By Frances Traynor
11th December 2017
Thu 26 Oct 2017 by Ellie Pierpoint
Conveyancing fees can vary hugely, making them pretty difficult to pin down. A few years back, all solicitors had to charge the same amount, but today the fees vary as widely as the cost of property itself. To see the difference in conveyancing prices, we've updated our article on the average conveyancing fees in 2013, to suit your needs in 2016. So if you’re in the market for a conveyancing solicitor, there are a few things you should take into consideration before taking the plunge based on price alone.
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But first let’s look at what kind of fees are already out there: According to the Post Office and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, the average cost of conveyancing in 2014 was £1,419, a whole 37% more than the 2004 figure, which sounds mighty high for us! Another source gives “up to £850” as an average fee for residential conveyancing, which is rather vague and also doesn’t include Land Registry fees, disbursements, search fees, bank transfer fees and other costs, bringing it up to closer to the Post Office’s figure. Using the conveyancing search engine, The Solicitor Finder, we can compare 11 quotes for a £200,000 property which range between £564 and £1,014 for essentially the same service – even more reason why you should shop around. An instant quote for residential conveyancing from Homeward Legal, for a property valued at £200,000 gives a conveyancing fee of £570, and this includes all the above plus the Stamp Duty Land Tax Fee, Bankruptcy Search Fee, Deed of Assignment, an exchange of contracts within five days, copies of all searches, Professional Indemnity Contribution fees, new build property supplements, third party ID checks and much more – basically everything you need to complete conveyancing.
Of course, you might be able to find even cheaper than this and some companies are offering prices as low as £415, but usually these fees are just a base rate. Many people have been stung by opting for this kind of conveyancing thinking that £415 is all they’ll pay, but at the end they’re hit with a huge bill full of charges they weren’t aware of. Make sure you’re comparing the same package, as a deal that costs a little more up front but offers a “fixed fee” service, will always be better value than a deal that seems really cheap but doesn’t state that it’s fixed fee or doesn’t have a “no move no fee” guarantee, meaning you’ll be charged even if your sale falls through. The moral is: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Not necessarily. You can’t guarantee that paying more will automatically give you a better service. In fact, price should be a secondary concern after reputation and experience. If one property solicitor is reasonably priced but has fantastic reviews, but another has very high (or low) prices and no reviews, you’d be best off going for the one with a good reputation, regardless of price. One way of telling for sure if a conveyancing solicitor can be trusted is if they are regulated by the Law Society or Council of Licensed Conveyancers. Approved members will have the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) logo on their website, proving their high standards, but you should always do your own research into any company too.
In almost every case, the answer to this question is no. Estate agents will encourage you to go with their own conveyancing package out of ease, but this will bump up prices significantly. Your estate agent will receive a commission of upwards of £400 for the referral, and this cost will almost always be passed on to you, meaning your conveyancing will be around £1,000-£2,000 – which is just painful! So once again, it’s not hugely easy to work out the exact fees for conveyancing, but we can guarantee that ours are not only competitive but comprehensive and transparent. You get everything you need included in your initial fixed fee quote and a no sale no fee guarantee. Try for yourself with a free instant, no obligation quote, and see how much you can save with Homeward Legal.
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