Updated: October 12, 2018

Widnes conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Widnes

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the costs you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Widnes for handling the legal work for your move.

Do Widnes conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

We work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis with no hidden extras, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Widnes who offer services on a price per hour basis. Your quote will set out exactly what you will be charged when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

You must cover the cost of any 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client. These include costs like Stamp Duty Land Tax or indemnity insurance.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total Widnes solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Widnes conveyancing fees will be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. 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, what we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden fees or nasty surprises with Quittance. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Widnes

Caveat emptor, (Latin for "let the buyer beware"), was a fundamental principle of property law in England and Wales. After the introduction of the Consumer Trading Regulations (CPR), this rule no longer applies. However, a purchaser must still investigate their intended purchase.

The conveyancing solicitor in Widnes will offer professional advice after making their enquiries, iron out any legal issues and register the new owner's title at the Land Registry.

This part of the article discusses the kinds of residential property that may be of interest to buyers looking for conveyancing solicitors in Widnes.

Your Widnes conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a niche mortgage lender like DB UK Bank or a major lender such as the Scottish Building Society, before choosing a conveyancing solicitor in Widnes it is paramount that you confirm that they are on the panel of your mortgage lender.

Your solicitor may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your mortgage lender, because some lenders are only happy to work with a selected list (their 'panel') of legal practices that meet strict selection criteria.

In this case, the lender will likely require an alternative legal firm to complete the legal work, and you will be expected to pay this second solicitor's fees. Adding another solicitor to the process can delay the whole purchase.

Neglecting to check your conveyancing lawyer's lender panel status could mean significant delays.

Our conveyancing solicitors can act for all lenders.

Conveyancing Searches (Halton Borough Council)

Residential property searches are enquiries made of public bodies by Widnes conveyancing solicitors to identify information and potential issues affecting the property being purchased. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - includes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes whether there are any grants available
  • Environmental search - reveals contaminated land, landfill sites and flooding or subsidence within 500m of the property.
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
  • Chancel repair liability - some Widnes property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

More specialised searches, such as an HS2 search or a more detailed environmental report, may also be advised subject to the outcome of the initial searches.

The estimated delivery time for Residential property searches from Halton Borough Council is 10 weeks, so it will be worthwhile to use a quicker private search company.

Planning permissions

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will source official entries from the Land Registry, helping to evidence planning issues. These issues could include the title plan showing only very general boundaries or neighbours' rights of access.

Halton Borough Council Council Tax

Halton Borough Council calculate council tax on Widnes homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). For example, a home in the Halton Borough Council area in Valuation Band B would pay £1,270 per annum.

A conveyancing solicitor in Widnes will inform the buyer of the home's council tax band as soon as they are made aware.

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 £953.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or if an occupier is a student nurse.

Band Halton Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,089
B £1,270
C £1,452
D £1,633
E £1,996
F £2,359
G £2,722
H £3,266

Are you paying more than you should?

Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Redgrave Court
Merton Road
Liverpool
L20 7HS
Merseyside

In 2016/17, 20 council tax challenges were made. 10 resulted in a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Widnes properties

If the purchase price of the residential property you intend to buy is over the £125,000 threshold, you must pay SDLT.

Steep fines await those who miss the stamp duty payment deadline.

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

See table below for stamp duty examples for properties in Widnes:

  Average selling price (2017) SDLT
Average price £167,863 £857.26
Average price (detached) £265,618 £3,280.90
Average new build £226,903 £2,038.06

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Widnes

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300k. Following a change in April 2016, a 3% surcharge is applied for purchases of additional property. So if a second home was bought for £167,863 then the stamp duty total will be £8,393.15.

Widnes conveyancing solicitors will confirm the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Widnes

New build site

Buying a leasehold home without being aware of the facts can be costly. The many potential traps awaiting the unsuspecting purchaser can include:

  • spiralling ground rents
  • short leases
  • undisclosed major works
  • unfair developer practices
Serious consequences can result from a solicitor's failure to advise you correctly regarding your planned leasehold purchase.

If you are planning to buy a property with a lease, a expert conveyancing solicitor in Widnes will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, for example :

  • reviewing the lease itself
  • managing agent practices
  • ground rents and service charges
  • block management regulations that sit outside the lease
  • insurance covenants

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in Widnes?

Building site

133 newly-constructed homes were purchased in Widnes last year, based on information from HMLR. The average sale price of Widnes new build properties is £226,903.

Buying a new build home requires specialist knowledge, compared to 'standard conveyancing'. Therefore a Widnes conveyancing solicitor must be aware of both region-specific considerations and also must look into numerous things, including handling structural guarantees and verifying rights of easements.

Our highly qualified new build team are experts in working to developer exchange timeframes and representing buyers to achieve the best outcome.

Conservation areas in Cheshire

Purchasing property in a street located in a conservation area can ensure the local character is unlikely to change. However, conservation area constraints will affect your house.

These building controls, called Article 4 Directions, may include restrictions on the use of PVC or aluminium windows, restrictions on joinery colour choices or limitations on new outbuildings.

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 was responsible for the changes.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Widnes

The conveyancing process on a sale of a house or flat is much simpler than when buying. The purchaser will have to carry out due diligence on the property and its legal title. Conveyancing solicitors in Widnes acting for the seller mostly just answers the buyer's questions.

What could put the sale process at risk?

Common obstacles, like a complex 'Green Deal' or restrictions on how you can use the property, can seriously frustrate your home move.

Don't put off finding a solution in the hope that any issues won't be spotted - a better course of action will be to talk to a professional and attempt to resolve it as soon as you can.

Useful reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold flats

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat is significantly more complicated than for a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Widnes must usually carry out further legal work, and this could include obtaining management company information, through to reserve fund details.

It is highly recommended that the seller instructs a leasehold specialist as early in the process as possible, and preferably before going on the market, to ensure the legal technicalities are handled correctly.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both parties?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both sides. However, SRA regulations restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale.

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

Local Widnes conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Fd Law Limited, First Floor, Old Town Hall, Victoria Square, Widnes, Cheshire, WA8 7QZ
  • Fd Law Limited, Westminster House, 32 Widnes Road, Widnes, Cheshire, WA8 6AS
  • Forster Dean Limited, Westminster House, 32/34 Widnes Road, Widnes, Cheshire, WA8 6AS
  • Jones Robertson, 1 Frederick Street, Widnes, Cheshire, WA8 6PF

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Widnes

Reducing monthly repayments by finding a better rate is the main reason that homeowners remortgage. There are other reasons, including releasing funds to help kids get on the property ladder, or fixing the mortgage on a new discounted rate.

Homeowners can benefit from a better rate sooner with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Widnes. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

It is key that the property lawyer undertaking the legal work can act on behalf of your chosen mortgage lender. Our conveyancing team are panel members of all major banks and building societies. So no matter whether you are switching to a variable-rate with the Nationwide Building Society or to a variable-rate mortgage with the Leeds 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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