Updated: October 12, 2018

Southend On Sea conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Southend On Sea

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay conveyancing solicitors in Southend On Sea for the legal work associated with moving home.

Are Southend On Sea conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Southend On Sea who offer services on an hourly-rate basis. Your conveyancing quote will explain all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your property transaction has completed.

What are disbursements?

In addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees you will also have to pay for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are fees that a property lawyer must pay to other companies during the process of buying or selling your home. These include costs like HMLR fees or identity verification checks.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will the total Southend On Sea solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Southend On Sea conveyancing solicitor fees should be the same as anywhere else in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, e.g. utilities searches, may be necessary.

For a standard sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. With Quittance, there are no hidden fees or nasty surprises. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were substantially lower than the average solicitors' fees, and their service was first-rate

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Southend On Sea

Southend-on-Sea lies at the north of the Thames estuary in south-east Essex. It boasts the world's longest pier and seven beaches and was traditionally a holiday resort for East Enders wanting to escape the bustle of the city.

In recent years it has become attractive to young families seeking affordability outside London, with four-bed semis available for as little as £230,000. With help from EU regeneration funds, Southend has adapted itself as a London commuter town, with journeys to Liverpool Street station taking less than an hour.

Conveyancing for purchasers

Purchase conveyancing needs a Southend On Sea conveyancing solicitor to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such issues can range from a defective title (e.g. missing rights) to a short lease affecting the future saleability of the property.

The conveyancer will report their findings back to the buyer and the lender (where there is a mortgage), deal with any legal problems and register the title in the new owner's name.

This section of the article examines the property types that may be of concern to people who want conveyancing solicitors in Southend On Sea for a purchase.

Your Southend On Sea conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether you are taking out a mortgage from Secure Trust, TSB or any other lender, before you select a Southend On Sea conveyancing solicitor you must confirm that they can act in the interests of your mortgage lender.

Many mortgage lenders are only happy to work with a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of solicitors or licensed conveyancers. If a conveyancer is unable to act for your mortgage lender, the lender will require an alternative law firm to act in their interests.

The buyer will be expected to pay this alternative lawyer's fees, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Significant delays can be caused by failing to check your solicitor's lender panel status.

Our solicitors are approved members of all lender panels.

Searches (Southend-on-Sea Council)

Searches are questions asked of various bodies by Southend On Sea conveyancing solicitors to identify information and potential issues affecting your planned purchase.

Searches are primarily performed to meet the mortgage lender's criteria, and include the local authority (LA) search, environmental search, drainage & water search and chancel repair liability.

You will be told if your mortgage lender insists on any additional searches, such as a highways authority search or a commons registration search.

Purchasers can expect to wait up to 9 weeks for conveyancing searches delivered by Southend-on-Sea Council. A private search company will be able to provide this information sooner.

Planning searches

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will get an Official Copy of the Title Register from HM Land Registry. This helps to find any potential issues, for example the title plan showing only very general boundaries or that a restrictive covenant has been breached.

Southend-on-Sea Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on a number of criteria including the number of occupants and the property's value as at 1 April 1991 (England) or 1 April 2003 (Wales). E.g. for an average Valuation Band C property in Southend On Sea, the council tax would be £1,395 per year.

Conveyancing solicitors in Southend On Sea will inform the purchaser of the property's band after this is confirmed by the searches.

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 £1,046.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or if an occupier is an apprentice school leaver or YTS trainee. The Valuation Office Agency calculate bands for new homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Southend-on-Sea Council Tax (2018)
A £1,046
B £1,221
C £1,395
D £1,569
E £1,918
F £2,267
G £2,616
H £3,139

Can I challenge my valuation?

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) should reassess a property's band on request. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

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

Stamp Duty on Southend On Sea properties

If you are buying a residential property that costs over £125,000, then you will have to pay stamp duty to HMRC. Filling in the SDLT1 form yourself is hard and not for the inexperienced.

Quittance use the latest case management integration with HMRC to avoid errors and ensure there are no late-filing penalties.

See table below for stamp duty examples for homes in Southend On Sea:

  Average selling price (2017) SDLT
Average price £307,164 £5,358.20
Average price (detached) £516,576 £15,828.80
Average new build £360,932 £8,046.60

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Southend On Sea

Since the budget announcement in November 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000. Higher rates of stamp duty apply to buyers of second residential property in the form of a higher rate of 3%. E.g. if a second property was bought for £307,164 then the stamp duty including the surcharge would be £24,573.12. .

Southend On Sea conveyancing solicitors will ensure their client pays the correct amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Southend On Sea

New build site

It is not recommended to buy a leasehold home if you don't know what you are getting into. Numerous legal issues could be awaiting the unsuspecting buyer, such as:

  • ground rent multipliers
  • short leases
  • costly and undisclosed major works
  • reversionary interests
Misguided leasehold advice, from a conveyancer who has only ever dealt with freehold matters, can have costly, long-term consequences.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Southend On Sea will consider possible leasehold issues, e.g. :

  • reviewing the lease itself
  • reviewing correspondence between the freeholder and leaseholder
  • service charge records from the last three years
  • ground rent apportionments

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property - Call Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitor team on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Southend On Sea?

New build site

11 new builds have been bought in Southend On Sea in 2018 so far, according to the Land Registry. The average value of a new build in Southend On Sea is £326,633.

The legal work for buying a new build requires specialist knowledge, compared to 'standard conveyancing'. To prevent difficulties arising a Southend On Sea conveyancing solicitor should be aware of local considerations and should consider a range of factors, such as handling the uncertainties of buying off plan and checking that any contracts allow for future 'common parts' maintenance.

Our specialist team of new build conveyancers deliver a specialist assessment of the property's legal status, with a close eye on concerns ranging from the home's future mortgageability to sharply increasing ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas

Whether you are looking for a rural setting or Georgian architecture, buying in a conservation area can ensure that the local neighbourhood is protected from drastic alterations. However, conservation area constraints will affect your residential property.

These constraints, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include anything from limitations on skylights, to restrictions preventing paving over the front garden.

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

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Southend On Sea

The conveyancing process on a property sale usually requires less work than for a property purchase. For a house purchase, the obligation lies with the purchaser to verify that the title of the property they are buying is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

In contrast, for a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Southend On Sea acting for the vendor need only answer the buyer's solicitor's formal enquiries.

Why do sales fall through?

Common hurdles, such as excessive service charges or not having suitable right of way, can potentially delay your home move if not dealt with promptly.

Property specialists will usually recommend that vendors face such issues head on and fix them.

Useful reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Selling a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is much more technical compared to a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Southend On Sea will also perform extra work, which could include sourcing the most recent annual service charge accounts, through to a copy of the insurance policy schedule.

In order to resolve any leasehold delays faster, it is highly recommended that the vendor contact a lawyer as soon as is practicable.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both parties?

SRA regulations restrict the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase. A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

If you are buying or selling a Southend On Sea home, and a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side, you could contact a property solicitor firm in Southend On Sea to carry out your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Southend On Sea

By far the most common reason homeowners remortgage a home is to get a lower interest rate. Other reasons to consider remortgaging include releasing funds to help pay for home improvements, or wanting a more flexible mortgage.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Southend On Sea will complete the conveyancing quickly, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when getting the mortgage rate you want.

The property lawyer carrying out your remortgage needs to be able to act for your preferred mortgage provider. Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel for all major lenders. So no matter whether you are switching to a cashback mortgage with the Co-operative Bank or to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Manchester Building Society, our remortgage specialists 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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