Updated: October 12, 2018

Smethwick conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Smethwick

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to your Smethwick conveyancing solicitor for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Are Smethwick conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Smethwick will work on a cost per hour basis. Our conveyancers work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis, with no hidden fees. Your quote sets out all fees and other costs you will be charged when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', in addition to the legal fees.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client, such as local authority searches or identity verification checks.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total Smethwick solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Smethwick conveyancing solicitor fees will be the same as anywhere else in the country. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. a historic mining search, may be needed.

There are no hidden fees or costs to be paid with Quittance Conveyancing. For a standard home sale or purchase, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Smethwick

Recent changes to the law mean that a seller should disclose defects or disputes.

It is, however, still the duty of the conveyancing solicitor in Smethwick to investigate the property, so that they can make their "report on title", solve outstanding issues and ensure the title is transferred to the new owner.

The content below provides advice to assist buyers looking for conveyancing solicitors in Smethwick.

Your Smethwick conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether your mortgage is with a major lender like Bank of Ireland or a less common lender such as Topaz Finance, before you instruct a Smethwick conveyancing solicitor it is paramount that you confirm that they are on the approved panel of your mortgage lender.

Quite a few banks and building societies are only happy to work with a selected list (known as a 'panel') of firms. If your solicitor is unable to act for your mortgage lender, the lender will need a different solicitor firm to act in their interests.

The home buyer will then have to cover this alternative solicitor's fees and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Neglecting to check your lawyer's lender panel status could result in serious delays.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved to act for all banks and other lenders.

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council searches

Residential property searches will be applied for by Smethwick conveyancing solicitors to expose planning, development and environmental issues that could have an impact on the value of the property you intend to buy.

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

Additional searches, such as a highways search or a ground stability report, may also be recommended in the standard search results.

The estimated lead time for LA searches supplied by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council is 5 weeks, so quicker regulated searches will be advisable.

Planning permissions

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will request an Official Copy of the Title Register from the Land Registry, helping to evidence any potential issues. Examples of these include right of access issues or a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan.

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Smethwick, 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 Tax Band D, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,535.

Conveyancing solicitors in Smethwick will inform a buyer of the property's 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 £1,151.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes (although this may change as the government has second home ownership in its sights) or where the property was left empty by a bankrupt person. A property built after 1991 is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency.

Band Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,023
B £1,194
C £1,365
D £1,535
E £1,876
F £2,217
G £2,559
H £3,070

Can I appeal against my band?

The Valuation Office Agency should reassess a property's band on request. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
2 Broadway
Broad Street
Birmingham
B15 1BG
West Midlands

Stamp Duty on Smethwick properties

SDLT is a percentage of the purchase price of a property paid by the buyer to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). It is due on properties bought for over £125k. Obtaining and completing the SDLT1 return from HMRC is difficult but not impossible for a typical property purchaser. Usually, however, the form is completed by the property lawyer to avoid penalties or delays.

Quittance's specialist post-completion team will ensure that the convoluted SDLT1 form is completed and submitted to HMRC without delay.

This table sets out SDLT for typical property in Smethwick:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty
Average price £147,868 £457.36
Average price (detached) £212,666 £1,753.32
Average new build £92,980 £0.00

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Smethwick

Since November 2017, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on properties valued over £300k. If you already own another property or share in a property , anywhere in the world you will be subject to a 3% SDLT surcharge. E.g. if a second home was bought for £147,868 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £7,393.40. .

Smethwick conveyancing solicitors will ensure the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Smethwick

New build site

Buying a leasehold home if you don't know what you are getting into is ill-advised. There are any number of potential traps that may be lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser, such as:

  • doubling ground rents
  • short leases
  • costly and undisclosed major works
  • absent freeholders
Incomplete leasehold information, delivered by a lawyer who has only ever dealt with freehold matters, could lead to serious consequences.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Smethwick will address aspects of leasehold, such as :

  • checking the lease itself
  • service charge records from the last three years
  • dealing with freeholders
  • changes to the terms of the lease
  • block management regulations that sit outside the lease

Our leasehold conveyancing solicitors will make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Smethwick?

House under construction

The average sale price of a new build property in Smethwick is £92,980. 5 brand new homes have been bought in Smethwick in 2018 so far.

Buying a new build property is more involved than any other type of conveyancing. Therefore a Smethwick conveyancing solicitor needs to be conscious of local Smethwick factors and must look into numerous things, e.g. handling equity loan schemes and ensuring compliance with planning regulations.

Our team of new build conveyancers deliver an impartial appraisal of the legal title of the property, and in particular issues ranging from the home's future marketability to 'doubling' ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

West Midlands Conservation areas

If you are intending to purchase a residential property in a conservation area in Smethwick, the property must be compliant with any local conservation area constraints. Called Article 4 directions, these conditions could include:

  • A prohibition on the removal of front boundary walls
  • Restrictions preventing the installation of VELUX windows
  • Restrictions on side or two-storey extensions

The new owner could be ordered to pay for necessary changes to bring a property in line with current regulations, even if the previous owner was responsible for the changes.

Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Smethwick.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Smethwick

The conveyancing process on a house sale is less demanding than when purchasing. The buyer's solicitor will have to carry out thorough due diligence on your home. Conveyancing solicitors in Smethwick acting for the vendor essentially just responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

What factors could threaten your sale?

Frequently occurring issues, such as excessive ground rent, can actually delay a sale if left unresolved.

It is generally advisable that vendors face any such problems head on and fix them.

Useful reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat (houses are rarely leasehold) is much more complex compared to a freehold house.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Smethwick must undertake extra work, and this could include requesting all relevant freeholder information, through to the memorandum of articles of association (if applicable).

Sellers are advised to instruct a solicitor as soon as an estate agent is chosen to mitigate often unavoidable leasehold delays.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both parties?

A conveyancer regulated by the CLC can act for both parties. However, SRA rules restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale.

You could instruct a property solicitor firm in Smethwick to carry out your legal work, if one of our conveyancing solicitors is acting for the other side.

Local Smethwick conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Kenneth Jones Legal Limited, 364 High Street, Smethwick, Birmingham, West Midlands, B66 3PD
  • Rdh Solicitors Ltd, 5-14 South Road, Smethwick, West Midlands, B67 7BN
  • Cape Hill Solicitors, 54 Waterloo Road, Smethwick, West Midlands, B66 4JN
  • Khan Legal Limited, 47 Cape Hill, Smethwick, West Midlands, B66 4SF
  • Nicholls Brimble Bhol, 427 Bearwood Road, Smethwick, West Midlands, B66 4DF

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Smethwick

By far the most common reason homeowners remortgage a home is to lower their monthly repayments. There are any number of other reasons to switch lenders or mortgage deals, for example the existing lender having refused a payment holiday, or consolidating debts.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Smethwick can reduce the remortgage processing time, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can play a key role in securing your preferred rate.

To ensure that the interests of the lender are protected, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will need to act for both you and the mortgage 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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