Updated: October 12, 2018

Wakefield conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Wakefield

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid to your Wakefield conveyancing solicitor for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

How are Wakefield conveyancing fees calculated?

We work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Wakefield who carry out the legal work on an hourly rate. Your conveyancing quote will set out all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

You must cover the cost of any 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client. These include costs like Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) or landlord's notice fees.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will conveyancing in Wakefield cost in total?

Wakefield conveyancing fees should be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, additional region-specific searches, such as utilities searches, may be needed and council search fees will vary.

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

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Wakefield

The city of Wakefield is the county administrative centre of West Yorkshire and its position on the Aire-Calder navigation helped it develop as the largest corn market outside London. Rail links to London in the mid-19th century furthered its prosperity. These links remain and the journey to Leeds takes under 20 minutes and to King's Cross just 2 hours. Wakefield is also a hotspot for sculpture culture with the award winning Hepworth Gallery in the centre and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park a short distance away in the rolling countryside to the south-west of the M1.

The city and its suburbs offer a wide range of property, from grand Georgian town houses to smaller terraced houses and semis, and prices are lower than neighbouring Leeds.

Conveyancing for home buyers

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

That said, it remains the responsibility of the Wakefield conveyancing solicitor to investigate the property, so that they can feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer, deal with any legal issues and register the new owner's title at the Land Registry.

This part of the article discusses elements of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Wakefield where a deeper understanding of the legal technicalities is essential.

Your Wakefield conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before selecting a conveyancing solicitor in Wakefield, it is very important that you make sure that they are on the approved panel of your chosen lender, whether you are obtaining a mortgage from the Dudley Building Society, RBS or any other lender.

Many lenders will only accept a restricted group of legal practices that pass strict selection criteria. If a solicitor is not on the panel of your chosen lender, the lender will require a different firm to complete the legal work.

The home buyer will usually need to pay this alternate solicitor's costs and significant delays to your move could occur.

Your purchase could be threatened by failing to confirm your conveyancer's lender panel status.

Our solicitors are on the panel of all mortgage providers.

Searches (Wakefield City Metropolitan District Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are enquiries made of government bodies by Wakefield conveyancing solicitors to help uncover relevant information about the home you want to buy.

Banks and building societies also usually require property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') to be purchased. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - reveals issues like whether the adjoining road and pavement are publicly maintained
  • Environmental search - shows risks within 500 metres of the property, such as toxic chemicals in the land
  • Drainage & Water search - describes water mains and sewers, and confirms if these are privately maintained
  • Chancel repair liability - some Wakefield property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

Buyers will be informed if your mortgage lender insists on any more searches, e.g. a highways authority search or a geological search.

Wakefield City Metropolitan District Council has an approximate processing time of 3 weeks for searches, so faster personal (as opposed to official) searches will be recommended.

Planning searches

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor also retrieves an 'Official Copy of the Title Register' from the Land Registry. This will help to reveal any planning issues, for example the breach of a restrictive covenant or discrepancies with the filed plan.

Wakefield City Metropolitan District Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Wakefield will pay to Wakefield City Metropolitan District Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. The occupier of a property in Band D, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,590.

Conveyancing solicitors in Wakefield will inform a purchaser of the property's tax band once this is confirmed by the searches.

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 £1,193.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or structural changes or if the property is left empty by someone receiving medical treatment. Homes built after 1991 are assessed and allocated a council tax band by the Valuation Office Agency.

Band Wakefield City Metropolitan District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,060
B £1,237
C £1,413
D £1,590
E £1,943
F £2,297
G £2,650
H £3,180

Can you challenge the council tax bracket?

In 2016/17, 40 council tax challenges were made. 20 were approved and the tax was reduced. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Castle House
31 Lisbon St
Leeds
LS1 4DR
West Yorkshire

Stamp Duty on Wakefield properties

When purchasing a home, stamp duty will probably need to be paid if the property is valued at over £125,000. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the SDLT is correctly calculated and is paid to HMRC. This occurs once the property sale has completed.

