mortgage lenders, from a major lender such as the Bank of Scotland, to a financial institution like the Leeds Building Society. Before selecting a conveyancing solicitor in Merseyside, it is paramount that you confirm that they can act on behalf of your lender.

Most lenders are only happy to work with a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of firms that have achieved certain benchmarks. If your solicitor is unable to act for your lender, the lender will probably need a second legal firm to complete the legal work.

The purchaser will then have to cover this alternative solicitor's fees and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Neglecting to check your conveyancing solicitor's lender panel status could mean significant delays.

Our solicitors can act on behalf of all mortgage lenders.

Property Searches (Liverpool City Council)

Searches are applied for by Merseyside conveyancing solicitors in order to identify any wider issues that could possibly reduce how much your property will be worth.

Mortgagees also usually require property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') to be purchased. These include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchincludes a list of planning decisions that could affect the property
Drainage & Water searchcovers the location of water pipes and drains, and reveals if the upkeep for these falls on the owner or local council.
Environmental searchidentifies risks within 500 metres of the property, including flooding subsidence. The search will also reveal nearby landfill sites and contaminated land.
Chancel repair liabilitysome Merseyside property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

You will be informed if your lender needs any additional searches, e.g. a Crossrail search or a more detailed plan search.

Buyers will have to endure a wait of approximately 6 weeks for searches provided by Liverpool City Council. Personal searches (as opposed to official LA searches) will therefore delivered sooner.

Planning issues

Your conveyancing solicitor will get official entries from HM Land Registry. This will help to highlight any issues, for example outbuildings missing from the title plan or limits on the development of the property.

Liverpool City Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by Liverpool City Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. E.g. for an average Band E house in Merseyside, the council tax would be £2,269 per year.

Conveyancing solicitors in Merseyside will inform the purchaser of the property's tax 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 £1,702.

Other discounts and exemptions may 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 where the property is occupied solely by students.

Band Liverpool City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,238
B £1,444
C £1,650
D £1,857
E £2,269
F £2,682
G £3,094
H £3,713

Can I dispute my council tax rate?

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

Valuation Office Agency
Redgrave Court
Merton Road
Liverpool
L20 7HS
Merseyside

In 2016/17, 430 council tax challenges were made, of which 210 were upheld and the tax was reduced.

Stamp Duty on Merseyside properties

The threshold for SDLT for a home is £125,000. Obtaining and completing the SDLT1 return from HMRC is difficult but not impossible for a typical property purchaser. Usually, however, the form is completed by the property lawyer to avoid penalties or delays.

Penalties for errors or late filing of the SDLT1 form can be as high as 30%. Quittance Conveyancing use case management system to ensure that SDLT is paid immediately after completion.

See table below for Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for properties in Merseyside:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £166,256 £825.12
Average price (detached) £301,093 £5,054.65
Average new build £174,987 £999.74

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Merseyside

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300,000. Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT when buying a second property. Therefore, if a homeowner in Merseyside bought a second property for the average price of £166,256 the SDLT would be £8,312.80.

Conveyancing solicitors in Merseyside should ensure the correct calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Merseyside

New build site

The potential risks associated with buying a leasehold property in England or Wales are well publicised. The numerous common problems awaiting an uninformed buyer include increasing ground rents and unfair clauses in the lease.

Poor leasehold guidance, from a lawyer lacking in specialist knowledge, could have costly, long-term consequences.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Merseyside will consider potential leasehold issues, e.g. :

  • reviewing the lease itself
  • dealing with freeholders and managing agents
  • service charges, ground rents and buildings insurance arrangements
  • onerous covenants
  • residents? management company

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property with Quittance Conveyancing's team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Merseyside?

New build building site

The average cost of new build property in Merseyside is £165,821, according to data gathered by the Land Registry. 102 new build homes have been bought in Merseyside in 2018 so far.

Buying a new build property can be more involved than any other type of conveyancing. To prevent difficulties arising a conveyancing solicitor in Merseyside must be aware of both region-specific factors and also must check numerous things, like dealing with fast exchange timeframes and ensuring compliance with planning regulations.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get an independent assessment of the legal title of the house or apartment, and in particular issues ranging from the home's subsequent marketability to likely freehold acquisition traps.

Merseyside conservation areas

If you are buying a property in a conservation area in Merseyside, the property must not breach any conservation area restrictions. These constraints may include:

  • Limits on roof terraces
  • Restrictions on dormer windows
  • Requiring consent to alter doors and guttering

If a property is in breach, the local planning authority could order the owner to pay for the work needed to make the home compliant, even if the previous owner carried out the alterations.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Merseyside

The legal process for a house sale is simpler than when purchasing. When buying, the obligation lies entirely with the buyer to satisfy themselves that the house or flat can be mortgaged and is free from legal issues.

With a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Merseyside acting for the person selling need only respond to the buyer's questions.

What factors could threaten your sale?

Homes will often come with a series of possible complications (for example having right or way issues (such as being landlocked) or being in an area threatened by local development) that have the capacity to draw out the conveyancing process for weeks.

It is usually a good idea that vendors handle such issues as soon as they come to light.

Useful reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat or house is a great deal more time-consuming compared to a freehold house.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Merseyside will usually undertake extra work. This can involve collating an up-to-date service charge statement or a copy of any health and safety assessment for the common parts.

It is recommended that the vendor contact a property lawyer as soon as an estate agent is chosen to reduce leasehold-related delays.

What if you are acting for the other side?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase. A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both sides.

You may wish to contact a law firm in Merseyside to undertake your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancer is doing the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Merseyside

Saving money on a better rate is generally why people remortgage. There are other reasons, including fixing the mortgage on a new discounted rate, or releasing funds to help kids get on the property ladder.

You should be able to enjoy a better rate sooner with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Merseyside. With rate rises hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to securing your preferred rate.

It is key that your property lawyer can act on behalf of your chosen bank or building society. Quittance Conveyancing are on all major UK lenders' panels, so no matter whether you are switching to a 100% mortgage with Lloyds Bank or to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Dudley Building Society, we can assist.

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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