Updated: October 12, 2018

Staffordshire conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Staffordshire

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay your Staffordshire conveyancing solicitor for the legal work involved in moving home.

Do Staffordshire conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

We work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no hidden extras, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Staffordshire who will work on a cost per hour basis. Your quote explains what fees you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

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

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 managing agent information.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will the total Staffordshire solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Staffordshire conveyancing fees will be the same as anywhere else in the country. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. For example, Local Authority Search fees can vary and specific extra searches, such as utilities searches, may be necessary.

There are no hidden fees or nasty surprises with Quittance. For a standard conveyancing transaction, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Staffordshire

When carrying out the legal work for a property purchase, the conveyancing solicitor in Staffordshire will look into the legal ownership rights or 'title' of the property and report back to the buyer and the lender.

The purchaser's solicitor will offer professional advice once their enquiries are complete, solve outstanding issues and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

The content below gives advice to assist people looking for conveyancing solicitors in Staffordshire for a purchase.

Your Staffordshire conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Property purchasers can choose from many lenders, from a niche lender like Aldermore Bank, to a major lender such as the HSBC. Before instructing a conveyancing solicitor in Staffordshire, whoever you choose, it is critical that you make sure that they are on the approved solicitor panel of your lender.

Your conveyancer may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your lender, because some mortgage lenders will only work with a select panel of firms that pass strict selection criteria.

If this is the case, the lender will need a second firm to act in their interests, and you will then have to cover this substitute solicitor's fees. This means the transaction could be delayed.

Failing to check the lender panel status of your conveyancing solicitor could result in serious delays.

Our conveyancing solicitors can act for all banks and other lenders.

Residential Property Searches (Stafford Borough Council)

Searches will be applied for by Staffordshire conveyancing solicitors in order to identify any wider issues that might potentially affect how much the property you are purchasing is worth.

Searches are firstly carried out to satisfy mortgage conditions. These searches include the local authority (LA) search, environmental search, drainage & water search and chancel repair liability.

Further searches, such as a more detailed flood report or a more detailed environmental report, may also be recommended in the initial LA and Environmental searches.

The average processing time for LA searches ordered from Stafford Borough Council is 7 weeks. Your conveyancer will alternatively recommend using a faster search agent.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be applied for from HMLR by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer, helping to identify any planning issues. These issues could include a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan or neighbours' rights of access.

Stafford Borough Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by Stafford Borough Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. For instance the occupier of a Valuation Band D house in the Stafford Borough Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,651.

A conveyancing solicitor in Staffordshire 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 £1,239.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes or where the property was left empty by a bankrupt person. Property built after 1991 is assigned a council tax banding by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Band Stafford Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,101
B £1,284
C £1,468
D £1,651
E £2,018
F £2,385
G £2,752
H £3,303

Are you paying too much?

Owners can apply for their property to be reassessed, but the band could be revised up as well as down. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Blackburn House
Old Hall St
Stoke-On-Trent
ST1 3BS
Staffordshire

Stamp Duty on Staffordshire properties

With some exceptions, if you buy a property over the £125k threshold you will have to pay SDLT. SDLT is paid to HMRC by completing an SDLT1 form. The form is lengthy and complex.

Quittance use smart case management systems to make sure that mistakes are not made on the SDLT process.

This table sets out stamp duty for typical property in Staffordshire:

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £209,547 £1,690.94
Average price (detached) £299,862 £4,993.10
Average new build £237,394 £2,247.88

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Staffordshire

For first-time buyers, stamp duty is only payable on purchases over £300,000. Following a change in April 2016, a stamp duty surcharge of 3% is applied for purchases of additional property. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Staffordshire for the average price of £209,547 the SDLT would be £10,477.35.

Staffordshire conveyancing solicitors should ensure the correct calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Staffordshire

New build site

It is not recommended to buy a leasehold property without knowing what you are getting into. The many potential problems lying in wait for the unsuspecting purchaser could include:

  • short leases
  • overpriced managing agent packs
  • reversionary interests
  • increasing ground rents
Serious consequences can result from a less-experienced property lawyer's misguided leasehold advice.

If you are planning to buy a property with a lease, a expert conveyancing solicitor in Staffordshire will consider potential leasehold issues, including any recent demands for service charges and ground rent, flats with varying lease terms and dealing with freeholders.

Quittance Conveyancing's team of 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 Staffordshire?

House under construction

81 brand new properties have been bought in Staffordshire in 2018 so far, (HMLR data). The average purchase price of Staffordshire new builds is £256,590.

Purchasing a new build is generally more complex than 'standard conveyancing'. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Staffordshire must be conscious of local factors and must check a range of issues, like working to tight developer deadlines and ensuring that the contract is in the buyer's favour.

Our specialist team of new build conveyancers deliver an expert assessment of the legal title of the property, and in particular issues like the home's subsequent resaleability and exponential ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Staffordshire conservation areas

Whether you are planning to buy a period cottage or a Victorian family home, if the property is in a designated conservation area, your plans to alter the property may not be permitted by Stafford Borough Council.

Referred to as Article 4 directions, these restrictions can include:

  • Restrictions on replacing windows
  • Restrictions preventing the addition of new access
  • 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 carried out the alterations.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Staffordshire

The conveyancing process on a house sale usually requires less work than for a property purchase. During the sale of a house or flat, caveat-emptor' means that the onus is on the buyer to satisfy themselves that the property does not have any legal issues.

With a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Staffordshire acting for the vendor need only answer questions set by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor.

How to improve the odds of your sale going through

Obstacles, such as issues with neighbours' rights over the property or having previously suffered from a flood event, can significantly hinder your move if not handled appropriately.

In most cases, it is a good idea for sellers to tackle these issues head on.

Recommended reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold property is quite a lot more specialised than for a more straightforward freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Staffordshire will also perform extra work, for example requesting an up-to-date service charge statement, through to details of any deed of variation.

It is recommended that the vendor contacts a lawyer with leasehold experience as early in the process as possible, and potentially before marketing the property, to reduce delays.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both the buyer and the seller of the same property?

A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA rules restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale.

If you are buying or selling a house or flat in Staffordshire, and we are doing the legal work for the other side, you can contact a local Staffordshire conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Staffordshire

Whilst there are many reasons to consider remortgaging, homeowners will generally remortgage a home to reduce the monthly repayments.

You can appreciate the benefits of a better rate sooner with a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Staffordshire. With possible rate rises on the horizon, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in securing your preferred rate.

It is important that the property lawyer carrying out the remortgage is also able to act for the new bank or building society. Our conveyancers are on all major lenders' panels, so whether you are moving to a flexible mortgage with Santander or to a discounted-rate mortgage with Birmingham Midshires, 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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