Updated: October 12, 2018

Sefton conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Sefton

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Sefton for handling the legal work for your move.

Do Sefton conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our conveyancers work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Sefton who work on a price per hour basis. Your quote will set out exactly what you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs?

In addition to the legal fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client. These include costs like leasehold information packs or bankruptcy searches.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total Sefton solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Sefton conveyancing fees will not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. As examples, additional region-specific searches, such as utilities searches, may be needed and council search fees will vary.

For a standard sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are absolutely no hidden costs. 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 Sefton

The Metropolitan Borough of Sefton is in Merseyside and was formed by the amalgamation of the county boroughs of Bootle and Southport, the municipal borough of Crosby, the urban districts of Formby and Litherland, and part of West Lancashire Rural District.

Its western area is bounded by the 22 miles of beautiful coastline between Bootle and Southport and it extends southwards to Liverpool and eastwards towards Knowsley and Aintree.

Conveyancing for purchasers

Recent changes to the law mean that a seller is obliged to reveal any property defects or disputes to the buyer.

It is, however, still the duty of a conveyancing solicitor in Sefton to make enquiries about the property, make their "report on title", iron out any legal issues and register the title in the new owner's name.

The following discusses the aspects of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Sefton where a deeper understanding of the legal technicalities is critical.

Your Sefton conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before selecting a conveyancing solicitor in Sefton, it is paramount that you confirm that they can represent your chosen lender, whether you are taking out a mortgage from Barclays Bank, the Coventry Building Society or any other lender.

Your lawyer may not be able to carry out the legal work for your chosen lender, because some mortgage lenders only accept a selected list (known as a 'panel') of firms that meet stringent standards.

In this case, the lender will probably need a second firm to complete the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this second solicitor's costs. Handling paperwork and correspondence with this additional party can delay the process.

Serious delays can result from failing to check your solicitor's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved to act for all lenders.

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council searches and other searches

Residential property searches are questions asked of various bodies by Sefton conveyancing solicitors to help uncover relevant information about your new home. They include:

  • Local Authority search - includes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes whether there is a certificate of compliance for replacement windows
  • Drainage & Water search - includes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
  • Environmental search - environmental issues that could adversely affect the property
  • Chancel repair liability - insurance is arranged to protect the buyer against any liability for local parish church repairs.

You will be told if your chosen lender wants any additional searches, e.g. a tin mining search or a more detailed plan search.

Buyers can expect to wait roughly 4 weeks for searches ordered from Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council. As a result, quicker regulated searches will be recommended.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will obtain office copies from HMLR, assisting with the identification of any issues. These issues could include errors on the title plan or restrictive covenants governing the use of the property.

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Sefton will pay to Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. For instance for an average Tax Band D house in Sefton, the tax would be £1,792.

Sefton conveyancing solicitors will inform a buyer of the property's band once this is confirmed by the searches.

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 £1,344.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or structural changes or for spouses of students who are not British. Property built after 1991 is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency.

Band Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,194
B £1,393
C £1,593
D £1,792
E £2,190
F £2,588
G £2,986
H £3,583

Does anyone ever challenge their valuation?

Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Redgrave Court
Merton Road
Liverpool
L20 7HS
Merseyside

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 50 council tax challenges were made. 10 were upheld and the tax was reduced.

Stamp Duty on Sefton properties

Delays and penalties await those who mishandle the stamp duty administration process.

The vast majority of people will have their conveyancing solicitor complete the SDLT1 return on their behalf.

Stamp duty is a percentage of the purchase price of a property paid by the buyer to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC). It is due on properties bought for over £125,000.

Quittance is able to administer the stamp duty process faster and more efficiently than ever, using integrated online systems.

