Updated: October 12, 2018

West Sussex conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in West Sussex

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

Do West Sussex conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in West Sussex will work on a price per hour basis, and other firms will work for a fixed fee ('No Move, No Fee'). Our solicitors work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis, with no nasty surprises in the small print. Your conveyancing quote will set out exactly what you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process, such as Stamp Duty or TT fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total conveyancing fees in West Sussex cost?

Conveyancing fees in West Sussex will not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, additional region-specific searches, e.g. a commons registration search, may be needed and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

With Quittance, there are no hidden fees or surprises in the small print. For standard conveyancing transactions, what we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in West Sussex

The legal work for a property buyer will require a conveyancing solicitor in West Sussex to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such issues can range from a defective title (e.g. breached restrictive covenants) to the future saleability of the property.

The purchaser's solicitor will report their findings back to the buyer and their bank or lender (if there is a mortgage), help to fix or resolve any legal issues and register the title in the new owner's name.

This article examines the types of residential property that may carry risks for people who want conveyancing solicitors in West Sussex for a purchase.

Your West Sussex conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you appoint a West Sussex conveyancing solicitor, it is essential that you check that they are on the approved solicitor panel of your chosen lender, whether you are taking out a mortgage from Lloyds Bank, Capital Home Loans or any other lender.

The majority of mortgage lenders are only prepared to work with a restricted group of legal firms that have achieved certain benchmarks. If your conveyancer is not on the panel of your chosen lender, the lender will likely require an alternative solicitor firm to act in their interests.

The home buyer will usually need to pay this second solicitor's costs, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Neglecting to check the lender panel status of your conveyancer could result in serious delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can act for all lenders.

Horsham District Council searches

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are enquiries made of public bodies by West Sussex conveyancing solicitors to give details about your new home.

Mortgage lenders almost always need specific searches to be applied for. These include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchexposes issues like road schemes that could affect the property
Environmental searchshows whether the surrounding environment is suitable for the purchaser
Drainage & Water searchconfirms who is responsible for the upkeep of the water pipes and drainage that serve the property.
Chancel repair liabilitythere is a risk that some West Sussex properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

Further searches, such as a Crossrail search or a ground stability report, may also be recommended in the standard search results.

Horsham District Council has an average delivery time of 6 weeks for Residential property searches. Your conveyancer will recommend using a faster search agent.

Planning searches

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will also order official entries from HM Land Registry. This will help to identify any issues, such as a restrictive covenant against certain alterations or discrepancies with the filed plan.

Horsham District Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by Horsham District Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. The occupier of a property in Tax Band D, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,687.

A conveyancing solicitor in West Sussex will inform the buyer of the home'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 £1,265.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. a 10% discount for second homes (although this may change as the government has second home ownership in its sights) or if the resident is living in long term residential care. The Valuation Office Agency assess council tax bandings for newly-constructed property, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Horsham District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,125
B £1,312
C £1,500
D £1,687
E £2,062
F £2,437
G £2,812
H £3,374

Could you be overpaying?

In the financial year 2016/17, 30 council tax challenges were made. 10 saw a subsequent reduction. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Strand Parade
The Boulevard
Worthing
BN12 6EA
West Sussex

Stamp Duty on West Sussex properties

The current Stamp Duty Land Tax threshold is £125,000. The purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the Stamp Duty Land Tax is correctly calculated and is paid to HMRC. This occurs once the property sale has completed.

Quittance Conveyancing's specialist post-completion team will ensure that the required SDLT1 form is completed and submitted to HMRC without delay.

This table sets out Stamp Duty Land Tax for property in West Sussex:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £374,299 £8,714.95
Average price (detached) £557,710 £17,885.50
Average new build £379,456 £8,972.80
Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT when purchasing a second home. So if a second home was bought for £374,299 then the stamp duty total will be £29,943.92.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in West Sussex

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300,000.

West Sussex conveyancing solicitors should ensure the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in West Sussex

New build site

The drawbacks associated with buying a leasehold property in the UK are recognised. The many potential traps awaiting an uninformed buyer could include:

  • unpaid service charges by the existing leaseholder
  • doubling ground rents
  • onerous covenants
Serious financial ramifications can result from an inexperienced property lawyer's bad leasehold advice.

A specialist conveyancing solicitor in West Sussex will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, including :

  • reviewing the lease itself
  • managing agent or landlord enquiries
  • current-year service charge estimates
  • freeholder plans to sell the building

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in West Sussex?

New build site

Based on HM Land Registry information, the average price for West Sussex new build properties is £379,456. 63 newly-constructed homes have been bought in West Sussex in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in West Sussex must be familiar with local West Sussex factors and the complications associated with new build, e.g. dealing with delays associated with off-plan and dealing with incomplete service connection agreements.

Our expert new build team provide an expert assessment of the legal title of the property, with a close eye on issues like onerous leasehold conditions and an assessment of other risks, such as future local development.

Conservation areas

If you are purchasing a house in a conservation area in West Sussex, the property must not breach any conservation area conditions. Called Article 4 directions, these conditions could include:

  • Conditions affecting frontal additions to the property such as a porch
  • General restrictions governing non-uniform additions or modifications
  • A prohibition on the erection of outbuildings

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

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in West Sussex

The legal process for a house sale usually requires less work than for a property purchase. The buyer's solicitor carries out a thorough investigation on your home. Conveyancing solicitors in West Sussex acting for the seller, however, simply answers the purchaser's enquiries.

What measures can you take to improve the odds of your sale going through?

Issues, such as Japanese Knotweed, can easily threaten the sale process if left unresolved.

Property specialists will usually recommend that vendors tackle such issues head on.

Recommended reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Selling a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is significantly more difficult in comparison with a freehold house.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in West Sussex will need to conduct extra work, which could include sourcing all relevant freeholder information or a copy of any required license to assign.

It is recommended that the vendor contact a solicitor as soon as the decision is made to sell to reduce leasehold-related delays.

What if Quittance is already acting for the other side?

CLC-regulated conveyancers can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA rules prevent a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale and purchase.

You could contact a local West Sussex conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancer is acting for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in West Sussex

Whilst homeowners consider remortgaging for a range of reasons, people generally remortgage their home to secure a better rate of interest.

Homeowners will typically be able to benefit from a better rate sooner with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in West Sussex, working to shorten the processing time of the legal work. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

It is vital that the property lawyer handling your remortgage can represent the new lender. Our conveyancing team are on the panel for all major UK lenders, so no matter whether you are changing to an offset mortgage with Bradford & Bingley or to a discounted-rate mortgage with the Yorkshire Bank, 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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