Updated: October 12, 2018

Westhoughton conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Westhoughton

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid your Westhoughton conveyancing solicitor for the legal work involved in moving home.

Are Westhoughton conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Our conveyancers work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no hidden fees, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Westhoughton who offer services on an hourly-rate basis. Your quote will set out exactly what you will be charged when your sale or purchase completes.

What are disbursements?

You must cover the cost of any 'disbursements', in addition to the solicitor's 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 Stamp Duty Land Tax or TT fees.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Westhoughton cost in total?

Westhoughton conveyancing solicitor fees should be the same as anywhere else in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, specific extra searches, such as a historic mining search, may be necessary and council search fees will vary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no hidden fees or surprises in the small print. 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 Westhoughton

As a key part of the conveyancing for the purchase of a house or flat, the Westhoughton conveyancing solicitor will examine the draft contract and investigate the legal ownership rights or 'title' of the property and report back to the purchaser and the mortgage lender (if applicable).

The buyer's solicitor will offer suggestions and advice after making their enquiries, solve outstanding issues and register the title in the new owner's name.

The following section discusses the aspects of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Westhoughton necessitating specialist legal knowledge.

Your Westhoughton conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether your mortgage is with a major lender like Bank of Ireland or a financial institution such as Secure Trust, before you appoint a Westhoughton conveyancing solicitor you need to check that they are approved by your mortgage lender.

Your solicitor may be unable to act for your mortgage lender, because some mortgage lenders are only happy to work with a selected list (known as a 'lender panel') of legal practices that meet strict criteria.

Under these circumstances, the lender will probably need an alternative solicitor firm to act in their interests, and you will then have to cover this second solicitor's costs. The additional work can mean the process takes much longer.

The conveyancing process can be seriously delayed if you fail to check your conveyancing lawyer's lender panel status.

Our solicitors are approved to act for all mortgage lenders.

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council searches and other searches

Property searches are enquiries made of public bodies by Westhoughton conveyancing solicitors to highlight issues affecting your new home.

Banks and building societies almost always need specific searches to be carried out. These include:

Local Authority (LA) searchincludes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes whether there is a certificate of compliance for replacement windows
Drainage & Water searchincludes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
Environmental searchenvironmental issues that could adversely affect the property
Chancel repair liabilitythere is a risk that some Westhoughton properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

More specific searches, such as a tin mining search or an agricultural search, may also be advised depending on the contents of the standard searches.

Buyers can expect to wait up to 3 weeks for LA searches supplied by Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council. In these circumstances, faster personal searches will be advisable.

Planning issues

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will source office copies from HMLR. This will help to identify any planning issues, for example restrictive covenants governing the use of the property or a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan.

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council Council Tax

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council calculate council tax on Westhoughton 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 Band E property in Westhoughton, the council tax payable would be £2,079 per year.

Westhoughton conveyancing solicitors will inform the purchaser of the property's band as soon as they are made aware.

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 £1,559.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or structural changes or where the property was left empty by a bankrupt person. Homes built after 1991 are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Band Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,134
B £1,323
C £1,512
D £1,701
E £2,079
F £2,457
G £2,835
H £3,402

Could you be overpaying?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
53 Manchester One
Portland Street
M1 3LD

A property owner can also apply for their property to be reassessed.

Stamp Duty on Westhoughton properties

The current SDLT threshold for residential properties is £125k. Obtaining and completing the SDLT1 return from HMRC is difficult but not impossible for a typical property purchaser. Usually, however, the form is completed by the property lawyer to avoid penalties or delays.

Quittance will complete the SDLT1 form for you at the point your purchase completes.

This table sets out SDLT for property in Greater Manchester:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £158,882 £677.64
Average price (detached) £190,751 £1,315.02
Average new build £268,317 £3,415.85
Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a higher SDLT rate of 3%, even if the property is not rented out. E.g. if a second property was bought for £158,882 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £7,944.10. .

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Westhoughton

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

Conveyancing solicitors in Westhoughton will ensure their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Westhoughton

New build site

The pitfalls associated with owning a leasehold property are a source of concern for purchasers of leasehold houses or flats. The many potential traps awaiting an uninformed buyer include:

  • ground rent multipliers
  • overpriced managing agent packs
  • marriage value issues
Poor leasehold guidance, from a property lawyer with limited leasehold experience, could have serious financial consequences.

If you intend to purchase a property with a lease, a good conveyancing solicitor in Westhoughton will address aspects of leasehold, for example reserve funds, service charges, ground rents and buildings insurance arrangements and checking the lease itself.

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in Westhoughton?

New build building site

The average sale price of Westhoughton new build homes is £268,317. 3033 brand new homes were purchased in Whitefield last year.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Westhoughton needs to be conscious of both local factors and new build-specific issues, like helping with mortgage offer extension terms and investigating road and drainage issues.

Our award-winning new build team are specialists in working to developer exchange timeframes and representing buyers to achieve the best outcome.

Conservation areas in Lancashire

Whether you are a fan of Edwardian, Victorian or Tudor-style architecture, moving to a street located in a conservation area can ensure the local character is unlikely to change. However, conservation area conditions will affect your house.

Referred to as Article 4 directions, these building controls could include:

  • Limitations on the erection of outbuildings
  • Restrictions on the addition of flues and soil vent pipes
  • Limits on the erection of outbuildings

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

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Westhoughton.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Westhoughton

The legal side of a property sale is much simpler than for a purchase. With a property purchase, the obligation is on the buyer to establish that the property can be mortgaged and is free from legal issues.

When selling, conveyancing solicitors in Westhoughton acting for the seller effectively just answer questions set by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor.

What could jeopardise the sale of your home?

Frequently occurring issues, such as not being registered at the Land Registry or not being connected to the water mains, might endanger the sale process.

Generally speaking, it is advisable for vendors to handle these issues as soon as they come to light.

Recommended reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are uncommon) is quite a lot more protracted than for a freehold house.

Leasehold complexity involves additional tasks on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Westhoughton, including obtaining an up-to-date service charge statement or details of any deed of variation.

It is recommended that the seller instruct a conveyancer as early as possible to reduce delays associated with leasehold property. Managing agents can take weeks (or months) to respond.

What if you are acting for the other side?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both parties. However, SRA rules ban the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase.

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

Local Westhoughton conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Hcb Berry & Berry Limited, 35 Market Street, Westhoughton, Bolton, BL5 3AG

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Westhoughton

The most common reason homeowners remortgage is to reduce the monthly repayments. There are a number of other reasons to think about remortgaging, including getting onto a longer fixed-rate term, or releasing capital.

You will typically be able to benefit from a better rate earlier by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Westhoughton, minimising the time taken to complete the conveyancing. With possible rate rises on the horizon, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting the mortgage rate you want.

The property lawyer handling the remortgage needs to be able to act for your new lender. Our conveyancing team are on all major UK lenders' panels, so whether you are changing to a flexible mortgage with the Bank of Scotland or to a joint mortgage with the Chelsea Building Society, we 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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