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how much should conveyancing cost

How much should conveyancing fees cost?

If you’re buying or selling a home, you need to hire a conveyancer or a conveyancing solicitor to handle the legal aspect of the process. Conveyancing solicitors specialise in property transactions. We take a look at what conveyancing solicitors include in their fees and how much you can expect to pay.

Conveyancing fees

The legal costs of buying and/or selling your home can be split into two parts: the legal fees the conveyancer or solicitor charges for doing the work, and the disbursements, which are the associated costs your solicitor needs to pay to third parties.

The main disbursements are:

Anti-money laundering checks

These are legal checks that need to be carried out to verify your identity that are part of anti-money laundering regulations.

They are usually carried out by an online company which will confirm that the details on your ID documents match up with other independent data sources.

Cost: between £6 and 20 although foreign nationals and those living abroad need further and more expensive checks

Title Deeds

If you are selling your home, you will need to get a copy of the Title Deeds, a series of documents (including a plan) that prove you own the property. They are most likely to be held by the Land Registry.

Cost: A basic set of documents should cost £6 and any additional documents cost £3 each. The exception is Title Deeds for leasehold properties which cost around £25 to obtain

Searches

Searches are a way of gathering important information about a property you intend to buy and the area surrounding it. The minimum searches are local searches, drainage search and an environmental search. You can also get a planning search that shows what development is going to take place in your area and extra searches to find out whether the property is affected by environmental issues such as coal mining.

For more information on what is and isn’t included, see our guide Local Authority Searches Explained

Cost: A package of searches varies greatly depending on your local authority but the average is between £250 and £450

Compare conveyancing quotes from the cheapest, nearest and best rated conveyancers from our panel of 150 quality assured firms

Property fraud fee

Lawyers and the public are increasingly subject to attempted frauds and so they may want to check that the lawyer they are sending money to is a real company. Learn how to avoid property fraud with our guide

Cost: about £10

Transferring ownership

On completion you have to pay the Land Registry a fee for transferring your name with your buyer’s name.

Cost: This varies depending on value but the average is between £200 and £300

Bank transfer or Telegraphic Transfer fee

Mortgage companies require funds to be transferred using a Telegraphic Transfer which is designed to guarantee that funds reach an account on a certain day.

If you are selling your home, the funds are transferred to your bank to redeem your mortgage. If you are buying, the funds are sent to the seller’s solicitor.

Your solicitor will charge a fee for performing the transfer and the fees that the bank charges.

Cost: Banks usually charge a fee of between £20 and £30 for the transaction.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

Stamp Duty Land Tax is payable if you are buying a residential property costing more than £125,000. It is charged on a progressive sliding scale which means that you pay stamp duty on the part of the property price in each tax band.

Cost: see our guide on stamp duty

Leasehold properties

If you are buying a leasehold property or home on an estate with a management company, it can be more expensive as there are likely to be additional costs.

For example, you may need a Deed of Covenant, which is a legally binding agreement between the buyer and the landlord or management company that makes any obligations such as carrying out repair work legally binding.

Costs: anything from £100 to £1000.

Conveyancers/solicitor’s fees

Your conveyancer or solicitor should be able to give you a full and accurate figure based on what you have told them. Always ask for a full breakdown of costs as sometimes legal fees and the disbursements are bundled together under various charges so you can compare quotes like for like.

Top tip: when comparing conveyancing quotes, ask if all these disbursements are included and if not, whether they are likely to be required

Some solicitors will make payments to estate agents for referring you to them but they have to tell you that they are doing so and how much they are paying. Find out how much of the fee they are charging you is a referral fee and compare with other quotes and decide whether paying this cost is giving you added value.

It is important to instruct an individual who is registered to a professional body and is able to support you properly throughout the process.

Costs: Fees vary but they tend to range from £500 to £1,500

Compare conveyancing quotes from the cheapest, nearest and best rated conveyancers from our panel of 150 quality assured firms

In your search for a conveyancer you may find that online e-conveyancing services come up cheaper. Our guide on online conveyancing explains how these differ to local firms in your high street.

Is that all the costs covered?

These are the most common associated costs associated with buying and selling a home but there can be more that are specific to your house sale or purchase. For example, if a seller does not have a FENSA or building regulation certificate for their double glazed windows, an insurance policy may be needed.

