Conveyancing Fees FAQs
How much does conveyancing cost in the UK?
The conveyancing disbursements should be the same whichever conveyancer you use. The only thing that should differ will be the professional fees charged by the solicitor. Typically, the professional fees charged will be anything between £800-£2,000 (+VAT). Remember, there is more to be mindful of than just cost. Do you want cheap conveyancing, or great value for money?
Are Conveyancers cheaper than Conveyancing Solicitors?
There are lots of things to consider when choosing the lawyer(s) that deal with your house move. Conveyancers are not solicitors. Some have no qualifications at all. Other’s may be members of CLC (Council of Licensed Conveyancers). A conveyancing solicitor will be regulated by the Solicitor Regulation Authority (SRA). A solicitor will give you the comfort of the Legal Ombudsman, and they may well also be members of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme.
How do I choose the best Conveyancing Solicitor?
Best (of anything) is rarely just cheap. Indeed, cheap will typically mean ‘stack em high’, and what often then gives is quality of service. Moving house is stressful enough, and what you don’t want is a conveyancer who is too busy to speak to you! Think about what (if any) independent reviews they have (we use TrustPilot); are they members of CQS (we are!); and what about service delivery (we use an industry leading APP that delivers an unparalleled digital experience from quote to completion)!
When do you pay Conveyancing fees?
The buyer will have to pay for searches relatively early on in the conveyancing process. Your solicitor will probably ask you for ‘money on account’ to cover that. Most of the other conveyancing fees (including the conveyancers professional fee and all other disbursements) will be payable on completion.
What are Conveyancing Disbursements?
Conveyancing disbursements are those payments made to third parties by your conveyancer on your behalf. Disbursements do NOT include the conveyancers own professional fees (ie anything that they retain and do not pay to a third party. Disbursements include: Searches; SDLT; and Land Registry fees; and management pack (if your property is leasehold).
Will Disbursements be the same whichever Conveyancer I use?
Yes. The disbursements should be pretty much the same whichever conveyancer or property solicitor you use. The only thing that might vary slightly is search fees. There are now independent search providers who will collect together the various searches for the solicitor (rather than the solicitor having to apply for the searches themselves separately. The cost can vary from one provider to the next. This is unlikely to be significant.
Are all Conveyancing Quotes the same?
Yes, and no! Your conveyancing fee quote will need to include all of the same things, but it is likely that one firm will set things out differently to the next. When you are comparing conveyancing quotes, remember to split it into (a) solicitor fees and (b) disbursements. You may find that some firms will quote a headline figure for their conveyancing fees, but then there will be other add ins that are still part of their fee as they are not payments to third parties (disbursements).
Do I have to use a lawyer for my Conveyancing?
If you are taking a mortgage, then yes, you must use a conveyancing lawyer. And, they must be on the particular lender’s ‘panel’ – ie approved by the mortgage company to act in the transaction. This is because technically, your chosen conveyancer will also act for the lender by ‘approving the title’, and also registering the mortgage at the Land Registry after completion.
What are Searches?
The buyer’s solicitor will undertake searches. These will include; local authority search; environmental search; and water and drainage search. They are to help understand what you are buying, before you are committed to doing so (ie after exchange of contracts). They will reveal things like planning for a new motorway at the bottom of the garden!
How much are Search fees?
Search fees will differ largely down to the local authority of the property. As a rough guide, allow something between £250 and £400 for your 3 main searches: local authority; environmental; and water and drainage.
What is Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)?
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is paid by the buyer on completion. It is calculated against the value of the property you are buying. Read more about SDLT here.
How much is Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)?
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is calculated against the value of the property you are buying. Check out the Government website which illustrates all of the current SDLT rates.
Are there any Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) reliefs?
Yes, there are reliefs and exemptions available for SDLT. Read more here about the applicable SDLT allowances.
Who pays the Estate Agent?
The seller contracts the estate agent, and they will pay their bill on completion. Oddly, despite this not being a legal disbursement, as a matter of historical practice, the seller’s solicitor will tend to settle the estate agent’s bill out of the completion money.
Who pays for my Survey?
As the buyer, you contract your surveyor, and you will pay them directly for their services. Unlike the estate agents bill (for the seller), your conveyancer does NOT settle this on your behalf.
What are Land Registry fees?
The buyer will have to pay to be registered as the new owners of the property. This is done on completion by the buyer’s solicitors. The fee payable is subject to the value of the property.
How much are Land Registry fees?
Land Registry fees are paid on completion subject to the value of the property. You can check out the latest Land Registry fee scale here.
What other costs of moving are there?
Along with the legal side of things, you’ll have other stuff to pay for when you move! The obvious one is removal costs. And, if you want to get any work done on your new place, you may have builders costs to think about. Lots of people will look to change the locks of their new home for peace of mind. Other than that, and perhaps a Royal Mail post re-direction, there shouldn’t be much else!