If working with a solicitor for conveyancing in Cambridgeshire is new to you, knowing how and when to pay them for services can be confusing. Here’s what you can expect in a nutshell before we get into greater detail:
You’ll need to pay them at various points throughout your home-buying journey. Knowing that you have to anticipate these (and other) costs before you begin will help you financially plan your way. Since acquiring a property is one of the most significant financial decisions you’ll ever make, the worst case to avoid is being blindsided by unexpected bills you can’t afford.
Getting into Detail
If you need a solicitor for conveyancing, you might have to pay upfront, commonly known as a payment on account (usually about £500). They will invoice you for the rest of the costs once things are wrapped up.
Solicitor fees and disbursements (third-party transactions where your solicitor pays on your behalf) are the highest costs you should consider when hiring a solicitor. Here is how it works: You can expect to pay about £1,000–£5,000+ plus VAT to your solicitor, which is dependent on the value of your home (don’t forget that stamp duty costs will be calculated separately).
This usually depends on how much your purchase price is spent on solicitor fees and disbursements. These costs might need to be paid sooner, mainly depending on an upcoming event (such as an inspection).
It’s important to remember that many other expenses are related to buying a home. These include legal fees, land registry fees, surveys, and moving expenses. We haven’t included those here since they can vary greatly depending on your circumstances (like whether you own or rent).
Then, There Are Legal Fees
These fees directly relate to your solicitor’s work on your mortgage application. They cover all your solicitor's services for you, including their work when they draw up your mortgage deal.
Some lenders cover these fees themselves in England and Wales if you go with their chosen solicitor and mortgage type. Doing this through a broker could offer several benefits:
They can help you decide whether it’s worth going for a mortgage that has free legal work attached, or
if you’d save more by choosing a different deal.
There’s Stamp Duty, Too
Your conveyancing solicitor has several essential responsibilities in home-buying. One of these is to collect stamp duty from the Government. Stamp duty is a tax you pay to the Government when buying property.
How much you pay depends on the cost of your property and if you’re a first-time buyer.
If your house costs less than £125,000, you don’t have to pay any stamp duty.
If your house costs between £125,000 and £250,000, you won’t have to pay any stamp duty on the first £125,000.
However, if it is valued at over £250,000, you’ll have to pay stamp duty on the whole amount. Check out how much you might pay with a conveyancing calculator.
Stamp duty is called different names in different regions. In Wales, this tax is called Land Transaction Tax, while in Scotland, it’s called Land and Buildings Transaction Tax.
Do Remember These Disbursements, as Well
Disbursements are costs that third parties charge for certain services. Your conveyancing solicitor will collect these fees from you and pay them on your behalf. If it’s a significant disbursement, they may ask you to deliver it to them at the time, but most disbursements are covered by the £500 you paid at the beginning.
You should see a full breakdown of all your disbursements on your completion statement at the end, so ask your solicitor for this in your receipt.
Your solicitor might need to pay some or more of these disbursements:
Bankruptcy search: Before giving you the money, lenders will want to confirm that you haven't declared bankruptcy in the past. This will cost £2 per person. They will also ensure that you aren't involved in money laundering by doing a credit check. Expect to pay between £6 and £20 for this.
Electronic service fees: don’t forget the electronic transfer fees, which will cost between £20 and £30. You’ll need to do this every time your solicitor makes a bank transfer on your behalf.
Help to Buy supplement: Your solicitor might add an extra fee for the additional work involved if you buy your home as part of the Help to Buy scheme. Typically, this fee ranges somewhere between £200 and £300; however, your solicitor doesn't add more than this because the cost is capped at £50.
Land Registry fee: Costs up to £1,105 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and £45 in Scotland. The solicitor might charge extra for work that comes along with the Help to Buy scheme, so expect to pay between £200 and £300 for this supplement.
Lifetime ISA or Help-to-Buy ISA: The purchase of a home with a lifetime or Help to Buy ISA will require more work from your solicitor, so the fee is slightly higher. The extra cost is capped at £50, plus VAT.
Local authority searches: These can cost as much as £600 depending on the local authority, though some are as low as £100. You'll get all of this information from your Home Report in Scotland.
Water and drainage and environmental searches: These are routine for lenders, especially when flooding is a risk or contaminated land is nearby, so don’t worry about those; they should cost between £30 and £45 each.
Q1: What’s a conveyancer?
A1: In simple terms, conveyancers act on your behalf during home-buying. They ensure your identification, funding, documentation, and compliances are all in order before pushing forward with a property deal.
Q2: What’s a solicitor?
A2: A solicitor transfers the legal title of a property to another person, but buying a house is a considerable investment. Therefore, you need to know precisely what you’re buying and that you do so legally. That’s where conveyancing solicitors come in.
Q3: Do I still need to pay legal fees even if the property sale happens?
A3: Yes, there are some costs of having your house up for sale that can’t be refunded if the deal falls through, and you will have to pay them even if the sale doesn’t happen.
The amount you have to pay depends on how far along you are in the process (for example, how far along the buyer is in his search for a house) and how much time the whole process is likely to take. This can get complicated quickly, so you should talk to your solicitor and crunch all the numbers to ensure any potential costs won’t outweigh the potential benefits.
Conclusion: Get Professional Conveyancing in Cambridgeshire
If all these terms and tasks make your head spin as early as now, it’s best to get professional conveyancing in Cambridgeshire from Conveyancing Calculator! We provide clients with immediate quotations through our online calculator! Call us now at 0330-043-1202 or get a quote when you visit our website!