Conveyancing Fees - What You Need to See on Price Quotes

As you sort out your budget for your home buying venture, you’re very likely to ask yourself how much you should at least put in to pay your conveyancing solicitor. As it is conveyancing is quite a costly service, considering you have to pay solicitors for their time and the disbursements they will cover first then bill you later on.

It is quite hard to put an estimate by yourself, but since conveyancing has become a competitive market relevant to how the housing market moves, most firms and independent practitioners are ready to provide details of how much and what they charge their clients.

It is strongly urged that when choosing a solicitor to work on the conveyancing bit for you, ask for conveyancing quotes from various firms and check what you will get for your money. It will at least give you an idea of the average legal fees and disbursements relevant to your purchase. However, you must always remember that firms may try and attract you with super low legal fees while hiding extras along the way.

On the other hand, every solicitor and licensed conveyancer is now obliged to follow the same legal steps, which means that every quote will include the same basic fees. Always have a close look to see that the quotes include dealing with your mortgage, bank transfer (telegraphic transfer fees), and preparing and submitting Stamp Duty forms. If they don’t, take time to ask them of the additional costs and add them up to the basic fee you are quoted.

For your additional reference, we have listed below a non-conclusive list of other fees (paid to third parties by your conveyancer then later billed to you) that should also be included in the quote. These disbursements are made for certain items relevant to complete your purchase and are on top of the legal/basic fee. Always remember, too, to check whether your quote includes Value Added Tax or not.

  • Land Registry Fees

  • Local Authority Search

  • Water and Drainage Search

  • Environmental Search

  • Search Plan

  • Priority Search

  • Bankruptcy Search

  • Insurance Against Chancel Repair Liability

When buying a leasehold property, a payment to the landlord or property management company may also be required when you need to provide them with the details of the new owner of the property based on what’s required on the lease.

More importantly, you should know that while a lot of conveyancers can be diligent to bring your purchase to successful completion, every transaction is unique. This guide may generally apply to non-complex purchases. You are strongly encouraged to check with your conveyancer if the transaction you’re involved in is surrounded with quite complicated legal issues so they can talk further to you about additional fees. Always have the quotes in writing and have them add the extra fees to the quote so your could get your budget sorted better.

Lastly, it may also help if you find out whether they offer a ‘no move no fee’ service or not. This will help you in terms of not having to pay them their basic fees should the transaction fall through - for instance, when the survey shows a major issues or the seller decides to back out and wait for the house price to increase.