Updated: October 12, 2018

Stone conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Stone

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay conveyancing solicitors in Stone for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

Are Stone conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

We work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis with no hidden extras, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Stone who will work on a fees per hour basis. Your quote will explain exactly what you will be charged when your sale or purchase completes.

What are disbursements?

In addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees you will also have to pay 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 indemnity insurance or bankruptcy checks.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Stone cost?

Although conveyancing fees in Stone will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, the disbursements required can vary. As examples, council search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. a Coal Authority search, may be needed.

For a standard sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. There are no hidden costs or nasty surprises with Quittance. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Stone

Under recent changes to English and Welsh property law, a seller must reveal any issues concerning their property to the buyer.

That said, it remains the responsibility of a conveyancing solicitor in Stone to make enquiries about the property, report back to the buyer and the lender, make practical suggestions and register the new owner's title at the Land Registry.

This section discusses the aspects of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Stone that necessitate specialised skills.

Your Stone conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether your mortgage is with a large lender like the Nationwide Building Society or a niche mortgage lender such as the Skipton Building Society, before selecting a Stone conveyancing solicitor you must confirm that they are on the approved panel of your mortgage lender.

The majority of mortgage lenders are only happy to work with a select panel of solicitors or licensed conveyancers that meet strict selection criteria. If your solicitor is unable to act for your mortgage lender, the lender will likely need a different solicitor firm to carry out the legal work.

You will usually need to pay this alternative lawyer's fees and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Failing to confirm the lender panel status of your solicitor can mean significant delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can act on behalf of all mortgage providers.

Property Searches (Stafford Borough Council)

Searches are applied for by Stone conveyancing solicitors to help identify any broader issues that could possibly affect the value of your property.

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

More pertinent searches, such as a highways authority search or a more detailed environmental report, may also be referred to in the initial LA and Environmental searches.

Purchasers should expect to wait up to 7 weeks for searches delivered by Stafford Borough Council, so faster personal searches will be recommended.

Planning permissions

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will source the Title Register from HM Land Registry, assisting with the identification of potential planning issues, for example outbuildings missing from the title plan or rights or restrictions on how the property may be used.

Stafford Borough Council Council Tax

Stafford Borough Council calculate your council tax based on a number of factors e.g. the number of occupants and the property's value as at 1 April 1991. For example, the occupier of a Tax Band B home in the Stafford Borough Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,284.

Conveyancing solicitors in Stone will inform a buyer of the property's tax band after this is confirmed by the searches.

If the property is unoccupied for over 24 months, the owner will pay 150% of the relevant rate. Single person discount reduces the tax due to 75%, which would equal £963.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or where the property is uninhabitable. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) calculate council tax bands for newly-constructed property, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

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

Can I challenge my valuation?

In the financial year 2016/17, 30 council tax challenges were made, and 10 were upheld and the tax was reduced. To challenge your banding contact:

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

Stamp Duty on Stone properties

The buyer (rather than the seller) will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on the purchase price of the residential property if it exceeds £125k.

Delays and penalties await those who mishandle the stamp duty administration process.

The vast majority of people will have their conveyancing solicitor complete the SDLT1 return on their behalf.

Quittance is able to administer the Stamp Duty Land Tax process faster and more efficiently than ever, using integrated online systems.

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

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £237,520 £2,250.40
Average price (detached) £308,149 £5,407.45
Average new build £265,285 £3,264.25
Following the autumn statement, second home buyers must pay a higher rate of 3%. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Stone for the average price of £237,520 the SDLT would be £11,876.00.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Stone

In 2017, the Chancellor announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on residential properties below £300k.

Stone conveyancing solicitors should confirm the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Stone

New build site

Buying a leasehold home if you are unaware of the facts can be fraught with risk. Spiralling ground rents, incomplete management company accounts and unfair clauses in the lease are among the many common complications lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser.

Inaccurate leasehold advice, from a solicitor lacking in specialist knowledge, could have serious financial consequences.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Stone will consider possible leasehold issues, such as :

  • reviewing the lease
  • absent freeholders
  • annual statements of account and budgets for service charges
  • residents? management company
  • notices served on the freeholder

Ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease with Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Stone?

New build site

The average value of Stone new build homes is £324,995. 2 new build homes have been bought in Stone in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Stone must be familiar with regional considerations and new build's added complexities, such as confirming building regulation compliance, checking new build mortgage procedures are followed and checking new build warranties with warranty providers such as NHBC Buildmark, Zurich Municipal and Global Home Warranties.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get an impartial appraisal of the legal title of the house or apartment, paying close attention to considerations like the home's future resaleability and sharply increasing ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Staffordshire Conservation areas

Whether you are a fan of Georgian, Edwardian or even Brutalist architecture, moving to a street located in a conservation area can ensure the local character is unlikely to change. However, conservation area restrictions will affect your residential property.

Referred to as Article 4 directions, these constraints could include anything from general restrictions governing the use of non-traditional materials, to restrictions on door and window styles.

If a property is in breach, you could be required by the local planning authority to return the home to its earlier condition, even if the changes were made by the previous owner.

Parts of Stone lie within a Stafford LPA-governed conservation area. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Stone.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Stone

The legal side of a property sale usually requires less work than when buying. With a property purchase, the onus is on the buyer to establish that the property is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

When selling, conveyancing solicitors in Stone acting for the seller for the most part just answer the buyer's solicitor's formal enquiries.

What could go wrong?

Homes will often come with potential roadblocks (for example not having permission for alterations when in a conservation area or a problematic solar panel lease) that can threaten the sale process.

You shouldn't ignore this as it is highly unlikely that the problems won't be picked up - speak to an expert instead, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution proactively.

Recommended reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Selling a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold property is quite a lot more protracted than for a more straightforward freehold house.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Stone must carry out additional work, such as collating the latest service charge and ground rent statement or a copy of the lease.

It would be prudent to find a lawyer as soon as the property is marketed, if not before, to help mitigate predictable leasehold delays.

What if you are acting for the other side?

SRA regulations ban the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale and purchase. However, a conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

You may wish to contact a law firm in Stone to undertake your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancer is acting for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Stone

By far the most common reason people remortgage their home is to get a lower interest rate. There are other reasons to consider remortgaging, such as getting onto a longer fixed-rate term, or funding a one-off purchase.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Stone will complete the conveyancing quickly, helping you get onto the lower rate earlier. With the future of interest rates uncertain, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in securing your preferred rate.

It is key that your property lawyer can act on behalf of your new bank or building society. Quittance Conveyancing are on all major UK lenders' panels, so whether you are moving to a lifetime tracker mortgage with Lloyds Bank or to a two-year discount with the Yorkshire 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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