How much are Conveyancing Fees?
Conveyancing fees are one of the many costs in buying and selling residential property.
The legal work involved can be both time consuming and challenging. As a result, most people hire legal professionals called conveyancers to help with their purchase or sale.
The market for conveyancing services in the UK is large and varied. With many options ranging from large online conveyancing houses to boutique conveyancing solicitors, this can be overwhelming.
In this guide, we look at the average conveyancing cost in the UK. We then explore how much you should really be paying and what to look for when comparing conveyancing fees and what should be included in them. Finally, we look at whether you should use either a ‘top-flight’ or an online conveyancing service.
Quick Page Navigation
- What does a conveyancer do?
- What does conveyancing cost on average?
- How do conveyancing quotes work?
- How much should you pay for conveyancing?
- When do I pay my conveyancer?
- What to look out for when comparing conveyancing quotes
- What should be included in conveyancing quotes when selling?
- What should be included in conveyancing quotes when buying?
1. What does a conveyancer do?
Ultimately, conveyancers are responsible for handling the legal side of a property transaction. This is to ensure that all parties involved comply with the relevant laws and regulations.
Both the buyer and the seller will need to hire a conveyancer. When buying a property, your conveyancer will be working to ensure you do not buy an uninsurable, unsellable property. When you are selling, they aim to help to achieve a quick and painless sale.
Typically, a conveyancer will need to prepare or review a number of legal documents for their client. This will include a contract of sale and a deed of transfer. Buyers will also have their conveyancers help with their mortgage documents.
The buyer’s conveyancer should recommend and organise property searches in order to ensure that the property has no hidden financial or legal issues. Conducting searches allows buyers to know about potential issues in advance of exchanging contracts and completing on a planned purchase.
The conveyancer should also make enquiries or ask questions about the property of the seller. This involves asking for copies of documents including planning certificates and building work guarantees. This is to ensure the safety and legitimacy of any previous building works conducted at the property.
The seller should get their conveyancer to help them respond to these enquiries. If an important document is unavailable, a conveyancer may recommend the purchase of indemnity insurance to protect the buyer.
On top of ensuring the legitimacy of a sale, conveyancers also manage the exchange of funds between the buyer and the seller. Typically, the buyer’s conveyancer will transfer the deposit to the seller’s conveyancer, who will then hold it until the buyer’s conveyancer sends the remaining balance of payment over.
When this happens, the seller’s legal representative will pay off the seller’s mortgage and send the remaining amount on to the seller. It is normal practice for the seller’s conveyancer to take their payment from the remaining balance at this stage, before sending any remaining proceeds from a sale to the seller.
The buyer’s conveyancer is then responsible for ensuring the filing of a stamp duty land tax return, and the registry of the change of ownership with HM Land Registry.
Why do I need a good conveyancer?
Hiring, or “instructing” a good conveyancer can be the key to ensuring an easy and stress-free property transaction.
A conveyancer should complete work quickly, accurately, and efficiently, and push you to do the same. This means your transaction is more likely to succeed.
Together with an estate agent, your conveyancer is one of the best-placed people to help you conduct any negotiations with other parties. This is because they have extensive experience with property law and transactions. They should be able to offer a realistic view of your negotiating position and help you get a good deal without risking losing the property.
A bad conveyancer can put the success of your whole move at risk. They will do this by making mistakes, communicating poorly, being difficult to contact, ignoring potential problems, and taking an age to get things done. This might annoy the other parties in your transaction so much they feel they can find a better deal elsewhere. This could spell disaster!
Licensed conveyancer’s vs conveyancing solicitors
A licensed conveyancer is a specialist type of lawyer that can only work on property law. A solicitor on the other hand is a generalist lawyer who can help clients with all aspects of law. Both solicitors and licensed conveyancers can prove effective when dealing with conveyancing work. But beware – there are differences between them.
Generally, it is worth hiring a solicitor if your transaction is complicated, and touches on other aspects of law, such as inheritance, or divorce. A licensed conveyancing firm will be unable to deal with this.
