Updated: October 12, 2018

Southport conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Southport

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid your Southport conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

Are Southport conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Our solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis with no hidden extras, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Southport who offer services on an hourly-rate basis. Your quote sets out all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

In addition to the legal fees you will also need to budget for '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 Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) or ID checks.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Southport cost?

Southport conveyancing fees will not vary. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, council search fees will vary and specific extra searches, such as a commons registration search, may be necessary.

There are no hidden fees or costs to be paid with Quittance. For a standard sale or purchase, what 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 Southport

A seller is now required to disclose issues that could affect the value or enjoyment of their property to the prospective buyer.

It remains, however, the duty of a conveyancing solicitor in Southport to make enquiries about the property, make their "report on title", assist in resolving any issues and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

This article provides assistance for people who want conveyancing solicitors in Southport for a purchase.

Your Southport conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you select a Southport conveyancing solicitor, it is essential that you check that they are on the panel of your mortgage lender, whether you are obtaining a mortgage from the Co-operative Bank, the Harpenden Building Society or any other lender.

A lot of lenders only accept a restricted group of law firms. If your conveyancer is unable to act for your mortgage lender, the lender will need a different solicitor firm to complete the legal work.

The home buyer will usually need to pay this alternative solicitor's costs, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Failing to confirm the lender panel status of your solicitor can result in serious delays.

Our solicitors can act for all lenders.

Searches (Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are enquiries made of various authorities by Southport conveyancing solicitors to give details about the property being purchased.

Lenders also expect searches (as set out in the CML Handbook) to be applied for. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority search - includes the LLC1 Local Land Charge Register and CON29 Enquiry Form
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
  • Environmental search - shows whether the surrounding environment is suitable for the purchaser
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability to the local parish for repairs.

Buyers will be informed if your lender insists on any additional searches, for example a radon gas search or a disadvantaged area search.

Property purchasers should anticipate a wait of roughly 4 weeks for searches ordered from Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council. Faster personal searches (as opposed to official LA searches) will therefore be recommended.

Planning permissions

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will get the Title Register from HMLR. This helps to find potential planning issues. These issues could include the title plan showing only very general boundaries or restrictive covenants governing the use of the property.

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. The occupier of a property in Tax Band B, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,393.

A conveyancing solicitor in Southport will inform a purchaser of the property's tax band as soon as they are 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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £1,045.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or where the property is a hall of residence.

Band Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,194
B £1,393
C £1,593
D £1,792
E £2,190
F £2,588
G £2,986
H £3,583

Can I dispute my council tax rate?

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

Valuation Office Agency
Redgrave Court
Merton Road
L20 7HS

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 50 council tax challenges were made, and 10 saw a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Southport properties

Stamp Duty Land Tax is a tax payable on all UK properties where the purchase price exceeds £125,000 (£145,000 in Scotland). The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the stamp duty is correctly calculated and is paid to HMRC. This occurs once the property sale has completed.

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) rejections are avoided using the latest integrated case management system.

This table sets out stamp duty for property in Southport:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £185,070 £1,201.40
Average price (detached) £300,768 £5,038.40
Average new build £268,136 £3,406.80
If you own another residence you will be subject to an SDLT surcharge of 3%. For example, if an existing homeowner bought a second home in Southport for the average price of £185,070 the SDLT would be £9,253.50.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Southport

Since the budget announcement in Nov 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300k with relief up to £500,000 in some areas.

Conveyancing solicitors in Southport should ensure the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Southport

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold property is not as straightforward as purchasing a freehold property. Numerous technical issues may be lying in wait for the unsuspecting purchaser, such as short leases, ground rent multipliers and unfair developer practices.

Incomplete leasehold information, delivered by a lawyer with only freehold experience, can have costly, long-term consequences.

If you are planning to purchase a house or flat with a lease, a competent conveyancing solicitor in Southport will consider possible leasehold issues, such as service charges and whether they have been collected, unexpired lease terms and dealing with landlords.

Our leasehold conveyancing solicitor team will ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Southport?

House under construction

According to data gathered by Her Majesty's Land Registry, the average sale price of Southport new builds is £268,136. 3 new build properties have been bought in Southport in 2018 so far.

The legal work for buying a new build property can be more involved than any other type of conveyancing. Therefore a Southport conveyancing solicitor must be mindful of local Southport issues and will need to report to clients on a number of issues, such as handling equity loan schemes and confirming building regulation compliance.

Our highly qualified team of conveyancers are specialists in working to developer exchange timeframes and new build purchases.

Conservation areas in Merseyside

If you are intending to purchase a home in one of Southport's conservation areas, the property will need to meet any conservation area constraints. These restrictions, called Article 4 Directions, may include:

  • Limits on roof terraces
  • Restrictions on dormer windows
  • Requiring consent to alter doors and guttering

If a property is in breach, the local 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.

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Southport.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Southport

Conveyancing for a sale of a home is normally less troublesome than for a property purchase. The buyer undertakes thorough due diligence on your home. Conveyancing solicitors in Southport acting for the vendor effectively just answers the buyer's questions.

Factors that could delay or endanger the sale process

Properties can face numerous issues (for example having previously suffered from a flood event or restrictive covenants) that can slow or frustrate your home move.

It is almost always a good idea for vendors to face such issues head on and fix them.

Recommended reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold property is significantly more complicated than it is for a freehold home.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Southport will need to conduct additional work, which could include collating all relevant freeholder information, through to any documents pertaining to a variation of the terms of the lease.

It is recommended that the seller instruct a property lawyer as early in the process as possible, preferably before putting the property on the market, to help mitigate predictable leasehold delays.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both sides?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both parties. However, SRA regulations ban a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase.

You can contact a property solicitor firm in Southport to handle your legal work, if a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side.

Local Southport conveyancing solicitor directory

  • J O'Neill & Co, Unit 3, Forum Court, 32-34 King Street, Southport, Merseyside, PR8 1JX
  • Brighouses (Incorporating Bellis Kennan Gribble & Co), Clarendon House, St. Georges Place, Lord Street, Southport, Merseyside, PR9 0AJ
  • Brown Turner Ross Limited, 11 St. Georges Place, Lord Street, Southport, Merseyside, PR9 0AL
  • Jwk Legal Group Limited, Heritage House, First Floor, 9b Hoghton Street, Southport, Merseyside, PR9 0TE
  • Breens Solicitors Ltd, 30 Hoghton Street, Southport, Merseyside, PR9 0PA

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Southport

Benefitting from a better rate to reduce monthly expenses is the main reason that people remortgage. There are other reasons, including wanting to overpay when the lender refuses, or funding a one-off purchase.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Southport will complete the conveyancing quickly, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting the mortgage rate you want.

It is important that the property lawyer carrying out the remortgage can act on behalf of your preferred lender. Our conveyancers are on the panel for all major UK lenders. So whether you are moving to a 95% mortgage with the Nationwide Building Society or to a two-year discount with the Swansea Building Society, we 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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