Make sure you compare your conveyancing quotes ‘like-for-like’…
Your conveyancing quote should include a full breakdown of all of the items that you might reasonably expect to spend during the conveyancing process. Remember, there will be other costs too associated with your move, but these will not be matter for your conveyancing solicitor to pay on your behalf.
What is included in a conveyancing quote?
With both a sale of a house, and a purchase of a house, we need to understand the difference between:-
What are the Conveyancing Solicitors fees?
This is the fee that your solicitor takes for their professional services. It is the fee paid to them for dealing with the legal work for you. That work will include lots of stuff including dealing with:-
Your conveyancer’s fees will usually be subject to VAT
Will the Solicitor’s fee include everything?
Beware! Some conveyancers split out some of the work that they do and this makes their headline conveyancing quote look like cheap conveyancing! So, when you do compare your conveyancing quotes (and we highly recommend that you do), make sure that you compare like with like.
So for example, one firm of property lawyers might quote their professional fees to be something like this
QUOTE A – “Our Professional fees – £795 (+ VAT)
Others may seem to be offering cheap conveyancing, with the following:-
QUOTE B – “Our Professional fees – £695 (+ VAT)
A no brainer right, choose the second quote? Well, leaving aside the fact that you will surely choose your conveyancing solicitor on stuff other than them just being the cheapest conveyancing quote, surely, you all want to check that you are comparing the solicitors fee quotes on a like for like basis?
So, check through the different items. The only other bits should be conveyancing disbursements. But what some firms may do is present a cheap headline figure for their apparent fee, and then ‘lose’ amongst the disbursements amounts things that are not really disbursements at all – they are all part of their professional services and something that they will be doing come what may! Examples of extras that are sometime split out from the professional fees part of your conveyancing quote might include:-
- Submitting your SDLT return
- Redeeming your mortgage
- Verifying your ID
- Admin charge (often relating to setting you up as a client)
- Bank transfer – of any balance of completion funds back to you (by CHAPS)
What are Conveyancing Disbursements?
Conveyancing disbursements are payments that your conveyancer will make to third parties on your behalf. Put another way, they are separate to your conveyancing solicitors professional services fee. These will generally be listed separately, and might include:-
- Land Registry (HMLR) – obtaining details of the property and/or registering the new owner
- Search fees – local search; water & drainage search; environmental search)
- Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)
- Anti-Money Laundering checks – many firms now do this via external specialist firms
Will my Conveyancer pay the Estate Agent?
Though it will not appear on your conveyancing quote, and despite the fact that the seller contracts the services of the estate agent directly with them (not via their conveyancing solicitor), it nevertheless remains an historical convention that the seller’s solicitor will pay the estate agent out of the completion funds.
This will appear in the seller’s COMPLETION STATEMENT which their solicitor will generally prepare between exchange and completion.
Legal services really are like so many other things something which you will sometimes get what you pay for. So, do stop to think whether you want the best conveyancing solicitor, or cheap conveyancing. And when you are deciding on that, perhaps be mindful of stuff like the following:-