Solicitors, however, normally charge substantially more than licensed conveyancers and may treat your work as a lower-priority task compared to other case work. In addition, some solicitors offer conveyancing quotes, but can easily fall out of practice over time. This can lead to the conveyancing task taking far longer than expected.
2. What does conveyancing cost on average?
A conveyancing firm will charge you both for their own time, and for any costs which they may incur while working on your behalf.
Lots of organisations have researched average conveyancing costs, although no consensus has ever really been achieved.
The property services website Reallymoving.com found that conveyancing fees average £1731 per transaction. However, this figure is not very useful as the amount you can pay for conveyancing services can vary dramatically depending on a variety of factors.
These factors include the complexity of the transaction, the value of the property, whether it is a leasehold and which conveyancing company you choose. These will also include whether you are buying or selling. If you are buying, your conveyancer will have more work to do and so will charge substantially more.
When looking at conveyancing fees with the average UK house sale price of £277,000 conveyancing comparison website Comparemymove.com found that the average amount spent on conveyancing in 2023 was £2239 for buyers. For sellers it was £1,690.
3. How do conveyancing quotes work?
Conveyancing quotes are always split into two parts.
The first part, the legal or basic fees, is the payment required for the work done by the conveyancing firm itself. This will include creating legal documents, managing the exchange of contracts, and carrying out all the steps needed to ensure the completion of the transaction.
The second part of a conveyancing quote, the disbursements, are payments which the conveyancer is required to make to third parties. Generally speaking, these costs are much the same from one conveyancer to another, as they are fixed charges.
The total cost of your conveyancing should come to the sum of the legal fees and the disbursements.
A conveyancer’s legal fees will be arrived at based on a number of factors. For example, a conveyancer in London is likely to charge more than one in the North of England. And online conveyancing firms are generally cheaper than their high street competitors due to lower overheads. When a case requires additional conveyancing, such as when a client is dealing with a leasehold property, is using a help-to-buy scheme, or is buying with a mortgage, a higher price will normally be charged.
Some disbursements are required for every property transaction whether they be for searches or indemnity insurance. Sometimes, depending on the property in question, more disbursements will be necessary on top of the standard ones. These can come to light midway through the conveyancing transaction. Your conveyancer should be able to tell you about these as soon as they find out.
When buying a property worth more than £250,000 you may have to pay stamp duty land tax. This is typically paid to your conveyancer alongside their fees, though is not included in the quote as it varies depending on your property’s value.
A conveyancer’s basic fee is typically worked out in one of three ways. Normally, solicitors will calculate their legal fees on an hourly basis, which can become expensive if a snag is hit. Alternatively, lots of conveyancers base their legal fees on the value of the property, simply charging more for higher value homes. Finally, some conveyancers offer to conduct their work on a fixed fee basis.
What is ‘Fixed Fee’ conveyancing?
Fixed-fee conveyancing firms offer their services at a fixed price. This means the price you are quoted at the outset is the price you should pay for their services on completion.
Fixed-fee conveyancing has risen in popularity in recent years as it offers advantages compared to paying for legal services on an hourly basis.
In order to get accurate conveyancing quotes from fixed fee firms you will need to ensure they know all the pertinent information about a property. This will include confirming if it is a leasehold, owned in a shared manner, or involved in a help-to-buy deal.
While fixed fee conveyancers do not charge the same amount for every property, having an idea of the price you will be paying in advance allows you to budget more accurately.
Unfortunately, quotes from fixed fee conveyancers are rarely perfect, as it is impossible for a conveyancer to accurately predict all of the disbursements that may be necessary when quoting. For example, if it turns out additional searches are required, additional funds will be needed to pay for these, on top of the initial quote.
What is ‘No-move No-fee’ conveyancing?
‘No-move no-fee’, also called ‘no-sale no-fee conveyancing’ is an option that is worth considering.
This is because one-in-three property transactions today fail. The most common reasons for a house sale collapse include issues with a survey or problems in obtaining mortgage finance.
