Updated: October 12, 2018

Walton On Thames conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Walton On Thames

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Walton On Thames for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

How are Walton On Thames conveyancing fees calculated?

Our solicitors work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Walton On Thames who will work on an hourly rate. Your conveyancing quote explains what fees you will need to pay when your sale or purchase completes.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

You must cover the cost of any 'disbursements', in addition to conveyancing solicitor fees.

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

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will conveyancing in Walton On Thames cost in total?

Conveyancing fees in Walton On Thames will be the same as anywhere else in the country. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, council search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. a commons registration search, may be needed.

There are no hidden fees or nasty surprises 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 average solicitors' fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Walton On Thames

In carrying out the conveyancing for a property buyer, a Walton On Thames conveyancing solicitor will carry out due diligence on the property's title and make their "report on title".

The solicitor will make recommendations following their enquiries, iron out any legal issues and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

This article considers those parts of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Walton On Thames where additional expertise is critical.

Your Walton On Thames conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Property purchasers may choose from many mortgage lenders, from a major lender such as Barclays Bank, to a niche lender like the Furness Building Society. Before choosing a Walton On Thames conveyancing solicitor, it is critical that you make sure that they can act in the interests of your chosen lender.

The majority of lenders are only happy to work with a select list (referred to as a 'panel') of solicitors or licensed conveyancers that pass strict selection criteria. If your conveyancer is unable to act for your chosen lender, the lender will probably require a different solicitor firm to complete the legal work.

The home buyer will then have to cover this alternate lawyer's costs and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Failing to check the lender panel status of your solicitor could result in serious delays.

Our conveyancing solicitors are approved members of all lender panels.

Elmbridge Borough Council searches and other searches

Searches are enquiries made by Walton On Thames conveyancing solicitors to provide information about your planned purchase.

Mortgagees also expect property searches to be carried out. These include:

Local Authority (LA) searchcovers planning applications, building control history and enforcement action against the property. The LA search also includes details of any nearby road development schemes.
Drainage & Water searchconfirms who is responsible for the upkeep of the water pipes and drainage that serve the property.
Environmental searchcovers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
Chancel repair liabilitysome Walton On Thames property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

Purchasers will be told if your mortgage lender needs any further searches, e.g. an HS2 search or a more detailed plan search.

The typical lead time for Residential property searches supplied by Elmbridge Borough Council is 5 weeks, so faster personal searches will be recommended.

Finding planning permissions

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will request the Title Register from HMLR. This will help to reveal planning issues, for example limits on the development of the property or outbuildings lying outside the boundary.

Elmbridge Borough Council Council Tax

Elmbridge Borough Council calculate council tax on Walton On Thames homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). For instance a property in the Elmbridge Borough Council area in Band C would pay £1,657 per annum.

A conveyancing solicitor in Walton On Thames will inform the purchaser of the home's tax band once they have the Local Authority search results.

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 £1,242.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or if the property is owned by a charity and is unoccupied. More recently-constructed homes are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency and allocated a council tax band.

Band Elmbridge Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,242
B £1,449
C £1,657
D £1,864
E £2,278
F £2,692
G £3,106
H £3,727

Can I challenge my council tax band?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
2nd Floor
1 Francis Grove
SW19 4DT

A homeowner can ask for their property to be reassessed. A refund may be due if the property is awarded a lower band.

Stamp Duty on Walton On Thames properties

The normal process is for the conveyancing solicitor to complete the stamp duty administration. Buyers can complete the SDLT1 themselves but it is not recommended due to the complexity of the form and because there may be penalties for underpayment.

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

With Quittance you have the peace of mind that the SDLT1 return is completed correctly and quickly when your purchase completes.

See table below for stamp duty examples for homes in Walton On Thames:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £553,187 £17,659.35
Average price (detached) £1,160,170 £59,767.00
Average new build £486,527 £14,326.35
Higher rates of stamp duty apply to buyers of second residential property in the form of an SDLT surcharge of 3%. Therefore, if a homeowner in Walton On Thames bought a second home for the average price of £553,187 the SDLT would be £44,254.96.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Walton On Thames

Since Nov 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000.

Walton On Thames conveyancing solicitors should confirm their client pays the correct amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Walton On Thames

New build site

The possible drawbacks of buying a leasehold property in England or Wales are recognised. Exponential ground rents, freeholds sold without first refusal to leaseholders and costly and undisclosed major works are but a few of the frequent complications awaiting an uninformed buyer.

Serious consequences can result from an inexperienced conveyancer's erroneous leasehold advice.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Walton On Thames will address aspects of leasehold, including :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some documents can be centuries old)
  • service charge records from the last three years
  • dealing with freeholders and managing agents
  • freeholder granted consents under the lease
  • proposed major works (Section 20 notices)

Our leasehold conveyancing solicitors will make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Walton On Thames?

Building site

The average sale price of new builds in Walton On Thames is £486,527, according to data gathered by the Land Registry. 11 brand new properties were purchased in Walton On Thames last year.

The legal side of acquiring a new build property is more involved than any other type of conveyancing. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Walton On Thames must be aware of Walton On Thames-specific issues and must look into numerous things, such as squaring developer incentives with lenders and handling initial Land Registry registration.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get an independent appraisal of the legal title of the house or apartment, with close attention paid to concerns ranging from the home's subsequent marketability to 'doubling' ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas in Surrey

Whether you are looking for a rural setting or Georgian architecture, purchasing property in a street located in a conservation area can ensure the local character is unlikely to change. However, conservation area restrictions will affect your house.

These constraints, called Article 4 Directions, could include:

  • Limits on roof terraces
  • Restrictions on dormer windows
  • Requiring consent to alter doors and guttering

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

Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Walton On Thames.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Walton On Thames

Conveyancing for a sale of a home is less demanding than for a property purchase. The buyer's conveyancer will have to carry out extensive due diligence on the property and its legal title. In contrast, conveyancing solicitors in Walton On Thames acting for the vendor essentially just gathers information relating to the property and answers the purchaser's enquiries .

Factors that could delay or endanger the sale process

Issues, like having a flying freehold or not being connected to the water mains, could prolong the conveyancing process.

Property experts will usually recommend that vendors handle any such problems as soon as they come to light.

Further reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold flats

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are uncommon) is quite a lot more difficult in comparison with a freehold house.

Walton On Thames conveyancing solicitors must usually carry out further legal work. This can involve sourcing all relevant freeholder information, through to the minutes of the last AGM (if there is a management company).

To reduce leasehold-related delays, it is highly recommended that you instruct a solicitor as soon as the decision is made to sell.

What if your conveyancing solicitors are acting for the other side?

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules restrict the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale. However, conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, can act for both parties.

If you are buying or selling a home in Walton On Thames, and we are acting for the other side, you could instruct a property solicitor firm in Walton On Thames to undertake your conveyancing.


Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Walton On Thames

The most common reason homeowners remortgage a home is to get a more affordable interest rate. There are any number of other reasons to think about remortgaging, such as consolidating loan repayments, or the existing lender having refused a payment holiday.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Walton On Thames will complete the conveyancing quickly, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

It is vital that your property lawyer can act on behalf of your new lender. Our conveyancers are on the panel for all major lenders. So whether you are moving to a 100% mortgage with RBS or to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Monmouthshire Building Society, our remortgage specialists can help.

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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