If you're buying or selling your home, or both, you'll need a conveyancer.
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Where do conyevancing fees apply?
Conveyancing is the legal side of a house purchase and sale. It ensures that everything is done as it should be. There are 2 parts to conveyancing fees; legal costs for the solicitors work, and disbursements which cover 3rd party costs for services such as searches.
Depending on whether you're selling or buying, you may pay different fees.
What does conveyancing cost?
There is no set fee, it varies dependent on several points. Location plays a part as some areas need extra searches if they are near a river, coal mine, or other particular features.
Let's look at the 2 different types of fees:
These costs cover work done by the solicitor him or herself. They vary but the average range is £850 to £1,500.
If the property is leasehold (like most flats or apartments), the legal fees are higher.
Some disbursement costs are less than £10, but some are in the hundreds. Below we outline the different costs you could expect:
- Anti-money laundering checks: these are often carried out by an online company and are used to verify your identity. The cost is £6 - £20 but you will likely pay more if you live abroad.
- Title deeds: applicable to selling, it costs £6 to get your title deeds from the Land Registry. Leaseholds cost more than freeholds.
- Searches: applicable to buying, these include local authority searches (£250 - £450) for things like drainage and environmental factors, plus a planning search if you want to know about any development planned near to the property.
- Property fraud: checks that your lawyer is legitimate, and costs £10.
- Transferring ownership: costing £200 - £300, this covers the fee for Land Registry to transfer your name with the buyer's on completion.
- Fund transfer fee: bank transfer fees to your solicitor are £20 - £30.
- Stamp Duty Land Tax: stamp duty applies if the property you're buying is over £125,000. These costs vary on a sliding scale.
- Help to Buy: if you're using a Help to Buy scheme, you may be charged more because of the extra legal work involved. Often it costs £200 - £300.
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Typical costs & which apply to buying or selling
At what stage do you need to pay conveyancing fees?
Some solicitors ask for a deposit when you hire them, which is a usually a percentage of the overall fee such as 10%. The rest is usually paid upon completion, but sometimes you may need to pay for things like searches as and when they take place.
What happens if your sale falls through?
Before you choose a conveyancer, make sure you know if they still charge if your sale were to fall through. Some offer a no sale, no fee policy, and some may waive the legal fees, but it's best to check just in case.