However, if you have instructed a no-move no-fee conveyancer and your transaction fails, the good news is you will not have to pay legal fees. While you will still be held liable for any disbursements already paid for, this will limit the total amount you owe your conveyancer.
In addition, this no-sale no-fee payment structure offers a strong motivating factor for your conveyancing firm to get your transaction across the finish line.
No-sale no-fee conveyancers do come with several downsides. These can include slightly higher prices, and the potential for terms and conditions to catch you out. Nonetheless, generally, no-move no-fee conveyancing can be a good idea and particularly if your property is of high value.
4. How much should you pay for conveyancing?
Often, you can get a good conveyancing service for substantially less than the UK average price.
This is because many people who become involved in a property transaction follow their estate agent’s recommendation for a conveyancer. Alternatively, many people choose their local high street solicitor without shopping around.
Data gathered by the Legal Services Consumer Panel shows less than half of all customers looking for legal services in 2022 bothered to shopped around.
The fact is, if you look around you can find a conveyancer offering both no-win no-fee and fixed-fee options who will charge substantially less than average while still providing a great service.
Is online conveyancing any good?
One way to avoid paying a fortune for property law services is to go online. Instructing a good online conveyancer, you could buy a £100k house paying conveyancing fees average costs of £900 including disbursements.
When selling, you can pay even less, with one well-regarded online conveyancing firm, Conveyquote.co.uk offering to complete the legal aspects of a £100k property sale for as little as £728, all in.
Admittedly, these prices are for barebones services, and if buying with a mortgage, or buying a leasehold property you will have to pay substantially more, as detailed later. However, this does show that a good online conveyancing service can be affordable for all.
Can you pay too little for conveyancing?
Whilst you may have heard horror stories about online conveyancers with clients saying they never got to speak to the same person twice, these are normally reflective of the cheapest firms. Most of these employ vast teams of staff, many of whom are little more than call centre employees with flow charts. That is, they have minimal real-world experience of the conveyancing task.
If you come across firms offering a conveyancing fees average of around £300 – £400, this sort of set-up should be assumed, and avoided except perhaps for the simplest of sales.
By seeking out well-reviewed online licensed conveyancers in the middle of the market, you can get the best value service for simple transactions.
Note that if you are dealing with a more complex transaction, especially one touching on an area of the law beyond property, you should probably employ a conveyancing solicitor. Thankfully, online conveyancing solicitors are also now available.
While these services are more expensive than those of a licensed conveyancer, websites, including Compareandconvey.co.uk offer well-regarded solicitors with good reputations at fixed prices.
5. When do I pay conveyancing fees?
To instruct a solicitor or conveyancer you will need to send them an initial payment, often known as an “upfront payment on account.”
This payment typically ranges from £250 – £500, although it can be a bit more if the property in question is a leasehold or is unregistered. This payment is used to pay for a number of initial disbursements. Having this money on account means a conveyancer does not have to hassle you for funds throughout the transaction.
When buying, your conveyancer will use this money for the initial searches. When selling, they will use it to order official copies of the title documents from The Land Registry.
The balance payment of your conveyancer’s fees will be made after your property transaction has completed. The sum paid will be outlined in a document drafter by your conveyancer called a completion statement.
What is a completion statement?
A completion statement is a document made up by your conveyancer to confirm all financial transactions related to the purchase or sale of a property.
It offers a detailed breakdown of all the costs and payments involved in the transaction, including the conveyancers’ fees. The completion statement for a buyer and a seller will be similar, but there are some important differences.
When buying, the completion statement outlines all costs associated with buying the property. This will include the purchase price, any deposit paid, any conveyancing fees and disbursements. Finally, this will confirm any Stamp Duty Land Tax that is payable. Two drafts will be sent before the final request is made just before completion. Everything in the statement must be paid before the transaction can go ahead. Typically, your conveyancer will also send you a separate bill breaking down their fees.
