Updated: October 12, 2018

Woodstock conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Woodstock

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay to your Woodstock conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

Do Woodstock conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Woodstock who offer services on an hourly-rate basis. Your quote will set out what fees you will need to pay when your sale or purchase completes.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

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 bankruptcy searches or managing agent fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Woodstock cost in total?

Woodstock conveyancing fees will be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, such as a flooding search, may be necessary.

There are no hidden fees or nasty surprises with Quittance Conveyancing. For standard conveyancing transactions, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

Quittance delivered an excellent service at the lowest conveyancing fees we could find

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Woodstock

Recent changes to the law mean that a seller must now disclose issues concerning their property to the buyer and the estate agent.

It remains, however, the duty of a Woodstock conveyancing solicitor to make enquiries about the property, feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer, iron out any legal issues and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

This section of the article considers the types of residential property which could be of concern to buyers who need conveyancing solicitors in Woodstock.

Your Woodstock conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a niche lender like Godiva Mortgages or a large lender such as Barclays Bank, before instructing a conveyancing solicitor in Woodstock it is very important that you make sure that they can act in the interests of your chosen lender.

Your solicitor may be unable to act for your chosen lender, because some banks and building societies will only work with a select panel of law firms that pass strict selection criteria.

Should this be the case, the lender will require a second legal firm to carry out the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this substitute lawyer's costs. This can push back the completion date of the purchase.

Delays can occur if you fail to check your property lawyer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel of all banks and building societies.

Residential Property Searches (West Oxfordshire Council)

Property searches are applied for by Woodstock conveyancing solicitors to help to identify any wider issues that might reduce how much the property you are buying will be worth. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - includes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes whether there is a certificate of compliance for replacement windows
  • Environmental search - shows risks within 500 metres of the property, such as toxic chemicals in the land
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies the location of sewers and water mains, and will confirm whether these are maintained by the local council.
  • Chancel repair liability - there is a risk that some Woodstock properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

Your solicitor will make you aware if your lender needs any additional searches, for example a highways search or an energy search.

West Oxfordshire Council has an average lead time of 10 weeks for Residential property searches, so your conveyancer will recommend using a faster search agent.

Planning permissions

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will request an 'Official Copy of the Title Register' from HMLR. This will help to identify any potential issues. Examples of these include errors on the title plan or limits on the development of the property.

West Oxfordshire Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by West Oxfordshire Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. E.g. a property in the West Oxfordshire Council area in Band C would pay £1,588 per annum.

Woodstock conveyancing solicitors will inform the buyer 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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £1,191.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or for foreign language students. New build property is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency and allocated a council tax banding.

Band West Oxfordshire Council Tax (2018)
A £1,191
B £1,389
C £1,588
D £1,786
E £2,183
F £2,580
G £2,977
H £3,572

Are you about you buy a home in the wrong council tax band?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
4400 Nash Court
John Smith Drive
Oxford
OX4 2RU
Oxfordshire

A property owner can also ask for their property to be reassessed, and if the valuation is revised down, they may receive a refund.

Stamp Duty on Woodstock properties

If a residential property is purchased for £125k or less, no Stamp Duty Land Tax is payable. Above this, most homebuyers will need to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax.

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and HMRC fines those who delay in completing and returning it.

Penalties for errors or late filing of the SDLT1 form can be as high as 30%. Quittance use case management system to ensure that SDLT is paid immediately after completion.

See Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for homes in Woodstock:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £484,588 £14,229.40
Average price (detached) £672,767 £23,638.35
Average new build £552,115 £17,605.75

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Woodstock

For first-time buyers, stamp duty is only payable on purchases over £300k. Following a change in April 2016, a 3% surcharge is applied for purchases of additional property. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second property in Woodstock for the average price of £484,588 the SDLT would be £38,767.04.

Woodstock conveyancing solicitors will confirm an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Woodstock

New build site

Buying a leasehold home if you are unaware of the facts can be costly. There are numerous technical issues that could be awaiting the unsuspecting buyer, including:

  • reversionary interests
  • leases with fewer than 80 years to run
  • exponential ground rents
Erroneous leasehold advice, from an inexperienced property lawyer, can have costly, long-term consequences.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Woodstock will consider potential leasehold issues, such as absent freeholders, sometimes ancient and arcane lease documents and reserve funds.

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase - You can call our leasehold conveyancing solicitors today on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Woodstock?

House being built

The average sale price of a new build home in Woodstock is £552,115. 13 brand new homes were purchased in Woodstock last year.

Buying a new build is frequently more involved than other types of conveyancing. To prevent difficulties arising a Woodstock conveyancing solicitor must be conscious of both region-specific issues and also should check a range of issues, like handling reservation fees and verifying rights of easements.

Our award-winning new build conveyancing team specialise in working to tight developer deadlines and representing buyers to achieve the best outcome.

Conservation areas in Oxfordshire

Your conveyancing solicitor will check if the residential property you are going to buy is in a conservation area in Woodstock. If it is, the house will be affected by certain restrictions. These constraints, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include a wide range of constraints from restrictions on the addition of a porch, to general restrictions governing non-uniform additions or modifications.

If a property is in breach, the owner could be instructed to pay for the property to be changed back to the state it was in before the recent alterations, even if the previous owner carried out the alterations.

Parts of Woodstock lie within a West Oxfordshire LPA-governed conservation area. Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Woodstock.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Woodstock

The legal side of a sale of a house or flat is generally simpler than for a purchase. For a house purchase, the responsibility is solely on the buyer to validate that the property they are purchasing is mortgageable and free from legal issues.

On the other side of the transaction, conveyancing solicitors in Woodstock acting for the current owner just answer any enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

How to improve the odds of your sale going through

A home can face many possible difficulties (e.g. being a listed building with non-compliant alterations) that might prevent a purchase from completing.

It is usually a good idea for vendors to handle any such problems as soon as they come to light.

Useful reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold

Conveyancing for a leasehold property is significantly more involved compared to a freehold house.

Woodstock conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work, and this could include getting the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to a copy of the building's asbestos survey (if required).

To help mitigate the delays involved in selling a leasehold house or flat, it is recommended that the seller instruct a solicitor as soon as is practicable.

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

A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC can act for both sides. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules restrict the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale.

You can contact a property solicitor firm in Woodstock to handle your legal work, if a Quittance solicitor is carrying out the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Woodstock

Securing a better rate of interest is usually the main reason why people decide to remortgage. There are other reasons, such as switching from interest-only to repayment, or releasing equity.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Woodstock can reduce the remortgage processing time, and move you to the better rate sooner. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting the mortgage rate you want.

The property lawyer handling the remortgage should also be able to act for your preferred lender. Quittance Conveyancing are on all major lenders' panels. So no matter whether you are switching to a lifetime tracker mortgage with the HSBC or to a joint mortgage with the Manchester 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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