Updated: October 12, 2018

North Somerset conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in North Somerset

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay your North Somerset conveyancing solicitor for the legal work involved in moving home.

Are North Somerset conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in North Somerset offer services on a fees per hour basis, and others on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee') basis. We work on a No Sale, No Fee basis, with no hidden extras. Your quote will set out exactly what you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', in addition to conveyancing solicitor fees.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client, such as Land Registry fees or office copies and title plans.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in North Somerset cost in total?

While conveyancing fees in North Somerset will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, Local Authority Search fees can vary and specific extra searches, e.g. transport searches, may be necessary.

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

The unitary authority of North Somerset covers part of the ceremonial county of Somerset and has its administrative headquarters at Weston-super-Mare. Other main settlements include Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead.

With an economy traditionally based on agriculture North Somerset is a largely rural area, bounded on one side by the Mendip Hills and by the coast on the other, and with close proximity to Bristol.

An influx of prestigious new homes helped property prices in Clevedon to rise faster than anywhere else in the country in 2017 and average prices are now around 50% higher than the national average.

Conveyancing for purchasers

Recent changes to the law mean that a seller must reveal any issues concerning their property to their estate agent and to the purchaser.

It remains, however, the duty of the North Somerset conveyancing solicitor to investigate the property, and report back to the purchaser and the mortgage lender (if applicable), deal with any legal issues and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

The following offers recommendations for homebuyers who need conveyancing solicitors in North Somerset.

Your North Somerset conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you select a conveyancing solicitor in North Somerset, it is essential that you check that they can act in the interests of your mortgage lender, whether you are obtaining a mortgage from Santander, Paratus AMC or any other lender.

A lot of banks and building societies only accept a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of legal firms. If a solicitor is unable to act for your mortgage lender, the lender will likely require a second solicitor firm to carry out the legal work.

The home buyer will usually need to pay this alternative lawyer's fees, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Delays can occur if you fail to check your property lawyer's lender panel status.

Our conveyancing solicitors can perform the conveyancing for all banks and other lenders.

Property Searches (North Somerset Council)

Property searches are questions submitted to a number of authorities by North Somerset conveyancing solicitors to give details about your new home.

Searches are carried out primarily to satisfy the conditions of the lender, and include the local authority (LA) search, environmental search, drainage & water search and chancel repair liability.

Buyers will be informed if your lender needs any further searches, for example a more detailed flood report or a ground stability report.

Purchasers should expect to wait around 4 weeks for Residential property searches ordered from North Somerset Council, so your lawyer will recommend using quicker personal searches.

Checking planning permission status

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will apply for official entries from the Land Registry, assisting with the identification of potential planning issues. These issues could include discrepancies with the filed plan or a restrictive covenant against certain alterations.

North Somerset Council Council Tax

North Somerset Council calculate council tax on North Somerset homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). For instance for an average Tax Band C house in North Somerset, the amount due would be £1,481.

North Somerset conveyancing solicitors will inform a buyer of the property's band as soon as they are 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 £1,111.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or if the resident is living in long term residential care. A house or flat built after 1991 is assessed and given a banding by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Band North Somerset Council Tax (2018)
A £1,111
B £1,296
C £1,481
D £1,667
E £2,037
F £2,407
G £2,778
H £3,333

Can you challenge the council tax bracket?

Owners can ask for their property to be reassessed, and if the valuation is revised down, they may receive a refund. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
4th Floor
Citypoint
Temple Gate
Bristol
BS1 6PL
Avon

Stamp Duty on North Somerset properties

If you are buying a residential property in England, Wales or Northern Ireland then you will usually need to pay stamp duty. Filling in the SDLT1 form yourself is quite involved and not for the wary.

Quittance Conveyancing's integrated case management system integrates with online SDLT filing systems to ensure that the stamp duty is settled efficiently.

The following table illustrates stamp duty examples for typical properties in North Somerset:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £284,689 £4,234.45
Average price (detached) £409,036 £10,451.80
Average new build £335,015 £6,750.75

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in North Somerset

Since the budget announcement in 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300k with relief up to £500,000 in some areas. Higher rates of stamp duty apply to buyers of second property in the form of a surcharge of 3%. For example, if an existing homeowner bought a second property in North Somerset for the average price of £284,689 the stamp duty would be £22,775.12.

Conveyancing solicitors in North Somerset will confirm the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in North Somerset

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold house or flat is not as simple as purchasing a freehold property. Ground rent multipliers, onerous covenants and unfair developer practices are among the many common complications awaiting an uninformed purchaser.

Serious financial ramifications can result from an inexperienced conveyancing solicitor's bad leasehold advice.

If you intend to buy a property with a lease, a competent conveyancing solicitor in North Somerset will consider potential leasehold issues, for example :

  • checking the lease itself
  • service charges
  • dealing with freeholders and managing agents
  • missing building regs and planning

Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitor team will ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in North Somerset?

New build building site

The average price for North Somerset new build properties is £485,338. 9 new build houses and flats have been bought in North Somerset in 2018 so far.

Acquiring a new build can be more complex than any other type of conveyancing. To prevent difficulties arising a North Somerset conveyancing solicitor must be aware of local North Somerset factors and must check a range of issues, e.g. investigating developer incentives and ensuring new estate roads are adopted.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get an expert assessment of the legal title of the house or apartment, whilst being mindful of concerns like unfair leasehold conditions and excessive ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas

Whether you are looking for Tudor-style or Edwardian architecture, moving into a conservation area-protected street usually means that the local character will be preserved. However, conservation area constraints will affect your property.

These restrictions, referred to as Article 4 Directions, can include:

  • Restrictions on the addition of a porch
  • Possible restrictions on joinery colour choices
  • Restrictions on extensions even if within Permitted Development rights

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.

Walton-in-Gordano, Blagdon and Lower Langford are among the conservation areas in North Somerset. Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of North Somerset's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in North Somerset

The legal work involved in a sale of a home is less difficult than for a property purchase. When a house or flat changes hands, the principle of 'buyer beware' means that the onus is on the buyer to verify that the property they are purchasing is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

On the other side of the transaction, conveyancing solicitors in North Somerset acting for the person selling effectively just answer the buyer's solicitor's questions.

What measures can you take to help your sale go through?

Common obstacles, like a historical dispute with a freeholder or not having a building regulations completion certificate, can seriously delay a transaction if not dealt with promptly.

Don't ignore the issue and hope the buyer's solicitor won't notice. The best course of action is to get legal advice and tackle it proactively.

Useful reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are uncommon) is a great deal more complex compared to a freehold house.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in North Somerset will usually undertake additional work, which could include sourcing an up-to-date service charge statement or details of any breach of the terms of the lease.

To reduce leasehold-related delays, it is highly recommended that the vendor contact a lawyer as early in the process as possible, ideally before putting the property on the market,.

What if you are acting for the other side?

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

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

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in North Somerset

Whilst homeowners consider remortgaging for a range of reasons, people usually remortgage to get a more attractive interest rate.

Homeowners can appreciate the benefits of a lower rate sooner by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in North Somerset, working to reduce the processing time of the legal work. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting on to the rate you want.

The property lawyer carrying out your remortgage needs to be able to act for your chosen bank or building society. Quittance Conveyancing are on all major UK lenders' panels. So no matter whether you are switching to a variable-rate with Birmingham Midshires or to a joint mortgage with the Barnsley Building Society, our remortgage team 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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