Updated: October 12, 2018

Stanley conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Stanley

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

Do Stanley conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Stanley who offer services on an hourly rate. Your conveyancing quote will set out what fees 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 fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client. These include costs like property searches or landlord's notice fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Stanley cost?

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

With Quittance, there are no hidden fees or surprises in the small print. For a standard conveyancing transaction, what we quote is the fee 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 Stanley

Caveat emptor, meaning 'let the buyer beware', was a fundamental principle of property law in England and Wales. Since 2013, this maxim no longer applies, however, a purchaser must still undertake due diligence on the property to be purchased.

The conveyancing solicitor in Stanley will offer suggestions and advice following their enquiries, deal with any legal problems and ensure the title is transferred to the new owner.

This section discusses the kinds of property which may be of interest to buyers looking for conveyancing solicitors in Stanley.

Your Stanley conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether your mortgage is with a niche lender like the Furness Building Society or a major lender such as the HSBC, before instructing a Stanley conveyancing solicitor it is very important that you make sure that they are on the approved panel of your mortgage lender.

Your solicitor may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your mortgage lender, because some mortgage lenders are only prepared to work with a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of legal practices that meet stringent criteria.

If this is the case, the lender will need a second firm to complete the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this alternate lawyer's fees. This can mean the process takes much longer.

Delays can result from failing to confirm your lawyer's lender panel status.

Our conveyancing solicitors are approved to act for all lenders.

Durham County Council searches

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are carried out by Stanley conveyancing solicitors in order to identify any significant issues that might possibly have an impact on how much your home will be worth.

Mortgage lenders also usually require residential property searches to be submitted. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - contains information about the property and surrounding area held by Durham County Council
  • Environmental search - describes hazards (such as historic flooding or mining subsidence) within 500m of the property. This search also identifies sites of contaminated land nearby.
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies water mains and sewers. This search also addresses whether the maintenance for these is the owner's responsibility.
  • Chancel repair liability - there is a risk that some Stanley properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

More specialised searches, such as a radon gas search or a disadvantaged area search, may also be referred to depending on the contents of the standard searches.

The estimated processing time for conveyancing searches obtained from Durham County Council is 14 weeks. In these circumstances, faster personal searches will be recommended.

Planning issues

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be sourced from HM Land Registry by your conveyancing solicitor. This will help to reveal any issues. These issues could include a restrictive covenant against certain alterations or discrepancies with the filed plan.

Durham County Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by Durham County Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. The occupier of a property in Valuation Band D, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,887.

Conveyancing solicitors in Stanley will inform the purchaser of the home's council tax band once 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 £1,416.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes or where the property is uninhabitable. The Valuation Office Agency assign bands for new build homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Durham County Council Tax (2018)
A £1,258
B £1,468
C £1,678
D £1,887
E £2,307
F £2,726
G £3,146
H £3,775

Are you paying more than you should?

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

Valuation Office Agency
Wycliffe House
Green Lane
Durham
DH1 3UW
County Durham

Owners can ask for their property to be reassessed, and a refund may be due if the property is awarded a lower band.

Stamp Duty on Stanley properties

If the purchase price of your new home is over the £125,000 threshold (excluding 'chattels' or 'fixtures and fittings'), the stamp duty becomes chargeable. Submitting the SDLT1 form to HMRC is difficult and time consuming. The majority of purchasers get their property lawyer to do it for them.

Quittance Conveyancing will complete the SDLT1 form for you at the point your purchase completes.

The following table illustrates SDLT examples for typical properties in Stanley:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £100,452 £0.00
Average price (detached) £190,543 £1,310.86
Average new build £135,441 £208.82
Higher rates of SDLT apply to buyers of second home in the form of a 3% surcharge. Therefore, if a homeowner in Stanley bought a second home for the average price of £100,452 the SDLT would be £3,013.56.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Stanley

Relief is available on home purchases below £300,000 for first-time buyers.

Stanley conveyancing solicitors should confirm the correct calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Stanley

New build site

It is risky to purchase a leasehold home if you are unaware of the implications. There is a wide range of sometimes obscure legal issues that may be lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser, such as:

  • short leases
  • increasing ground rents
  • unpaid service charges by the existing leaseholder
Bad or incomplete leasehold advice, from a solicitor with little specialist experience, can have serious consequences.

A expert conveyancing solicitor in Stanley will address aspects of leasehold, including reviewing the lease itself, managing agent practices and possible service charge shortfalls.

Make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease - Call Quittance Conveyancing's team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors today on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Stanley?

House being built

Based on local data sourced by the Land Registry, 63 new build properties were purchased in Stanley last year. The average value of Stanley new build properties is £135,441.

The legal side of acquiring a new build home can be complicated compared to other types of conveyancing. To avoid potential problems a Stanley conveyancing solicitor must be aware of Stanley-specific considerations and must consider a range of factors, e.g. dealing with fast exchange timeframes and confirming Section 38 agreements.

Our team of new build conveyancers deliver an expert assessment of the legal title of the house or apartment, whilst being mindful of factors like the home's subsequent marketability and an assessment of other risks, such as contaminated land hazards.

County Durham Conservation areas

If you are planning to purchase a home in one of Stanley's conservation areas, the property must be compliant with any local conservation area building controls. These constraints, called Article 4 Directions, may include anything from limits on the use of cladding, to restrictions on the removal of chimneys.

If a property is in breach, the local planning authority can require the new owner to revert the property to its earlier condition, even if the previous owner carried out the alterations.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Stanley

The legal side of a sale of a home is less complicated than when buying. The buyer's conveyancer conducts a thorough investigation on your home, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Stanley acting for the vendor simply collates requested paperwork (e.g. warranties and certificates) and responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor .

What factors could threaten your sale?

Homes can face a broad spectrum of legal problems (e.g. complexities where there is a 'share of freehold' or a boundary dispute) which could frustrate a sale for weeks (or worse).

Generally speaking, you should face such issues head on and fix them.

Further reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold

The legal work for a leasehold flat is much more time-consuming compared to a freehold house.

Stanley conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work, for example requesting all relevant freeholder information, through to a copy of the lease.

To accelerate the handling of the leasehold work, it is highly recommended that you contact a conveyancer with leasehold experience as soon as the decision is made to sell.

What if your conveyancing solicitors are acting for the other side?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase. CLC-regulated conveyancers, however, can act for both sides.

You can contact a local Stanley conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Stanley

Although people consider remortgaging for a range of reasons, homeowners generally remortgage a home simply to get a better rate.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Stanley will complete the conveyancing quickly, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting on to the rate you want.

It is crucial that the property lawyer carrying out the remortgage is also able to act for your new lender. Our conveyancers are on all major lenders' panels, so whether you are changing to a variable-rate with Barclays Bank or to a two-year discount with the Barnsley Building Society, Quittance 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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