Updated: October 12, 2018

Northampton conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Northampton

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay to your Northampton conveyancing solicitor for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Do Northampton conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no hidden fees, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Northampton who carry out the legal work on a cost per hour basis. Your quote will set out what you will pay when your house or flat sale completes.

What are disbursements?

In addition to the legal fees you will also have to cover any '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 Stamp Duty Land Tax or managing agent information.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total Northampton solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Conveyancing solicitor fees in Northampton should be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. For example, council search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, such as a flood plain search, may be needed.

For standard conveyancing transactions, what we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance, there are no hidden fees or nasty surprises. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees calculator: Click here

Quittance's fees were cheaper - less than half the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Northampton

Northampton is the county town of Northamptonshire One of the UK's largest towns it lies 67 miles north-west of London. Its proximity to London - only 48 minutes by train to Euston - has made it attractive for commuters and in 2017, Northamptonshire experienced the largest increase in house prices (9.1%) in England and Wales.

Much of the buoyant economy is in distribution and finance and Northampton was named by Experian in 2014, as the best place in the UK to start and run a business,.

Conveyancing for purchasers

Caveat emptor, (Latin for "let the buyer beware"), was a fundamental principle of property law in England and Wales. This principle no longer applies, however, it remains the duty of a buyer's legal representative to carry out due diligence on a planned purchase.

A Northampton conveyancing solicitor will offer professional advice following their enquiries, assist in resolving any issues and confirm that the legal title passes to the new owner.

The following considers the kinds of property which may be of interest to homebuyers who want conveyancing solicitors in Northampton.

Your Northampton conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

There are many mortgage providers available to homebuyers, from a less common mortgage lender like Capital Home Loans, to a major lender such as Santander. Before choosing a conveyancing solicitor in Northampton, whoever you choose, it is vital that you check that they are approved by your chosen lender.

Your solicitor may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your chosen lender, because some lenders will only accept a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of law firms.

If this is the case, the lender will need a different solicitor firm to complete the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this substitute lawyer's fees. The additional work can mean the process takes much longer.

Your home move could be threatened by failing to check your lawyer's lender panel status.

Our solicitors can act for all lenders.

Property Searches (Northamptonshire County Council)

Searches are enquiries made of various authorities by Northampton conveyancing solicitors to give details about your new home. They include:

  • Local Authority search - includes a list of planning decisions that could affect the property
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies water mains and sewers. This search also addresses whether the maintenance for these is the owner's responsibility.
  • Environmental search - covers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Northampton properties for local parish repairs.

More specific searches, such as an HS2 search or a more detailed plan search, may also be advised following the initial searches.

Northamptonshire County Council has a typical delivery time of 4 weeks for property searches, so your conveyancer will instead use a quicker local search agent.

Finding planning permissions

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will obtain an 'Official Copy of the Title Register' from HMLR. This will help to reveal any planning issues, for example outbuildings lying outside the boundary or a restrictive covenant against certain alterations.

Northamptonshire County Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Northampton, 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. For example, for an average Tax Band - property in Northampton, the amount payable would be - per year.

Northampton conveyancing solicitors will inform the buyer of the property's tax band once they are themselves 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 -.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or where the property is occupied solely by students.


Is your new home in the wrong band?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Northgate House
59-77 Sheep St

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) should reassess a property's band on request. Councils prefer that this be done within six months of buying a property.

Stamp Duty on Northampton properties

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and HMRC fines those who delay in completing and returning it. When buying a home, Stamp Duty Land Tax will probably need to be paid if the property is valued at over £125k.

Quittance use the latest case management integration with HMRC to avoid errors and ensure there are no late-filing penalties.

See SDLT examples for homes in Northampton:

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £217,603 £1,852.06
Average price (detached) £327,083 £6,354.15
Average new build £246,937 £2,438.74

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Northampton

Since November 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000. Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a 3% SDLT surcharge, even if the home is not let out. So if a second home was bought for £217,603 then the stamp duty total will be £10,880.15.

Northampton conveyancing solicitors should ensure their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Northampton

New build site

It is not recommended to buy a leasehold property if you are unaware of the implications. Numerous technical issues may be awaiting the unsuspecting buyer, including:

  • unfair developer practices
  • exponential ground rents
  • overpriced managing agent packs
  • unreasonable lease extension premiums
Serious financial ramifications can result from a solicitor's misguided leasehold advice.

If you are planning to purchase a leasehold home, a experienced conveyancing solicitor in Northampton will address aspects of leasehold, such as :

  • reviewing the lease itself (leases can be 10's or even 100's of years old)
  • absent freeholders
  • service charges for relevant date periods
  • buildings insurance apportionments

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase - Contact Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitor team on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Northampton?

New build site

10 newly-constructed homes have been bought in Northampton in 2018 so far, (Land Registry data). The average price for new build property in Northampton is £258,230.

Purchasing a new build home is considerably more complicated than buying a 'secondhand' home. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Northampton needs to be mindful of local Northampton considerations and must check numerous things, like handling equity loan schemes and ensuring new estate roads are adopted.

Our new build conveyancing department will provide an independent assessment of the legal status of the property, with close attention paid to considerations like the home's subsequent mortgageability and likely freehold acquisition traps.

Conservation areas in Northamptonshire

Your conveyancing solicitor will check if the house you are going to buy is in one of Northampton's conservation areas. If it is, the house could be affected by specific conditions. These constraints, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include:

  • Conditions affecting frontal additions to the property such as a porch
  • General restrictions governing non-uniform additions or modifications
  • A prohibition on the erection of outbuildings

The local planning authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed.

Northampton conservation areas include Great Houghton, Holy Sepulchre and St Crispin. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Northampton.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Northampton

Conveyancing for a property sale is simpler than when purchasing. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor needs to carry out a thorough legal appraisal on the legal title of your home, whilst conveyancing solicitors in Northampton acting for the vendor effectively just collects any required paperwork and replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries .

Why do sales fall through?

A property can face any number of problems (such as chancel repair liability) which could delay a purchase for weeks (or more).

It is generally a good idea that vendors address such issues immediately.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Selling a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat is a great deal more complex than it is for a freehold home.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Northampton must carry out extra work, and this 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 strongly advised that the seller instruct a conveyancer as soon as is practicable.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both parties?

SRA regulations ban the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale. A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both parties.

If you are buying or selling a home in Northampton, and we are acting for the other side, you can contact a property solicitor firm in Northampton to handle your legal work.


Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Northampton

The main reason people remortgage a home is to get a more affordable interest rate. There are any number of other reasons to remortgage, for example moving from a standard variable rate (SVR) to a fixed-rate, or consolidating loan repayments.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Northampton can reduce the remortgage processing time, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting the mortgage rate you want.

It is vitally important that the property lawyer carrying out the remortgage can also represent your preferred lender. Our conveyancing team are on the panel for all major UK lenders, so no matter whether you are moving to a 100% mortgage with Santander or to a capped-rate mortgage with the Skipton 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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