Updated: October 12, 2018

Surrey conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Surrey

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid to conveyancing solicitors in Surrey for the legal work associated with moving home.

Are Surrey conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Surrey will work on an hourly-rate basis. We work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis, with no hidden extras. Your conveyancing quote will set out exactly what you will be charged 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 conveyancing solicitor fees.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client. These include costs like indemnity insurance or Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will conveyancing in Surrey cost in total?

Surrey conveyancing fees should be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. As examples, specific extra searches, such as a flooding search, may be necessary and council search fees will vary.

For a standard sale or purchase, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the average solicitors' fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Surrey

The county of Surrey is one of the Home Counties, close to London. A wealthy county with some of the highest property values outside the capital, its major towns include Guildford (the county town) Camberley, Epsom, Staines and Redhill. Much of the county is rural with pretty villages and more woodland areas than anywhere else in the UK.

Surrey Hills, which includes Box Hill, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, covers a quarter of the county. Haslemere, Windlesham and Chobham and Shamley Green are popular with commuters with journey times to central London taking less than an hour.

Conveyancing for home buyers

As a key part of the conveyancing for the purchase of a house or flat, the Surrey conveyancing solicitor will examine the draft contract and investigate the legal ownership rights or 'title' of the property and report back in detail to the buyer and the lender.

Following their enquiries the solicitor will offer suggestions and advice and will help with resolving any problems and confirm that the legal title passes to the new owner.

The following section discusses the kinds of property that carry additional risk for homebuyers who need conveyancing solicitors in Surrey.

Your Surrey conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before instructing a conveyancing solicitor in Surrey, you must confirm that they can act for your mortgage lender, whether you are obtaining a mortgage from NatWest, the Coventry Building Society or any other lender.

The majority of mortgage lenders will only accept a restricted group of legal practices. If your conveyancer can't act for your mortgage lender, the lender will require an alternative law firm to complete the legal work.

The home buyer will usually need to pay this second lawyer's costs, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Long delays can arise if you do not confirm your lawyer's lender panel status.

Our solicitors are approved to act for all banks and other lenders.

Residential Property Searches (Woking Borough Council)

Property searches will be applied for by Surrey conveyancing solicitors to identify issues that might possibly reduce how much the property you are purchasing will be worth.

Banks and building societies also need to see certain searches to be purchased. These include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchcontains information about the property and surrounding area held by Woking Borough Council
Environmental searchshows whether the surrounding environment is suitable for the purchaser
Drainage & Water searchconfirms who is responsible for the upkeep of the water pipes and drainage that serve the property.
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability to the local parish for repairs.

More specialised searches, such as an HS2 search or a geological search, may also be recommended following the initial searches.

Homebuyers can expect a lead time of approximately 3 weeks for searches obtained from Woking Borough Council. Faster personal searches (as opposed to official LA searches) will therefore be recommended.

Planning searches

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will get the Title Register from HMLR, assisting with the identification of potential planning issues, for example discrepancies with the filed plan or neighbours' rights of access.

Woking Borough Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Surrey, the applicable rate of council tax will vary depending on the value of the home (as assessed in 1991) and the number of people living in it. For example, for an average Band B home in Surrey, the council tax would be £1,463.

Conveyancing solicitors in Surrey will inform the purchaser of the property's band once they are made aware.

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 £1,097.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes or if an occupier is a student nurse.

Band Woking Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,254
B £1,463
C £1,672
D £1,881
E £2,299
F £2,717
G £3,136
H £3,763
To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
3rd Floor
Bridge House
1
Walnut Tree Close
Guildford
GU1 4AG
Surrey

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 30 council tax challenges were made. 10 resulted in a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Surrey properties

If the purchase price of your new home is over the £125k threshold (excluding 'chattels' or 'fixtures and fittings'), the SDLT becomes chargeable. Submitting the SDLT1 form to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is difficult and time consuming. The majority of purchasers get their conveyancing solicitor to do it for them.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) rejections are avoided using the latest case management system.

The following table illustrates Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for average properties in Surrey:

  Average selling price (February 2018) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £539,843 £16,992.15
Average price (detached) £835,007 £31,750.35
Average new build £454,000 £12,700.00

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Surrey

Relief is available on home purchases below £300k for first-time buyers with relief up to £500,000 in some areas. If you own another residence you will be subject to a 3% stamp duty surcharge. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Surrey for the average price of £539,843 the SDLT would be £43,187.44.

Surrey conveyancing solicitors should ensure their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Surrey

New build site

Buying a leasehold home can be challenging when compared to purchasing a freehold home. The many potential problems lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer can include doubling ground rents, excessive freehold premiums and costly and undisclosed major works.

Inaccurate leasehold advice, from a solicitor with only freehold experience, can have serious consequences.

A expert conveyancing solicitor in Surrey will address aspects of leasehold, such as :

  • sometimes ancient and arcane lease documents
  • reviewing correspondence between the freeholder and leaseholder
  • service charges for relevant date periods
  • landlord/tenant disputes

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in Surrey?

New build site

According to HMLR data, 93 new build houses and flats have been bought in Surrey in 2018 so far. The average cost of a new build in Surrey is £462,933.

Purchasing a new build property is considerably more complicated than buying a 'secondhand' home. To avoid potential problems a conveyancing solicitor in Surrey must be aware of both region-specific factors and also must check a range of issues, including investigating developer incentives and handling withdrawal under the Consumer Code for Housebuilders.

Our highly qualified team of new build conveyancers specialise in working to developer exchange timeframes and representing buyers to achieve the best outcome.

Conservation areas in Surrey

Your conveyancing solicitor will check if the property you are going to buy is in a conservation area in Surrey. If it is, the property will be affected by certain conditions. These building controls, called Article 4 Directions, could include:

  • A prohibition on the removal of front boundary walls
  • Restrictions preventing the installation of VELUX windows
  • Restrictions on side or two-storey extensions

If a property is in breach, the local council 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.

Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Surrey's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Surrey

The legal side of a sale of a house or flat is normally less troublesome than for a property purchase. The buyer's conveyancer has to carry out a comprehensive legal review on your home. Conveyancing solicitors in Surrey acting for the seller, however, simply replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries.

Why do sales fall through?

Common issues, like not being registered at the Land Registry, can significantly derail your home move if they are ignored.

It is better not to hide from the issue and hope any such problems will go away. Instead, you should get advice, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution as early as possible.

Further reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Selling a leasehold property

The legal work for a leasehold flat or house is much more complicated than it is for a freehold home.

Leasehold complexity involves extra work on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Surrey, and this could include collating the latest service charge and ground rent statement or details of any slush fund for property maintenance.

Given the complexities of leasehold property, it is highly recommended that you contact a lawyer with leasehold experience as soon as an estate agent is chosen.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both the buyer and the seller in one transaction?

SRA rules prevent the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase. A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

If you are buying or selling a house or flat in Surrey, and one of our conveyancing solicitors is acting for the other side, you could contact a property solicitor firm in Surrey to carry out your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Surrey

Reducing monthly repayments by finding a lower interest rate is generally why people change lenders. There are other reasons, including releasing funds to help kids get on the property ladder, or getting onto a longer fixed-rate term.

You will typically be able to benefit from a lower rate faster with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Surrey, shortening the time the conveyancing takes. With the future of interest rates uncertain, fast conveyancing can play a key role in securing the rate you want.

To make sure that the interests of the lender are covered, a property lawyer will act for both you and the new 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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