Updated: October 12, 2018

Southwick conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Southwick

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Southwick for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Are Southwick conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Southwick carry out the legal work on a cost per hour basis, whereas others work on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee'). Our conveyancers work on a No Sale, No Fee basis, with no hidden extras. Your quote explains exactly what you will be charged when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs incurred by the solicitor on your behalf. These include costs like office copies and title plans or property searches.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Southwick cost in total?

While conveyancing fees in Southwick will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. For example, specific extra searches, such as a mining search, may be necessary and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

With Quittance, there are absolutely no hidden fees. For a standard conveyancing transaction, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's fees were cheaper - less than half the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Southwick

In carrying out the legal work for a home purchase, a Southwick conveyancing solicitor will examine the draft contract and investigate the title of the property and report back to the purchaser and the mortgage lender (if applicable).

The buyer's property lawyer will offer suggestions and advice following their enquiries, help to fix or resolve any legal issues and confirm that the legal title passes to the new owner.

This section discusses those areas of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Southwick where additional expertise is essential.

Your Southwick conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Homebuyers have many mortgage providers available, from a major lender such as the Royal Bank of Scotland, to a less common lender like Topaz Finance. Before you instruct a conveyancing solicitor in Southwick, you must confirm that they are approved by your lender.

Your solicitor 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 selected list (known as a 'panel') of solicitors or licensed conveyancers that pass strict selection criteria.

If this is the case, the lender will need a different solicitor firm to act in their interests, and you will be expected to pay this alternate lawyer's fees. Resulting delays can jeopardise the whole purchase.

Failing to check your property lawyer's lender panel status can result in significant delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can act on behalf of all banks and building societies.

Residential Property Searches (Adur District Council)

Residential property searches will be applied for by Southwick conveyancing solicitors to identify any significant issues that could possibly have an impact on how much your home will be worth. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - includes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes whether the property is listed
  • Environmental search - reveals contaminated land, landfill sites and flooding or subsidence within 500m of the property.
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
  • Chancel repair liability - some Southwick 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 an energy search, may also be referred to depending on the contents of the standard searches.

Purchasers should expect to wait roughly 15 weeks for LA searches ordered from Adur District Council. Your lawyer could instead use faster personal searches.

Finding planning permissions

Official Entries will also be obtained by your conveyancing solicitor, assisting with the identification of planning issues, such as errors on the title plan or the breach of a restrictive covenant.

Adur District Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Southwick will pay to Adur District Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. For instance a property in the Adur District Council area in Band B would pay £1,395 per annum.

Southwick conveyancing solicitors will inform a buyer of the property's 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 £1,046.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or if the property is owned by a charity and is unoccupied.

Band Adur District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,196
B £1,395
C £1,595
D £1,794
E £2,192
F £2,591
G £2,990
H £3,588

Could you be overpaying?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Strand Parade
The Boulevard
Worthing
BN12 6EA
West Sussex

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 0 council tax challenges were made, and 0 resulted in a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Southwick 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.

Stamp Duty Land Tax will almost always need to be paid if the residential property being purchased is valued at over £125k.

Quittance ensure that the critical SDLT1 form is completed accurately and without delay.

The following table illustrates stamp duty examples for typical properties in West Sussex:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £374,299 £8,714.95
Average price (detached) £557,710 £17,885.50
Average new build £379,456 £8,972.80
If you are buying a second home for more than £40,000 then you will have to pay a higher rate of 3%. For example, if a homeowner bought a second home in Southwick for the average price of £374,299 the SDLT would be £29,943.92.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Southwick

Since the budget announcement in 11/17, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300k.

Southwick conveyancing solicitors will confirm the correct calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Southwick

New build site

Buying a leasehold house or flat if you don't know what you are getting into is not recommended. Numerous technical obstacles may be lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser, such as:

  • excessive freehold premiums
  • ground rent multipliers
  • overpriced managing agent packs
Inaccurate leasehold advice, from an inexperienced property lawyer, could have serious financial consequences.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Southwick will consider possible leasehold issues, such as absent freeholders, understanding regional and era-specific nuances of leases and landlord/tenant disputes.

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property - You can call our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377 today.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Southwick?

New build building site

The average price for Southwick new build properties is £379,456, according to information compiled by the Land Registry. 63 new builds have been bought in Southwick in 2018 so far.

Buying a new build property can be more complex than any other type of conveyancing. To avoid potential problems a conveyancing solicitor in Southwick must be aware of local factors and will consider a range of issues, like handling the uncertainties of buying off plan and dealing with incomplete service connection agreements.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get an expert appraisal of the legal title of the house or apartment, paying close attention to considerations ranging from onerous leasehold conditions to an assessment of other risks, such as regional infrastructure plans (e.g. HS2).

West Sussex Conservation areas

Whether you are planning to buy a character cottage or a Victorian family home, if the property is in a defined conservation area, your plans to alter the property may not be allowed by the local authority.

These restrictions, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include:

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

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

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Southwick

The legal side of a property sale is generally simpler than for a property purchase. With a purchase, the principle of 'buyer beware' means that the onus lies entirely with the buyer to verify that the property they are purchasing is mortgageable and is (or can be) registered at the Land Registry.

With a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Southwick acting for the vendor effectively just answer any enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

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

A home will frequently have many complex issues (such as not being registered at the Land Registry or a dispute with a neighbour) that can slow or frustrate your home move.

In most cases, it is advisable for sellers to handle any such problems without delay.

Recommended reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The legal work for a leasehold flat or house is a great deal more complicated in comparison with a freehold house.

Southwick conveyancing solicitors must usually carry out further legal work. This can involve approaching the managing company for managing agent information, through to ensuring that leasehold forms are completed.

To reduce leasehold-related delays, it is strongly advised that you instruct a property lawyer as soon as the decision is made to sell.

What if Quittance is acting for the other side?

SRA regulations ban the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase. Conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both parties.

You could contact a local Southwick conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is acting for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Southwick

The most common reason people remortgage a home is to secure a lower interest rate. Other reasons to remortgage include moving from a tracker to a fixed-rate, or borrowing more to help pay for an extension.

You would typically benefit from a lower rate sooner with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Southwick, accelerating the time taken to complete the process. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and possible rate rises on the horizon, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting the mortgage rate you want.

To certify that the interests of the lender are protected, a property lawyer will 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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