Updated: October 12, 2018

Preston conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Preston

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay your Preston conveyancing solicitor for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Are Preston conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Preston work on an hourly-rate basis. Some solicitors will complete the work on a fixed 'No Move, No Fee' basis. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis, with no nasty surprises in the small print. Your conveyancing quote will set out what you will pay when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

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. These include costs like managing agent information or Stamp Duty Land Tax.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Preston cost in total?

Conveyancing fees in Preston will be the same as anywhere else in the country. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. For example, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, such as a flooding search, may be necessary.

For a standard sale or purchase, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance, there are absolutely no hidden costs. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

Quittance delivered an excellent service at the lowest conveyancing fees we could find

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Preston

The conveyancing for a property buyer requires the conveyancing solicitor in Preston to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors are a defective title (e.g. breached restrictive covenants) and issues impacting on the future saleability of the home.

The solicitor will report their findings back to the purchaser and their lender, offer practical solutions and confirm that the legal title passes to the new owner.

This section provides recommendations for people who need conveyancing solicitors in Preston for a purchase.

Your Preston conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether your mortgage is with a large lender like Santander or a less common mortgage lender such as Precise Mortgages, before appointing a conveyancing solicitor in Preston it is paramount that you confirm that they are approved by your chosen lender.

Your conveyancer may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your chosen lender, because some lenders are only happy to work with a select panel of firms.

If that is the case, the lender will likely require a second firm to complete the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this second solicitor's fees. This can mean the process takes much longer.

Failing to check your conveyancer's lender panel status could jeopardise the sale.

Quittance Conveyancing can act for all mortgage lenders.

Preston City Council searches and other searches

Property searches will be applied for by Preston conveyancing solicitors to unearth problems that might potentially reduce how much your property will be worth. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - covers planning applications, building control history and enforcement action against the property. The LA search also includes details of any nearby road development schemes.
  • Environmental search - covers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies water mains and sewers. This search also addresses whether the maintenance for these is the owner's responsibility.
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability to the local parish for repairs.

Your conveyancer will tell you if your mortgage lender requires any additional searches, for example a more detailed flood report or an energy search.

Preston City Council has an estimated lead time of 3 weeks for property searches. As a result, quicker regulated searches will be recommended.

Planning searches

Official Entries will also be sourced from HM Land Registry by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the homebuyer. This helps to find any issues, for example the title plan showing only very general boundaries or restrictive covenants governing the use of the property.

Preston City Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Preston will pay to Preston City Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. For instance for an average Band B property in Preston, the amount payable would be £1,441.

Conveyancing solicitors in Preston will inform a buyer of the home's tax 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 £1,081.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or if the resident is living in long term residential care. A new home is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and allocated a banding.

Band Preston City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,235
B £1,441
C £1,647
D £1,852
E £2,264
F £2,676
G £3,087
H £3,705

Could I be overpaying council tax?

A property owner can also apply for their property to be reassessed. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
104 Lancaster Rd
Preston
PR1 1LX
Lancashire

Stamp Duty on Preston properties

With some exceptions, if you buy a property over the £125k threshold you will have to pay stamp duty. Completing the SDLT1 form in order to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax is a daunting prospect for a layperson.

Our post-completion conveyancing team use online case management system to ensure the SDLT1 tax return is submitted to HM Revenue & Customs as quickly as possible.

See examples for local properties:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty
Average price £154,072 £581.44
Average price (detached) £271,220 £3,561.00
Average new build £260,833 £3,041.65
Higher rates of stamp duty apply to buyers of second home in the form of a stamp duty surcharge of 3%. So if a second home was bought for £154,072 then the stamp duty total will be £7,703.60.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Preston

Since 11/17, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on properties valued over £300k.

Conveyancing solicitors in Preston should confirm an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Preston

New build site

The potential risks of purchasing a leasehold flat in the UK are well documented. The many potential problems lying in wait for an uninformed buyer could include doubling ground rents, leases with fewer than 80 years to run and undisclosed major works.

Poor leasehold guidance, from an inexperienced property lawyer, could have serious financial implications.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Preston will consider possible leasehold issues, including reviewing the lease, managing agent or landlord enquiries and current-year service charge estimates.

Our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors will work to ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Preston?

House under construction

According to data compiled by HM Land Registry, the average value of new build property in Preston is £260,833. 5 brand new homes have been bought in Preston in 2018 so far.

The legal work for purchasing a new build property requires more technical knowledge than 'standard conveyancing'. To prevent difficulties arising a conveyancing solicitor in Preston must be aware of both region-specific considerations and also should check a range of issues, such as dealing with failures to arrange warranty provider inspections and verifying rights of access.

Our expert new build team provide a specialist assessment of the legal status of the property, scrutinising contract considerations ranging from unreasonable leasehold terms to potential freehold acquisition traps.

Lancashire Conservation areas

When carrying out the conveyancing for a purchase in Preston, a conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the residential property is in a conservation area in Preston. If it is, the property will be affected by certain restrictions. These restrictions can include:

  • Limitations on the erection of outbuildings
  • Restrictions on the addition of flues and soil vent pipes
  • Limits on the erection of outbuildings

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

Preston conservation areas include Winckley Square, St Ignatius Square and Inglewhite. Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Preston.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Preston

The legal work involved in a sale of a house or flat is more straightforward than when buying. The purchaser will have to go through thorough due diligence on the home. In contrast, conveyancing solicitors in Preston acting for the vendor essentially just collates information and responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor .

What could put your sale at risk?

Common obstacles, like chancel repair liability or not having suitable right of way, might endanger the sale conveyancing process.

Property specialists will generally suggest that vendors face these issues head on and fix them.

Useful reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat (houses are rarely leasehold) is quite a lot more involved than it is for a freehold home.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Preston will usually undertake additional legal work, and this could include requesting the latest service charge and ground rent statement or the minutes of the last AGM (if there is a management company).

In order to resolve any leasehold issues faster, it is recommended that the vendor contact a conveyancer as early in the process as possible, ideally before putting the property on the market,.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for the buyer and the seller in a single transaction?

A conveyancer regulated by the CLC can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules ban the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale.

You may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in Preston to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Preston

Whilst there are many reasons to consider remortgaging, people will usually remortgage a home to secure a better rate of interest.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Preston can reduce the remortgage processing time, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when securing your preferred rate.

It is important that the property lawyer carrying out the remortgage can also act for the new mortgage provider. Our conveyancers are panel members of all major banks and building societies. So no matter whether you are moving to a fixed-rate mortgage with Barclays Bank or to a joint mortgage with the Dudley Building Society, 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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