Updated: October 12, 2018

West Midlands conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in West Midlands

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the costs you pay to conveyancing solicitors in West Midlands for the legal work involved in moving home.

Are West Midlands conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in West Midlands offer services on a cost per hour basis, while other property lawyers will work for a fixed fee (known as 'No Move, No Fee'). Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis, with no hidden fees. Your quote will set out what you will pay when your house or flat sale completes.

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 the third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process, such as local authority searches or identity verification checks.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total West Midlands solicitor conveyancing fees be?

West Midlands conveyancing fees will not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. As examples, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, such as a flooding search, may be necessary.

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

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the average solicitors' fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in West Midlands

When carrying out the conveyancing for a home purchase, a West Midlands conveyancing solicitor will carry out due diligence on the tenure and investigate the property's title and report back to the buyer and the lender.

After making their enquiries the lawyer will give advice and will deal with any legal issues and register the title in the new owner's name.

This section of the article examines those parts of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in West Midlands that warrant specialised skills.

Your West Midlands conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Homebuyers have a wide selection of lenders available, from a niche lender like Pepper Homeloans, to a large lender such as the HSBC. Before choosing a conveyancing solicitor in West Midlands, whoever you choose, you must confirm that they can represent your chosen lender.

Quite a few banks and building societies only accept a restricted panel of legal practices. If a solicitor is unable to act for your chosen lender, the lender will likely require a second law firm to complete the legal work.

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

Failing to confirm the lender panel membership of your conveyancer can result in significant delays.

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

Birmingham City Council searches and other searches

Residential property searches are submitted by West Midlands conveyancing solicitors to expose problems that might possibly compromise how much the property you are purchasing will be worth.

These searches include the local authority (LA) search, drainage & water search, environmental search and chancel repair liability.

Your lawyer will notify you if your lender wants any more searches, e.g. an HS2 search or a Forestry Commission search.

The average lead time for Residential property searches obtained from Birmingham City Council is 17 weeks. Faster personal searches (as opposed to official LA searches) will therefore be recommended.

Finding planning permissions

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will request official entries from HM Land Registry. This will help to highlight potential planning issues, such as discrepancies with the filed plan or limits on the development of the property.

Birmingham City Council Council Tax

Birmingham City Council calculate council tax on West Midlands homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). For example, for an average Valuation Band C house in West Midlands, the tax would be £1,342 per year.

West Midlands conveyancing solicitors will inform a purchaser of the property's band after 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 £1,007.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. a 10% discount for second homes or properties awaiting grant of probate. A house or flat constructed after 1991 is assessed and given a council tax band by the Valuation Office Agency.

Band Birmingham City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,007
B £1,175
C £1,342
D £1,510
E £1,846
F £2,181
G £2,517
H £3,020

Can I dispute my council tax rate?

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. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
2 Broadway
Broad Street
Birmingham
B15 1BG
West Midlands

Stamp Duty on West Midlands properties

The normal process is for the conveyancing solicitor to complete the Stamp Duty Land Tax administration. Buyers can complete the SDLT1 themselves but it is not recommended due to the complexity of the form.

With some exceptions, if you buy a property over the £125k threshold you will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax.

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

See table below for Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for properties in West Midlands:

  Average selling price (2017) SDLT
Average price £194,979 £1,399.58
Average price (detached) £344,985 £7,249.25
Average new build £228,340 £2,066.80

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in West Midlands

As from November 2017, first-time buyers will not have to pay any stamp duty if the purchase price is below £300k. If you are buying a second home for in excess of £40,000 then you will have to pay a surcharge of 3%. E.g. if a second home was bought for £194,979 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £9,748.95. .

West Midlands conveyancing solicitors should confirm an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in West Midlands

New build site

Buying a leasehold property if you are unaware of the implications can be costly. The many potential problems lying in wait for an uninformed buyer can include exponential ground rents, unfair clauses in the lease and unreasonable managing agent fees.

Poor leasehold guidance, from a solicitor with little specialist experience, could have serious financial consequences.

If you are planning to purchase a house or flat with a lease, a good conveyancing solicitor in West Midlands will consider possible leasehold issues, e.g. short leases, current-year service charge estimates and checking the lease itself.

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in West Midlands?

Building site

The average sale price of West Midlands new build homes is £178,008, according to local information gathered by HM Land Registry. 237 brand new properties have been bought in West Midlands in 2018 so far.

Buying a new build property is generally more complex than 'standard conveyancing'. To avoid potential problems a conveyancing solicitor in West Midlands must be mindful of local considerations and should consider a range of factors, such as squaring developer incentives with lenders and confirming Section 38 agreements.

Our team of new build conveyancers specialise in new build purchases and meeting short developer deadlines.

Conservation areas

Moving to a conservation area should mean that the street's character will not drastically alter. However, conservation area constraints will affect your residential property.

These restrictions, called Article 4 Directions, could include a wide range of constraints from restrictions on the addition of cladding, to restrictions on replacing windows.

The local authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing a flue.

Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in West Midlands.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in West Midlands

Conveyancing for a property sale is generally simpler than when buying. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor conducts a full legal review on the legal title of your home, whereas conveyancing solicitors in West Midlands acting for the seller essentially just collates information and answers the purchaser's enquiries .

What could put the sale process at risk?

Issues, like where the property differs from the title plan, might endanger the sale process if left unresolved.

It is generally advisable that sellers handle any such problems as soon as they come to light.

Recommended reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold flats

The legal work for a leasehold property is a great deal more protracted than it is for a freehold home.

Conveyancing solicitors in West Midlands will also perform extra work, including getting an up-to-date service charge statement, through to details of the length of leases of other flats in the block.

Given the complexities of leasehold property, it is recommended that you instruct a leasehold-specialist lawyer as soon as the property is marketed, if not before,.

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

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase. However, conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, can act for both parties.

You may wish to contact a law firm in West Midlands to undertake your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is carrying out the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in West Midlands

Although there are many reasons to remortgage, homeowners will usually remortgage to secure a better rate of interest.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in West Midlands can reduce the remortgage processing time, and move you to the better rate sooner. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting the mortgage rate you want.

Your property lawyer needs to be able to act for the new bank or building society. Our conveyancing team are on all major lenders' panels. So whether you are changing to a fixed-rate mortgage with Santander or to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Barnsley 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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