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Conveyancing in Harlow Q & A's

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Ask Lorraine a question lorraine@homewardlegal.co.uk

Updated: 16/10/17

Transport and public service information if you’re buying or selling residential property in Harlow -

By road: Harlow is served by the M11, A414 and A1184. By rail: The nearest train station is Harlow Town. By air: There are eight airports that are reasonably accessible from Harlow: London Stansted Airport (15 miles), London City Airport (24), London Luton Airport (29), London Heliport (35), London Southend Airport (38), London Biggin Hill Airport (39), Cambridge Airport (41), and Rochester Airport (46).

Hospital: Princess Alexandra, Hamstel Road, Harlow, CM20 1QX. Council: Harlow (www.harlow.gov.uk).

Attractions: Pets’ Corner, Harlow Town Park, Harlow Greyhound Stadium, Harlow Museum, Parndon Wood Nature Reserve, and Gibberd Garden.

Q.

What is the explanation for why conveyancing takes so long?

The conveyancing process is not an easy one to predict, particularly if the property chain is a long one or if there are specific circumstances that require a lot of additional work (such as the need to draw up a will, or to establish the owner of a leasehold property). However, at Homeward Legal, we strive to lessen or eradicate the effects of these delays wherever possible, doing so by proactively handling all enquiries. Give our experts a call on 0800 038 6699 to get your free, fixed-fee quote reinforced by our ‘No Move, No Fee’ guarantee.

Q.

The estate agent we are using in Chigwell has put forward the lawyer they generally use. Will it be easier to instruct them than to research other options?

It is not uncommon for estate agents to refer a law firm to you to handle your conveyancing. It is quite possible that in so doing, the estate agent can then exert some influence to ensure the solicitor maintains a fast pace through the conveyancing for an early completion. However, such referrals need to be weighed up against the alternatives, including other online or local firms, as the agent may prefer to suggest whichever firm pays the most per referral, and not the most appropriate choice for your needs.

Q.

In about six weeks, we are moving out of our house in Harlow to a bigger maisonette in Grays. When should we line up a removal company?

Homeward Legal would encourage home-sellers to delay booking a removals company until the exchange of contracts. To do so beforehand is risky as an absolute moving date will not have accepted by both parties. When it is time to allocate a removals firm, you could try:

  • Fosters Removals & Storage, Reeves Lane, Roydon, Harlow, CM19 5LE (Tel: 01279 792088)
  • Happy Moves Ltd., Unit 18, New Horizon Business Centre, Harlow, CM19 5FN
Q.

Which mortgage lenders in Harlow do you work with?

Of all the lenders with branches in and around Harlow, we regularly work with the vast majority, which means that we can protect you from them passing on their legal costs when arranging your mortgage. Harlow lenders and mortgage specialists include:

  • Lloyds Bank PLC, 25 East Gate, Harlow, CM20 1LD
  • Sapphire Mortgages, 76 Greenway Business Centre, Harlow, CM19 5QE
  • Genesis Financial Services, 3 High Street, Harlow, CM17 0DN
Q.

Is a retention fee a disbursement or a fee?

Each fee and disbursement should be identified on your quote. This cost is a fee not a disbursement and it should be incorporated with the fees in a quote. For Homeward Legal, given the fixed-fee quote we provide, this means that you won’t be expected to pay any more in fees. Try out our online quote calculator, or perhaps you would prefer to talk to one of our experts on 0800 038 6699.

Q.

For a fast completion on the purchase of a £481,000 home in Harlow, how can we speed things up?

Instructing a proactive, diligent lawyer like the ones at Homeward Legal, is critical to a speedier transaction. In addition to this, there are several tasks you can also do to increase the pace of your conveyancing, including:

  • organising your finances early, including arranging a mortgage
  • replying to your lawyer by phone, fax or email
  • keeping in regular contact with your lawyer
  • completing and returning forms as soon as you receive them
  • Q.

