What are conveyancing fees?

How do I know if I’m paying too much for conveyancing fees?

When we are buying or selling our home, one of our most pressing concerns is knowing whether we are paying the right amount for the legal and other fees associated with the house move. So how do we know if we are getting value for money? Read this guide, as it is going to help you a lot in this regard.

The most important advice I can give you on this is to go with a personal recommendation from someone you trust. There is nothing better than word of mouth referrals (I should know, I have built my business on them!) I would also make sure you know that the solicitor will handle your sale personally. A cheap mass-volume conveyancer simply won’t have the time to get to know your individual case, is more prone to errors and will likely take longer to do the same work. Always remember that you will have to live with the consequences of any mistakes, not them, so it is worth paying that bit extra to make sure the job is done right first time.

If you don’t have a personal recommendation, then my guide to understanding conveyancing fees should help you to choose wisely.

What exactly are conveyancing fees?
Conveyancing fees are the total bill you will pay for a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the purchase or sale of a house. They are made up of two elements, the legal fees set by your solicitor, plus any extras charged by third parties for necessary services, known as disbursements.

How much should expect to pay?
How long is a piece of string? Conveyancing fees depend on many factors, and how many ‘extras’ you might need. For example, if you’re buying a house in a flood risk area or in a former mining area, then extra searches will need to be done to asses the risk to your property. I advise that you agree a preset figure for the legal work carried out by your solicitor or conveyancer, which can range from around £500 to over £1000. The disbursements will be on top of this.

On top of the legal costs, what are the main disbursements I can expect to pay?
It depends on whether you’re buying or selling a home, but extra costs can vary from a few pounds for things like bankruptcy searches, anti-money laundering checks and copies of the title deeds, to a few hundred pounds for local authority checks and the transferring of ownership. Then of course there is the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) which is due on properties worth more than £125,000 and is calculated as a percentage on a sliding scale, up to 12%. Of course, if you are buying a second home or as part of your portfolio, there is an additional 3% SDLT levy.

Are the fees different for leasehold properties?
Yes, because the legal work involved is more complicated. The length of the lease may need to be addressed and also issues such as legal agreements between the landlord or management company and the buyer, about who is responsible for things like maintenance of the building and communal or outside areas.

Is that everything then?
Not quite. These days, your solicitor would expect to see safety certificates for certain works that have been carried out on a property, for example electrical or plumbing work, loft conversions and double glazing. If the certificates can’t be produced, then an insurance policy will potentially have to be taken out.

Do I have to pay the fees even if the sale falls through?
It depends on what you have agreed with your solicitor. Some offer ‘No Sale, No Fee’, but you need to make sure you know what you are expected to pay, if anything, should the sale falter. If the solicitor has incurred any third party costs then you are likely to have to cover them, but they do sometimes reduce the legal part of the bill if a sale is reagreed down the line.

How do I choose the right conveyancing solicitor if one hasn’t been recommended to me?
Shop around and compare fees and what’s included in those fees. Conveyancing is a complicated business, so look for someone with experience. Be mindful that there are now internet conveyancing services, that can seem cheap, but personally I wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole. Buying and selling houses is a legal minefield and every case is different, so the ‘one size fits all’ approach of the online community can lead to serious problems down the line. You need an expert who understands the process inside out and who will handle your case individually.

Hopefully, these guidelines will help point you in the right direction, but if you get stuck, do get in touch.

Written by: Alex Goldstein – alex@alexgoldstein.com

EAN Content

Content shared by this account is either news shared free by third parties or sponsored (paid for) content from third parties. Please be advised that links to third party websites are not endorsed by Estate Agent Networking - Please do your own research before committing to any third party business promoted on our website.

You May Also Enjoy

Breaking News

Breaking Property News – 24/04/24

Daily bite-sized proptech and property news in partnership with Proptech-X.   Smart Spaces delivers the world’s first implementation of HID’s mobile credentials in Google Wallet at Workspace Mobile access control integration makes entry to The Light Bulb building effortless for customers London, April 23, 2024 – Smart Spaces announces today that it has partnered with trusted identity provider,…
Read More
Love or Hate Rightmove
Breaking News

An average rate of 6% for the first time since November – Rightmove’s weekly mortgage tracker

Headlines The average 5-year fixed mortgage rate is now 4.89%, up from 4.45% a year ago The average 2-year fixed mortgage rate is now 5.29%, up from 4.75% a year ago The average 85% LTV 5-year fixed mortgage rate is now 4.82%, up from 4.42% a year ago The average 60% LTV 5-year fixed mortgage rate is now 4.36%, up from 4.15% a year ago The average monthly mortgage payment on…
Read More
Property for sale
Estate Agent Talk

Understanding Property Valuation: A Simple Guide

Ever asked your self, “How a amazing deal is my house simply simply well worth?” Whether you’re thinking of promoting, thinking of searching for, or just simple curious, identifying a property’s rate can experience like navigating a maze without a map. Yet, do not agonize. This sincere guide will stroll you via the necessities of…
Read More
Love or Hate Rightmove
Breaking News

Aberdeen is cheapest city to be a first-time buyer

New analysis reveals that Aberdeen is the cheapest city to be a first-time buyer with an average asking price of £102,602: The average monthly mortgage payment for a first-time buyer in Aberdeen is £406 per month, assuming the buyer has a 20% deposit, and a mortgage term of 35 years Data from UK Finance shows…
Read More
Breaking News

Breaking Property News – 23/04/24

Daily bite-sized proptech and property news in partnership with Proptech-X.   Agents urged to review AML policies following recent HMRC fines Recent substantial fines issued by HMRC are a harsh reminder to agents to ensure that their Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies are up to date, and they have control testing in place. This is according…
Read More
Breaking News

Spring activity boost pushes asking prices close to new record

The average asking price of property coming to the market rises by 1.1% (+£4,207) this month to £372,324, just £570 short of the record in May 2023, while the annual rate of price growth is now +1.7%, the highest level for 12 months: A key factor behind this growth towards a near-record average price is…
Read More