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How much are average conveyancing fees in 2021?

Are you ready to make a move in 2021? Is this the year you want to buy a new home or sell up for a new life? Getting a clear idea of the average conveyancing fees in 2021 is your starting point.

Conveyancing solicitors' fees cover many different things. Whether you're buying, selling, remortgaging or transferring equity from your property, it's important that you understand what they are and the costs involved. That's where Homeward Legal can help you.

We can put you in touch with our in-house experts specialists across England and Wales. They'll be able to explain everything you need to know about conveyancing costs as well as take care of all the legalities and paperwork involved with your move.

Before you get started, you might want to give yourself a clearer idea of what to expect when it comes to conveyancing fees, which is why we've put together this handy guide.

What are conveyancing fees?

Conveyancing is the name given to all the legal formalities and paperwork involved when you buy, sell, remortgage or transfer equity from a property or piece of land. This work is done by a qualified conveyancer (property lawyer) or solicitor, and the charges for these services are known as conveyancing fees.

What do typical conveyancing fees include?

Conveyancing and solicitors fees are likely to vary depending on each individual situation. For example, solicitors' fees for buying a house will be different to solicitors' fees for selling a house. To give you a general idea, here are some of the typical conveyancing and or solicitor costs that could be included in your final bill:

  •       Solicitors' fees
  •       Surveyors' fees
  •       Lenders' fees
  •       Stamp Duty Land Tax (in England, Land Transaction Tax in Wales)
  •       Land Registry Fees
  •       Local Authority Searches
  •       Electronic bank transfer fee
  •       Management pack for leasehold properties
  •       Estate agent costs
  •       Removal costs
  •       VAT at 20%

It's important for you to always read the small print on all quotes for any hidden charges. If you come to Homeward Legal, however, you can rest assured that there will be no hidden costs.

How does stamp duty affect conveyancing costs?

In July 2020,Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a stamp duty holiday and that there will be no stamp duty to pay on any property in England or Northern Ireland up to a value of £500,000. This was due to end on 31 March, but it was announced in the 2021 Budget that it will now end on 30 June. After this date, the starting rate of stamp duty will be £250,000 until the end of September. 

So, if you complete the purchase of a home for less than half a million pounds before the end ofJune 2021, you won't have to pay any Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) . From the 1st July to the 30th September 2021 if you purchase a property less than a quarter of a million you won't have to pay Stamp Duty land tax (SDLT). For both periods SDLT will not be added to your conveyancing fees. 

Come 1st Oct 2021, the SDLT rates are set to return to where they were before Chancellor Sunak's announcement. Usually, the threshold for SDLT in England is £125,000, meaning everyone who buys land or property above that value will pay the land tax on this sliding scale:

  •       £0 - £125,000 - 0% (3% for buy-to-let, or second homes)
  •       £125,001 - £250,000 - 2% (5%)
  •       £250,001 - £925,000 - 5% (8%)
  •       £925,001 - £1.5 million - 10% (13%)
  •       £1.5 million - 12% (15%)

As for first-time buyers in England, they won't pay stamp duty on a property valued at under £300,000.

The threshold for the Land Transaction Tax (LTT, formerly stamp duty) in Wales is £180,000. As a first-time buyer pays on average around £140,000 for a home there, they are unlikely to have to pay LTT.

Read more in our detailed guide to Stamp Duty Land Tax. In Wales, the threshold for paying Land Transaction Tax (formerly stamp duty) starts at £180,000 and is also paid on a sliding scale.

Who pays conveyancing costs?

If, for example, you are selling your home, you will need to hire a conveyancing solicitor to do the legal legwork for you. They will draw up the sale contract and negotiate the terms with the buyer before agreeing a completion date and overseeing the exchange of contracts. You will then have to pay conveyancing costs to your solicitor for these services.

And it is a similar story if you are purchasing a home. Your solicitor will request various searches, negotiate the terms with the sellers, exchange contracts, transfer the funds and register you as the new owner of the property with the Land Registry. It will then be your responsibility to pay your solicitor the conveyancing fees they charge for these services.

How much does conveyancing cost?

We understand that you'll want to know how much you can expect to pay in conveyancing fees. However, costs will vary depending on the value of the property involved, which means we can only give you an estimate that will let you plan your move.