When selling, the completion statement also outlines the costs associated with the transaction. This will include disbursements, conveyancer’s and estate agent’s fees. Also listed will be any costs which need settling at the point of completion. This could include final mortgage payments and early redemption penalty charges, ground rent and service charges.
The final payment
Typically, a buyer will pay their conveyancer the final payment outlined in the completion statement the day before completion. This ensures that the money is available for the transaction to go ahead. This payment must include the balance of the conveyancer’s fees and any Stamp Duty Land Tax owing.
On the other hand, when selling, it is common practice for the conveyancer to take their fee from the sale proceeds immediately following completion.
After taking their fees and settling any costs, a conveyancer employed by a seller will send and remaining proceeds (over and above all costs) to the seller. In the rare event that the proceeds of a sale will not cover a seller’s costs, the seller must make up the difference from their own pocket before completion can take place.
6. What to look out for when comparing conveyancing quotes
As we previously hinted at, some conveyancing companies aiming to make their quotes seem as cheap as possible will hide certain costs.
Typically, this is done using invented, or phantom disbursements.
What a company will do is take things which should be covered under their basic fee, call them potential additional disbursements, put an expensive price tag on them and hide them in the small print. This means the conveyancing firm can advertise at their artificially reduced basic rate, despite the fact all customers will need to pay for these “potential additional disbursements”.
This gives the impression that the company offers a cheaper service than it does in reality. In doing so, this lures clients in and turning what appears to be a cheap quote into something much more expensive.
When you come across an ultra-cheap conveyancing quote it is highly likely that this method is being used to misrepresent real costs. You should expect any conveyancer advertising basic rates of less than £300 to be hiding their true costs.
How to avoid hidden conveyancing fees
In order to avoid being caught out, you should follow a pair of simple rules for comparing quotes accurately.
First, be extremely wary of any quote which does not fully itemise all associated disbursements. This kind of quote will typically provide the bare minimum amount of information, and normally will just list the solicitor’s fee with the aim of looking as cheap as possible.
Lots of companies initially quote this way, and some can make you have to search hard to find the detailed cost breakdown of the disbursements.
Before you instruct any conveyancing firm you should ensure that you have seen an accurate breakdown of the predicted necessary disbursements and the full extent of the amount you will be charged.
Second, you should search the small print for hidden charges fastidiously. While transparent firms will make the costs of instructing them apparent immediately, less scrupulous companies will hide much of their basic fee here.
Are conveyancing quotes entirely accurate?
Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict the exact cost of conveyancing work.
This is for a couple of reasons. When buying, something may lead your conveyancer to conclude specialist searches, such as a mining, waterways, or a chancel liability search, are necessary. Unfortunately, these searches are typically unforeseen but are vital for protecting your purchase.
When selling, on the other hand, costs can accrue due to missing documents.
This is when a piece of important paperwork, such as a building work guarantee, completion certificate, or a planning document, has gone missing, or worse still, never existed in the first place.
As this means the property’s new owner could be liable for costs or even legal action from the local authority, sellers often buy indemnity insurance to protect their buyers from these risks.
This normally only costs £200 – £300 and can be the difference between a sale failing or succeeding. However, this is never accounted for in conveyancing quotes and fees.
Can I trust online calculators?
Most of the time!
While the vast majority of online conveyancing fees calculators do a decent job estimating the conveyancing fee that is to be expected, a couple of companies have been reported attempting to hide disbursements. This is in a bid to reduce the perceived overall costs of their service.
Before you instruct a conveyancer you should carefully check the itemised breakdown of fees in the client care letter. This is a document a conveyancer must give to a client prior to accepting an instruction. This should show the expected fees in detail.
If a conveyancer does not offer a client care letter or a close equivalent, disregard them immediately, and find someone else. Without this, you cannot be sure what they will charge, and it is far better to know in advance than be hit by a large bill.
7. What should be included in conveyancing quotes when selling?
Looking at solicitors fees when selling a house there are several elements which you will always have to pay for. And there could potentially be extra costs which may apply in addition to these.
