Updated: October 12, 2018

Witham conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Witham

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay conveyancing solicitors in Witham for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

Are Witham conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Witham carry out the legal work on a cost per hour basis, whereas others work on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee'). Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis, with no hidden costs. Your quote will set out what you will pay when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

In addition to conveyancing solicitor fees you will also have to pay for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are fees that a property lawyer must pay to other companies during the process of buying or selling your home. These include costs like Stamp Duty Land Tax or TT fees.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will the total Witham solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Although conveyancing fees in Witham will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. For example, Local Authority Search fees can vary and specific extra searches, e.g. utilities searches, may be necessary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance, there are no hidden costs or nasty surprises. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were substantially lower than the average solicitors' fees, and their service was first-rate

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Witham

"Caveat emptor", or "buyer beware", was the legal principle of English property law. After the introduction of the Consumer Trading Regulations (CPR), this rule no longer applies. However, it remains the responsibility of a homebuyer and their solicitor to investigate their intended purchase.

A Witham conveyancing solicitor will offer professional advice once their enquiries are complete, assist in resolving any issues and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

The following examines those residential property types which could be of concern to homebuyers who need conveyancing solicitors in Witham.

Your Witham conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before choosing a conveyancing solicitor in Witham, you must confirm that they are approved by your chosen lender, whether you are getting a mortgage from Scottish Widows, the Scottish Building Society or any other lender.

The majority of mortgage lenders only accept a restricted group of legal firms. If a solicitor cannot act for your chosen lender, the lender will likely need a different law firm to carry out the legal work.

The borrower will be expected to pay this alternative solicitor's costs and significant delays to your move could occur.

Failing to confirm your property lawyer's lender panel status can create problems and delays.

Our solicitors can act on behalf of all mortgage providers.

Residential Property Searches (Braintree District Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are carried out by Witham conveyancing solicitors to unearth any broader issues that could possibly affect how much the property you intend to buy is worth.

Mortgage lenders also need certain searches to be obtained. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - includes the LLC1 Local Land Charge Register and CON29 Enquiry Form
  • Environmental search - shows whether the surrounding environment is suitable for the purchaser
  • Drainage & Water search - describes water mains and sewers, and confirms if these are privately maintained
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Witham properties for local parish repairs.

More specific searches, such as an HS2 search or an agricultural search, may also be referred to in the initial LA and Environmental searches.

The typical processing time for LA searches provided by Braintree District Council is 9 weeks. A local search provider will be able to provide this information faster.

Planning issues

Official Entries will also be obtained by your conveyancing solicitor. This helps to find any planning issues, such as errors on the title plan or restrictions that limit alterations.

Braintree District Council Council Tax

Braintree District Council calculate your council tax based on a variety of factors such as the layout of the property and the value of the property. E.g. for an average Tax Band C home in Witham, the council tax payable would be £1,489.

Conveyancing solicitors in Witham will inform the buyer of the property's band once they have the Local Authority search results.

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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £1,117.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or for foreign language students.

Band Braintree District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,117
B £1,303
C £1,489
D £1,675
E £2,048
F £2,420
G £2,792
H £3,351

Can I challenge the council tax banding?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
London House
New London Rd
Chelmsford
CM2 0QL
Essex

In the financial year 2016/17, 50 council tax challenges were made, of which 30 were upheld and the tax was reduced.

Stamp Duty on Witham properties

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and HM Revenue & Customs fines those who delay in completing and returning it. The threshold for Stamp Duty Land Tax for a property is £125,000.

Quittance Conveyancing is able to administer the Stamp Duty Land Tax process faster and more efficiently than ever, using integrated online systems.

This table sets out stamp duty for typical property in Witham:

  Average selling price (2017) SDLT
Average price £279,879 £3,993.95
Average price (detached) £495,159 £14,757.95
Average new build £435,779 £11,788.95
Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a surcharge of 3%, even if the property is not let out. So if a second home was bought for £279,879 then the stamp duty total will be £22,390.32.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Witham

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

Witham conveyancing solicitors will confirm an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Witham

New build site

The potential risks of buying a leasehold property in England or Wales are generally well known. Numerous technical issues may be awaiting an uninformed purchaser, including:

  • exponential ground rents
  • unreasonable managing agent fees
  • unreasonable lease extension premiums
Severe consequences can result from a less-experienced solicitor's failure to advise you correctly regarding your planned leasehold purchase.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Witham will consider possible leasehold issues, such as :

  • reviewing the lease
  • managing agent or landlord enquiries
  • any recent demands for service charges and ground rent
  • freeholder plans to sell the building

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property with Quittance Conveyancing's specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Witham?

House being built

1 brand new properties have been bought in Witham in 2018 so far, (source: Land Registry). The average sale price of Witham new build properties is £795,000.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Witham will need to be aware of local Witham considerations and the specific issues associated with new build, including working to tight developer deadlines, ensuring new estate roads are adopted and working with warranty providers, including NHBC Buildmark, LABC New Home Warranty and Ward Cole.

Our new build conveyancing department will provide an impartial appraisal of the legal title of the house or apartment, with a close eye on issues ranging from unfair leasehold conditions to an assessment of other risks, such as contaminated land hazards.

Conservation areas in Essex

Purchasing property in a conservation area-protected street usually means that the local character will be preserved. However, conservation area conditions will affect your property.

These building controls, referred to as Article 4 Directions, can include:

  • Restrictions on replacing roof tiles
  • General restrictions governing the use of non-traditional materials
  • Limits 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 changes were made by the previous owner.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Witham

The legal process for a property sale is normally less troublesome than when buying. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor must carry out detailed research on your home. In contrast, conveyancing solicitors in Witham acting for the vendor effectively just collects any required paperwork and answers the buyer's questions .

What steps can you take to help your sale go through?

Issues, like issues with neighbours' rights over the property, have the potential to slow or frustrate your home move if not handled appropriately.

Don't ignore the issue as it is the buyer's solicitor's job to spot problems - get legal advice instead, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution as soon as you can.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold

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

Conveyancing solicitors in Witham must usually carry out further legal work, including requesting all relevant freeholder information, through to details of any unresolved disputes.

Given the complexities of leasehold property, it is recommended that the seller instructs a conveyancer with leasehold experience as soon as is practicable.

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

SRA rules restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale. A CLC-regulated conveyancer, however, can act for both sides.

If you are buying or selling a house or flat in Witham, and a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is acting for the other side, you may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in Witham to undertake your legal work.

Local Witham conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Bawtrees LLP, 65 Newland Street, Witham, Essex, CM8 1AB
  • Bright & Sons, 87-91 Newland Street, Witham, Essex, CM8 1AD
  • Bright & Sons (Solicitors) Limited, 87-91 Newland Street, Witham, CM8 1AD
  • Taylor Haldane Barlex LLP, 2 Freebournes Court, Newland Street, Witham, Essex, CM8 2BL
  • Kew Law LLP, 121 Newland Street, Witham, Essex, CM8 1BE

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Witham

By far the most common reason homeowners remortgage their home is to secure a preferential rate. There are a number of other reasons to switch lenders or mortgage deals, including getting onto a longer fixed-rate term, or consolidating debts.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Witham will complete the conveyancing quickly, and move you to the better rate sooner. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in securing your preferred rate.

It is important that the property lawyer handling your remortgage can act on behalf of the new mortgage provider. Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel for all major lenders, so no matter whether you are switching to a lifetime tracker mortgage with Santander or to a variable-rate mortgage with the Hinckley and Rugby 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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