Average Conveyancing Solicitors Fees and Costs

Posted by John on January 11, 2011 under Choosing a Solicitor, Conveyancing Fees and Costs | Comments are off for this article

 

Probably the most common question we get as is “what is the average cost of conveyancing?”

So we thought we’d add a quick post answering this.  Bear in mind that the cost of online conveyancing will be a lot less that going to your local High Street solicitor.  Typically you can expect to save around £300 to £400 on a sale and the same amount again if you’re purchasing as well.

BUT, a word of warning… there are good online solicitors and bad.  To make sure you instruct a good one read the advice on avoiding hidden charges at the end of this article.

In the meantime, here’s a quick guide to what to expect:

Costs:

For selling:

  • selling:  £400 – £700

For buying:

  • buying:  £450 – £1,000
  • expenses (often referred to as “disbursements”):  £200 – £300

For leaseholds (buying or selling):

  • leasehold transaction surcharge:  add £100 – £250

For transfer of equity:

  • transfer of equity:  £300 – £400

For remortgage:

  • remortgage:  £200 – £500

The exact cost will vary between solicitors, but is also likely to reflect the value of your property – the more expensive your property the more you are likely to be charged.  Typically the thresholds at which solicitors charge more are £500,000, £750,000 and £1,000,000.

Buying:

The legal costs of buying are higher than those of selling.  This is because there’s extra work involved in obtaining and reviewing property searches.  These search reviews are one of the most important things your solicitor will do.  Usually things will be fine, but if there are any problems it’s your solicitor’s job to highlight them – much better to find out at an early stage than when you’ve completed!

Selling:

Selling is normally cheaper than buying as there’s less work involved.  There are also fewer expenses as searches are paid for by the buyer.

Expenses (“disbursements”):

Disbursements could be anything from the cost of searches to the cost of photocopying.  Some solicitors use disbursements as a way of bumping up their fees so insist that they are included in your quote.

Searches

As a rule of thumb you should expect to be charged for things like searches as these are expenses the solicitor has incurred on your behalf.  Searches are normally itemised on your bill and charged at cost.  Typically search costs will come to around £200 to £300.

Land Registry Fee

This applies if you are buying and is another fee you can’t avoid, unfortunately.  It covers the cost of registering your interest in the property with the Land Registry and the amount depends on the price of your property.  It will be paid by your solicitor and again, charged to you at cost.

Value of property

£

Land Registry Fee

£

0 – 50,000

50

50,001 – 80,000

80

80,001 – 100,000

130

100,001 – 200,000

200

200,001 – 500,000

280

500,001 – 1,000,000

550

1,000,001 and over

920

 

Stamp Duty (SDLT)

Another cost if you are buying.  Stamp Duty (offically known as Stamp Duty Land Tax or SDLT) is the tax you are charged when you buy a property and is based on the price you pay:

Purchase price

SDLT rate

Up to £125,000

Zero

Over £125,000 to £250,000

1%

Over £250,000 to £500,000

3%

Over £500,000 to £1,000,000

4%

Over £1,000,000 to £2,000,000

5%

Over £2,000,000

7%

 

Avoid these HIDDEN CHARGES:

Some solicitors are notorious for quoting low prices and then finding all sorts of creative ways of padding out their bills – sometimes doubling or tripling the final amount.

Here is a list of things you should expect to be included in the amount quoted and not as extras:

  • Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance cover
  • Photocopying, phonecalls, postage
  • Completing Stamp Duty return (Form SDLT1)
  • Dealing with your lender

Note that, while a leasehold property surcharge is quite normal (there is extra work involved) this should be included in the main quote.  If in doubt ask the solicitor and if any of these items are not included then don’t be afraid to look elsewhere – there are plenty of good solicitors who do things the right way and include them in their quotes.

VAT

With VAT now at 20% it will be a big part of your bill.  Less honest solicitors will provide quotes that don’t include VAT so that they appear very cheap.  The shock comes when the bill arrives (and it’s too late to do anything about it) and with expenses and VAT it’s much higher than you expected.  Make sure your quote includes all expenses and VAT.

To get fully itemised, fixed fee quotes from solicitors you can trust click here:  conveyancing quote

Conveyancing

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