Updated: October 12, 2018

Sleaford conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Sleaford

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Sleaford for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

How are Sleaford conveyancing fees calculated?

Our solicitors work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis with no hidden fees, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Sleaford who will work on an hourly-rate basis. Your quote explains what you will pay when your sale or purchase completes.

What are disbursements?

In addition to the legal fees you will also have to cover any 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process. These include costs like indemnity insurance or Stamp Duty Land Tax.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Sleaford cost?

Though conveyancing fees in Sleaford will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, the disbursements required can vary. For example, additional region-specific searches, such as transport searches, may be needed and council search fees will vary.

With Quittance, there are no hidden costs or nasty surprises. For a standard conveyancing transaction, the conveyancing fee 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 Sleaford

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

That said, it remains the responsibility of a Sleaford conveyancing solicitor to carry out due diligence on the property, report back in detail to the buyer and the lender, deal with any legal issues and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

This part of the article examines the aspects of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Sleaford that require specialist knowledge.

Your Sleaford conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a less common lender like the Furness Building Society or a major lender such as Lloyds Bank, before you choose a Sleaford conveyancing solicitor you must confirm that they are on the panel of your mortgage lender.

Many banks and building societies will only accept a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of law firms that pass strict selection criteria. If a conveyancer is unable to act for your mortgage lender, the lender will require an alternative firm to complete the legal work.

You will then have to cover this alternate solicitor's costs, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Your property purchase can be seriously delayed if you fail to confirm your conveyancer's lender panel status.

Our solicitors can act on behalf of all mortgage providers.

Residential Property Searches (North Kesteven District Council)

Residential property searches are enquiries made by Sleaford conveyancing solicitors to help uncover relevant information about your planned purchase.

Mortgage lenders also need to see searches (as set out in the CML Handbook) to be obtained. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - includes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes whether there are any proposed road schemes within 200m
  • Environmental search - covers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
  • Drainage & Water search - covers the location of water pipes and drains, and reveals if the upkeep for these falls on the owner or local council.
  • Chancel repair liability - insurance is arranged to protect the buyer against any liability for local parish church repairs.

More pertinent searches, such as a highways search or an agricultural search, may also be advised in the standard searches.

Buyers will have to endure a wait of up to 5 weeks for searches supplied by North Kesteven District Council. In these circumstances, faster personal searches will be advisable.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will request official entries from HMLR. This will help to highlight planning issues. Examples of these include outbuildings missing from the title plan or neighbours' rights of access.

North Kesteven District Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on a number of factors e.g. the number of occupants and the value of the property. For instance for an average Band E home in Sleaford, the council tax amount would be £2,071.

Sleaford conveyancing solicitors will inform the buyer of the home's council tax band once they are themselves notified.

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 £1,553.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or if the property is left empty by someone receiving medical treatment. Homes built after 1991 are assessed and given a council tax band by the Valuation Office Agency.

Band North Kesteven District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,129
B £1,318
C £1,506
D £1,694
E £2,071
F £2,447
G £2,823
H £3,388

Could you be overpaying?

The Valuation Office Agency should reassess a property's band on request. Councils prefer that this be done within six months of buying a property. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Queensgate House
12 Silver St
Lincoln
LN2 1EW
Lincolnshire

Stamp Duty on Sleaford properties

The purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the SDLT is correctly calculated and is paid to HMRC. This occurs once the property sale has completed.

If you are buying a property in England,Wales or Northern Ireland then Stamp Duty Land Tax is payable on properties over £125k. In Scotland, the threshold is £145k.

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 properties in Sleaford:

  Average selling price (2017) SDLT
Average price £194,970 £1,399.40
Average price (detached) £245,036 £2,400.72
Average new build £185,873 £1,217.46
Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a higher rate of 3%, even if the home is not let out. E.g. if a second property was bought for £194,970 then the stamp duty including the surcharge would be £9,748.50. .

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Sleaford

In 11/17, the Chancellor announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on properties below £300k.

Sleaford conveyancing solicitors will confirm the correct calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Sleaford

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold property without knowing what you are getting into can be costly. There are many legal issues that may be awaiting an uninformed buyer, including:

  • reversionary interests
  • unreasonable ground rents
  • unpaid service charges by the existing leaseholder
  • excessive freehold premiums
Poor leasehold guidance, from a property lawyer who has only ever worked on freehold matters, could have serious financial implications.

If you are planning to buy a leasehold home, a good conveyancing solicitor in Sleaford will consider potential leasehold issues, for example managing agent or landlord enquiries, reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old) and unexpired lease terms.

Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors will ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Sleaford?

New build building site

8 newly-constructed homes have been bought in Sleaford in 2018 so far, (sce: HM Land Registry). The average sale price of Sleaford new build homes is £163,844.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Sleaford must be mindful of Sleaford-specific considerations and the added complexities of new build, e.g. working to tight developer deadlines and ensuring new estate roads are adopted.

Our expert new build team provide a specialist assessment of the property's legal status, with a close eye on considerations ranging from onerous leasehold conditions to an assessment of other risks, such as flood risk.

Lincolnshire Conservation areas

If you are planning to buy a house in a conservation area in Sleaford, the property must be compliant with any local conservation area conditions. These conditions, referred to as Article 4 Directions, may include restrictions on door and window styles, restrictions on side or 2 storey extensions or restrictions preventing the addition of new access.

If a property is in breach, the local planning authority could order the owner to pay for the work needed to make the home compliant, even if the previous owner was responsible for the changes.

The North Kesteven local planning authority has assigned conservation area-status to parts of Sleaford. Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Sleaford's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Sleaford

The legal side of a sale of a home is less demanding than for a purchase. The buyer's solicitor will carry out detailed research on the legal title of your home, whilst conveyancing solicitors in Sleaford acting for the vendor mostly just answers the purchaser's enquiries.

What proactive steps can you take to improve the odds of your sale going through?

Common hurdles, such as a problematic solar panel lease, could derail a sale if left unresolved.

It is not recommended that you put off finding a solution, waiting to see if the problem is discovered - get legal advice, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution promptly.

Recommended reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are uncommon) is significantly more complex than for a freehold house.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Sleaford will usually undertake additional tasks. This can involve collating all relevant freeholder information or details of any required deed of covenant.

To reduce delays, it is recommended that the seller instructs a leasehold expert as soon as possible, and preferably before marketing the property,.

What if Quittance conveyancers are acting for the other side?

Conveyancers regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority rules ban the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale.

You could contact a law firm in Sleaford to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancer is doing the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Sleaford

The most common reason homeowners remortgage is to benefit from a lower interest rate. Other reasons to consider remortgaging include getting onto a longer fixed-rate term, or releasing capital.

You can enjoy the benefits of a better rate sooner by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Sleaford. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when securing the rate you want.

The property lawyer carrying out your remortgage should also be able to act for your preferred lender. Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel for all major lenders, so whether you are changing to a flexible mortgage with the Co-operative Bank or to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Dudley Building Society, Quittance can help.

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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