By Frances Traynor
24th April 2018
Wed 21 Mar 2018 by Frances Traynor
There is no such thing as a set fee for conveyancing. Instead fees for buying and/or selling property will vary depending on a number of factors.
For example, the price of the property you are selling or buying will influence the solicitors' fees, while there are external duties and charges that your legal representative has no control over yet must be added to the final bill.
However, while no one can predict from the start of a transaction exactly what the final tally will be, we can detail the costs and charges that are likely to be part of a conveyancing package. To give you some guidance on the outlay you can expect on conveyancing, we have updated our 2017 article on average conveyancing fees to give you a steer on your potential costs in 2018.
Remember, the cheapest quote you receive may not necessarily be the best for your particular situation, while some online quotes will not include disbursements and other charges, more of which later.
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According to research from Post Office Money and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, average conveyancing fees in the UK are £1,419. However, those fees are only for the solicitors' costs and do not include other charges and fees, such as surveyor costs, Stamp Duty Land Tax (Land Transaction Tax in Wales from April 1), estate agent fees and the cost of actually moving house.
That figure of £1,419 does include VAT, which is levied at 20 percent. So, do remember to factor that in when you're doing your initial affordability calculations.
Other costs include Land Registry fees, local authority searches, electronic bank transfer fees and when selling a leasehold property, you will have to pay for a management pack that details the rights, responsibilities and obligations for that property.
According to the latest figures from the Halifax's house price index, the average cost of a property in the UK is now £225,000.
Using that figure as our benchmark, we used the conveyancing search engine, The Solicitor Finder, to gather quotes for buying a freehold property valued at £225,000. The prices ranged o from £522 (with an additional £256 to cover disbursements) up to £1070 (again with £256 added for disbursements).
For buying a leasehold property valued at £225,000, conveyancing fees online quotes started at £624 (plus £256 for disbursements) up to £1134 (plus £256 for disbursements).
All online quotes offered the same service, but the hefty price difference between the quotes should give you pause for thought when considering what you will get for your money and what costs might be hidden in the small print on all of them.
We used Homeward Legal's instant quote service for purchasing a freehold property valued at the UK average of £225,000. We were offered a conveyancing fee of £600 that includes VAT plus a fee of £75 for acting for the lender.
The quote also detailed the additional costs you must pay as part of the conveyancing process. These areStamp Duty Land Tax £2,000; Land Registry fees £6; online ID verification £8; bankruptcy search fee per person £2; registration of title with the Land Registry £135; and local authority searches of £360 including VAT. That leaves a final bill of £3,111.
Homeward Legal's quote also comes with our "no move, no fee" guarantee that ensures you won't be out of pocket if your transaction fails to complete for whatever reason.
The costs can quickly mount up when you are moving home. The temptation is then to plump for the cheapest deal. But the lowest price may not necessarily be the best one for your situation.
As you can see from our online shopping around, there are hundreds of pounds of a difference between lowest and highest quotes. But that baseline figure you see is NOT the final price you will pay. Disbursements and other fees must be paid on every transaction, so before you agree to instruct a solicitor, be sure you know precisely what you're going to be liable for.
An expensive quote is no guarantee of quality. Nor is there any guarantee you won't have to pay extra charges or meet unexplained costs further down the line. What matters just as much as the bottom is the reputation and experience of the legal representatives involved.
All conveyancing solicitors on Homeward Legal's nationwide panel are regulated by the Law Society or the Council of Licensed Conveyancers. Approved members will have the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) logo on their website to show the standards they must perform to. Do your own research, too, and find out more about the firm whose quote you are interested in.
Most estate agents will recommend a specific solicitors' firm to you. Be aware if you do that you will be paying for the privilege. Estate agents usually receive a commission, often upwards of £400, for referring you to the solicitor. And the cost of that will be passed on to you.
With Homeward Legal's quote service, you will find out in seconds exactly how much your total conveyancing fees will be. There are no hidden extras, no surprises awaiting you on completion, simply a comprehensive, competitive and transparent quote.
Try for yourself with a free instant, no-obligation quote and see how much you can save with Homeward Legal.