The good news is that Homeward Legal is always transparent about how much conveyancing fees will be. The fixed legal fee** we quote is the price you will pay: no hidden extras and no unexpected charges or costs. Plus we offer No - Completion No Fee so that in the unfortunate event that your property transaction falls through you will not be liable for any of the conveyancer's fixed legal fees for the work completed.

Our team will explain in detail the external charges (disbursements), fees and duties that your conveyancing solicitor MUST pay on your behalf to complete your sale or purchase transaction. It's important to know up front that your solicitor has no control over these external costs, and they will be included in your final bill.

Always transparent on conveyancing fees

Law firms under the auspices of the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) are obliged to publish information on the fees they charge for conveyancing and other legal services.

This transparency was introduced so that buyers and sellers have a clearer idea of their costs from the start of the conveyancing process. When you choose Homeward Legal for your conveyancing services, you are guaranteed transparency on fees every time.

We only work with SRA and CLC-regulated law firms, and we offer our own guarantee on openness on the fees and charges involved in conveyancing.

Are conveyancing fees fixed?

The fees of conveyancing are not standardised, so there's no such thing as an average conveyancing bill.

The final bill you pay will vary because of factors such as the value of the property you are buying or selling or whether you're buying with a mortgage or the property is leasehold or freehold.

By choosing Homeward Legal when you're looking for a property solicitor, the fixed legal fee** we quote you will be exactly what you pay, with no hidden costs.

Conveyancing fees that can't be avoided

When you get a no-obligation conveyancing quote from Homeward Legal, our advisor will explain everything clearly and in plain English.

This will include detail on external charges, fees and duties that a conveyancing solicitor MUST pay on your behalf to complete a sale or purchase transaction.

These fees are set by 3rd parties, such as the HMRC and the Land Registry, and are included in your final bill, so it's important to know this information before making any commitment to instruct a solicitor.

Are disbursements and VAT included in conveyancing fees?

When you compare solicitors' quotes for buying a house, you will almost certainly find very cheap quotes for conveyancing online. But we can testify that cheap is not always best.

For a start, most online quotes will not include essential disbursements that must be paid. The SRA review in 2019 stated over a 3rd (34%) of quotes ran online do not include all the fees that form an essential part of any conveyancing service.  A no-obligation conveyancing quote from Homeward Legal will include disbursements* based on the information you've provided, and they will be charged with no additional fees or surcharges.

Occasionally additional disbursements are required to progress a transaction and will only be charged following a discussion with your conveyancer. ​

Any final bill from your solicitor must also include 20 percent VAT, so don't forget to add that on, too. Homeward Legal includes this in your quote.

How much are solicitors' fees for buying a house?

As we've already mentioned, conveyancing costs can vary widely depending on the value of the property. However, we've run an example to give you an idea of potential solicitors' fees for buying a house.

According to the UK house price index, the average house price as of May 2020 was £235,673. Using £235,000 as a guide price for a freehold property in the Leeds area, the conveyancing costs if you came to Homeward Legal and assuming you had a mortgage on the property would be as follows:

  •       Legal fees: £690
  •       Disbursements: £530
  •       Total conveyancing fees: £1220 (including VAT)

For a leasehold property of the same value in the same region, the conveyancing costs would come to:

  •       Legal fees: £870
  •       Disbursements: £530
  •       Total conveyancing fees: £1400 (including VAT)

The legal fees for buying a leasehold property include a leasehold supplement fee, which is why the total cost works out a little higher than for a freehold property.

At Homeward Legal, our instant quote service allows you to view conveyancing fees in less than a couple of minutes.

How much are solicitors' fees for selling a house?

Just like with buying, solicitors' fees for selling a house can vary depending on the property's value. Again, we used the example of a freehold property valued at £235,000 in the Leeds area, and these are the conveyancing costs and assuming you had a mortgage on the property calculated by our online tool:

  •       Legal fees: £690
  •       Disbursements: £14
  •       Total conveyancing fees: £704 (including VAT)

For a leasehold property, the conveyancing costs would be:

  •       Legal fees: £834
  •       Disbursements: £20
  •       Total conveyancing fees: £854 (including VAT)

Remember, with us, it takes a matter of seconds to get a quote for conveyancing costs with Homeward Legal, or you can always give us a call on .

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