Updated: October 12, 2018

Sidmouth conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Sidmouth

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

Do Sidmouth conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Sidmouth carry out the legal work on an hourly rate. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee'), with no unexpected, additional costs. Your conveyancing quote will set out what you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

You must cover the cost of any 'disbursements', in addition to the legal fees.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client, such as managing agent fees or bankruptcy checks.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total Sidmouth solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Sidmouth conveyancing solicitor fees will be the same as anywhere else in the country. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. As examples, additional region-specific searches, e.g. utilities searches, may be needed and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden fees or nasty surprises with Quittance Conveyancing. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

Quittance's fees were cheaper - less than half the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Sidmouth

Caveat emptor (buyer beware), was the legal principle of English property law. After the introduction of the Consumer Trading Regulations (CPR), this rule no longer applies. However, it remains the responsibility of a homebuyer and their solicitor to investigate their intended purchase.

The conveyancing solicitor in Sidmouth will offer suggestions and advice after making their enquiries, offer practical solutions and register the new owner's title at the Land Registry.

The following section considers those parts of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Sidmouth needing specialist legal knowledge.

Your Sidmouth conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Homebuyers can select from a wide range of mortgage providers, from a niche mortgage lender like Topaz Finance, to a major lender such as Santander. Before you instruct a Sidmouth conveyancing solicitor, whoever you choose, it is vital that you check that they are on the approved panel of your chosen lender.

Most lenders only accept a selected list (their 'panel') of firms that have achieved certain benchmarks. If your conveyancer is unable to act for your chosen lender, the lender will require a different legal firm to complete the legal work.

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

Failing to confirm the lender panel membership of your lawyer could result in significant delays.

Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel of all mortgage lenders.

Property Searches (East Devon Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are enquiries made of public bodies by Sidmouth conveyancing solicitors to highlight issues affecting your new home.

These searches include the local authority (LA) search, drainage & water search, environmental search and chancel repair liability.

Your lawyer will make you aware if your lender wants any further searches, for example a highways authority search or a geological search.

Property purchasers should expect to wait approximately 7 weeks for Local Authority searches obtained from East Devon Council, so your lawyer will advise using faster personal searches.

Checking planning permission status

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be obtained from HMLR by the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor, helping to evidence any issues, such as the breach of a restrictive covenant or a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan.

East Devon Council Council Tax

East Devon Council calculate council tax on Sidmouth homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). For instance the occupier of a Band B house in the East Devon Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,404.

Conveyancing solicitors in Sidmouth will inform the buyer of the property's band once they are themselves notified.

If the property is unoccupied for over 24 months, the owner will pay 150% of the relevant rate. Single person discount reduces the tax due to 75%, which would equal £1,053.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or where an inhabitant is an 18 year old for whom child benefit is payable. A house or flat built after 1991 is assigned a banding by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Band East Devon Council Tax (2018)
A £1,204
B £1,404
C £1,605
D £1,805
E £2,206
F £2,608
G £3,009
H £3,611

Is your new home in the wrong band?

To challenge your banding contact:

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

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 80 council tax challenges were made. 30 were upheld and the tax was reduced.

Stamp Duty on Sidmouth properties

The buyer (rather than the seller) will have to pay stamp duty on the purchase price of the house if it exceeds £125k.

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.

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

The following table illustrates stamp duty examples for properties in Sidmouth:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £362,722 £8,136.10
Average price (detached) £497,210 £14,860.50
Average new build £139,600 £292.00
If you already own another residence you will be subject to a 3% surcharge. Therefore, if a homeowner in Sidmouth bought a second home for the average price of £362,722 the SDLT would be £29,017.76.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Sidmouth

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

Sidmouth conveyancing solicitors will ensure the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Sidmouth

New build site

Over 100,000 property owners in England are trapped in property leases with problematic terms. The numerous common problems lying in wait for an uninformed buyer can include:

  • incomplete management company accounts
  • increasing ground rents
  • leases with fewer than 80 years to run
Bad or incomplete leasehold advice, from an inexperienced solicitor, could have serious financial implications.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Sidmouth will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, for example :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some documents can be centuries old)
  • service charges
  • reviewing correspondence between the freeholder and leaseholder
  • freeholder granted consents under the lease
  • proposed major works (Section 20 notices)

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property - Get in touch with our leasehold conveyancing solicitor team on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Sidmouth?

New build building site

According to data sourced by the Land Registry, 5 newly-constructed homes were purchased in Sidmouth last year. The average purchase price of a new build property in Sidmouth is £139,600.

The legal side of purchasing a new build is more involved than any other type of conveyancing. To prevent difficulties arising a conveyancing solicitor in Sidmouth should be aware of local considerations and must check a range of issues, e.g. handling equity loan schemes and ensuring that the contract is in the buyer's favour.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get an impartial view of the legal title of the house or flat, scrutinising contract issues ranging from the home's subsequent marketability to 'doubling' ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas in Devon

Whether you are buying a period country house or a Victorian detached house, if the property is in a defined conservation area, any planned alterations to the property may not be accepted by East Devon Council.

These conditions, referred to as Article 4 Directions, may include a range of factors from restrictions on the style and height of boundary walls, to general restrictions governing the use of unsympathetic materials.

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

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Sidmouth's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Sidmouth

Conveyancing for a sale of a home is more straightforward than when purchasing. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will have to carry out extensive research on the legal title of your home, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Sidmouth acting for the vendor merely replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries.

What could jeopardise the sale of your property?

Obstacles, like Japanese Knotweed or complexities where there is a 'share of freehold', can significantly protract your home move.

You shouldn't ignore this as it is highly unlikely that the problems won't be picked up. Get advice and work to resolve it promptly.

Useful reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are uncommon) is much more involved compared to a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Sidmouth will also perform extra work, for example contacting the landlord for ground rent details, through to details of planned major works.

It would be prudent to contact a property lawyer as soon as possible, preferably before putting the property on the market, to help mitigate (often inevitable) leasehold delays.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for the buyer and the vendor of the same property?

SRA regulations prevent the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale. However, a conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

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

Local Sidmouth conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Everys, 104 High Street, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 8EF
  • Ford Simey LLP, Warwick House, 30 High Street, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 8EA
  • Gilbert Stephens LLP, Albion House, 36 High Street, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 8ED
  • Michelmores LLP, Harston, Church Street, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 8LT

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Sidmouth

Saving money on a lower rate is usually the main reason why homeowners decide to switch lenders. There are other reasons, for example releasing funds to help kids get on the property ladder, or wanting a more flexible mortgage.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Sidmouth will complete the conveyancing quickly, and move you to the better rate sooner. With possible rate rises on the horizon, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

To ensure that the lender's interests are protected, the property lawyer will act for both you and your new lender.

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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