How much do conveyancing fees cost?
Conveyancing fees are one of several costs to be considered when moving house, but what is included in your conveyancing solicitor fees and how much can you expect to pay in 2022?
In this guide
- What are conveyancing fees?
- How much should I expect to pay for conveyancing fees?
- What is fixed fee conveyancing?
- What do conveyancing fees cover?
- Are there any additional costs to be aware of?
- How can I save on conveyancing fees?
- What the difference between a conveyancer and a conveyancing solicitor?
- At what stage of the process do I pay conveyancing fees?
- What if my house sale falls through?
- What is ‘no sale, no fee’ conveyancing?
- Find the right conveyancing solicitor
- Remortgaging conveyancing fees
- Di I need a conveyancing solicitor to transfer equity
- Do I have to hire a conveyancer?
What are conveyancing fees?
Conveyancing fees are the legal costs associated with buying or selling a property.
How much should I expect to pay for conveyancing fees?
You can expect to pay an average of £800-£2,000 for conveyancing fees.
The amount you pay will depend on several important factors, including:
- Whether the property is freehold or leasehold
Leasehold properties are more time-consuming, complex sales. For this reason, a leasehold sale or purchase will always be more expensive than a freehold one.
- How complex the sale/purchase is
The more complicated your sale/purchase, the more you’re going to need to pay in conveyancing fees. If you’re a chain-free cash buyer with no related sale, your purchase is going to be relatively simple and therefore conveyancing costs will be kept low.
- Whether you’re buying and selling at the same time
Buying and selling properties simultaneously will involve two separate transactions and will therefore cost more in conveyancing costs than a single sale or purchase.
What is fixed fee conveyancing?
It is worth noting that conveyancing solicitors can charge for their services in two different ways. Some will offer a fixed fee conveyancing service whilst others will charge by the hour. Fixed fee conveyancing means your conveyancer will give you a price at the start of the process and that is what you will pay for the service. Disbursements will be charged in addition to this fixed fee, but your conveyancer should be able to give you an estimate of these additional charges before they begin.
It’s important to discuss fees with your conveyancing solicitor before instructing them to handle your property sale or purchase. Fixed conveyancing fees will make it easier to budget for your move and mean you don’t receive any unexpected bills, so it’s usually the preferred option for home movers.
What do conveyancing fees cover?
Conveyancing fees pay for the work your solicitor carries out during the sale or purchase process. Your solicitor will put a lot of time into the sale. Conveyancing tasks will include:
- Drafting of contracts
- Arranging relevant property searches and related paperwork
- Liaising with your buyer’s and/or seller’s solicitor
- Liaising with mortgage lender and the buyer regarding proof of funds/mortgage offer
- Advising client about any legal concerns or queries regarding the property purchase/sale
- Responding to any queries from buyer/seller
- Exchanging contracts
- Managing the transfer of funds upon exchange of contracts and completion of sale
- Managing completion of sale
Are there any additional costs to be aware of?
In addition to the conveyancing charges, you will be required to pay for disbursements. This will cover payments your conveyancing solicitor needs to make to third parties on your behalf, and is likely to include things like property searches, anti-money laundering checks, purchasing a copy of the property title deeds, and bank transfer fees.
There will also be several other moving costs to consider. Depending on your circumstances, these may include:
- Estate agency fees
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- Deposit for new property
- Stamp duty land tax
- Mortgage arrangement fee
- Mortgage broker’s fee
- Home valuation report/survey fee
How can I save on conveyancing fees?
Conveyancing solicitors will vary in price, so it’s important to shop around and comparing costs. You can also choose to use a conveyancer rather than a conveyancing solicitor. Generally, a conveyancer will be cheaper than a conveyancing solicitor.
What’s the difference between a conveyancer and a conveyancing solicitor?
A conveyancing solicitor has to be registered with The Law Society and therefore has certain standards they must operate to. They will be qualified to deal with more complex property transactions and be experienced in more expansive property law.
For more straight-forward property transactions, a conveyancer should be able to handle the legal aspect of your move.
At what stage of the sale process do I pay conveyancing fees?
When selling a property, your conveyancing solicitor will deduct any costs – including estate agency fees, any stamp duty payable and conveyancing fees – from the proceeds of your sale at the point of sale completion. If you’re just buying a property, you will need to transfer your deposit to your solicitor in anticipation of exchanging contract but will not usually be required to pay your conveyancing fees until you are sent an invoice upon completion of the property purchase.
What if my house sale falls through?
If your house sale falls through before completion you will still need to pay any disbursements due, but whether or not you are required to pay the fee for your solicitor’s time will depend on your agreement with them. Some conveyancing solicitors offer a ‘no completion, no fee’ or ‘no sale, no fee’ agreement.
What is ‘no sale, no fee’ conveyancing?
‘No sale, no fee’ conveyancing is an agreement offered by some conveyancers. It means if your sale fails to complete, you will not be required to pay the conveyancing fee. Other conveyancers will still charge a percentage of the originally agreed fee, or even the full fee, depending on how far along in the process the sale collapsed, so it’s important that you ask your solicitor at the start about their fee policy for failed sales.
Find the right conveyancing solicitor
An efficient, pro-active solicitor can make the difference between a swift and stress-free house move or a slow and frustrating one, so it’s really important that you choose your conveyancing solicitor carefully. Conveyancing solicitor costs can vary greatly, but it’s important that you choose your solicitor based on reputation and recommendation, rather than conveyancing costs.
Remortgaging conveyancing fees
Conveyancing fees for a remortgage will usually be covered by your new mortgage lender, but if you are required to pay them you can expect to pay around £300-400. Conveyancing for a remortgage will usually be organised by your mortgage lender directly.
Do I need a conveyancing solicitor to transfer equity?
There may be several reasons why you want to transfer equity for a property. It may be after a relationship breakdown to transfer full ownership of the property to one party, or you way choose to release equity from your property in the form of a lifetime mortgage. Whatever your reason for transferring equity, you will usually require a conveyancing solicitor to handle the transaction.
Do I have to hire a conveyancer?
A mortgage lender will usually require you to hire a qualified conveyancer to handle your property transaction, but if you are a cash buyer it may be possible for you to handle a simple property transaction yourself. Conveyancing is fairly complex, so you’ll need to feel confident with legal language and be very familiar with the requirements of the conveyancing process.
Find out more about:
- When’s the best time to sell a house?
- What is a down valuation?
- How to sell a house without an estate agent
- What to do if your house sale falls through
- How to avoid selling your house to pay for care
- How to sell my property portfolio
- The return of negative equity
- How much is my house worth?
- How long does a mortgage offer last when buying a new home?
- What is a mortgage prisoner and how do you become free?