Whether you are buying or selling a house, the cost of conveyancing is an important part of the process. But exactly how much are the fees for conveyancing?
In this blog post, we will be looking at everything you need to know about conveyancing, the cost of conveyancing, how much conveyancing fees cost and what conveyancers do.
Looking for a quick answer? Check out our drop-down menu below!
- What Is A Conveyancer?
- What Are Conveyancing Fees?
- How Much Are Conveyancing Fees?
- What Is The Cost Of Conveyancing?
- What Are The Legal Fees To Expect?
- What Disbursements Can I Expect?
- What Are The Hidden Fees?
- What Are The Charges For Leasehold Properties?
- Typical Conveyancing Costs
- When Do I Have To Pay Conveyancing Fees?
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What Is A Conveyancer?
A conveyancing solicitor is a lawyer whose legal services you use when buying or selling a property. You can use either a conveyancing solicitor or licenced conveyancer to make sure that a house purchase or sale is legal.
What Are Conveyancing Fees?
Conveyancing fees are the amount of money that you pay to your conveyancer in order to ensure that the legal side of your house sale or purchase is dealt with correctly. The fees and costs that you will pay can be split into two categories, legal fees, and disbursements. These are:
- Legal Fees – This is the standard rate that solicitors or conveyancers will charge for doing the work.
- Disbursements – This is what is classed as third-party costs and will cover services such as searches.
Conveyancing fees can sometimes apply to sellers only whilst some only need to be paid by buyers.
What Is The Cost Of Conveyancing?
When it comes to the cost of solicitor’s fees when buying a house, typical conveyancing fees are usually between around £300 to £1500, plus the cost of disbursements on top of this. These disbursements can add up to £700 or more to the price if it is a leasehold property. If you have a freehold property you can expect to pay around £300.
It is always a good idea to shop around when it comes to conveyancing quote and to make sure that you compare conveyancing quotes that you receive in order to make sure that you are getting the best deal.
What Is Fixed Fee Conveyancing?
Fixed fee conveyancing is when you have a pre-agreed price set for the legal services. This means that the price you are quoted at the start is the price that you pay at the end of the process.
What Are The Legal Fees To Expect?
The fees for conveyancing that cover the legal portion is for the work that is done by the conveyancing solicitor themselves. The average conveyancing fees can range from anywhere from £300 to £1500, depending on various factors such as:
- The price of the property you are selling or purchasing
- If you use an online conveyancing service
- If the conveyancer/conveyancing solicitor is not approved by your mortgage lender then extra fees may apply
- If you are buying or selling a leasehold property the charges will be higher due to the extra costs involved
- If the property is based near a river or coal mine, in which case additional surveys will need to take place
- Whereabouts the conveyancer is based, the further north you go, the cheaper the conveyancer tends to be
- If you are using a conveyancing solicitor or licensed conveyancer, a licensed conveyancer is usually cheaper
- If you are buying a Shared Ownership, Help to Buy, or Right to Buy property
- The price of your property can have an effect on the conveyancing costs
What Disbursements Can I Expect?
When it comes to the conveyancing cost there are many steps that need to be taken that fall under the disbursements category of conveyancer fees. It is important to understand that conveyancing disbursement fees are paid on top of the legal costs. Below are some of the disbursements that you can expect when using a conveyancer or a solicitor:
Anti-money Laundering Checks
A small portion of the conveyancing fees is made up of legal checks that aim to verify your identity. They are usually done through an online company and cost anywhere from £6-£20. If you are living abroad or are a foreign national then you may have to pay more for the checks.
Title deeds are usually held by the Land Registry and are essential if you are selling your property. The usual cost of getting title deeds from the Land Registry is around £6 but if the property is a leasehold you will end up paying more than if it were a freehold.
Unregistered Property Supplement Fee
If your property is not registered with the HM Land Registry then your conveyancer will charge you an extra £120 to £240. These Land Registry fees are a crucial part of the conveyancing process.
Local authority searches are an essential part of the conveyancing process if you are buying a property. These include environmental searches, planning searches, and draining searches. These local authority searches can range in price but usually cost within the region of £250-£450.
Property fraud checks are an important part of the conveyancing process. They allow you to make sure that the conveyancing solicitor that you are paying is a real company. The average cost of these property fraud checks is around £10.
In order to transfer your name with your buyer’s name on completion of your property sale, you will have to pay a fee to the Land Registry. The typical cost of transferring ownership is £200-£300.
Bank Transfer Fee
To make sure that funds are guaranteed to reach an account on a certain day, you will need to use a telegraphic transfer. Your conveyancer or solicitor will charge you a fee in order to perform the task, plus the bank’s charge. Bank transfer fees are £20-£30.
Stamp Duty Land Tax
If you are buying a property that is worth more than £125,000 then you will need to pay stamp duty. Stamp duty costs can vary from property to property as it is charged on a sliding scale. Another factor that affects this is whether or not you are a first-time buyer as the rules are different if it is your first property.
Help To Buy Supplement
Because of the extra legal work involved with purchasing with a help-to-buy scheme, you will most likely be charged an additional £200-£300.
