When you go through the process of buying a home in the United Kingdom, you’ll quickly learn that most of your attention will be directed towards the costs involved.
Although it’s no secret that buying a home is rather expensive because of how high home prices have risen in the country, it’s the additional costs beyond the listing prices that raise eyebrows. Regardless of where and what kind of home you’re trying to buy or how much your final offer is, you’ll eventually run into a few expenses on your budgeting sheet that will pique your curiosity at one point or another.
From closing costs to inspection fees, you will need to be aware of the different factors involved in the process sooner or later. Among the different fees you may find yourself complaining over, however, there’s one particular cost component that you’ll need to understand above all else: conveyancing fees.
Defining the term
Before you understand what kind of impact conveyancing fees have on your home-buying budget and why you need to be more aware of them, it’s essential to understand what they are in extensive detail.
The best way to define conveyancing as a whole is that it’s a legal process that takes place in and concerns property transactions. It begins with the acceptance of the offer and ends with the completion of the sale. Affecting both the buyer and seller, this particular process bears specific sub-costs that are unique to each party—making it easy to budget or allot extra financial room based on expectations.
Aside from being the most questioned cost in UK’s property laws, conveyancing fees also prove to be one of the most confusing components of the process. However, there’s no need to worry because it isn’t too late to learn more about this aspect of the process. After all, a greater understanding can help you make the most of your home buying experience.
Dissecting the list of fees
At this point, you’re probably wondering about what your conveyancing fees consist of after seeing the total figure tallied up and stated on your receipts and papers. Generally speaking, baseline conveyancing fees can be divided into two categories:
The legal fees paid to the solicitor for their work, and;
The various disbursements required to complete the process.
Compared to other costs involved in the homebuying process, the factor that makes both so unique lies in the fact that they also function as variable costs. In the case of the aforementioned legal fees, payable figures can vary according to the price of the property and the service of the solicitor. However, on top of the shifting expenses, there may also be additions depending on how complex the transaction is. Any additional legalities a property is bound to (e.g. leaseholds) may also affect the final cost.
As with any kind of cost that you may incur in your lifetime, you might be wondering what you’re paying for in the disbursements mentioned above—because of how ambiguous they may seem. While the list of additional expenses may depend from case to case, here are the most common kinds of disbursed costs you might encounter:
Local authority searches: These comprise the environmental and drainage searches that must be undertaken to understand the full market value, security, and overall integrity of the property.
Stamp Duty Land Tax: Commonly incurred as a payable on purchases of £125,000 or more, this cost increases based on the direct relationship with the price—making it a bigger figure for higher-ticket listings.
Identity checks: Often incurred to ensure that the purchase is not part of a money-laundering scheme, these inspections bear a minor fee that needs to be accounted for at one point in the transaction.
Transfer title fees: If you’re the one selling your home to a buyer, you’ll need to pay a transfer title fee to cement a deal and finalise your transaction.
How big are conveyancing fees compared to other property expenses?
If this is your first time buying or selling a home, you’re probably wondering about how much you’ll need when dealing with your conveyancing fees. Unfortunately, most home buyers inadvertently set themselves up for an unpleasant surprise when they are unaware of how much they might need to pay.
When you compare your property’s conveyancing fees to other expenses (aside from your listing price itself), the final amount may be pretty significant. From a general perspective, however, the additional four to six per cent from your property’s listing price won’t seem like much when you remember that the legalities and formalities are taken care of!
So, people are complaining about conveyancing fees—but is there really anything to complain about?
While the list of complaints and concerns surrounding the concept of conveyancing fees continues to grow over the years, the main causes of complaints remain the same. Despite the fact that each complaint is rooted in a rather unique cause or string of events, the list of primary reasons does not change:
Not all conveyancing solicitors render the same level of service;
Duplicitous solicitors may add hidden costs to the final bill out of nowhere, and;
No one knows how much they need to pay until they get the final bill.
Taking the key points above into consideration, it’s best to assume that the disdain over the home buying cost in question is justified—but that doesn’t mean that you’ll need to put up with it as well. Fortunately, you can mitigate the risk of unforeseen costs, subpar service, or unnecessary anticipation by visiting our website and using our Conveyancing Calculator to educate yourself on all the necessary details mentioned above!
The process of buying a home—for the most part—can be a whirlwind of an experience because of the different factors you’ll need to take into account. While buying or selling a home is one of the most important and fulfilling decisions you can make for yourself and your family, it is not without its challenges. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.
In the case of conveyancing costs, in particular, the list of things you need to consider and take care of is bound to grow as you move deeper into the process. Thankfully, taking this guide into consideration will allow you to set the right expectations moving forward so that you can budget and plan your finances as best you can!
Are you looking to streamline your home buying or selling process without taking any unnecessary risks along the way? Check out our conveyancing fees calculator today to get the best and most accurate results from our team of fully-regulated and trained professionals!