These include supplemental legal fees for more complex transactions, as well as some small disbursements.
When selling a leasehold property, your legal fees will always be higher than if you were selling a freehold. You will also have to pay for additional disbursements.
Standard costs and disbursements
When selling a property, the following things should always be included in conveyancing quotes.
If any of these elements are not included, you should consider the quote incomplete.
- Legal fees + VAT (£300 – £1500): This is the amount the conveyancer will charge for their time and expertise. It will be charged hourly, based on the value of your property, or even as a fixed fee.
- Land Registry official copies (£6 – £24): You must send up-to-date copies of the title register and title plan to a potential buyer in a ‘pre-contract pack’. Together, these documents are known as office copy entries. These prove who owns the property, and show any legal charges or notices held against it.
- Telegraphic transfer fees (£20 – £50 plus VAT): Banks charge telegraphic transfer fees to send money. Your solicitor will typically charge you for sending any sale proceeds to you on the same day as your sale completes. When you have a mortgage, a second telegraphic transfer fee will need to be paid to transfer the mortgage repayment from your conveyancer to the bank.
- ID check (£6 – £20 plus VAT): In order to meet money laundering regulations your conveyancer must have seen proof of your identity. There is no one way this is done, and different conveyancing companies will have different methods, and therefore charge different amounts.
Potential extra costs and disbursements
There are a few common extra charges conveyancers might bill you for when you are selling your property.
Whether you will be charged for these depends on if your transaction fits certain criteria.
- Mortgaged property supplemental fee (£50 – £150 plus VAT): Conveyancers normally charge an additional fee when helping settle with mortgage lenders. This is because they have additional work to do in redeeming a mortgage.
- Unregistered property supplemental fee (£100 – £200 plus VAT): While the registration of residential property with HM Land Registry has been mandatory upon purchase since the 1990s, around 15% of the UK is still unregistered. If you are selling an unregistered property your conveyancer will charge you more as they need to locate physical copies of the title deeds or evidence of ownership of the property in question.
- Indemnity policies (£20 – £300 plus VAT): Depending on the results of the property searches, the buyer may require the seller to buy an indemnity insurance policy to protect them from any future liability. Good examples of when this is required include when planning or completion certificates are missing, or never existed in the first place.
Extra conveyancing costs when selling a leasehold property
When selling a leasehold property, you will have to pay some additional fees and disbursements.
This is because more work is required of the conveyancer and your landlord can charge you for documentation vital for your sale.
- Leasehold property supplemental fee (£100 – £200 plus VAT): Many conveyancers increase their base fee when selling leasehold property. This is because it is more complicated and requires more of their time than freehold conveyancing.
- Official copies of the lease (£3 – £6): In addition to the need for the title register and title plan, when selling leasehold property you will need a copy of the lease, as well as any titles relating to any intermediary landlords.
Leasehold Information pack/managing agent’s pack (£150 – £800 plus VAT): You will also need a copy of a document called the ‘leasehold information pack’, or the ‘managing agent’s pack’. This document details the property’s ground rent, service charges, any planned major works which the leaseholder will be expected to contribute towards and any attempt by the leaseholders to buy the freehold. It should also include a copy of the managing company’s accounts for the last three years. Typically, conveyancers will not include this in their quotes as they have no control over how much it may end up costing.
8. What should be included in conveyancing quotes when buying?
Like when selling, when you are buying a property there will be several elements you always have to pay your conveyancer for, and a whole bunch of potential additional costs, including both supplemental legal fees and disbursements both large and small.
These additional costs vary in how commonly they apply, with some affecting most property while others are only charged for as few as one in one hundred property purchases.
Standard costs and disbursements
- Legal Fees plus VAT (£400 – £1500): Solicitors fees when buying a house will typically be you more than when you are selling. This is because they have more work to do.
- Search pack (£180 – £300 plus VAT): Searches are enquiries made on your behalf by your solicitor to an outside authority for information about the property, land and factors which may affect it.
