Updated: October 12, 2018

Swansea conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Swansea

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

How are Swansea conveyancing fees calculated?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Swansea will work on a fees per hour basis. Some solicitors will complete the work on a fixed 'No Move, No Fee' basis. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis, with no hidden extras. Your quote explains exactly what you will need to pay when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

In addition to the legal fees you will also have to cover any '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 bankruptcy checks or leasehold information packs.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will conveyancing in Swansea cost in total?

While conveyancing fees in Swansea will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, additional region-specific searches, such as transport searches, may be needed and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

For standard conveyancing transactions, what we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. 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 Swansea

The largest Welsh city after Cardiff, Swansea is also a county, and includes the beautiful Gower Peninsula and Swansea Bay. Swansea originally developed as centre for metals and mining, especially copper, but now more than 90% are employed in a wide variety of service sector jobs.

Property styles vary by area, with the centre of Swansea offering a mix of Victorian terraces and post-war semis and the marina featuring modern apartments. Further out, homes in the pretty villages of the Gower Peninsula cost up to 50% more than the average Swansea home, but enjoy an idyllic coastal setting.

Conveyancing for buyers

Caveat emptor (buyer beware), was the legal principle of English property law. Following recent changes in the law, this principle no longer applies. However, it remains the duty of a buyer's legal representative to undertake due diligence on the property to be purchased.

The Swansea conveyancing solicitor will make recommendations after making their enquiries, assist in resolving any issues and confirm that the legal title passes to the new owner.

This article sets out useful advice for people who need conveyancing solicitors in Swansea for a purchase.

Your Swansea conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether you are obtaining a mortgage from Barclays Bank, Capital Home Loans or any other lender, before instructing a Swansea conveyancing solicitor you must confirm that they are on the approved panel of your chosen lender.

Most banks and building societies only accept a selected list (their 'panel') of firms that have achieved certain benchmarks. If your solicitor is not on the panel of your chosen lender, the lender will require an alternative legal firm to complete the legal work.

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

The conveyancing process could be jeopardised by failing to confirm your solicitor's lender panel status.

Our conveyancing solicitors are on the panel of all lenders.

Swansea Council searches

Searches are enquiries made of various authorities by Swansea conveyancing solicitors to give details about the home you want to buy.

Banks and building societies typically also require property searches to be purchased. These include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchreveals issues like whether the adjoining road and pavement are publicly maintained
Environmental searchshows whether the surrounding environment is suitable for the purchaser
Drainage & Water searchcovers the location of water pipes and drains, and reveals if the upkeep for these falls on the owner or local council.
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability to the local parish for repairs.

Further searches, such as a tin mining search or a disadvantaged area search, may also be referred to in the standard searches.

Swansea Council has a usual lead time of 14 weeks for searches. Your solicitor will instead apply for personal searches, which are usually faster.

Checking planning status

Your conveyancing solicitor also retrieves an 'Official Copy of the Title Register' from the Land Registry. This will help to identify any potential issues. Examples of these include that a restrictive covenant has been breached or errors on the title plan.

Swansea Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Swansea, 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, the occupier of a Band E house in the Swansea Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,855.

A conveyancing solicitor in Swansea will inform the buyer of the home's council tax 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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £1,391.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or where the property is a hall of residence.

Band Swansea Council Tax (2018)
A £1,012
B £1,180
C £1,349
D £1,518
E £1,855
F £2,192
G £2,530
H £3,036
I £3,541

Can I challenge my council tax band?

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

Valuation Office Agency
180 High St
Swansea
West Glamorgan
Wales
SA1 1JR

The Valuation Office Agency should reassess a property's band on request. Councils prefer that this be done within six months of buying a property.

Stamp Duty on Swansea properties

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.

If you are buying a home in England, Wales or Northern Ireland then you will usually need to pay stamp duty.

Quittance use smart case management systems to make sure that mistakes are not made on the stamp duty process.

See table below for SDLT examples for homes in Swansea:

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £166,101 £822.02
Average price (detached) £253,733 £2,686.65
Average new build £171,671 £933.42
Following a change in April 2016, a stamp duty surcharge of 3% is applied for purchases of additional property. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Swansea for the average price of £166,101 the SDLT would be £8,305.05.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Swansea

Since November 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300k.

Conveyancing solicitors in Swansea will ensure the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Swansea

New build site

The potential pitfalls of purchasing a leasehold house or flat in the UK are well documented. The many potential problems lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser can include:

  • increasing ground rents
  • unreasonable lease extension premiums
  • undisclosed major works
  • reversionary interests
Misguided leasehold advice, from a lawyer lacking in specialist knowledge, could have serious financial consequences.

If you intend to purchase a house or flat with a lease, a experienced conveyancing solicitor in Swansea will consider possible leasehold issues, including unexpired lease terms, current-year service charge estimates and reviewing the lease itself (many leases are decades old).

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase with our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Swansea?

New build building site

Based on local data sourced by HMLR, 11 brand new homes have been bought in Swansea in 2018 so far. The average sale price of Swansea new build homes is £138,634.

Acquiring a new build home can be more complex than any other type of conveyancing. To avoid potential problems a conveyancing solicitor in Swansea needs to be aware of local Swansea considerations and must check numerous things, e.g. dealing with delays associated with off-plan and handling initial Land Registry registration.

Our expert new build team provide an expert appraisal of the legal title of the house or flat, looking out for considerations ranging from unreasonable leasehold terms to exponential ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the residential property you are buying is in one of Swansea's conservation areas. If it is, the house will be affected by certain constraints. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these conditions may include a wide range of constraints from restrictions on the removal of chimneys, to restrictions on the use of external insulation.

The local planning authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed.

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Swansea.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Swansea

The conveyancing process on a sale of a home is less complicated than for a purchase. With a purchase, the burden lies entirely with the buyer to make sure that the house or flat is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

When selling, conveyancing solicitors in Swansea acting for the existing owner effectively just answer the purchaser's enquiries.

What could go wrong?

A home can be burdened by many potential roadblocks (e.g. a historical dispute with a freeholder) that might delay the conveyancing process for several weeks.

Property specialists will usually suggest to sellers that they face these issues head on and fix them.

Recommended reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat or house is a great deal more protracted in comparison with a freehold house.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Swansea must undertake additional legal work, including obtaining an up-to-date service charge statement, through to any information about regulations affecting the property that are not in the lease.

In order to resolve any leasehold issues faster, it is strongly advised that you instruct a property lawyer as early in the process as possible, ideally before putting the property on the market,.

What if Quittance is already acting for the other side?

A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules ban the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale.

You may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in Swansea to carry out your conveyancing, if we are acting for the other side.

Local Swansea conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Smith Llewelyn Partnership, 18 Princess Way, Swansea, Swansea, SA1 3LW
  • Star Legal Limited, Princess House, Princess Way, Swansea, West Glamorgan, SA1 3LW
  • Acuity Legal Limited, Exchange Building, Cambrian Place, Adelaide Street, Swansea, SA1 1SH
  • Nls Solicitors, 17 Mansel Street, Swansea, West Glamorgan, SA1 5SG
  • Benson Watkins & Co Limited, 52 Mansel Street, Swansea, Swansea, Swansea, SA1 5TE

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Swansea

The main reason homeowners remortgage their home is to get a lower interest rate. Other reasons to remortgage include moving from a standard variable rate (SVR) to a fixed-rate, or extending the mortgage term.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Swansea will complete the conveyancing quickly, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With future interest rate changes hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in securing the rate you want.

In order to certify that the parties' interests are protected, the property lawyer will need to 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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