No Sale No Fee Conveyancing: What Is It?

Written by Millie Archer

I love all things property and have a real eye for detail. I’m always reading up on property news, whether it be renting a first property or buying a mansion.

Explaining what no sale no fee conveyancing is, how much it costs and whether it's the right option for you...


Moving house is an expensive process, with a big part of that cost going towards your legal fees. As a result of that, no sale no fee conveyancing starts to look a lot more appealing.

But what actually is no sale no fee conveyancing? Are the costs any different to that of a ‘normal’ conveyancing process? And is it an option that is worth using?

We’re going to answer all this and more to help you decide whether no sale no fee conveyancing is the right option for you.

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What is no sale no fee conveyancing?

No sale no fee conveyancing, also referred to as no move no fee conveyancing, is a conveyancing service that protects a buyer or seller from the financial loss of the legal fees if a sale falls through.

If you don’t have a no sale no fee conveyancing agreement, then you will be liable to pay the full costs of the legal fees, even if your sale never completes.

However, no sale no fee are slightly misleading words, as you will have to pay a basic fee to your conveyancer if they have already made some payments to third parties for you, for example for searches, surveys and Land Registry fees.

You may also have to pay an initial deposit for the security of using no sale no fee conveyancing and then you won’t have to pay anything after this.

How much does no sale no fee conveyancing cost?

The average conveyancing fees when selling a house in 2021 are £1,046, based on selling a house priced at the UK’s average, £251,000, according to Compare My Move.

Of course, you need to take into account that conveyancing costs will differ depending on the cost of your property, its area and which solicitor you choose to work with.

However, with no sale no fee conveyancing, it’s very common for the fees to be higher than that of traditional conveyancing.

This allows firms to be able to afford to offer no sale no fee, as when they do complete, they receive more money than they ‘need’, allowing them to cover the costs of fallen through sales.

Also, on top of having to pay higher fees on completion, you will also generally have to pay an upfront deposit, making no sale no fee conveyancing a pricier option than it first appears.

As we mentioned earlier, you will also need to pay for the searches, even if the sale falls through, which is just another cost to think about.

The costs you pay for no sale no fee conveyancing don’t cover any third-party costs, such as the fee paid for a house survey, the ID and finance checks or the cost of organising the local searches.

Does every conveyancer offer no sale no fee?

Not every firm will offer a no sale no fee conveyancing option and so you will have to ask around at different conveyancers to be certain it’s available to you.

As a result of the 1995 Conditional Fee Agreement, if your solicitor doesn’t want to take your case on as a no sale no fee conveyancing option, then they can refuse to go ahead with doing the legal work for you.

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Pros and cons of no sale no fee conveyancing

As we often say, with anything in life, it will have its pros and its cons and it’s up to you to weigh these up to decide whether no sale no fee conveyancing is the right option for you:

Pros:

  • No risk of losing the full amount of legal fees cost if the sale is to fall through
  • Conveyancer won’t get paid if the sale doesn’t complete so they will have extra motivation to get your sale to completion ASAP

Cons:

  • Likely to be upfront deposits and hidden costs which will be charged whether or not the sale completes
  • There are still fees you will have to pay even if your sale falls through (i.e. the fees your conveyancer will have paid to third parties)
  • Not offered by all firms
  • Whilst it may be motivating, it may also be demoralising for conveyancers, meaning they give less care to your case, making it more likely your sale will fall through
  • Will have to pay solicitor fees in full as well as a deposit if the sale completes, meaning this option is more expensive

Is no sale no fee conveyancing worth it?

Whether or not no sale no fee conveyancing is worth it depends a lot on why you want to go down this path and what you want to get out of it.

If you’re not confident in your sale completing, then it may be a good idea to go down this route, especially if the cost of the sale falling through will have an especially big impact.

However, the ‘security’ of using no sale no fee conveyancing comes at a cost, with the higher fees you have to pay on completion of the sale.

Also, as we mentioned earlier, even if the sale is to fall through, there will still be costs to yourself – such as the upfront deposit and costs of searches, meaning it isn’t a completely fee-free service.

Why would a house sale fall through?

Sadly, 1 in 3 house sales fell through in 2021, according to Quick Move Now, meaning the possibility of your sale never completing is a lot higher than you may initially think.

The reasons as to why a house sale may fall through can vary greatly – we’re going to detail the most common reasons here, so you know what you may need to be prepared for:

  1. Complicated chain – A complicated chain is one that has a large number of people involved, meaning there’s more room for something to go wrong and for the chain to break, causing the sale to fall through
  2. Gazumping – Gazumping is where a seller receives and accepts a better offer than the one that they have already accepted. It’s completely legal in England and Wales and can happen at any point before the exchange of contracts
  3. Gazundering – Gazundering is where a buyer lowers their offer at the last moment before exchange of contracts, meaning the seller must either accept an offer a lot lower than they expected or allow the sale to fall through. Once again, just like gazumping, gazundering is completely legal
  4. Bad survey results – If the house survey reveals something that either can’t be fixed or will cost a lot of money to fix, then it’s more than likely the sale will fall through. As a seller, if you know your house has some major issues then it could be a good idea to get these fixed yourself. If you don’t, you will find you face the same problem multiple times, making selling your house near impossible
  5. Unable to get finances – Often a sale may fall through because the buyer is unable to get their finances in place, whether it be they can’t get house repayments or they’re not able to get their deposit together in time
  6. Buyer changes mind – Unfortunately, when selling a house on the open market, there’s no way of getting a guaranteed buyer. Even if there appear to be no issues, there’s no way of knowing whether or not your buyer may just turn around and change their mind about buying your property.
  7. However, there is a way you can get a guaranteed buyer, without paying legal fees, and it’s not through using no sale no fee conveyancing…

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    Here at The Property Buying Company, we’re a guaranteed cash buyer who can buy your house in a fast timescale of your choice.

    We cover all costs for you, think legal fees, estate agent fees, etc, meaning you will receive our cash offer in full in your bank!

    We have over 50 years of combined experience, meaning we’re a cash buyer you can trust. We’re also rated ‘excellent’ on Trustpilot, with over 1,000 reviews – feel free to check them out!

    Forget no sale no fee conveyancing (where there are still costs to pay) and sell to us without paying a penny! Give us a call or fill in our online form today for a free, no-obligation cash offer…

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