- Local authority search (rarely more than £300): Normally, a comprehensive search pack will contain a local authority search, which checks the local land charges register for conservation requirements, possible renovation grants and smoke control zones. The local authority search also checks the building control and planning history of the property, and investigates nearby road schemes, motorways and some environmental dangers. The amount charged for a local authority search can vary widely depending on where in the country the property in question is. Prices range from around £30 to more than £300.
- Drainage and water search (£50 – £100): The drainage and water search checks if mains water, public drains and sewers are connected to the property. This search is typically provided by a water company.
- Environmental search (£35 – £50 plus VAT): An environmental search primarily investigates the risk of land contamination or pollution. While technically liability for this should fall on the polluter, if they cannot be found the buyer can be left covering the costs of restoring the land.
- Other searches: Other searches are sometimes necessary when certain issues are likely to impact a property. For example, properties by a river or canal may have to have a Canal and Rivers Trust search to see if they are liable to pay for the upkeep of that waterway. Properties in areas where mining was historically prevalent will need a mining search. Additionally, if your house is close to an ancient pre-reformation parochial church, you may be liable to pay for its upkeep. This can be checked through something called a chancel liability search. Less common searches such as these can vary in price but generally come in at between £20 – £200 each.
- Telegraphic transfer fees (£20 – £50 plus VAT): Much like when selling a property, when buying you will need to pay a telegraphic transfer fee to send your money from your conveyancer to the seller. If you are buying with a mortgage or are buying a house with a deposit of more than £60,000, further telegraphic transfer fees may need to be paid.
- ID Check (£6 – £25 plus VAT): Conveyancers are legally obligated to check who you are in order to avoid falling foul of money laundering regulations. The way firms do this, and the associated costs, vary.
- Bankruptcy pre-completion search (£2 – £30): Buyers pay for these final searches to be conducted shortly after the exchange of contracts. This is to prove nothing has changed with the buyer’s ability to buy the property.
- Land Registry Fees (£20 – £455): It is a legal requirement to register all changes in property ownership in England and Wales with HM Land Registry. They will charge you to update their records, with the price depending on how much you paid for your property. Changing the ownership of a property which costs less than £80,000 only costs £20, while doing the same for a property worth £1,000,001 or more will cost as much as £455.
- Stamp Duty Land Tax (Fixed rate, no VAT): Not typically included in a conveyancing quote, Stamp Duty Land Tax or ‘SDLT’ is a tax levied on property purchases. Levied by Government, SDLT rates range from 0% all the way up to 17% depending on a variety of factors. These include a property’s price, if the property is your first home, and if you are a full-time UK resident.
Potential costs and disbursements
- Filing the stamp duty tax return (£20 – £50): Typically, conveyancers fill in your stamp duty return and send off the seven-page document to HM Land Registry. Some conveyancers will charge separately for this, while others will include it in their basic fee.
- Mortgaged property supplement fee (£100 – £300 plus VAT): Conveyancers will add an additional surcharge to your legal bill if you are buying with a mortgage. This is as when this is the case, they will have extra work liaising and coordinating with your lender.
- Leasehold property supplement fee (£100 – £200 plus VAT): Much like when buying with a mortgage, when you are buying leasehold property conveyancers will add a surcharge to your bill. This is because leasehold conveyancing is more complicated, and takes more time than a comparable freehold property.
- Help-to-buy supplement fee (£200 – £300 plus VAT): Conveyancers also charge an additional fee if you using a help-to-buy scheme, and getting an associated equity loan. They charge more for this as when this is the case, they must complete a substantial amount of additional work.
- Help-to-buy ISA fee (£12 – £50): This is a statutory fee which is chargeable when redeeming the bonus from a help-to-buy ISA.
- Landlords/Managing agent’s fee: When buying leasehold property your conveyancer will need to deal with the landlord or the managing agent to arrange the change of ownership. The management company can charge for the administration of this.
- Lawyer check (£10 – £15 plus VAT): A lawyer check ensures the people you are sending money to are actual conveyancers rather than a clever group of scammers. This is worth doing most of the time and should be standard practice in any situation where the conveyancer acting for the seller is not known to your legal representative.
