Updated: October 12, 2018

Sittingbourne conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Sittingbourne

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to your Sittingbourne conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

How are Sittingbourne conveyancing fees calculated?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Sittingbourne carry out the legal work on an hourly-rate basis. Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis, with no nasty surprises in the small print. Your quote sets out what fees you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', in addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client, such as telegraphic transfer fees or HMLR fees.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Sittingbourne cost?

Sittingbourne conveyancing solicitor fees should not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, council search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, such as a mining search, may be needed.

There are no hidden costs or surprises to be paid with Quittance Conveyancing. For standard conveyancing transactions, what we quote is the fee you pay. 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 Sittingbourne

There is now an obligation on a seller to disclose any property defects or disputes to the buyer and the estate agent.

It is, however, still the duty of a Sittingbourne conveyancing solicitor to investigate the property, and report back in detail to the buyer and the lender, solve outstanding issues and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

This section discusses elements of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Sittingbourne that warrant specialist knowledge.

Your Sittingbourne conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether you are obtaining a mortgage from NatWest, Aldermore Bank or any other lender, before you appoint a Sittingbourne conveyancing solicitor it is paramount that you confirm that they can represent your lender.

Your conveyancer may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your lender, because some banks and building societies will only accept a select list (referred to as a 'panel') of law firms.

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

Failing to check your conveyancer's lender panel status could mean serious delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can perform the conveyancing for all lenders.

Swale Borough Council searches

Searches are applied for by Sittingbourne conveyancing solicitors in order to identify any broader issues that might potentially compromise how much the property you are buying will be worth. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - planning and development details from Swale Borough Council records
  • 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 - some Sittingbourne property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

More specialised searches, such as a tin mining search or a ground stability report, may also be advised following the initial searches.

Purchasers can expect to wait approximately 7 weeks for LA searches supplied by Swale Borough Council. Your lawyer could instead use faster personal searches.

Finding planning permissions

Your conveyancing solicitor also obtains official entries from HMLR. This will help to reveal any issues. These issues could include restrictions that limit alterations or errors on the title plan.

Swale Borough Council Council Tax

Swale Borough Council calculate council tax on Sittingbourne homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). E.g. for an average Band C house in Sittingbourne, the council tax payable would be £1,491 per year.

A conveyancing solicitor in Sittingbourne will inform a purchaser of the home's council tax 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 £1,118.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or for foreign language students.

Band Swale Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,118
B £1,304
C £1,491
D £1,677
E £2,050
F £2,423
G £2,795
H £3,354

Are you paying too much?

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

Valuation Office Agency
Anchorage House
High St
Chatham
ME4 4WD
Kent

From April 2016 to March 2017, 30 council tax challenges were made, and 10 were approved and the tax was reduced.

Stamp Duty on Sittingbourne 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.

With some exceptions, if you buy a property over the £125k threshold you will have to pay SDLT.

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

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

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £287,100 £4,355.00
Average price (detached) £411,598 £10,579.90
Average new build £321,940 £6,097.00
If you own another residence you will be subject to an SDLT surcharge of 3%. For example, if a property owner bought a second home in Sittingbourne for the average price of £287,100 the SDLT would be £22,968.00.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Sittingbourne

Since Nov 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Sittingbourne will confirm their client pays the correct amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Sittingbourne

New build site

It is rarely a good idea to purchase a leasehold house or flat without understanding the implications. The many potential traps awaiting an uninformed purchaser could include doubling ground rents and freeholds sold without first refusal to leaseholders.

Misguided leasehold advice, from an inexperienced solicitor, could lead to serious consequences.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Sittingbourne will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, including understanding regional and era-specific nuances of leases, dealing with landlords and service charge records from the last three years.

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in Sittingbourne?

New build site

The average purchase price of a new build property in Sittingbourne is £212,498, (Land Registry data). 1 new build properties have been bought in Sittingbourne in 2018 so far.

Purchasing a new build property is more involved than any other type of conveyancing. Therefore a Sittingbourne conveyancing solicitor needs to be mindful of local Sittingbourne considerations and will need to report to clients on a number of issues, including ensuring that new build mortgage conditions are met and verifying rights of access.

Our highly qualified new build conveyancing team are experts in working to tight developer deadlines and ensuring that new build contracts favour the client as much as possible.

Kent Conservation areas

Purchasing property in a conservation area-protected street usually means that the local character will be preserved. However, conservation area building controls will affect your home.

These restrictions, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include restrictions on the removal of chimneys, restrictions on extensions normally within Permitted Development rights or restrictions on the use of cladding.

The local authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as knocking down a new modern-style extension.

Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Sittingbourne's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Sittingbourne

The legal work involved in a house sale is less complicated than when purchasing. The buyer will have to go through a full legal review on your home, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Sittingbourne acting for the seller effectively just answers the purchaser's enquiries.

What factors could threaten your sale?

Frequently occurring issues, such as being situated on a flood plain or parking issues or disputes, can easily prolong the conveyancing process if left unresolved.

It is usually advisable that vendors tackle such issues head on.

Further reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Selling a leasehold property

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

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Sittingbourne will usually undertake additional work. This can involve sourcing all relevant freeholder information, through to details of any deed of variation.

It is highly recommended that the seller instructs a leasehold specialist as early in the process as possible, potentially before putting the property on the market, to speed up the handling of the legal work.

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

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules ban the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale. CLC-regulated conveyancers, however, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

If you are buying or selling a house or flat in Sittingbourne, and one of our conveyancing solicitors is carrying out the legal work for the other side, you may wish to contact a law firm in Sittingbourne to carry out your legal work.

Local Sittingbourne conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Pope & Co, 71 High Street, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 4AW
  • Fordlittle Solicitors, 14 Park Road, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 1DR
  • Jarmans Solicitors, Second and Third Floor, Bell House, Bell Road, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 4DH
  • Ratcliffes, 22 Park Road, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 1DR
  • Martin Tolhurst Partnership LLP, 7 Conqueror Court, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 5BH

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Sittingbourne

Securing a lower interest rate is generally why people remortgage. There are other reasons, including moving to an offset mortgage, or wanting to borrow more.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Sittingbourne can reduce the remortgage processing time, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

In order to ensure that the interests of the lender 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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