Updated: October 12, 2018

Totton conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Totton

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Totton for the legal work involved in moving home.

Do Totton conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis with no hidden costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Totton who carry out the legal work on a cost per hour basis. Your quote will explain exactly what you will need to pay when your sale or purchase completes.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

In addition to conveyancing solicitor fees you will also need to budget 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 office copies and title plans or property searches.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Totton cost?

While conveyancing fees in Totton will be the same as anywhere else in the country, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, Local Authority Search fees can vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. a commons registration search, may be needed.

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

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Totton

"Caveat emptor", or "buyer beware", was the legal principle of property law in England and Wales. This maxim no longer applies, however, the buyer still will need to investigate their intended purchase.

A conveyancing solicitor in Totton will make recommendations once their enquiries are complete, offer practical solutions and ensure the title is transferred to the new owner.

The following section discusses the aspects of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Totton that demand specialist knowledge.

Your Totton conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you select a conveyancing solicitor in Totton, it is very important that you make sure that they are on the panel of your mortgage lender, whether you are getting a mortgage from the Co-operative Bank, the Swansea Building Society or any other lender.

A lot of banks and building societies will only accept a restricted panel of law firms. If your conveyancer cannot act for your mortgage lender, the lender will probably need an alternative law firm to complete the legal work.

You will be expected to pay this second solicitor's fees, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Neglecting to check your solicitor's lender panel status can result in serious delays.

Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel of all banks and other lenders.

Residential Property Searches (New Forest District Council)

Searches are enquiries made of various authorities by Totton conveyancing solicitors to identify issues affecting your planned purchase. They include:

  • Local Authority search - exposes issues like road schemes 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 - identifies risks within 500 metres of the property, including flooding subsidence. The search will also reveal nearby landfill sites and contaminated land.
  • Chancel repair liability - there is a risk that some Totton properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

Buyers will be informed if your chosen lender requires any more searches, for example an HS2 search or a more detailed environmental report.

The approximate turnaround time for Residential property searches ordered from New Forest District Council is 8 weeks. Your conveyancer will alternatively recommend using a faster search agent.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will obtain official entries from HMLR. This will help to expose planning issues, for example outbuildings missing from the title plan or rights or restrictions on how the property may be used.

New Forest District Council Council Tax

New Forest District Council calculate your council tax based on a variety of factors such as the size and character of the home and the assessed value of the property in April 1991. For instance the occupier of a Valuation Band D house in the New Forest District Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,694.

Totton conveyancing solicitors will inform a buyer of the property's band once they are themselves notified.

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 £1,270.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or if the property is left empty by someone receiving medical treatment. A house or flat built after 1991 is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Band New Forest District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,129
B £1,317
C £1,506
D £1,694
E £2,070
F £2,447
G £2,823
H £3,388

Can I challenge my valuation?

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 70 council tax challenges were made. 20 saw a subsequent reduction. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Overline House
Central Station
Blechynden Terrace
SO15 1GW

Stamp Duty on Totton 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.

The threshold for stamp duty for a property is £125k.

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

See stamp duty examples for properties in Hampshire:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £358,323 £7,916.15
Average price (detached) £531,555 £16,577.75
Average new build £419,442 £10,972.10

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Totton

Since 11/17, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300k. Following the recent budget statement, second home buyers have had to pay a surcharge of 3%. Therefore, if a homeowner in Totton bought a second property for the average price of £358,323 the SDLT would be £28,665.84.

Conveyancing solicitors in Totton will ensure the right amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Totton

New build site

It is thought that over 100,000 homeowners in England are trapped by property leases with problematic terms. There is a wide range of sometimes obscure legal issues that may be lying in wait for an uninformed buyer, including:

  • spiralling ground rents
  • costly and undisclosed major works
  • marriage value issues
Erroneous leasehold advice, from a conveyancing solicitor who has only ever handled freehold transactions, could lead to serious consequences.

If you are planning to purchase a leasehold home, a good conveyancing solicitor in Totton will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, including dealing with landlords, reviewing the lease itself (many leases are decades old) and unexpired lease terms.

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property with our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Totton?

House under construction

Based on local data compiled by HMLR, the average cost of Totton new build properties is £419,442. 106 new build properties have been bought in Totton in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Totton will need to be aware of local issues and new build-specific issues, including administering Help to Buy purchases and dealing with delays associated with off-plan.

Our team of new build conveyancers deliver a specialist assessment of the legal status of the property, looking out for concerns like the home's future mortgageability and possible freehold acquisition traps.

Conservation areas in Hampshire

If you are intending to buy a home in a conservation area in Totton, the property must be compliant with any local conservation area constraints. These constraints can include anything from restrictions on the removal of front boundary walls, to restrictions on joinery colour choices.

If a property is in breach, you could be instructed (as the new owner) to pay for returning the property to a compliant state, even where the alterations were made by the previous owner.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Totton

The legal side of a sale of a home is much easier than for a property purchase. For a house purchase, the burden is solely on the buyer to satisfy themselves that the title of the property does not have any legal issues.

Conversely, with a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Totton acting for the existing owner just answer the buyer's solicitor's questions.

What should you do to help your sale go through?

Homes can face many possible difficulties (for example not being connected to the water mains) that have the capacity to prolong the conveyancing process for weeks.

It is better not to hide from the issue, waiting to see if the problem is discovered - a better course of action will be to speak to an expert and attempt to resolve it proactively.

Further reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The legal work for a leasehold flat (houses are rarely leasehold) is a great deal more complex in comparison with a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Totton will also need to carry out additional work, which could include obtaining an up-to-date service charge statement, through to a copy of the lease.

So as to resolve any leasehold-related difficulties sooner, it is highly recommended that the vendor contact a solicitor as early in the process as possible, potentially before putting the property on the market,.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both the buyer and the seller of the same home?

SRA rules restrict the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase. CLC-regulated conveyancers, however, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

You could contact a property solicitor firm in Totton to undertake your conveyancing, if one of our conveyancing solicitors is carrying out the legal work for the other side.

Local Totton conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Cgm Hampshire Limited, 7 Salisbury Road, Totton, Southampton, SO40 3HW
  • Kirklands Solicitors LLP, 26/28 Commercial Road, Totton, Southampton, Hampshire, SO40 3BY
  • Footner & Ewing LLP, 14a Water Lane, Totton, Southampton, SO40 3ZB
  • Peter Clarke Solicitors LLP, 63 Commercial Road, Totton, Southampton, Hampshire, SO40 3AH
  • The Waring Partnership LLP, 15 Water Lane, Totton, Southampton, Hampshire, SO40 3DF

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Totton

Homeowners remortgage for a number of reasons, including releasing capital to pay off other debts, or moving from a tracker to a fixed-rate. The most common reason, however, is to secure a preferential rate.

You would typically benefit from a better rate earlier by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Totton. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to securing the rate you want.

A property lawyer will represent both you and your new bank or building society to confirm the lender's interests are safeguarded.

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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