Conveyancing is a competitive business and an essential process in buying and selling a property. A conveyancer will help with the settlement and title transfer process to ensure that the client is meeting all legal obligations and that his or her rights are protected during the transaction. When looking for a conveyancer, you will be presented with quotes, which can sometimes be overwhelming.
To walk you through the process and make the best decision possible, here’s a quick guide to ensure that you’re getting the most reasonable quote:
The Basic Fee
The basic fee is the cost of the time and expertise of your conveyancer. Basic fees vary depending on the company, and while surprisingly cheap fees should be approached with a certain level of caution, a high fee doesn’t necessarily translate to better service.
The disbursements are things that your conveyancer will pay for on your behalf. Conveyancing involves the same process, which means it deals with the same third parties. That said, the disbursement fee should be close to the quote that you receive. It would only change when additional disbursements come, which is sometimes inevitable. Nevertheless, a good conveyancer will notify you immediately when this happens.
Here are the things that fall under disbursements in conveyancing:
Land Registry Office Copies - This costs between £6 and £12 and is required to confirm the legal owner of the property.
Telegraphic Transfer Fee - This costs £20 plus VAT. It is charged to undertake a same-day transfer for properties with a mortgage.
Bankruptcy Search - The lender will request a bankruptcy search to confirm whether you have been declared bankrupt. It will cost £2 per name.
Local Authority Searches - This is part of standard conveyance that highlights any essential information about the property and the surrounding area. It will cost around £250.
Local Searches - This is priced between £250 and £400. This search is done if there is a history of mining in the local area where the property is located.
Chancel Repair Liability Search - Some property owners in England and Wales are required to pay for specific repairs to the local parish church. The search will cost £20.
Land Registration Fee - This is a fixed cost but will vary depending on the purchase price of the property.
Stamp Duty (SDLT, LTT) - This is a tax based on the price of the property.
It’s challenging to foresee every single disbursement, and additional expenditures may arise. Hence, your conveyancer must remain transparent about this. Also, knowing the standard fees that are included in the disbursement fees that you will be charged with is essential as this will help you determine whether you’re being given a fair price or not.
How Much Is the Overall Conveyancing Fee?
With all of that said, how much should you pay? It varies. If you're selling a property that is less than £500K, expect to pay a conveyancer between £600 and £800 if it comes with a mortgage. If it is not attached to a mortgage, £50 will be deducted from the fees. If the property is a leasehold, you may need to add up to £400.
On the other hand, if you’re buying a property that is less than £500K, you will probably pay for a conveyancing fee between £1,000 and £1,500 if it’s freehold with a mortgage. If it’s leasehold, you get to pay the same estimated amount as you would when selling.
You may also consider a “premier league” conveyancing service when you’re buying a property, and this will cost you roughly around £1,500 to £3,000.
When you have chosen a conveyancer to work with, you will be asked for an upfront payment on account, which will depend on the conveyancer and the property. The upfront payment will cover the costs of the initial disbursements, such as the purchase of official copies from HM Land Registry.
Be Aware Of the No Move, No Fee
A lot of conveyancing companies today follow a No Move, No Fee basis. It works when a sale falls through, and you will be spared the expense of legal fees in such an event. However, when you get a quote, don’t assume right away that they have a No Move, No Fee basis. If it’s not on the quote, it probably isn’t a part of their business.
Comparing Quotes & Choosing A Conveyancer
It’s essential to compare conveyancing quotes. When doing so, be mindful of quotes that do not have detailed disbursements. Additionally, always read the fine print thoroughly and keep an eye out for hidden and unexpected additional charges. Reputable conveyancing companies will provide you with a shortlist of reasonable extra charges while the dubious ones will often have a long list where you can spot additional costs that should already be in the basic fee.
It is tempting to go for the conveyancer that has the lowest price, however, you might end up spending more money if you do. Another consideration is the type of service that will be provided. Some conveyancers have kept up with technological advancements in which they use the latest tools in their processes. If you’re comfortable with this and you’re on the techie side, this is something that you should be on the lookout for.
There are still plenty of conveyancers who always use an old-fashioned approach to their processes, and they tend to work at a slower pace. Moreover, they also tend to have more affordable fees compared to conveyancers that use the latest technologies. If you’re not in a rush to purchase or sell a house, then a conveyancer who uses an “old school” method might be a good choice.
Conveyancing is essential whether you’re buying or selling a property. However, you need to make sure that you’re getting the right fees. Checking our quotes and knowing how much conveyancer charges are vital. Fortunately, some tools will help you get an average conveyancing fee to help you make the right decision.
Cheap headline legal fees may be tempting, but this could mean that there are hefty additional costs that you will pay eventually—and you don’t want to get stuck with that. Take the time to read and understand the quotes that you will get from conveyancers before you sign a deal.
When it comes to conveyancing quotes and fees, always be vigilant. The information listed in this article will help you make an informed decision when choosing a conveyancer that will fit your needs and your budget. Consider using a conveyancing calculator online as well to help you work on the quotes and compare them efficiently.
Compare conveyancing fees efficiently by using Conveyancing Calculator. With our services, you can find the best-value conveyancing fees that are suited to your needs and budget. Send us a message if you have any questions.