When buying property for the first time, let’s say a home, there is a lot of paperwork involved. The conveyancing process is a bit costly, especially if you don’t know how to speed up the process. You must pay your property solicitor at different points throughout the home-buying journey.
Having an idea of how much you are expected to pay when conveyancing makes it easy for you. You can make all the financial arrangements and prepare the deposit before getting an offer. In this article, we cover all you should beware of when conveyancing in the UK.
Find out how much you should anticipate paying for the conveyancing costs. As you make the big financial decision to buy property, you should estimate how much you’re expected to pay.
When to pay your solicitor fees
When you finally get that offer and are ready to start the conveyancing process, you will reach out to a property solicitor. Your solicitor will ask for a payment on account before they can offer any service to you.
Be wary of lawyers charging less. Cheap can lead to mistakes – costing you tens of thousands of pounds in losses.
Certainly take risks in life, but not when buying or selling your biggest asset worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Ask yourself. Would you trust a cheap doctor? Of course not? So, why trust a cheap lawyer.
By the way, the risk is real as 50% of all negligence claims against lawyers are against conveyancers.
When buying property, having money in your account will save you time. Your solicitor will not have to ask for money severally throughout the course of the transaction.
The amount you pay covers the cost to the third parties relating to initial disbursements like searches, ID checking fees, purchasing official copies from the HM Land Registry, and many other things.
Buying a home in Remortgage? Do You Need Conveyancing Solicitors To Remortgage?
How much you pay for conveyancing depends on the property involved, the cost of the property, and whether the home you are transacting is a freehold or leasehold. The fees you pay are divided into disbursement fees and solicitor’s fees.
1 – Conveyancer basic fee
A conveyancer’s basic fee is the amount of money you pay to the solicitor for the time spent processing your transactions. The basic conveyancing costs vary from £997 to £1500.
When looking for the best conveyancer, you should not consider the amount they charge. The high cost of basic conveyancing fees does not guarantee you better services. Additionally, if the conveyancer is charging an extremely low basic fee, it leaves you in doubt whether they will be offering your quality services or not.
“Such a great company to work with. Always willing to answer my questions and have to time for me. All departments have gone above and beyond and would highly recommend.” – Lauren, a satisfied AVRillo client.
2 – Disbursement fees
Disbursement fees include all the administrative fees that your conveyancer will have to pay to third parties on your behalf. This fee is usually payable regardless of whether the conveyancer is offering you a no move, no fee service or not.
How much you pay for disbursements should differ from one conveyancer since most of the fees are fixed. In the conveyancing, you may have to meet other additional disbursements not disclosed by the conveyancer. Your property solicitor should be able to disclose such costs as soon as they arise.
Here is a list of the main disbursement fees you are most likely to meet when buying property:
- Anti-money-laundering (AML) checks: This is the fee you pay for the legal check of your identity, which is most likely to be initiated with an online company.
- Title Register (Deed) Plan: A deed confirms the current owner of the property you want to buy and the essential details of the property you are buying. It outlines all the restrictions, notices, and legal charges against the property you wish to transact.
- Searches: When buying property in the UK, you have to do local authority searches like planning search, environmental search, and drainage search.
- Fraud check: Your solicitor can ask that you confirm if there is nothing outward about the property you’re buying by undertaking bankruptcy and fraud checks. As a buyer, you may also want to find out if those involved in the transaction or the lawyer you send the money to are real people.
- Transfer of ownership: On completion of the conveyancing, you will have to pay the Land Registry a fee for transferring your name with the buyer’s name.
- Stamp duty: You have to pay a stamp duty fee if you buy a property worth more than £125,000. The amount paid will vary because it is charged on a scale. Also, first-time buyers have some exemptions when paying stamp duty fees.
- Telegraphic fees: As a buyer, you must transfer deposit funds before exchange. If you want to get this done at a go, you have to pay a CHAPs fee.