See table below for SDLT examples for homes in Sefton:

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £191,226 £1,324.52
Average price (detached) £340,153 £7,007.65
Average new build £212,241 £1,744.82
Following a change in April 2016, a 3% stamp duty surcharge is applied for purchases of additional property. So if a second property was bought for £191,226 then the stamp duty total will be £9,561.30.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Sefton

Relief is available on home purchases below £300k for first-time buyers with reduced rates up to £500,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Sefton should confirm the right amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Sefton

New build site

The risks associated with leasehold property ownership are a source of concern for leasehold home buyers. There are any number of potential traps that may be awaiting the unsuspecting purchaser, such as freeholds sold without first refusal to leaseholders, increasing ground rents and reversionary interests.

Erroneous leasehold advice, from an inexperienced property lawyer, can have costly, long-term consequences.

If you are planning to purchase a property with a lease, a specialist conveyancing solicitor in Sefton will consider potential leasehold issues, such as share of freehold complexity, ground rents and service charges and sometimes ancient and arcane lease documents.

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase thanks to our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Sefton?

House being built

5 brand new homes have been bought in Sefton in 2018 so far, according to data gathered by Her Majesty's Land Registry. The average cost of a new build property in Sefton is £226,109.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Sefton must be familiar with local Sefton factors and the complications associated with new build, like dealing with delays associated with off-plan and confirming right of way over drains and sewers.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get an expert assessment of the legal title of the property, whilst being mindful of considerations ranging from unfair leasehold conditions to excessive ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas

When acting for the purchaser of a property in Sefton, a conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the house is in one of Sefton's conservation areas. If it is, the house will be affected by certain constraints. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these constraints could include:

  • Possible restrictions on solar panel positioning
  • Restrictions on the use of external insulation
  • Limits on extensions (even if within Permitted Development rights)

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 changes were made by the previous owner.

Conservation areas in Sefton include Promenade, Crosby Hall and Green Lane. Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Sefton.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Sefton

Conveyancing for a house sale is more straightforward than when purchasing. During the sale of a house or flat, the principle of 'buyer beware' means that the onus lies with the purchaser to satisfy themselves that the property is mortgageable and is (or can be) registered at the Land Registry.

In contrast, for a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Sefton acting for the vendor effectively just answer questions set by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor.

What factors could threaten your sale?

Common obstacles, like not having permission for alterations when in a conservation area, can significantly protract the sale process.

You shouldn't bury your head in the sand, hoping the issue will fix itself. The best course of action is to talk to a professional and work to resolve it as quickly as possible.

Useful reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold

The conveyancing process for a leasehold property is a great deal more technical than for a freehold house.

Sefton conveyancing solicitors will also perform extra work. This can involve obtaining the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to any information about regulations affecting the property that are not in the lease.

It is highly recommended that you instruct a lawyer as soon as the property is marketed, if not before, to reduce the impact of any leasehold-caused issues.

What if Quittance is already acting for the other side?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale. A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both sides.

If you are buying or selling a property in Sefton, and a Quittance solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side, you can contact a local Sefton conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work.

0

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Sefton

Saving money on a lower interest rate is usually why people decide to remortgage. There are other reasons, such as moving from a tracker to a fixed-rate, or releasing funds to help kids get on the property ladder.

You can benefit from a lower rate faster with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Sefton. They will work to shorten the processing time of the legal work. With rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

The property lawyer will need to act for both you and the mortgage lender to ensure the lender's interests are protected and that the new interest in the property is registered correctly.

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

Instant online conveyancing solicitor quote

Quittance Conveyancing delivers fast, proactive and communication-focused conveyancing to Sefton home buyers and sellers. Your dedicated conveyancer will keep you informed every step of the way.

Get a conveyancing quote icon

Get a quote

Get a conveyancing solicitor quote for your Sefton property sale, purchase or remortgage.

Get a quote online

or call us on 0800 612 0377

Compare conveyancing solicitors icon

Compare solicitor quotes

Find out more about how to compare conveyancing solicitor quotes in 2018.

Find out more
Contact conveyancing team icon

Email us

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your sale or purchase with an expert, email us at:

conveyancing@quittance.co.uk

Ask a conveyancing expert

If you have any questions about getting a conveyancing quote or any aspect of the conveyancing process, let us know:

Be the first!