Understanding Conveyancing Fees and Other Property Costs
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Understanding Conveyancing Fees and Other Property Costs

It might seem like there’s a huge amount of fees involved with buying or selling a property. Our guide can help you to understand conveyancing fees so you know how much you’ll have to pay and what the costs will cover.

What Are Conveyancing Fees?

Conveyancing costs cover the amount you’ll pay to hire a legal professional, such as a property solicitor or licensed conveyancer, to manage the legal aspects of buying and selling a property. They will ensure everything to do with the property purchase is undertaken correctly, such as preparing legal documents and transferring ownership of the property. They check that all paperwork is correct and also make sure there is nothing that could potentially legally impede the sale or purchase.

Conveyancing fees are usually split into two parts – the legal fees, which are the base charge for the solicitor’s services, and disbursements, which are the costs of paying for third parties’ services for work like searches and surveys.

How Much Are Conveyancing Fees?

Conveyancing fees can cost anything from £400 to £1,500. How much it costs will depend on a number of factors. Both the buyer and the seller will need to pay conveyancing fees, although what’s involved on both sides will vary slightly.

The more complex the situation, the higher the fees will usually be. The location of the property will affect the conveyancing costs – you may need to pay for additional searches if the property is near a river, for example. The value of the property will also impact the conveyancing fees, as well as whether you’re re-mortgaging, buying and selling at the same time, or transferring property.

Conveyancing Fees When Buying

Legal Fees for Buyers

When buying a property, the legal fees will include:

  • The basic conveyancing fee, costing £400-£1,500
  • Money transfer fee, costing £10 -£50
  • ID check, costing £6 to £25 (or sometimes free, if done in person)

The basic conveyancing fee will usually be either a flat fee or a percentage of the property value and covers the solicitor’s work. The fees for money transfers will cover the cost of moving cash between mortgage lenders, buyers and sellers, as well as conveyancers. The ID check, or money-laundering check, must be done to verify the buyer is who they say they are. It is a legal requirement, so the conveyancer is able to do work on your behalf.

Disbursements for Buyers

The disbursements for buying a property will include searches that need to be done on the property to find out relevant information that could affect you as a buyer.

A search pack will usually contain:

  • A local authority search, for issues regarding planning permissions, building regulations, debts registered against the property, and whether the property may be affected by plans for new infrastructure, like roads.
  • An environmental search, to find the flooding risk, issues related to landslips and subsidence, and whether the land has a contamination risk.
  • A water and drainage search, to find any risks related to nearby sewers or water mains.

If the property is in an area that was once used for mining or quarrying, a mining search will also need to be carried out, to further determine any risk of landslips or subsidence.

The costs for these searches will vary depending on location but can be between £200 and £500. Most searches can be conducted online and are fairly quick but searches with local authority can take between two and six weeks to complete.

You will also need to pay a fee to register a property with a new owner through the Land Registry, which costs around £90-£140.

Conveyancing Fees When Selling

Sellers won’t have to pay for as many conveyancing fees as buyers – although, if you’re buying and selling at the same time, you’ll have to pay out for both sides, as different work will be involved.

Like buyers, sellers will have to cover:

  • The basic conveyancing fee, costing £400-£1,500
  • Money transfer fee, costing £10 -£50
  • ID check, costing £6 to £25 (or sometimes free, if done in person)

You’ll also have to cover the fee to obtain a copy of the title deeds from the Land Registry, which will cost between £4 and £12.

If you are selling a leasehold property, more legal work will be required and so the fees will be higher. The additional charge is typically between £100 and £300 and will include a review of the lease itself.

You do not have to pay for searches if you are only selling a property. If you’re buying and selling, you may be able to negotiate the fees with your solicitor if they are dealing with both sides of the conveyancing process for you.

How Can I Save on Conveyancing Fees?

Some estate agents may have conveyancers or solicitors that they will recommend for you to use. However, it’s best to always do your research and find quotes from different conveyancers to find the best price.

Whilst it’s not a legal requirement to hire a solicitor to conduct your conveyancing, it will be better to use a professional to ensure no detail is missed and all the paperwork is legally correct. Some mortgage lenders insist a professional conveyancer is used.

SOLD.CO.UK manage every step of the property sale, including organising conveyancing and covering legal fees. Contact us to speak to our expert and friendly team about how we can help you, whether you’re looking for property for sale or to sell your home.

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