Updated: October 12, 2018

Okehampton conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Okehampton

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Okehampton for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Do Okehampton conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our conveyancers work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Okehampton who carry out the legal work on an hourly-rate basis. Your quote explains all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

In addition to the solicitor's conveyancing 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 property searches or office copies and title plans.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Okehampton cost?

Though conveyancing fees in Okehampton will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, specific extra searches, e.g. a commons registration search, may be necessary and council search fees will vary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, what we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance, there are absolutely no hidden costs. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Okehampton

A seller is now required to disclose issues that could affect the value or enjoyment of their property to the prospective buyer.

It is, however, still the duty of a conveyancing solicitor in Okehampton to investigate the property, and report back in detail to the buyer and the lender, solve outstanding issues and register the title in the new owner's name.

The content below considers those parts of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Okehampton where specialist conveyancing skills may be helpful.

Your Okehampton conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you appoint a Okehampton conveyancing solicitor, you must confirm that they can act on behalf of your chosen lender, whether you are getting a mortgage from the HSBC, Scottish Widows or any other lender.

Most banks and building societies are only prepared to work with a select panel of firms. If your solicitor is not on the panel of your chosen lender, the lender will require an alternative solicitor firm to carry out the legal work.

The purchaser will be expected to pay this alternate lawyer's costs, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Major delays can result from failing to confirm your conveyancer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing can perform the conveyancing for all lenders.

West Devon Borough Council searches and other searches

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are enquiries made of various authorities by Okehampton conveyancing solicitors to help uncover relevant information about the property being purchased. They include:

  • Local Authority search - contains information about the property and surrounding area held by West Devon Borough Council
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
  • Environmental search - identifies risks within 500 metres of the property, including flooding subsidence. The search will also reveal nearby landfill sites and contaminated land.
  • Chancel repair liability - there is a risk that some Okehampton 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 more detailed flood report or a disadvantaged area search, may also be referred to in the standard searches.

West Devon Borough Council has an estimated delivery time of 10 weeks for Residential property searches, so your solicitor will instead order faster regulated searches.

Planning searches

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will request the Title Register from HM Land Registry, helping to identify planning issues. These issues could include outbuildings lying outside the boundary or restrictions that limit alterations.

West Devon Borough Council Council Tax

West Devon Borough Council calculate your council tax based on a variety of factors that include the size of the property and the value of the property. For instance a residential property in the West Devon Borough Council area in Valuation Band C would pay £1,686 per annum.

Okehampton conveyancing solicitors will inform the purchaser of the home's council tax band as soon as they are made aware.

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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £1,264.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or if the property is armed forces accommodation.

Band West Devon Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,264
B £1,475
C £1,686
D £1,896
E £2,318
F £2,739
G £3,160
H £3,792

Does anyone ever challenge their valuation?

The Valuation Office Agency should reassess a property's band on request. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Broadwalk House
Southernhay West
Exeter
EX1 1TS
Devon

Stamp Duty on Okehampton properties

The current Stamp Duty Land Tax threshold is £125k in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is the responsibility of the buyer's conveyancing solicitor to handle the tax return process for the purchase.

Quittance's investment in the latest case management system means that HMRC filing rejections are a thing of the past.

See table below for Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for homes in Devon:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £280,553 £4,027.65
Average price (detached) £383,433 £9,171.65
Average new build £296,218 £4,810.90
If you are buying a second home for over £40,000 then you will have to pay an SDLT surcharge of 3%. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Okehampton for the average price of £280,553 the SDLT would be £22,444.24.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Okehampton

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Okehampton will confirm an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Okehampton

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold property without understanding the implications is ill-advised. The many potential problems awaiting an uninformed purchaser can include doubling ground rents and excessive freehold premiums.

Misguided leasehold advice, from an inexperienced conveyancing solicitor, could have costly, long-term consequences.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Okehampton will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, such as service charges for relevant date periods, leaseholder/freeholder disputes and managing agent practices.

Quittance Conveyancing's 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 Okehampton?

Building site

The average purchase price of Okehampton new build properties is £314,092, based on data published by HM Land Registry. 103 new builds have been bought in Okehampton in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Okehampton will need to be familiar with regional factors and new build's additional complexities, like confirming building regulation compliance and helping with mortgage offer extension terms.

Our new build conveyancing team are specialists in working to developer exchange timeframes and ensuring that new build contracts favour the client as much as possible.

Conservation areas in Devon

Your conveyancing solicitor will check if the home you are planning to buy is in one of Okehampton's conservation areas. If it is, the house could be affected by specific constraints. Called Article 4 directions, these restrictions can include restrictions on painting external walls, restrictions on the addition of cladding or limitations on new outbuildings.

If a property is in breach, the owner could be required by law to pay for the property to be changed back to the state it was in before the recent alterations, even if the previous owner was responsible for the changes.

The local planning authority (LPA) for West Devon has designated conservation area status on certain areas of Okehampton. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Okehampton.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Okehampton

The conveyancing process on a property sale is simpler than when buying. When a house or flat changes hands, caveat-emptor' means that the onus lies entirely with the buyer to validate that the home they are buying is mortgageable and is (or can be) registered at the Land Registry.

When selling, conveyancing solicitors in Okehampton acting for the vendor need only answer the purchaser's enquiries.

Factors that could delay or endanger your property sale

Common issues, like not being insurable, can actually protract a sale if ignored.

It is best not to procrastinate in the hope that any issues won't be spotted - a better course of action will be to get professional advice, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution ASAP.

Useful reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold flats

The legal work for a leasehold flat is a great deal more complicated than it is for a freehold home.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Okehampton must undertake additional tasks, such as requesting an up-to-date service charge statement, through to a copy of any health and safety assessment for the common parts.

It is highly recommended that you contact a conveyancer with leasehold experience as soon as an estate agent is chosen to help contain and resolve any delays.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both the buyer and the seller in a single transaction?

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules restrict the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase. A CLC-regulated conveyancer, however, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

You could contact a property solicitor firm in Okehampton to undertake your conveyancing, if a Quittance solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side.

Local Okehampton conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Peter Peter & Wright, 1 West Street, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 1HG
  • Gilbert Stephens LLP, Rosemary House, Market Street, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 1HN
  • Nicholas Larcombe, Frodornic, Exbourne, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 3SA

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Okehampton

Benefitting from a better rate to reduce monthly expenses is usually why people decide to remortgage. There are other reasons, such as getting onto a longer fixed-rate term, or funding a one-off purchase.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Okehampton will complete the conveyancing quickly, helping you get onto the lower rate earlier. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting the mortgage rate you want.

A property lawyer will need to act for both you and the bank or building society to ensure the lender's investment is secured.

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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