Because conveyancing has become such a competitive business, many firms employ tricks to create their conveyancing quotes look cheaper than they really are. This is your guide to what costs should (and should not) be included in an internet (or off-line) quote. This information will
stop you from being ripped off. conveyancing solicitors are such a competitive business.
The truth about fees
The key insight into understanding when buying conveyancing is this…
Accurate quotes should have two parts:
Part #1 – The conveyancer’s basic fee
This is the essential cost of your solicitor’s time (and expertise) for processing your transaction.
It can vary plenty between firms (a spread of £500 isn’t unusual). For now, just confine mind two points:
- High cost doesn’t automatically equal better service.
- Anything too cheap should ring alarm bells.
Part #2 – Disbursements
Disbursements are items your conveyancing solicitor will need to get on your behalf to 3rd parties and are usually payable regardless of whether or not your conveyancer offers a ‘no move no fees‘ service.
The cost of every disbursement should be roughly identical from one conveyancing quote to the next…
They are in spite of everything, fixed charges and I’ll list all of them (along with what they must cost) a bit soon.
During the course of the transaction, unavoidable additional disbursements may need to be purchased. Your conveyancer should tell you about any such costs as soon as they are available to light.
Total Cost = Conveyancer’s Basic Fee + Disbursements
How much must you expect to pay?
Selling only (<£500k property) Expect good conveyancing solicitors to cost £600-£800 if selling a freehold property with a mortgage. Add £150-£400 if it’s leasehold Subtract £50 if there’s no mortgage. A ‘Premier league‘ conveyancing service will cost £1,000 – £2,000 but it’s rarely needed when selling. Buying only (<£500k property) Expect decent conveyancing to cost £1,000-£1,500 (not including SDLT) if buying a freehold property with a mortgage. Add £150-£400 if it’s leasehold. Subtract £100 if you’re buying with cash. A ‘Premier league‘ conveyancing services will cost £1,500 – £3,000. Going ‘Premier league’ is worth considering if buying; new build, leasehold, or anything out of the normal. Conveyancing when buying is all about protecting you from landing up owning a ‘money pit’. Good advice doesn’t come cheap so try to not let your choice of conveyancer come down solely to cost. When does one pay the fees?
When you instruct a conveyancer or solicitor you may send them an ‘upfront payment on account‘.
This is usually £250-£500 but is a small amount more betting on the conveyancer and whether the property is leasehold or unregistered.
This money covers costs to 3rd parties regarding initial disbursements, such as:
- Online ID checking fees
- Purchase of official copies from HM Land Registry
Your conveyancer having ‘funds on account’ saves time and therefore the ‘faff factor’ of getting to request money from you any time throughout the course of your transaction.
Buying: What to expect?
On instruction, you pay £100 – £500 to your conveyancer so that they can order your property searches.
There is then nothing more to pay until you exchange contracts where you usually have to pay 10% of the acquisition price (this isn’t always the case and your conveyancer will advise).