Updated: October 12, 2018

Swaffham conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Swaffham

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

How are Swaffham conveyancing fees calculated?

Our solicitors work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis with no hidden costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Swaffham who offer services on an hourly-rate basis. Your quote will set out all fees and other costs you will be charged when your property transaction has completed.

What are disbursements?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also have to pay for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes the conveyancing solicitor will have to pay to other organisations as part of the house-buying and selling process. These include costs like indemnity insurance or HMLR fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Swaffham cost in total?

Although conveyancing fees in Swaffham will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. For example, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, such as a mining search, may be necessary.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no hidden fees or nasty surprises. For a standard home sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Swaffham

Recent changes to the law mean that a seller must reveal any issues concerning their property to the buyer.

It remains, however, the duty of a Swaffham conveyancing solicitor to investigate the property, and report back to the buyer and the lender, solve outstanding issues and ensure the title is transferred to the new owner.

This section of the article examines elements of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Swaffham needing a deeper level of knowledge.

Your Swaffham conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before selecting a Swaffham conveyancing solicitor, you must confirm that they are on the approved panel of your chosen lender, whether you are taking out a mortgage from TSB, the Chelsea Building Society or any other lender.

Your conveyancer may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your chosen lender, because some banks and building societies will only accept a restricted group of legal firms.

If this is the case, the lender will likely need a different solicitor firm to act in their interests, and you will be expected to pay this alternate solicitor's costs. This can frustrate or delay the process.

Failing to confirm the lender panel status of your conveyancer could result in serious delays.

Our solicitors are approved members of all lender panels.

Searches (Breckland District Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are applied for by Swaffham conveyancing solicitors in order to identify issues that might potentially undermine how much your house or flat is worth.

Banks and building societies will also require residential property searches to be purchased. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority search - includes a list of planning decisions that could affect the property
  • Drainage & Water search - covers the location of water pipes and drains, and reveals if the upkeep for these falls on the owner or local council.
  • Environmental search - exposes whether the land around the property (500m radius) has been affected by subsidence, flooding or has been identified as "contaminated land"
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Swaffham properties for local parish repairs.

Further searches, such as a more detailed flood report or a contaminated land report, may also be referred to in the standard search results.

Breckland District Council has a usual processing time of 10 weeks for property searches. As a result, regulated searches will be faster.

Finding planning permissions

Your conveyancing solicitor will also obtain office copies from HMLR. This will help to expose planning issues. These issues could include the title plan showing only very general boundaries or a restrictive covenant against certain alterations.

Breckland District Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on a variety of factors which include the number of occupants and the assessed value of the property in April 1991. E.g. for an average Tax Band E property in Swaffham, the amount of council tax due would be £2,109 per year.

A conveyancing solicitor in Swaffham will inform the buyer of the home's tax band once they are themselves notified.

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 £1,582.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or structural changes or if an occupier is a student nurse.

Band Breckland District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,151
B £1,342
C £1,534
D £1,726
E £2,109
F £2,493
G £2,876
H £3,452
Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Rosebery Court
Central Avenue
St. Andrews Business Park
Norwich
NR7 0HS
Norfolk

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 20 council tax challenges were made. 10 saw a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Swaffham properties

Stamp duty is only applicable to homes where the purchase price exceeds £125,000. It is the responsibility of the buyer's conveyancing solicitor to handle the tax return process for the purchase.

Quittance's state-of-the-art case management system are fully integrated with HMRC's electronic filing systems.

See SDLT examples for properties in Swaffham:

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £220,036 £1,900.72
Average price (detached) £266,026 £3,301.30
Average new build £242,483 £2,349.66

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Swaffham

In 11/17, it was announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on homes below £300k. Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT when buying a second home. So if a second home was bought for £220,036 then the stamp duty total will be £11,001.80.

Swaffham conveyancing solicitors should confirm the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Swaffham

New build site

Buying a leasehold property is not as simple as purchasing a freehold property. There are many legal issues that may be awaiting an uninformed purchaser, such as unreasonable ground rents and incomplete management company accounts.

Inaccurate leasehold advice, from an inexperienced lawyer, could have serious financial consequences.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Swaffham will consider potential leasehold issues, for example current-year service charge estimates, short leases and managing agent practices.

Make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease - You can call our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Swaffham?

New build site

The average purchase price of a new build in Swaffham is £298,750, (HM Land Registry data). 2 new build properties have been bought in Swaffham in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Swaffham must be well-versed in Swaffham-specific issues and the specific issues associated with new build, like dealing with failures to arrange warranty provider inspections, handling initial Land Registry registration and working with warranty providers, including NHBC Buildmark, Zurich Municipal and Q Assure.

Our specialist team of new build conveyancers deliver an expert assessment of the property's legal status, with a close eye on issues ranging from unfair leasehold conditions to exponential ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Norfolk Conservation areas

Whether you enjoy Tudor-style or Edwardian architecture, moving to a conservation area will usually mean that the local character is unlikely to drastically change. However, conservation area building controls will affect your home.

These constraints may include restrictions on replacing roof tiles, limitations on new outbuildings or restrictions on joinery colour choices.

The local planning authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing a flue.

The local planning authority (LPA) for Breckland has designated conservation area status on certain areas of Swaffham. Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Swaffham's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Swaffham

Conveyancing for a house sale is much easier than for a property purchase. The buyer will have to carry out extensive research on your home. In contrast, conveyancing solicitors in Swaffham acting for the vendor effectively just responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

What factors could threaten your sale?

Homes will often come with many issues (such as previous or historic subsidence) which may slow or frustrate your home move.

Generally speaking, it is recommended for sellers to address such issues immediately.

Useful reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Selling a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are uncommon) is quite a lot more complex compared to a freehold house.

Swaffham conveyancing solicitors will also carry out additional work, for example collating all relevant freeholder information, through to any details of any ongoing enfranchisement process.

To reduce delays, it is strongly advised that the vendor contacts a leasehold-specialist conveyancer as soon as possible.

What if Quittance is already acting for the other side?

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

You may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in Swaffham to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side.

Local Swaffham conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Ward Gethin Archer Limited, 11 London Street, Swaffham, Norfolk, PE37 7BW

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Swaffham

Homeowners remortgage for a variety of reasons, such as releasing capital, or getting onto a longer fixed-rate term. The main reason, however, is to get a lower interest rate.

You should be able to enjoy a lower rate faster by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Swaffham, shortening the time the conveyancing takes. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and future interest rate changes hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

To ensure that the interests of the lender are covered, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will represent both you and your 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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