If you are using the bank of mum and dad to pay for your deposit, you will more than likely have to pay more to prove that the money is coming from a legitimate source. If this is the case you can be charged up to £100 by banks in order to cover the cost of paperwork. You may also be offered additional insurance which can cost up to £200, but it is up to you whether or not this is something that you think is necessary.
Help to Buy or Lifetime ISA
If you have a Lifetime or Help to Buy ISA then your conveyancer or solicitor will have extra work to do in order to redeem it. Charges for this service are capped at £50+VAT.
What Are The Hidden Fees?
More often than not, there are extra costs that get hidden away or called ‘potential additional costs’. However, it is worth bearing in mind that there is usually nothing potential about these additional costs.
When you are comparing conveyancing quotes, it is vital to make sure that the cost of these items has been accounted for. That way you are getting a true comparison for all of the conveyancing companies as well as avoiding any nasty surprises at the end.
PI contribution is ‘professional indemnity’ insurance and is usually anywhere from £50 to £100 +VAT. If your conveyancer adds this charge to your bill, then you should avoid the company. The ‘PI Contribution’ should already be included in the basic fee and is an overhead of their business.
Postage, Photocopying, and Phone Calls
Once again, these charges are overheads of the business and should be covered by the conveyancer’s basic fee and should not be included in the small print as a potential additional cost. International phone calls and postage could be classed as such, but only if they are fully itemised. These costs usually come to anywhere between £5 to £50 +VAT.
SDLT Return Filing Fee
These hidden costs usually come to between £20-£50 +VAT. Your SDLT return should be filled in and submitted to HRMC. An SDLT return needs to be filed with HRMC even if you are under the SDLT threshold.
Archiving / File Storage Fee
Once you have completed your sale, your conveyancer should keep a hold of your documents for a number of years afterward. Many conveyancers will do this as standard but some may charge you for it. It is always a good idea to pay this as you may need to dig further into the file should any problems arise.
What Are The Charges For Leasehold Properties?
As we have already mentioned, conveyancing fees vary from house to house, depending on a range of factors such as whether you are buying and selling, where the property is located, whether the firm is based online or up north, or if you are buying a leasehold property.
The conveyancing fees for a leasehold property will be much higher than that of freehold as they will bring with them extra costs. The average conveyancing costs for a leasehold property is £300 extra in legal fees and you may also need to pay extra for a deed of covenant.
Other work that you may end up paying additional fees for are investigations into the length of the lease as well as liaising with the landlord to serve notices.
Sellers will have to pay for the leasehold management pack which contains information about service charges. The price of these can vary quite drastically from £300 to £800.
Another additional cost for leasehold conveyancing is paying for a Notice of Assignment. This is also called a Notice of Transfer. Your conveyancer will send this to the landlord informing them you are now the new owner. Some firms won’t charge for this but others charge up to £300.
Do I Need A Conveyancing Solicitor To Transfer Equity?
If you are transferring equity on a property, it is highly unlikely that you will need to hire a conveyancing solicitor. This means that if a relationship ends the property will be transferred to one member of the couple. You may end up being charged for services such as a bankruptcy search, Identification search, transfer fees, Land registry fees as well as legal costs. -If you are planning to remortgage you’ll face other conveyancing costs associated with this.
What Is No Sale No Fee Conveyancing?
Conveyancing solicitors may sometimes offer what is called a ‘no sale, no fee guarantee’. This will cover you in the event of your house sale falling though and will mean that you will not be left paying the full conveyancing bill. It is always a good idea to get an idea of exactly what this guarantee will include before you hire their services.
Typical Conveyancing Costs
According to the Home Owners Association, these are the costs typically involved in the conveyancing process.
|Anti-money laundering checks
|£6 – £20
|Title deeds copy
|Local authority searches
|£250 – £450
|Property fraud check
|Transferring of ownership
|£200 – £300
|Bank transfer fees
|£20 – £30
|Stamp Duty Land Tax
|0 – 12%
|Help to Buy supplement
|£200 – £300
|£50 – £100
|Lifetime/Help to Buy ISA
|Unregistered property fee
|£120 – £240
|Leasehold property supplement fee
|£200 – £300
|Managing Agent packs
|£300 – £800
|Average legal fees
|Between £300 to £1500
Do I Have To Hire A Conveyancer?
Whether or not you hire a conveyancer is completely down to the individual. Whilst there is no legal requirement to hire one, it is a specialised skill and a difficult job to do on your own, even if you have some experience in the area. If you have a mortgage lender, they may insist that you hire one. If you do not have a mortgage, you may be able to do the conveyancing yourself.
When Do I Have To Pay Conveyancing Fees?
When you hire a conveyancing solicitor it is not unusual to be asked to pay a deposit of up to 20% of the conveyancing fees to be paid. Once the house sale has been completed you will normally settle the rest of the conveyancing fees but you could be asked to pay for things such as local searches before this.
This covers everything you need to know about the cost of conveyancing, if you have any questions, queries, or insight into the matter, feel free to get in touch!