    Which areas of Harlow are eligible for disadvantaged area relief?

    The disadvantaged area relief scheme for stamp duty has now been discontinued. However, the government occasionally sets up new schemes to assist those purchasing a house, such as relief for first-time buyers. Your solicitor will be able to tell if any official schemes are in operation and whether you are eligible to take advantage of them.

    Q.

    The quote we got from you looks very reasonable, but will we be charged any additional fees later on?

    Regrettably, hidden fees are relatively common in quotes from high-street and online lawyer firms. These ‘quotes’ are in fact estimates, to which they can’t be held, and your final bill may be much more than you anticipated when appointing them. At Homeward Legal, we never charge any additional fees. We make the distinction clear between solicitors’ fees, which are a fixed price with us, and disbursements, which are third party charges passed on to you at cost. To discuss your needs and to obtain your fixed-fee, ‘No Move, No Fee’-guaranteed quote, contact our team on 0800 038 6699.

    Q.

    There are a growing number online resources going into great depth on by passing the solicitor. Do I therefore have to use property solicitor in Harlow ?

    A.

    Technically, there is no argument why a seller shouldn't look after the legal work yourself. That said, a conveyancing solicitor handles a significant number of roles from ranging from chasing deeds and DS1 documents and handling retentions most of which are more safely handled with appropriate a qualified solicitor. However firms and their solicitors are bound to take out relevant cover in order to protect you from any professional negligence.

    Q.

    We are buying a an extended property in a designated conservation area in Harlow. Where can I find more information in regards to the standard of repair?

    A.

    English Heritage have produced a list on the state of conservation areas along with the trend. Local Harlow conservation areas are designated by the local authority (Harlow) who preside over everything from upkeep of paths to the impediment of modern telephone boxes.

    Q.

    I am interested in purchasing a residence in Harlow. Are there any designated conservation areas in the area?

    A.

    Buyers in Harlow should be aware of several local conservation areas. These restrictions can result in the buyer inheriting liability of unauthorised changes, but the benefits will include properties can be easier to sell. Your property solicitor will advise further.

    Q.

    Is homewardlegal.co.uk able to move quickly on the legal conveyancing of property auction properties in Harlow?

    A.

    In fact we are familiar with local and national auctions and commonly take instructions from sellers at auction. It is prudent for bidders to choose a SRA regulated conveyancing firm as rapidly as they can to allow enough time for a thorough review of the auction legal papers prior to the date of the auction.

    Subsequently, immediately after the day of bidding your lawyer is focused on finishing the transaction inside as short a time frame as usually required .

    Q.

    Which areas of Harlow are eligible for disadvantaged area relief?

    A.

    Disadvantaged areas are identified by local ward, and relevant areas include Hare Street and Town Centre. Update: As of the 2013/14 tax year, stamp duty relief for disadvantaged areas is no longer available.

    Q.

    Will my Harlow conveyancing solicitor tell me about the cost of the council tax for a Band H property prior to completing on the purchase?

    A.

    Your property lawyer will speak to the Harlow local authority to reveal the latest council tax charges which will be set out in the conveyancer's title report. Correct rates for residents of Harlow are set out in detail at the Harlow local authority website. At the time of writing, 27 September 2012, rates for all bands are:

    • Band A - £1,028.00
    • Band B - £1,199.00
    • Band C - £1,370.00
    • Band D - £1,541.00
    • Band E - £1,884.00
    • Band F - £2,227.00
    • Band G - £2,569.00
    • Band H - £3,083.00

    Q.

    For a fast completion on the purchase of a £481,000 home, how can we speed things up?

    A.

    Instructing a proactive, diligent lawyer is key a fast transaction. Furthermore, there are several tasks you can also do to speed up your conveyancing, including, organising your finances, including arranging a mortgage, replying to your lawyer by phone, fax or email and keeping in regular contact with your lawyer.