How much do conveyancing fees cost?
Conveyancing fees are one of several costs to be considered when moving house. How much you’ll pay for conveyancing will depend on the circumstances of your move. It’s important to understand what is and isn’t covered in your conveyancing solicitor’s fees, and how much you can expect to pay in 2023. This guide will take you through everything you need to know about the cost of conveyancing fees when moving house.
In this guide
- What are conveyancing fees?
- How much are conveyancing fees?
- What is fixed fee conveyancing?
- Breakdown of conveyancing fees – What do conveyancing fees cover?
- Are there any additional costs to be aware of?
- How can I save on conveyancing fees?
- Compare conveyancing fees
- Are online conveyancing fees cheaper?
- Are conveyancing fees negotiable?
- What the difference between a conveyancer and a conveyancing solicitor?
- When do you pay conveyancing fees?
- What if my house sale falls through?
- Is there such a thing as ‘no sale, no fee’ conveyancing?
- Finding the right conveyancing solicitor
- Remortgage conveyancing fees
- Are shared ownership conveyancing fees more expensive?
- Do I need a conveyancing solicitor to transfer equity
- Do I have to hire a conveyancer?
- Can conveyancing fees be added to mortgage?
- Can I pay conveyancing fees with credit card?
What are conveyancing fees?
Conveyancing fees are the legal costs associated with buying or selling a property.
How much are conveyancing fees?
You can expect to pay an average of £800-£2,000 for conveyancing fees.
- Average conveyancing fees for selling a house: £600-£900
- Average conveyancing fees for buying a house: £500-£1,100
- Average conveyancing fees buying and selling: £1,100-£2,000
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. You can expect to pay around £300 more for the sale or purchase of a leasehold property.
- 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 for conveyancing than a single sale or purchase.
You can use an online conveyancing fees calculator to give you a better idea of how much conveyancing fees might be for your move.
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.
Breakdown of conveyancing fees – 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 you and your mortgage lender 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 any payments your conveyancing solicitor needs to make to third parties on your behalf. It 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 services will vary in price, so it’s important to shop around and compare costs. You can also choose to use a conveyancer rather than a conveyancing solicitor. Generally, a conveyancer will be cheaper than a conveyancing solicitor.
Compare conveyancing fees
You may want to use an online comparison service for conveyancing fees. This will help you explore the service provided and the associated cost. It is important to consider your priorities when moving house. The option with the cheapest conveyancing fees may not be the best fit for your circumstances.
Your conveyancing solicitor will play a large role in how quickly your sale completes and, in fact, whether it completes at all. Unfortunately, around one-in-four property sales will fall through before completion. Your conveyancer will identify any issues with the sale, respond to any concerns and queries from your buyers, and ultimately manage your property sale through to completion. For this reason, it’s important to choose a conveyancer that you feel confident will handle your case well.
Are online conveyancing fees cheaper?
Online conveyancing fees are often cheaper than working with a traditional solicitor. This is due to their business model. Online conveyancing firms will take on more cases at once, and you’re unlikely to have just one conveyancer handling your case. For some, having one names solicitor that you work with makes a traditional conveyancing solicitor the preferred choice. For others, the cost savings available with online conveyancing firms makes up for the lack of personal connection.
Are conveyancing fees negotiable?
It may be possible to negotiate your conveyancing fees, but finding grounds to do so may be challenging. The quote your solicitor or conveyancing firm gives you will be based on how long they believe your case will take them, their experience and level or expertise. The more complex your property sale or purchase, the more conveyancing time it will take and the more it will cost you. You want to ensure your conveyancer does a thorough job and is proactive in managing your sale through to completion, which takes time.
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.
When do you pay conveyancing fees?
If you’re selling a property and have enough equity, your costs will be deducted from your proceeds at the point of sale completion. These costs will include any estate agency fees, stamp duty and conveyancing fees. If you’re just buying a property, you will usually be sent a conveyancing fees invoice that will be payable upon completion of your 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. 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.
Is there such a thing as ‘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. It’s important that you ask your solicitor about their fee policy for failed sales before you start working with them.
Finding 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 just conveyancing costs.
Remortgage conveyancing fees
Conveyancing fees for a remortgage will usually be covered by your new mortgage lender. 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.
Are shared ownership conveyancing fees more expensive?
Conveyancing fees will depend on how complicated a case is. Shared ownership is likely to be a little more complex and perhaps require a little more correspondence than other types of property sale. As a result, you can expect to pay a little more for conveyancing.
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 that you’re transferring ownership after a relationship breakdown, or releasing 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.
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- Buying a house – everything you need to know
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- Can I sell my home and rent it back?
- Selling a buy-to-let property in 2023
- Selling a UK property from abroad
- How long does a mortgage offer last?
Can conveyancing fees be added to mortgage?
No, conveyancing fees need to be paid directly to your solicitor or conveyancing firm. This means you are unable to include them in your mortgage borrowing.
Can I pay conveyancing fees with credit card?
You’ll need to speak to your individual solicitor/conveyancing firm to answer this question. Generally, it would not be advisable to pay your conveyancing fees with a credit card for the following reasons:
- Additional borrowing on credit card will impact your credit score and could affect your ability to secure your mortgage. When you apply for your mortgage, you will be asked about any likely financial changes. If you know you’re planning to borrow money on credit card at the point of purchasing the property, and don’t declare it at this point, your mortgage lender could withdraw your mortgage offer.
- If you’re struggling to afford the conveyancing fees and need to rely on credit, are you in the financial position to move forward with a property purchase? Buying a home is a large financial commitment and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.