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how much should conveyancing cost

A guide to conveyancing fees

Everything you need to know about conveyancing fees, including what solicitors include in their fees and how much you can expect to pay.

What are conveyancing fees?

Conveyancing fees cover the amount you’ll pay to make sure the legal side of a house sale or purchase is handled correctly. Conveyancing fees can be split into two parts: the legal fees (what the conveyancer or solicitor charges for doing the work), and the disbursements (what third parties charge for certain services).

Some conveyancing fees apply to sellers only, and some only need to be paid by buyers. For more information, read our guides to conveyancing for sellers and the conveyancing process for buyers.

How much are conveyancing fees?

The price of conveyancing fees will vary depending on a number of factors, because there is no industry wide set pricing scheme. The size of the bill can vary greatly depending on location because you may need to pay for additional searches if the property is near a river or coal mine, for example.

According to the Money Advice Service, conveyancing fees are typically between £850 and £1,500 including VAT.

How much are the legal fees?

The legal portion of the conveyancing fees bill covers the work done by the conveyancing solicitor themselves. The cost varies, but starts from £500 and can exceed £1,000.

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

What are the main disbursements?

  • Anti-money laundering checks. These legal checks will verify your identity, and are likely to be done by an online company. You should expect to pay extra if you’re living abroad or a foreign national
  • Title deeds. If you’re selling a property, you’ll need to get a copy of the Title of Deeds, which are most likely held by the Land Registry. Be warned that the cost for leasehold properties is higher than freehold.
  • Searches. If you’re buying a property, you will need local authority searches, such as a drainage search and an environmental search, and a planning search if you want to find out about any development planned for nearby.
  • Property fraud. You will want to check that the lawyer you’re sending money to is a real company.
  • Transferring ownership. You have to pay the Land Registry a fee for transferring your name with your buyer’s name on completion.
  • Telegraphic transfer or bank transfer fee. You’ll need to use a telegraphic transfer to guaranteed funds reach an account on a certain day, as requested by your mortgage provider. Your solicitor will charge a fee for performing the transfer, plus the bank’s charge.
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax. If you’re buying a property worth more than £125,000 you’ll need to pay stamp duty. The cost because it’s charged on a sliding scale.
  • Help to Buy supplement. If you’re buying with a Help to Buy scheme, you’re likely to be charged extra because of the additional legal work that this entails.

What are the charges for leasehold properties?

The conveyancing fees for leasehold properties will be much higher, as there are likely to be additional costs. You may need to pay for a Deed of Covenant, for example, which is a legally binding agreement between the buyer and landlord or management company about factors such as carrying out repair work.

Other work could include additional investigations into the length of the lease, as well as liaising with the landlord to serve notices on them or the managing agent, or getting further information about the service charge or management details, for example. The costs can be anything from £100 to £1,000.

Are there any other conveyancing fees to consider?

The most common associated costs have been listed above, however there are occasions when you may need to pay for other fees. One example is that if a seller doesn’t have a FENSA or building regulation certificate for their double glazed windows, an insurance policy may be needed.

What if my sale falls through?

Some conveyancing solicitors may offer a ‘no sale, no fee guarantee’, which means that if your sale falls through, you won’t have to pay the full conveyancing bill. Some may waive the legal fees, but it’s wise to get a clear explanation of what the guarantee covers before you hire their services.

Remortgaging conveyancing fees

If you’re in the process of remortgaging your property, you should expect to pay conveyancing fees as part of this process. Find out more about solicitors and remortgaging a property and the conveyancing process.

Do I have to hire a conveyancer?

While it’s not a legal requirement that you hire a conveyancing solicitor, it’s a very specialised skill and your mortgage lender may insist that you use a professional. However, it is possible to do conveyancing yourself if you don’t have a mortgage.

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

When do I have to pay conveyancing fees?

You may be asked to pay a deposit when you hire a conveyancing solicitor, and they could ask for up to 10% of the conveyancing fees to be paid. You will usually settle the rest of the conveyancing fees once the sale of the house is completed, although you could be asked to pay for things like local searches before then.

Do I need a conveyancing solicitor to transfer equity?

It’s highly likely that you’ll need to hire a conveyancing solicitor if you’re transferring equity on a property, for example if a relationship ends and the property is transferred to one of the couple. The typical activities that you could be charged for include a bankruptcy search, Land Registry search, identification search and transfer fees as well as the legal costs. If you’re planning to remortgage, you’ll face other conveyancing costs associated with this.

How can I save on conveyancing fees?

One of the best ways to save on fees is to shop around and compare conveyancing quotes.

It’s also good to know that members of the Home Owners Alliance can get 10% discount on legal fees. Find out more about membership benefits.

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

Find the right conveyancing solicitor

Conveyancy is the area of law that draws the most complaints, according to the legal ombudsman – it accounts for nearly a quarter of all issues reported in 2016. This highlights how important it is to choose the right conveyancing solicitor.

It may seem simple and easy to accept your estate agent’s recommendation for a conveyancing solicitor, but they may be earning commission on this introduction and their suggestion may not be the best fit. You may prefer to avoid your estate agent’s in-house services for this reason. Always shop around and compare quotes for the best deal.

Online companies may come up cheaper when you compare conveyancing quotes, but you need to make sure you fully understand online conveyancing because their services will differ to local firms on your high street.

It’s always advisable to choose a conveyancing solicitor who is registered to a professional body and is able to support you throughout the process.

But one of most important things when it comes to finding a conveyancing solicitor is to compare quotes.

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

Worried about your conveyancing bill?

Remember: 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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