Quittance's case management system ensures that the convoluted SDLT1 form is filed online to reduce delays and to avoid late-filing penalties.

This table sets out Stamp Duty Land Tax for typical property in Wakefield:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty
Average price £159,603 £692.06
Average price (detached) £257,222 £2,861.10
Average new build £263,124 £3,156.20

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Wakefield

Since Nov 2017, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on residential properties valued over £300,000. If you already own another home or share in a home (including outside the UK)you will be subject to an SDLT surcharge of 3%. E.g. if a second property was bought for £159,603 then the stamp duty including the surcharge would be £7,980.15. .

Conveyancing solicitors in Wakefield should confirm their client pays the correct amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Wakefield

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold house or flat is not as straightforward as buying a freehold property. The numerous common problems lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser could include increasing ground rents and marriage value issues.

Serious financial ramifications can result from a less-experienced conveyancer's inaccurate leasehold advice.

A expert conveyancing solicitor in Wakefield will consider potential leasehold issues, for example :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some documents can be centuries old)
  • service charge records from the last three years
  • absent freeholders
  • ground rent apportionments

Ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease with Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Wakefield?

House being built

The average price for Wakefield new build homes is £263,124, according to data sourced by Her Majesty's Land Registry. 39 new build homes have been bought in Wakefield in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Wakefield will need to be aware of regional considerations and new build's additional complexities, e.g. dealing with lender conditions and administering Help to Buy purchases.

Our expert new build team provide an accurate and truly independent assessment of the legal title of the property, and in particular concerns like unreasonable leasehold terms and sharply increasing ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

West Yorkshire Conservation areas

Whether you are planning to buy an 18th century stone cottage or a Tudor home, if the property is in a designated conservation area, your plans to alter the property might not be allowed by Wakefield City Metropolitan District Council.

These constraints may include anything from restrictions affecting frontal additions to the property such as a porch, to restrictions preventing the addition of new access.

If a property is in breach, the owner could be required to pay for the property to be changed back to the state it was in before the recent alterations, even if the changes were made by the previous owner.

Wakefield conservation areas include Normanton, Chapelthorpe and The Mount. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Wakefield.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Wakefield

The legal side of a property sale is less demanding than for a purchase. During the sale of a house or flat, the responsibility is on the buyer to satisfy themselves that the house or flat is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

Conversely, with a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Wakefield acting for the person selling for the most part just answer the buyer's solicitor's formal enquiries.

What could go wrong?

Common obstacles, like having previously suffered from a flood event or excessive service charges, can easily jeopardise your move.

Don't put off finding a solution in the hope that any issues won't be spotted - talk to a professional instead, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution at the earliest stage.

Recommended reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat or house is significantly more specialised than for a freehold property.

Wakefield conveyancing solicitors will also perform extra work, for example approaching the managing company for managing agent information, through to a copy of the buildings insurance for the common parts.

It is recommended that the vendor contact a property lawyer as soon as the decision is made to sell to reduce delays associated with leasehold property and particularly the time lost sourcing management packs.

What if Quittance is acting for the other side?

SRA rules restrict the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale. A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both sides.

If you are buying or selling a house or flat in Wakefield, and a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side, you can contact a property solicitor firm in Wakefield to handle your legal work.

Local Wakefield conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Lawsons Solicitors, 2nd Floor, Central Buildings, 13 The Bull Ring, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 1HB
  • Catteralls, 15 King Street, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 2SL
  • GM Wilson Solicitors Limited, 1 Crown Court, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 2SU
  • Liddy's Solicitors Limited, 2 King Street, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 2SQ
  • Kenyon Son & Craddock In Association With Henshaw Pratt, 32 Cheapside, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 2TF

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Wakefield

People remortgage for a number of reasons, including borrowing more to help pay for an extension, or getting onto a longer fixed-rate term. The main reason, however, is to get a more attractive interest rate.

You would typically benefit from a better rate earlier with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Wakefield. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates uncertain, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting the mortgage rate you want.

A property lawyer will act for both you and the bank or building society to make sure the interests of the lender 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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