Updated: October 12, 2018

Thornbury conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Thornbury

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

Do Thornbury conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our conveyancing solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Thornbury who carry out the legal work on an hourly rate. Your conveyancing quote will set out what you will be charged when your sale or purchase completes.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', in addition to the legal fees.

Disbursements are the costs incurred by the solicitor on your behalf. These include costs like local authority searches or ID checks.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Thornbury cost?

Thornbury conveyancing solicitor fees will be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. For example, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, e.g. a flood plain search, may be necessary.

For a standard sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance, there are absolutely no hidden costs. 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 Thornbury

When carrying out the conveyancing for the purchase of a house or flat, a Thornbury conveyancing solicitor will look into the title of the property and make their "report on title".

After making their enquiries the conveyancer will give advice and will find solutions to outstanding defects and other issues and confirm that the legal title passes to the new owner.

This article gives useful information for homebuyers who need conveyancing solicitors in Thornbury.

Your Thornbury conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether you are obtaining a mortgage from the HSBC, Platform or any other lender, before you instruct a Thornbury conveyancing solicitor it is critical that you make sure that they are on the approved solicitor panel of your mortgage lender.

Most mortgage lenders are only happy to work with a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of firms that meet strict selection criteria. If a conveyancer can't act for your mortgage lender, the lender will need an alternative law firm to carry out the legal work.

The purchaser will usually need to pay this substitute solicitor's costs and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Setbacks can result from failing to confirm your conveyancer's lender panel status.

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

Residential Property Searches (South Gloucestershire District Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') will be applied for by Thornbury conveyancing solicitors to expose any significant issues that might possibly compromise how much the property you intend to buy will be worth.

Mortgage lenders also need residential property searches to be submitted. These include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchreveals planning applications, decisions and enforcement notices for planning breaches.
Drainage & Water searchidentifies water mains and sewers. This search also addresses whether the maintenance for these is the owner's responsibility.
Environmental searchshows risks within 500 metres of the property, such as toxic chemicals in the land
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability to the local parish for repairs.

Your lawyer will make you aware if your mortgage lender wants any further searches, e.g. a tin mining search or a contaminated land report.

Property purchasers can expect to wait roughly 7 weeks for Residential property searches provided by South Gloucestershire District Council. A local search provider will be able to provide this information faster.

Planning searches

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will request an Official Copy of the Title Register from HM Land Registry, assisting with the identification of potential planning issues. These issues could include the title plan showing only very general boundaries or right of access issues.

South Gloucestershire District Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on various criteria including the number of people living at the property and the value of the home as determined by the VOA in 1991 (or 2003 in Wales). For example, for an average Tax Band E home in Thornbury, the amount payable would be £2,179 per year.

Thornbury conveyancing solicitors will inform the buyer of the property's tax band once this is confirmed by the searches.

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 £1,634.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes (although this may change as the government has second home ownership in its sights) or where the property was left empty by a bankrupt person. The Valuation Office Agency work out council tax bands for new homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band South Gloucestershire District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,189
B £1,387
C £1,585
D £1,783
E £2,179
F £2,575
G £2,971
H £3,566

Can you challenge the council tax bracket?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
4th Floor
Citypoint
Temple Gate
Bristol
BS1 6PL
Avon

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 70 council tax challenges were made. 30 were upheld and refunds awarded.

Stamp Duty on Thornbury properties

SDLT will need to be paid by the buyer on properties sold for more than £125,000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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.

Our post-completion conveyancing team use legal case management system to ensure the SDLT1 tax return is submitted to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as quickly as possible.

See table below for stamp duty examples for properties in Gloucestershire:

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £295,493 £4,774.65
Average price (detached) £435,886 £11,794.30
Average new build £344,723 £7,236.15
Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT when buying a second home. E.g. if a second home was bought for £295,493 then the stamp duty including the surcharge would be £23,639.44. .

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Thornbury

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300k.

Thornbury conveyancing solicitors should confirm an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Thornbury

New build site

It is rarely a good idea to buy a leasehold home without knowing what you are getting into. Increasing ground rents, costly and undisclosed major works and unfair developer practices are among the many traps lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser.

Erroneous leasehold advice, from an inexperienced lawyer, could have serious financial implications.

If you intend to purchase a property with a lease, a good conveyancing solicitor in Thornbury will address aspects of leasehold, e.g. :

  • sometimes ancient and arcane lease documents
  • managing agent practices
  • annual statements of account and budgets for service charges
  • plans to collectively purchase the freehold

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in Thornbury?

Building site

According to Land Registry data, 53 new build homes have been bought in Thornbury in 2018 so far. The average price for Thornbury new build property is £307,383.

The legal side of buying a new build property is more involved than any other type of conveyancing. To avoid potential problems a Thornbury conveyancing solicitor needs to be aware of local Thornbury factors and should investigate several key issues, e.g. dealing with fast exchange timeframes and handling initial Land Registry registration.

Our team of new build conveyancers deliver an impartial view of the property's legal status, scrutinising contract considerations like unfair leasehold conditions and an assessment of other risks, such as regional infrastructure plans (e.g. HS2).

Conservation areas in Gloucestershire

If you are purchasing a residential property in a conservation area in Thornbury, the property must not breach any conservation area restrictions. These constraints, referred to as Article 4 Directions, may include restrictions on the addition of boundary walls, restrictions on the addition of flues and soil vent pipes or limitations on new outbuildings.

The new owner could be ordered to pay for necessary changes to bring a property in line with current regulations, even if the previous owner was responsible for the changes.

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Thornbury's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Thornbury

Conveyancing for a property sale is less complicated than for a property purchase. With a property purchase, the onus is solely on the buyer to satisfy themselves that the house or flat is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

With a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Thornbury acting for the existing owner just answer the buyer's questions.

Why do sales fall through?

Issues, like a problem with the roof, can endanger a transaction if not dealt with promptly.

It is not recommended that you put off finding a solution and hope the buyer's solicitor won't notice, instead get legal advice and work to resolve it promptly.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold flats

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat is much more complicated than it is for a freehold home.

Thornbury conveyancing solicitors will also carry out additional work, for example writing to the landlord for a comprehensive pack of information, through to a copy of the service charge budget for the current year.

It is highly recommended that you instruct a lawyer as early as possible to reduce delays associated with leasehold property and particularly the time lost sourcing management packs.

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

CLC-regulated conveyancers can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules prevent a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale.

If you are buying or selling a Thornbury home, and a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side, you can contact a local Thornbury conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Thornbury

Whilst there are many reasons to consider remortgaging, homeowners will usually remortgage their home to get a better interest rate.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Thornbury will complete the conveyancing quickly, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when getting on to the rate you want.

The property lawyer carrying out your remortgage should also be able to act for the new mortgage provider. Our conveyancing team are on the panel for all major lenders, so no matter whether you are moving to an offset mortgage with the Halifax or to a joint mortgage with the Swansea Building Society, our remortgage team can assist.

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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