- Help to buy supplement: If you’re buying your first home with a help-to-buy scheme, you will most likely be charged the additional legal work that comes with this.
- Unregistered property supplement fee: Most properties are usually registered with the HM Land Registry, but some are not fully registered. If you’re buying or selling unregistered property, your conveyancer has a lot of work to do.
- Gifted deposits: If you are getting help elsewhere to pay the warranty for the property, you may be forced to do extra paperwork to ensure that the money comes from a legitimate source.
How much is the conveyancing fee?
The basic conveyancing costs vary from £997 to £1500. Remember this amount does not include the stamp duty fees. The amount you pay for conveyancing depends mainly on the value of the property you intend to buy.
When buying property, you must compare the conveyancing quotes using a conveyancing calculator. The amount you pay when conveyancing is determined significantly by the disbursements involved in the conveyancing process.
How much are the legal fees in conveyancing?
In most cases, the legal part of the conveyancing fees will cover the work done by the conveyancer or property solicitor. The amount you pay for legal fees will depend on factors like:
- The price of the property you transact
- The type of property; whether it is freehold or leasehold
- Whether you are using a licensed conveyancer or a property solicitor
- If you use an online conveyancer
- Where the conveyancer is operating from – their location
- If you are buying right to buy, shared ownership, or help to buy property
- Whether you have to pay for additional searches when buying the property. For instance, if the property is close to a coal mine.
It is vital to beware of the referral fees from your conveyancer. This may have a big toll on how much you pay. You will most likely pay more for legal fees when you hire a conveyancer through a referral program. When your estate agent is giving a referral, you should ask how much this will cost you before taking it. It could be more expensive than you think.
Conveyancing fees for leasehold properties
The conveyancing fees you pay when buying a leasehold property are a bit higher because you are supposed to undertake additional searches. You may also have to pay for a Deed of Covenant, a legally binding agreement between the landlord and the buyer or the property managing company.
Other additional investigations on the length of the leasehold and liaising with the landlord to serve notices increase the workload involved.
Also See: Top Rated Cambridge Conveyancing Solicitors
A property seller is required to pay for the leasehold management pack that contains all the information about services charges.
You will also have to pay for the Notice of Transfer or the Notice of Assignment. This is the document your conveyancer or solicitor sends to the property owner to inform them that you are the new owner of the property.
“I have had an excellent experience as a client. Chris who is working for us is speedy reliable and very professional, would recommend this company all day long.” – Cheryl, a satisfied AVRillo client.
Conveyancing fees when selling property
When selling property, you are not going to meet a lot of conveyancing fees as a buyer. However, you may have to pay more if you are selling and buying property simultaneously. This is because a lot of work is involved in the process.
Here is a breakdown of the conveyancing fees when selling property:
- ID checks costs
- Basic conveyancing fees that vary from £997 to £1500
- Monetary transfer fees
Additionally, you will have to cover the fee to get the title deeds from the Land Registry. More legal work is involved when selling a leasehold property, meaning you have to pay more.
When you only sell the property, you don’t have to pay for the local authority searches. You are free to negotiate the conveyancing fees with your solicitor if you are buying and selling simultaneously since the solicitor will handle both sides of the transaction.
Comparing conveyancing quotes: What you should watch out for
When buying property in the UK, you may be tempted to compare conveyancing quotes to save some money. Well, there are plenty of law firms offering different quotes. Some are cheaper and others more expensive.
The choice of a high street conveyancing firm depends on the experience you look forward to and the kind of property you want to transact.
Also See: Winchester Conveyancing Solicitors
Most law firms like to employ the invent disbursements trick to their customers. These law firms usually hide some basic conveyancing fees and put a heavy tag on them. This creates an impression to customers that they are charging a lower price when, in reality, they are doing less work.
This method sneakily creates more bottom lines for the conveyancing firm.