If you are unhappy with your final bill and think you have been overcharged, you have a right to complain. For more information, read our Ask An Expert Q&A


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12 Comments

  1. Oh Rosemary! What a pain. Yes you should be able to go to the firm that undertook your electrical inspection and ask for a copy. Likewise the Building Regulation certificates should be available to view online. Speak to the local authority who may charge for a copy but it shouldn’t be too expensive. Angela

    Comment by AKerr — July 31, 2018 @ 5:13 pm

  2. I spent a couple of days completing all of the forms and attaching all of the relevant backing documents only to be told that my solicitor posted it to another branch of their office and it is now lost. I had included lots of original documents as I don’t have a photocopier. Will I have to bear the cost of getting an electrical inspection and replacement building regulations certificates etc? I was told that if my conveyance was dealt with at a different office that the solicitor would physically pick up any paperwork. I’m not happy.

    Comment by Rosemary Parsons — July 28, 2018 @ 3:09 pm

  3. Hi John. You’re right; solicitors’ conveyancing fees are generally based on time and activity so shouldn’t differ. The only reason I can think of is that Local Authorities charge different amounts for local searches. And the different properties may require different environmental searches (near a coal mine or river for example). The tenancy of the different properties can also have an impact; leasehold is more expensive because leasehold properties usually require additional investigations into the length of the lease, liaising with the landlord to serve appropriate notices on them or the managing agent, obtaining service charge and management information etc etc Hope this helps.

    Comment by AKerr — July 17, 2018 @ 11:02 am

  4. Why does the area you reside make a difference in the Solicitors costs as surely the same amount of time is taken if you live in Bradford or London

    Comment by John Beaumont — July 13, 2018 @ 9:51 pm

  5. Hi Paul, it’s worth checking for a break down of costs, there could be different disbursements needed for the different properties, or it may be that there are different searches needed and different fees from different local authorities for these. Always worth asking for a more detailed breakdown.

    Comment by Sara Hind — June 27, 2018 @ 2:08 pm

  6. Hi Nick, the obvious issue is what happens if the additional loan doesn’t come through and you have to put the sale on hold. You’ll have incurred solicitor costs that will have to be paid. I can understand why you’re being cautious.

    Comment by Sara Hind — June 27, 2018 @ 2:06 pm

  7. I am selling 2 homes to buy 1. The selling price for the 2 home is different. Why do conveyancing solicitors ask for the selling price and charge differently even though the work can reasonably be expected to be the same for both?
    My perception is that they are simply taking a percentage of the selling cost rather than quoting for the amount of anticipated work.
    Also, I understand that they need to know the cost of the property being purchased to calculate the stamp duty. However, I very much believe that the same standard is being applied; I.e. cost based on a percentage of the property value rather than anticipated work.
    I think it’s a bit outrageous really but would appreciate your thoughts.
    Many thanks.
    Paul

    Comment by Paul — June 24, 2018 @ 9:29 am

  8. Hi, I am selling my property to friends (I know…a very poor idea!) and although they have the majority of the funds available, they still need to find an additional sum which they are arranging as a private loan to top up to the full purchase price. This might not be available for another 4 months or so but I am being asked to start the conveyancing process right away. I don’t think this is a great idea, but as both parties are fully committed to the sale, I am now wondering if there is any good reason not to begin the process.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Nick

    Comment by nick chapman — June 16, 2018 @ 12:00 pm

  9. Hi Kevin, Yes please go to our conveyancing service https://hoa.org.uk/services/homeowners-alliance-conveyancing/
    Have a look at that page for details about our service, then you can go through and select “transfer of equity”. Once you’ve given a few details, you’ll then be able to compare conveyancing quotes provided from a quality assured panel of over 150 regulated conveyancing firms. Get in touch if you need help along the way.
    All the best, Angela

    Comment by AKerr — March 12, 2018 @ 11:49 am

  10. Hi,

    I need to appoint a conveyancer to complete the transfer of finances into a third parties name, the settlement of outstanding mortgage and the transfer of Deeds into my sole name.

    I am buying my ex partners share of equity within the property that I live and need to transfer her share of the funds to her.
    I need to settle the outstanding mortgage and have a conveyancer assist me in this.
    I need to have the Land Registery organised so that the Deeds of the property is transferred into my sole name.

    Please advise further

    Comment by kevin langley — March 10, 2018 @ 4:27 pm

  11. Hi Alan
    There are no set industry wide charges I’m afraid. Hopefully this guide helps give a bit of guidance. Deed of covenant is often included in the standard fee. When you get quotes from your conveyancer, ask for a break down of the costs so you can compare providers. And don’t hesitate to challenge the fee.
    Angela

    Comment by AKerr — September 15, 2017 @ 8:53 am

  12. Where can I find the standing industry charges for disbursement fees, eg fees for handling a mortgage, deed of covenant etc.
    Thanks

    Comment by alan newton — September 1, 2017 @ 2:28 pm

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