Updated: October 12, 2018

Sevenoaks conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Sevenoaks

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay conveyancing solicitors in Sevenoaks for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

How are Sevenoaks conveyancing fees calculated?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis with no hidden extras, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Sevenoaks who carry out the legal work on an hourly-rate basis. Your conveyancing quote will set out what you will pay when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process, such as Land Registry fees or managing agent information.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Sevenoaks cost in total?

Conveyancing fees in Sevenoaks should not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, specific extra searches, such as transport searches, may be necessary and council search fees will vary.

For standard conveyancing transactions, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. There are no hidden costs or nasty surprises with Quittance Conveyancing. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Sevenoaks

Caveat emptor (buyer beware), was a key part of property law in England and Wales. After the introduction of the Consumer Trading Regulations (CPR), this rule no longer applies. However, a purchaser must still investigate their intended purchase.

The conveyancing solicitor in Sevenoaks will offer professional advice once their enquiries are complete, help to fix or resolve any legal issues and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

This section offers advice to assist buyers who want conveyancing solicitors in Sevenoaks.

Your Sevenoaks conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether your mortgage is with a large lender like Allied Irish Bank or a less common mortgage lender such as Coutts, before choosing a Sevenoaks conveyancing solicitor it is very important that you make sure that they can represent your lender.

Quite a few lenders only accept a select panel of legal firms that have achieved certain benchmarks. If a conveyancer is not on the panel of your lender, the lender will require a second solicitor firm to act in their interests.

The home buyer will usually need to pay this second lawyer's costs, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Failing to check the lender panel status of your lawyer could mean significant delays.

Our solicitors are on the panel of all banks and other lenders.

Residential Property Searches (Sevenoaks District Council)

Searches are enquiries made of various authorities by Sevenoaks conveyancing solicitors to identify information and potential issues affecting your new home. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - reveals issues like whether the adjoining road and pavement are publicly maintained
  • Environmental search - identifies nearby landfill and contaminated land sites (within 500 metres), and if there has been any historic flooding or mining subsidence.
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
  • Chancel repair liability - there is a risk that some Sevenoaks properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

Additional searches, such as an HS2 search or an agricultural search, may also be advised in the initial LA and Environmental searches.

Sevenoaks District Council has an average turnaround time of 11 weeks for property searches, so your solicitor will instead order faster regulated searches.

Planning issues

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer also obtains office copies from HM Land Registry, helping to identify planning issues. These issues could include neighbours' rights of access or errors on the title plan.

Sevenoaks District Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Sevenoaks, 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. The occupier of a property in Band B, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,381.

Sevenoaks conveyancing solicitors will inform the purchaser of the home's council tax band once they have the Local Authority search results.

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 £1,036.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or if the property is owned by a charity and is unoccupied.

Band Sevenoaks District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,184
B £1,381
C £1,579
D £1,776
E £2,170
F £2,565
G £2,960
H £3,552
To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Unicorn House
28 Elmfield Rd
Bromley
BR1 1LR
Kent

From April 2016 to March 2017, 40 council tax challenges were made. 20 saw a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Sevenoaks properties

Doing the SDLT1 form in order to pay SDLT is a daunting prospect for a layperson.

Stamp duty is payable by the homebuyer on properties sold for more than £125,000.

Quittance use smart case management systems to make sure that mistakes are not made on the stamp duty process.

The following table illustrates Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for average properties in Sevenoaks:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £498,379 £14,918.95
Average price (detached) £848,910 £32,445.50
Average new build £432,291 £11,614.55
Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to an SDLT surcharge of 3%, even if the home is not let out. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Sevenoaks for the average price of £498,379 the SDLT would be £39,870.32.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Sevenoaks

Since 11/17, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Sevenoaks will confirm the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Sevenoaks

New build site

It is not recommended to buy a leasehold property without knowing what you are getting into. Numerous legal issues could be awaiting an uninformed purchaser, such as:

  • increasing ground rents
  • overpriced managing agent packs
  • unreasonable lease extension premiums
Serious consequences can result from an inexperienced lawyer's erroneous leasehold advice.

If you intend to purchase a leasehold home, a good conveyancing solicitor in Sevenoaks will address aspects of leasehold, for example unexpired lease terms, any recent demands for service charges and ground rent and reviewing the lease itself (some documents can be centuries old).

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property thanks to our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Sevenoaks?

House under construction

The average cost of Sevenoaks new build property is £568,908, based on data published by HMLR. 12 new builds have been bought in Sevenoaks in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Sevenoaks must be well-versed in Sevenoaks-specific issues and new build's additional complexities, such as handling deposits and handling initial Land Registry registration.

Our award-winning team of conveyancers are specialists in working to developer exchange timeframes and helping the buyer get the best possible purchase terms.

Kent Conservation areas

Buying in a street located in a conservation area can ensure the local character is unlikely to change. However, conservation area conditions will affect your home.

Referred to as Article 4 directions, these conditions can include:

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

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

Sevenoaks conservation areas include Granville and Eardley Road, Chipstead and Shoreham Mill Lane. Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Sevenoaks's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Sevenoaks

The legal work involved in a house sale is much easier than for a property purchase. During the sale of a house or flat, the burden is on the buyer to determine whether the property is legally sound.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Sevenoaks acting for the existing owner effectively just answer the buyer's solicitor's questions.

What proactive steps can you take to reduce the risk of an abortive sale?

A home will frequently have a range of potential roadblocks (e.g. tree preservation orders) that can slow or frustrate a sale.

It is almost always advisable that vendors tackle such issues head on.

Recommended reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is significantly more technical than for a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Sevenoaks must usually carry out further legal work, including liaising with the management company to obtain managing agent information, through to ascertaining if the incoming lessee (i.e. the seller) is required to buy a share in the building's management company.

To help mitigate the delays involved in selling a leasehold property, it is highly recommended that the vendor contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for the buyer and the seller of the same property?

CLC-regulated conveyancers can act for both sides. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority rules restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale and purchase.

You could contact a local Sevenoaks conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work, if we are carrying out the legal work for the other side.

Local Sevenoaks conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Berry & Berry LLP, 1 The Shambles, Dorset Street, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1LL
  • Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP, 16 South Park, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1AN
  • F.G.B. Williams Limited, C/o Knocker & Foskett, The Red House, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1JL
  • Knocker & Foskett, The Red House, 50 High Street, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1JL
  • Manak Lawyers Limited, 5a Brewery Lane, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1DF

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Sevenoaks

Although there are many reasons to remortgage, homeowners will generally remortgage a home to secure a lower interest rate.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Sevenoaks will complete the conveyancing quickly, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the future of interest rates uncertain, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to securing your preferred rate.

To certify that the lender's capital is protected, the property lawyer will need to act for both you and the mortgage provider.

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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