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Conveyancing in Swansea Q & A's

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By

Ask Lorraine a question lorraine@homewardlegal.co.uk

Updated: 17/10/17

Transport and public service information if you’re buying or selling residential property in Swansea (Abertawe) -

By road: Swansea is served by the M4 and A483. By rail: The nearest train station is Swansea. By air: Swansea Airport is 6 miles and Cardiff Airport is 43 miles from Swansea.

Hospital: Singleton, Sketty Lane, Sketty, Swansea, SA2 8QA. Council: Swansea City and County Council (www.swansea.gov.uk).

Attractions: Swansea Castle, Dylan Thomas Centre, Plantasie, Swansea Bay, National Waterfront Museum, Norwegian Church, and Glyn Vivian Art Gallery.

Q.

We need to find discount conveyancing in Swansea. Can you assist?

There are several conveyancing offers by online and high-street law firms that claim to provide 'the cheapest conveyancing quotes'. These are attractive until you look at the terms of engagement and find additional costs hiding in the small print. Such extra charges need to be fair and clearly stated. At Homeward Legal, we never hide any costs, and our quotes lay out a clear statement of your legal fees and disbursements for a standard conveyancing transaction. Try our quote calculator, or call our team of conveyancing experts on 0800 038 6699 to discuss your needs.

Q.

When should we instruct a solicitor for a planned purchase in Swansea?

The short answer is: “the sooner, the better”! Instructing a solicitor early for a sale enables relevant information to be sourced sooner (this is particularly true for leasehold properties). If you have a lawyer lined up when buying a property, you will then have all the details of your solicitor ready for when you make an offer on your chosen property.

Q.

I know lawyers will do standard conveyancing searches if I instruct them to do so, but which specific ones will be carried out for the purchase of our Swansea flat?

If you require a mortgage to assist in the purchase of your flat, a mortgage lender will expect a solicitor to request at least the following:

  • Local Authority Search
  • Drainage Search (Con29DW)
  • Environmental (including flood risk)
  • plus any less common searches, like a Company Search.
Q.

Doing my own conveyancing looks like a good way to reduce the costs of selling my maisonette in Swansea. However, is it wise not to use a solicitor?

Should you want to do the bulk of the conveyancing yourself, there is no legal stipulation dictating that you shouldn’t. However, conveyancing can be quite detailed and complex, with a lot of ambiguity that needs to be straightened out. The use of technical and legal jargon may also confuse the process. Homeward Legal would advise against doing your own conveyancing for two reasons. First, you are most likely inexperienced and this will delay the conveyancing to the point that you put the entire move in jeopardy. Second, and fundamentally, DIY conveyancers will not have the applicable cover which practising legal practices need to obtain. Call our experienced solicitors on 0800 038 6699 for a fixed-fee quote and to discuss any concerns about your sale.

Q.

We need to get a mortgage to buy a townhouse in Swansea, so please can you advise which Swansea lenders your conveyancing solicitors work with?

Homeward Legal can work with all the major lenders in Swansea, approved by the Council of Mortgage Lenders. By doing this, we can eliminate the risk of your lender or broker passing on any of their legal fees for arranging the loan. Being a large location, Swansea has a large number of lenders and mortgage specialists, and these include:

  • Monmouthshire Building Society, 18 Union Street, Swansea, SA1 3EH
  • Principality Building Society, 64-65 The Kingsway, City Centre, Swansea, SA1 5HW
  • Santander Bank, 1 Union Street, Swansea, SA1 3EE
  • Q.

    Can we get stamp duty relief on a two-bedroom cottage near Swansea Harbour?

    Relief for disadvantaged areas of Swansea is no longer available. Homeward Legal strongly advises against using any of the stamp duty avoidance schemes, too. They are ultimately uneconomic and, if they are investigated, even up to six years after you moved into your new house, you may be liable to pay a fine of up to 100% of the amount in addition to the original duty. However, there are occasional government-led schemes to assist home-buyers (such as relief for first-time buyers). Your solicitor will be able to tell you if any such schemes are available and whether you are eligible to take advantage.

    Q.

    Is the SDLT charge a fee or a disbursement?

    Stamp Duty is a tax charge levied by the government as a proportion of the purchase price of your new home. The problem is that, comparing quotes is not always easy, considering differences in terminology. Stamp Duty Land Tax is a fee and not a disbursement, and should be included in the quote for your conveyancing. At Homeward Legal, our straightforward approach to detailing the conveyancing quote makes the distinction completely clear, so you will not be subject to an additional charge. Call our skilled conveyancing team on 0800 038 6699 to arrange a fixed-fee quote.

    Q.

    We are buying a house in Swansea that was built on ex-industrial-use land. Is the soil likely to be contaminated by waste minerals like manganese?

    Most soils in Swansea will have some degree of contamination, from current and historical industrial or agricultural use. Land may also be contaminated by other sources, including groundwater contamination and acidic compounds. Your solicitor will carry out a set of searches, which will help identify the level of any contamination, which will then be highlighted in the report on title.

    Q.

    When should you instruct a solicitor in Swansea?

    A.

    With a 'no move, no fee' guarantee, the sooner you instruct a conveyancing solicitor, the better. Instructing a solicitor early for a sale enables relevant information can be sourced sooner (this is particularly true for leasehold properties), whereas if you are buying you will the details of your Swansea solicitor ready when you make an offer.

    Q.

    Is the SDLT fee a fee or a disbursement?

    A.

    Some solicitors may attempt to pass off fees which should be included as disbursements. It is not always obvious if a cost is a disbursement or not, and whether it should be included. This charge is a fee not a disbursement, and should be included in your quote.

    Q.

    How long may I budget for the legal work to buy an apartment require?

    A.

    The number of weeks required to buy or sell a home does vary. This is according to a number of considerations which may include when a third party is slow to respond. For most firms in England and Wales, the average is between 8 to 12 weeks, we however work for a deadline of six weeks.

    Q.

    What causes the purchase conveyancing process in Swansea to take such a long time?

    A.

    The conveyancing process may be delayed. We do our best to minimise their consequences by chasing for prompt responses.

    Q.

    Is a property survey necessary when purchasing any property?

    A.

    We advise that the majority of buyers book a building survey. Buyers should be aware that there are a wide range of defects which affect a property, that a solicitor will be unable to address, which include corrosion of pipework.

    Q.

    Doing your own conveyancing without using a Swansea solicitor is becoming possible when buying and selling a flat. However, would it actually be wise ?

    A.

    Should you desire t have a stab you can certainly take care of he conveyancing without the help of Swansea conveyancing solicitor .

    In reality however, a property solicitor takes care of a long list of assignments ranging from interpreting protocol forms or handling retentions many of which need a skilled professional.

    Fundamentally DIY conveyancers do not have the applicable cover which practicing legal practices need to obtain.

    Q.

    Does 'fixtures and fittings' include things like electric or gas fires?

    A.

    Buyers are regularly frustrated by a lack of clarity over fixtures and fittings. Completion or agreement of a fixtures and fittings form is unfortunately often left to the last minute, when a dispute may jeopordise the transaction, and this makes the completion of a fixtures and fittings form essential.