Updated: October 12, 2018

Seaford conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Seaford

Conveyancing solicitor fees will be paid to conveyancing solicitors in Seaford for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Are Seaford conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Seaford offer services on an hourly-rate basis, whereas others work on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee'). We work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis, with no hidden costs. Your quote sets out all fees and other costs you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

You will have to pay any '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 Land Tax (SDLT) or managing agent fees.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total Seaford solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Seaford conveyancing fees will be the same as anywhere else in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, Local Authority Search fees can vary and specific extra searches, e.g. a Coal Authority search, may be necessary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no hidden costs or nasty surprises. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Seaford

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 is, however, still the duty of the Seaford conveyancing solicitor to make enquiries about the property, report back to the purchaser and the mortgage lender (if applicable), offer pragmatic solutions and ensure the title is transferred to the new owner.

This part of the article provides recommendations for people who need conveyancing solicitors in Seaford for a purchase.

Your Seaford conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether your mortgage is with a large lender like Barclays Bank or a financial institution such as the Dudley Building Society, before you instruct a Seaford conveyancing solicitor it is very important that you make sure that they are on the approved panel of your chosen lender.

Some banks and building societies will only accept a restricted panel of legal practices. If a conveyancer is unable to act for your chosen lender, the lender will likely need a different solicitor firm to complete the legal work.

You will usually need to pay this second solicitor's fees, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Serious delays can arise if you do not check your solicitor's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing can perform the conveyancing for all banks and building societies.

Searches (Lewes District Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are questions submitted to public bodies by Seaford conveyancing solicitors to identify issues affecting the home you want to buy.

Banks and building societies also need to see a list of searches to be obtained. These include:

Local Authority (LA) searchcontains information about the property and surrounding area held by Lewes District Council
Drainage & Water searchdescribes water mains and sewers, and confirms if these are privately maintained
Environmental searchenvironmental issues that could adversely affect the property
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability to the local parish for repairs.

More pertinent searches, such as a highways authority search or a disadvantaged area search, may also be advised in the standard searches.

Buyers should anticipate a wait of approximately 20 weeks for Residential property searches provided by Lewes District Council, so faster personal searches will be recommended.

Checking planning status

Your conveyancing solicitor will request the Title Register from HMLR. This will help to highlight any planning issues, such as limits on the development of the property or discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan.

Lewes District Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on a variety of factors that include the size and character of the home and the assessed value of the property in April 1991. E.g. for an average Valuation Band C property in Seaford, the amount of council tax would be £1,728 per year.

Seaford conveyancing solicitors will inform a buyer of the home's council tax band once 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 £1,296.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes or if an occupier is a student nurse. More recently-built property is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and allocated a band.

Band Lewes District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,296
B £1,512
C £1,728
D £1,944
E £2,376
F £2,808
G £3,240
H £3,889

Is your new home in the wrong band?

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. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
St. Annes House
2 St. Annes Rd
BN21 3LG
East Sussex

Stamp Duty on Seaford properties

Filling in the SDLT1 form yourself is complicated and not for the wary.

A homebuyer will usually need to pay SDLT if the residential property they are purchasing is valued at over £125k.

With Quittance Conveyancing you have the peace of mind that the SDLT1 return is completed correctly and quickly when your purchase completes.

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

  Average sale price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £367,786 £8,389.30
Average price (detached) £421,807 £11,090.35
Average new build £368,725 £8,436.25

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Seaford

Since 11/17, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on residential properties valued over £300,000. Following a change in April 2016, a surcharge of 3% is applied for purchases of additional property. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Seaford for the average price of £367,786 the SDLT would be £29,422.88.

Seaford conveyancing solicitors should confirm the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Seaford

New build site

The potential pitfalls of buying a leasehold property are of serious concern for buyers of leasehold property. Numerous legal complications could be lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser, such as:

  • ground rent multipliers
  • excessive freehold premiums
  • overpriced managing agent packs
  • restrictions on the use of the property
Serious financial ramifications can result from a less-experienced property lawyer's inaccurate leasehold advice.

A expert conveyancing solicitor in Seaford will address aspects of leasehold, such as :

  • reviewing the lease
  • dealing with freeholders and managing agents
  • annual statements of account and budgets for service charges
  • sinking funds
  • proceedings threatened against the freeholder under Part 2 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002

Ensure 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 Seaford?

New build site

The average price for new build properties in Seaford is £368,725. 1 brand new homes have been bought in Seaford in 2018 so far.

Purchasing a new build property is considerably more complicated than buying a 'secondhand' home. Therefore a Seaford conveyancing solicitor must be mindful of both region-specific factors and also needs to consider a range of factors, including handling deposits and checking planning conditions have been fulfilled.

Our team of conveyancers are specialists in working to tight developer deadlines and ensuring that new build contracts favour the client as much as possible.

East Sussex Conservation areas

Moving into a conservation area will usually mean that the local character is unlikely to drastically change. However, conservation area restrictions will affect your property.

These building controls, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include:

  • A prohibition on the removal of front boundary walls
  • Restrictions preventing the installation of VELUX windows
  • Restrictions on side or two-storey extensions

The local planning authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing a new garden wall.

Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Seaford.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Seaford

The legal side of a house sale is normally less troublesome than for a purchase. With a purchase, the responsibility lies with the purchaser to establish that the title of the property is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

In contrast, for a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Seaford acting for the current owner need only respond to questions set by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor.

What could put a property sale at risk?

A house or flat can face numerous problems (such as restrictive covenants or missing planning permission) that can derail the sale process.

In the majority of cases, you should tackle such issues head on.

Useful reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Selling a leasehold property

The legal work for a leasehold property is much more protracted compared to a freehold house.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Seaford must carry out additional tasks, for example requesting an up-to-date service charge statement, through to the minutes of the last AGM (if there is a management company).

So as to resolve any leasehold-related issues sooner, it is highly recommended that the vendor contact a solicitor as early as possible.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for the buyer and the seller of the same home?

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules ban the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale. A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

If you are buying or selling a home in Seaford, and one of our conveyancing solicitors is acting for the other side, you could contact a property solicitor firm in Seaford to carry out your legal work.

Local Seaford conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Barwells Legal Limited, 10 Sutton Park Road, Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 1RB
  • Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP, 1 Warwick Road, Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 1RS
  • Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP, 26 Sutton Park Road, Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 1QU

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Seaford

By far the most common reason homeowners remortgage is to save money with a lower rate. Other reasons to consider remortgaging include wanting to overpay when the lender refuses, or consolidating loan repayments.

You can benefit from a lower rate sooner by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Seaford. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in securing the rate you want.

The property lawyer will act for both you and your new lender to certify the interests of the lender are protected.

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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