Updated: October 12, 2018

Swanage conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Swanage

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid your Swanage conveyancing solicitor for the legal work involved in moving home.

Do Swanage conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Swanage offer services on a cost per hour basis, and others on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee') basis. Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis, with no hidden costs. Your quote will set out exactly what you will need to pay when your sale or purchase completes.

What are disbursements?

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, such as HMLR fees or ID checks.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Swanage cost in total?

Conveyancing fees in Swanage will not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, e.g. a flood plain search, may be necessary.

There are no hidden fees or costs to be paid with Quittance. For a standard home sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees calculator: Click here

Quittance delivered an excellent service at the lowest conveyancing fees we could find

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Swanage

A seller is now required to disclose issues that could affect the value or enjoyment of their property to the prospective buyer.

It is, however, still the duty of the Swanage conveyancing solicitor to investigate the property, and report back to the purchaser and the mortgage lender (if applicable), offer pragmatic solutions and ensure that the full legal ownership is transferred.

The following section sets out useful advice for buyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in Swanage.

Your Swanage conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before instructing a conveyancing solicitor in Swanage, it is very important that you make sure that they can act in the interests of your chosen lender, whether you are taking out a mortgage from the Co-operative Bank, the Hinckley and Rugby Building Society or any other lender.

Some lenders will only accept a restricted group of legal practices that meet stringent standards. If your conveyancer can't act for your chosen lender, the lender will probably require a different legal firm to complete the legal work.

The buyer will be expected to pay this alternate solicitor's fees, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Significant delays can occur if you fail to check your lawyer's lender panel status.

Our solicitors can carry out the legal work for all major and minor lenders.

Property Searches (Purbeck District Council)

Searches are questions submitted to public bodies by Swanage conveyancing solicitors to provide information about the home you want to buy.

These searches include the local authority (LA) search, drainage & water search, environmental search and chancel repair liability.

More specialised searches, such as a Crossrail search or a more detailed plan search, may also be recommended in the standard search results.

Purbeck District Council has an approximate lead time of 13 weeks for LA searches. Your solicitor will instead apply for personal searches, which are usually faster.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will get official entries from HM Land Registry. This will help to reveal any planning issues. Examples of these include a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan or the breach of a restrictive covenant.

Purbeck District Council Council Tax

Purbeck District Council calculate council tax on Swanage homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). E.g. a residential property in the Purbeck District Council area in Valuation Band E would pay £2,392 per annum.

Conveyancing solicitors in Swanage will inform the buyer of the home's council tax band once they have the Local Authority search results.

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 £1,794.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. a 10% discount for second homes or if the resident is living in long term residential care.

Band Purbeck District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,304
B £1,522
C £1,739
D £1,957
E £2,392
F £2,826
G £3,261
H £3,913

Are you paying more than you should?

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

Valuation Office Agency
5th Floor
Holland House
Oxford Rd

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 10 council tax challenges were made. 0 saw a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Swanage properties

After a home sale has exchanged and completed, the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the SDLT is paid to HMRC.

If your home costs more than £125k then you will have to pay stamp duty.

Quittance Conveyancing's investment in the latest case management system means that HMRC filing rejections are a thing of the past.

See table below for SDLT examples for properties in Swanage:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £364,411 £8,220.55
Average price (detached) £543,352 £17,167.60
Average new build £306,250 £5,312.50

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Swanage

Since Nov 2017, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on homes valued over £300,000. Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT for the purchase of a second property. Therefore, if a homeowner in Swanage bought a second property for the average price of £364,411 the SDLT would be £29,152.88.

Conveyancing solicitors in Swanage should confirm the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Swanage

New build site

Data suggests that over 100,000 homeowners in England have leases with unreasonable conditions. Numerous legal complications could be awaiting an uninformed buyer, such as:

  • unreasonable managing agent fees
  • unreasonable ground rents
  • marriage value issues
Bad or incomplete leasehold advice, from a conveyancing solicitor with little specialist experience, can have serious consequences.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Swanage will address aspects of leasehold, including :

  • reviewing the lease itself
  • managing agent or landlord enquiries
  • service charge records from the last three years
  • onerous covenants
  • reserve funds

Ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease with our leasehold conveyancing solicitor team.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Swanage?

House under construction

The average purchase price of a new build in Swanage is £306,250, according to HM Land Registry. 4 new build properties were purchased in Swanage last year.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Swanage must be well-versed in both local Swanage factors as well as new build's added complexities, including investigating road and drainage issues and handling structural guarantees.

Our award-winning new build team are specialists in new build purchases and meeting short developer deadlines.

Conservation areas in Dorset

Your conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the property you are going to buy is in a conservation area in Swanage. If it is, the home will be affected by certain conditions. These restrictions, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include anything from restrictions on the removal of front boundary walls, railings or fences, to general restrictions governing non-uniform additions or modifications.

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

Parts of Swanage are within a conservation area governed by the Purbeck local planning authority (LPA). Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Swanage's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Swanage

The legal side of a sale of a house or flat is less demanding than when buying. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will have to go through an investigation on the property, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Swanage acting for the vendor just replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries.

What can you do to minimise the risk of your sale falling through?

Obstacles, such as having a defective lease or not having a building regulations completion certificate, can seriously delay your home move if left unresolved.

It is better not to hide from the issue and hope the buyer's solicitor won't notice - get advice instead, face the issues head on, and find a solution ASAP.

Further reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold property is significantly more protracted than for a more straightforward freehold house.

Swanage conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work, such as obtaining service charge accounts, through to insurance premium details accounts.

Sellers are advised to contact a lawyer as soon as the property is marketed, if not before, to mitigate often unavoidable leasehold delays.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both the buyer and the seller in a single transaction?

Conveyancers regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers can act for both parties. However, SRA regulations prevent the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase.

If you are buying or selling a home in Swanage, and one of our conveyancing solicitors is doing the legal work for the other side, you may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in Swanage to undertake your legal work.

Local Swanage conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP, 40 High Street, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 2NX
  • Humphries Kirk LLP, 4 Rempstone Road, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 1DP

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Swanage

The most common reason homeowners remortgage their home is to get a more attractive interest rate. Other reasons to remortgage include the current mortgage deal coming to an end, or borrowing more to help pay for an extension.

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

The property lawyer will represent both you and your new lender to certify the parties' interests are protected.

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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