Selling your home through an online estate agent might seem like a financial no-brainer, but your cheap sale may end up costing you dearly if you agree to use that company’s preferred property lawyer for conveyancing services.
Online estate agents typically offer a fixed fee you will pay up front, rather than the percentage of the sale price, usually 1.5 percent, that a high street agent will demand.
All estate agents, whether online or on the high street, will also try to tie you in to using the conveyancing solicitor they recommend. And while you might save on sale fees, the conveyancing fees are likely to cost you much more than if you shop around for a better deal.
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Shop around for the best deal
Some online estate agents may actually insist that you use their in-house services for conveyancing, but you are under no obligation to do so.
Instead you should shop around for the best deal and we’re confident you’ll find it at Homeward Legal where we offer fixed fees and a no-completion protection where you won’t be out of pocket if, for any reason, your sale does not complete.
Unlike our transparent costs, many potential fees and charges that you could have to pay when selling a property are likely to be tucked away in the small print of the agreement an online estate agent asks you to sign.
Don’t expect the unexpected
Some of these fees are likely only to apply in specific circumstances – for example, fees that are part of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, such as shared ownership.
Others you should expect to pay as a matter of course, such as for the electronic transfer of funds when paying off a mortgage once a sale is complete and to complete the HMRC return for the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax.
But while most sales are straightforward, others are complicated. Perhaps yours is a leasehold property where a lease extension has been agreed or is to be negotiated. You’ll have to pay for that work, but you might not be told that right away and could be caught out by that cost later on.
If you’re selling up to buy a new-build and intend to use the same conveyancing solicitor recommended by your online estate agent for the conveyancing required to buy, you’ll have to pay a one-off fee, which again may not be mentioned up front.
Clarity and transparency from the start
At Homeward Legal, we discuss from the very start every charge and fee that you can expect to pay, detailing the extra charges a conveyancing solicitor will ask you to pay. These charges are known as disbursements and are upfront fees your solicitor must pay to carry out your sale properly.
Read about the disbursements that are crucial a part of sale conveyancing and purchase conveyancing disbursements, too.
Remember, too, that when an estate agent recommends a specific conveyancing solicitor, they are likely to receive commission from that solicitor when you agree to instruct them for your sale. The cost of that commission is likely to be added to your final bill.
So, while saving a bit of cash is always welcome, it pays to be smart when it comes to securing the best legal services. Homeward Legal works with experienced property lawyers across England and Wales who offer proactive, low-cost conveyancing services tailored specifically for you.
Talk to our team now on 0800 038 6699 or get an instant quote for the conveyancing services you need.