Updated: October 12, 2018

West Wickham conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in West Wickham

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

How are West Wickham conveyancing fees calculated?

Some conveyancing solicitors in West Wickham will work on an hourly-rate basis. We work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee'), with no unexpected, additional costs. Your quote will set out all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your sale or purchase completes.

What are disbursements?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client. These include costs like bankruptcy checks or identity verification checks.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

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

Although conveyancing fees in West Wickham will be the same as anywhere else in the country, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, council search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. a historic mining search, may be needed.

For a standard home sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. With Quittance, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in West Wickham

The legal work for a homebuyer requires the conveyancing solicitor in West Wickham to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such issues can range from problems with the property's title (e.g. no 'absolute' title) to a boundary dispute affecting the future saleability of the property.

The buyer's solicitor will report their findings back to the buyer and their bank or lender (if there is a mortgage), solve outstanding issues and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

This section of the article examines those residential property types that carry additional risk for people who want conveyancing solicitors in West Wickham for a purchase.

Your West Wickham conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before appointing a conveyancing solicitor in West Wickham, it is paramount that you confirm that they are on the approved panel of your lender, whether you are getting a mortgage from TSB, Secure Trust or any other lender.

The majority of lenders only accept a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of firms that meet stringent standards. If a conveyancer cannot act for your lender, the lender will probably need a second law firm to complete the legal work.

You will be expected to pay this second solicitor's fees, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Delays can result from failing to check your conveyancing solicitor's lender panel status.

Our conveyancing solicitors can act for all banks and building societies.

South Cambridgeshire Council searches

Property searches will be applied for by West Wickham conveyancing solicitors to unearth issues that might potentially impact the value of the property you are buying. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchincludes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes whether there is a certificate of lawfulness of use
Environmental searchcovers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
Drainage & Water searchidentifies water mains and sewers. This search also addresses whether the maintenance for these is the owner's responsibility.
Chancel repair liabilityinsurance is arranged to protect the buyer against any liability for local parish church repairs.

You will be made aware if your mortgage lender requires any further searches, e.g. a highways search or a Forestry Commission search.

South Cambridgeshire Council has a usual processing time of 6 weeks for conveyancing searches. A private search company will be able to provide this information sooner.

Planning documents

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be obtained from the Land Registry by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor, assisting with the identification of any planning issues. These issues could include a restrictive covenant against certain alterations or errors on the title plan.

South Cambridgeshire Council Tax

South Cambridgeshire calculate your council tax based on various criteria including the square footage of the property and the value of the property. For example, the occupier of a Tax Band E house in the South Cambridgeshire area would pay annual council tax of £2,133.

West Wickham conveyancing solicitors will inform the purchaser of the property's band after this is confirmed by the searches.

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 reduces the tax due to 75% which would equal £1,600.

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 resident is living in long term residential care.

Band South Cambridgeshire Tax (2018)
A £1,164
B £1,358
C £1,552
D £1,746
E £2,133
F £2,521
G £2,909
H £3,491

Is it possible to appeal?

The Valuation Office Agency should reassess a property's band on request. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Eastbrook
Shaftesbury Rd
Cambridge
CB2 8DU
Cambridgeshire

Stamp Duty on West Wickham properties

The current stamp duty threshold for residential properties is £125,000. SDLT is paid to HMRC and the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the tax return process is carried out.

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

See SDLT examples for homes in West Wickham:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £552,963 £17,648.15
Average price (detached) £765,883 £28,294.15
Average new build - -

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in West Wickham

Since 11/17, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on residential properties valued over £300,000. Following the autumn budget statement, second home buyers have had to pay a 3% surcharge. So if a second home was bought for £552,963 then the SDLT total will be £44,237.04.

Conveyancing solicitors in West Wickham will ensure an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in West Wickham

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold home can be challenging when compared to purchasing a freehold home. The many potential complications lying in wait for an uninformed buyer could include unreasonable managing agent fees and exponential ground rents.

Bad or incomplete leasehold advice, from an inexperienced lawyer, can have costly, long-term consequences.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in West Wickham will consider potential leasehold issues, e.g. :

  • reviewing the lease
  • any recent demands for service charges and ground rent
  • dealing with freeholders and managing agents
  • proposed major works (Section 20 notices)

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase - Get in touch with our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377 today.

Buying a 'New Build' property in West Wickham?

House under construction

Based on data collated by the HM Land Registry, the average price for new builds in West Wickham is -. - new build homes -.

Acquiring a new build requires more technical knowledge than 'standard conveyancing'. To avoid potential problems a conveyancing solicitor in West Wickham must be mindful of local issues and should consider a range of factors, including checking the suitability of new build insurance and administering Help to Buy purchases.

Our award-winning team of new build conveyancers are specialists in representing buyers to achieve the best outcome and meeting short developer deadlines.

Cambridgeshire Conservation areas

Whether you are purchasing a character cottage or an Edwardian house, if the home is in an officially designated conservation area, your plans to develop the home may not be permitted by South Cambridgeshire.

Referred to as Article 4 directions, these constraints could include:

  • Restrictions on replacing windows
  • Restrictions preventing the addition of new access
  • Restrictions on side or two-storey extensions

The new owner could be ordered to pay for necessary changes to bring a property in line with current regulations, even if the previous owner carried out the alterations.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in West Wickham

The conveyancing process on a house sale is much easier than when buying. With a purchase, the principle of 'buyer beware' means that the onus is on the buyer to make sure that the property they are purchasing does not have any legal issues.

On the other side of the transaction, conveyancing solicitors in West Wickham acting for the seller need only respond to the purchaser's enquiries.

Why do sales fall through?

A property will frequently have a broad spectrum of problems (such as excessive service charges or an issue with noisy neighbours) that can frustrate the sale conveyancing process.

Property experts will usually advise to vendors that they handle such issues without delay.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The legal work for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are uncommon) is significantly more complicated than for a freehold house.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in West Wickham must carry out additional tasks. This can involve sourcing an up-to-date service charge statement, through to the minutes of the last AGM (if there is a management company).

It is recommended that you instruct a leasehold-specialist lawyer as soon as possible, ideally before putting the property on the market, to reduce delays.

What if Quittance is already acting for the other side?

SRA rules restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase. A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both sides.

If you are buying or selling a property in West Wickham, and a Quittance conveyancer is carrying out the legal work for the other side, you may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in West Wickham to undertake your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in West Wickham

Whilst homeowners consider remortgaging for a range of reasons, homeowners generally remortgage to secure a lower interest rate.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in West Wickham can reduce the remortgage processing time, 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 be a critical factor in securing your preferred rate.

Your property lawyer should also be able to act for your chosen bank or building society. Our conveyancers are on all major lenders' panels, so no matter whether you are switching to a fixed-rate mortgage with the HSBC or to a long-term fixed mortgage with the Chelsea 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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