When buying property, you have to compare the conveyancing quotes that the law firms are presenting to you. Here are the tips to help you:
- Review the quote: Go through the conveyancing quote to ensure it includes all the basic services. Some conveyancers will only show you the basic conveyancing fee less the tax. It makes it look cheap when in the real sense, they are expensive. Therefore, before you can instruct the conveyancing firm, you should take time and go through their disbursements
- Ask about hidden or extra charges: When comparing quotes from different law firms, you should ask about any extra costs you are expected to meet. Most transparent law firms will have a short list of additional charges on their quotes.
Also See: Essex Conveyancing Solicitors
Conveyancing quotes from most of the law firms will be accurate. This is because conveyancing depends on different factors, such as the type of property and disbursements involved.
How to save on conveyancing fees
The easiest way to save money on conveyancing fees is to shop around. Compare the different quotes from a list of law firms in your location. Most law firms will be transparent in listing some of the items in their quotes.
This makes it easy to compare and contrast the conveyancing fees. You can also use a conveyancing fees calculator to determine how much you are expected to pay. Always ask the conveyancer or the law firm if all the relevant disbursement fees are included in the quote.
Below are tips to save on conveyancing fees:
- Buy a freehold: Buying a leasehold property takes time and money. If you want to save on money, you should opt for a freehold if you can. In a leasehold property, you will need to clarify how the expenses are shared and the exact terms of maintenance of the property.
- Use an online conveyancer: You can use an online conveyancer to save on conveyancing. An online conveyancer uses telephone, email, letter, and post; this way, they reduce cost of conveyancing.
- Opt for a “no sale, no fees” guarantee. You want to make sure the conveyancer agrees to this offer before they start handling your transactions. Remember, even if the conveyancer does not charge you for the basic conveyancing fees, you may still meet other costs like local authority search.
- Find out if you can get free conveyancing: some law firms will offer free conveyancing up to some point to keep the upfront cost to the bare minimum. Check if the mortgage lender is willing to use the same conveyancer for the legal work since this can help reduce the conveyancing costs.
- Be positive and have a clear mind: when conveyancing, you should keep your head up and be open to any options. For instance, it may look simple to go for building insurance with a mortgage lender, but there are cheaper alternatives to finding your policy from different law firms.
- Have all your files ready: Before you instruct a conveyancer, you should have all your files and documents ready. Store all the documents you receive from your conveyancer in a file. This saves you time and money when you sell your property.
Conveyancing Fees: FAQs
What is fixed fee conveyancing?
In fixed fee conveyancing, you pay a fixed price that the law firm quotes at the outset. In most cases, the fixed fees will be related to the legal fees, not the disbursements. The disbursements should all be included in the quote, but where there is a need for more searches, you will be required to pay more.
What is no sale, no fee conveyancing?
A “no sale, no fee” means you will not be required to pay the total conveyancing bill if the conveyancing falls through. Your conveyancer can waive the legal fees. However, you should ask the conveyancer what is included in the guarantee before seeking their services.
How can I find the best value conveyancing?
Ask your mortgage broker or an independent financial advisor to find the best value conveyancing. Shop around and find out the different rates in the market. Also, check significant review sites like TrustPilot and Google Reviews before you can choose a conveyancer.
Do I have to hire a solicitor?
Yes, when buying property, you should hire a conveyancer you can work with to speed up the conveyancing process. Getting a conveyancer is not a legal requirement, but sometimes your mortgage lender may ask that you have a professional to take you through the process.
When do I have to pay for the conveyancing fees?
You will pay a conveyancing fee when instructing a conveyancing solicitor. Most conveyancers will ask you for up to 10% conveyancing fees to be paid. You will have to clear the rest of the fees once the conveyancing is completed.
However, you should expect to pay for other disbursements like local searches during the conveyancing.
There is a lot that is involved in the conveyancing process. In most cases, you are required to have the deposit funds ready to speed up the conveyancing. As soon as you instruct your conveyancing solicitor, you should be ready to pay the initial conveyancing fee.
Remember your choice of a conveyancer and type of property will determine how fast you complete and how much you spend conveyancing.