Possible additional costs
The following table shows a number of conveyancing fees which can add additional costs to your final bill.
All of these things are reasonable to charge for, even if they do not come up that commonly and will be billed for at good conveyancers across the country.
|Less common additional conveyancing fees|
|Additional task||Associated additional fee|
|Porting a pre-existing mortgage||£95 – £150 plus VAT|
|Dealing with an HMO||£75 – £150 plus VAT|
|Dealing with underpinning structural matters||£100 – £200 plus VAT|
|Dealing with restrictions on HM Land Registry||£75 – £300 plus VAT|
|Dealing with a certificate of bankruptcy registered on the title||£50 – £100 plus VAT|
|Reviewing an existing AST tenancy on purchase||£75 – £100 plus VAT|
|Additional fee for a guarantor being involved||£150 – £300 plus VAT|
|Dealing with contaminated land||£95 – £150 plus VAT|
|Dealing with defective titles||£50 – £100 plus VAT|
|Dealing with solar panel documentation||£100 – £150 plus VAT|
|Dealing with a certificate of compliance||£95 – £100 plus VAT|
|Dealing with a building enforcement notice||£50 – £100 plus VAT|
|Unregistered freehold title||£80 – £150 plus VAT|
|Unregistered leasehold title||£80 – £150 plus VAT|
|Writing a deed of covenant||£125 – £200 plus VAT|
|Arranging an indemnity insurance policy||£80 – £120 plus VAT|
|Exchange and/or completion deadline within three weeks of receipt of contract||£100 – £400 plus VAT|
|Completion deadline within five days of the exchange of contracts||£100 – £200 plus VAT|
|Corresponding with and collecting funds from a third party||£80 – £150 plus VAT|
Hidden extras and “potential additional costs”
These are costs which should be covered by your conveyancing firm’s legal fee. Less ethical firms often describe these as “potential” additional costs. If any of these are listed by the company in a quote, you should expect to pay them.
The first is the PI Contribution. PI stands for professional indemnity. This is essentially the cost of insurance covering their work in case something goes wrong. This is a typical overhead for all conveyancing firms and should always be included in the basic fee. However, some firms may try to add an additional £50 – £100 to a client’s bill to cover it. This is now considered bad practice and you should be wary of any firm trying to do this today.
A second fee conveyancing companies might try to get out of you is a cost to cover postage, photocopying, and phone calls. These again are typical business overheads and should be covered by the legal fee, with a possible exception for international shipping and calls. These can range from as little as £5 to as much as £50 an item.
If either of these things are brought up during a quote, you should consider using a different conveyancing company. There are some other hidden costs which are not quite such a bad sign, however.
Some legal companies may charge an archiving fee to keep hold of your file documents. This is typically offered as standard, but if it is not, it is generally well worth getting. Being able to access your file in future can be extremely helpful if you run into problems with your property such as queries or disputes over boundaries. Prices for several years of storage typically range from £15 to £50.
Finally, some firms will charge extra to file your Stamp Duty Land Tax return. This always needs to be done, even if your transaction is under the SDLT threshold and is typically always charged separately. Normally, conveyancers will charge £20 – £50 to complete and file the SDLT return.
The amount charged for residential conveyancing fees in England and Wales can vary enormously, depending on a wide variety of factors.
Conveyancing companies charge different rates with some being far more expensive than others. Factors affecting the property, including whether it is a leasehold or mortgaged, also have a substantial impact on the amount you will have to pay your conveyancer.
Conveyancing quotes are split into two separate sections. Legal fees are what you are paying for the conveyancers’ services, while disbursements pay for things requested from third party agencies.
Comparing conveyancing quotes can be difficult as they often do not include all charges.
You should check if conveyancing fees have included disbursements, as well as look at the small print to see if there are any hidden additional costs and take all of these into account before instructing a conveyancer.
Has this article been helpful? Let us know by leaving a short comment below.